NASTF Information Requests

Tracking: 143 Status: Closed
State: TX Name: Richard
Category of Request: Reprogramming Manufacturer: BMW

Have you checked the OEM website?
Description of Repair unable to perform
I am attemting to reflash a BMW DME unit with no success.
Description of Information not available
Description of steps taken to obtain information (help/contact function on website, websites, etc.)
I have repeatedly tried to reprogram BMW controllers using BMW's online programming tool. I have repogrammed almost 1,000 controllers of various makes and models using J2534 and have never had the amount of troublr that I have had with BMW. At this point I have 10 unsuccessful tries and no successful reprograms. I have had two computers damaged by BMW's software while trying to reprogram with their tool. I have so many complaints that I don't know where to start!! Let's start with BMW's customer service Phone number which is included with every e-mail verifying purchase (see attachment labelled purchase verification.) This phone number is absolutely worhtless!!! After multiple calls to it with no return calls ever, I used BMW's phone system to get the operator. The operator did not even know who was in charge of J2534 programming and din't even know they had a customer service line. She was very helpful and connected me to some gentleman who stated that he was indeed one of the people that worked with module programming, but that he could not help me as there was only one person that had knowledge and worked on the J2534 programming and he was out of the office for a week. Next let's take the e-mail help system and webmaster contact system. I honstly think these systems are someone's secondary resonsibility as thes responses recieved back are long delayed (24- 36 hours), in most cases appear to be a canned response and never contain any useful information whatsoever. I would include copies of the responses, but they were lost when BMW programming destroyed one of my computers. The only concession I got from BMW was an extension of usage for their inability to program their own unit. This extension was given a week after I had taken the car to a Dealer to have it programmed and was for a 48 hour period from the time they granted it. I didn't even have a BMW that I was working on or programming at that time!! How about making a concession that is actually useful like giving me 48 hours when I can actually use it. Now let's talk about the programming tool itself. The only approved programming tool is the Actia unit which I have been using exclusively for BMW's reprogramming. At this point I have spent over 300 dollars on 10 unsucessful progams and lost over 100 billable man hours trying to program with this tool. BMW blames my problems on my internet connection. I do not have any problems with my internet connection, but just to make sure I have tried it using three different types of internet connections including a bridged connection supported by three different physical connection type (DSL, Cable and wireless)simultaneously with no change. To show my connection speed on the last try, I have included 2 screen saves of my connection to Nuremburg and Frankfurt in Germany ( see attach ments labelled speedtest fankfurt and speedtest nuremburg). Both tests weres taken after a crash. I honestly believe that BMW is deliberately trying to keep us from programming their vehicle by making it impossible to perform. If you look closely at the speed tests, you will see upload and download rates in the pictures. These rates far exceed the actual rate BMW is communicating at (see attachments BMW new network speed, BMW new network speed 2 and BMW new network speed 3). In BMW new network speed, you can see where I initiated the online programming and attempted to progam an X-53 chassis. This starts when I actually click on the program online Icon in the bmwtechinfo site. These attachments show the network usage on my end in percent used with 100% being 115 kbps. The files I am trying to download are 270 mb according to BMW. This should download in around 40 minutes at 100% usage. as you can see in BMW new network speed 2, the usage starts to drop off to the point that it woudldn't even challenge a dial-up connection. BMW new network speed 3 follows immediately after BMW new network speed 2 and shows you what the actual network speed is. I
Other Comments or Concerns
Mary Hutchinson - 8/14/2007 12:46:26 PM
BMW has been working with Mr. Layton to resolve his specific issue. The EPA is working with BMW to solve the issue as a whole, but reminds everyone that there is not a quick and easy solution to the problem.
Mary Hutchinson - 9/11/2007 12:39:24 PM
We at BMW are most certainly disappointed and concerned whenever anyone is not able to successfully reprogram a BMW car using the available online tools. We have worked with Mr. Layton at length and will continue to work with him to try to find a satisfactory resolution. Mr. Layton encountered numerous troubles when trying to set up his PC to enable BMW's on-line applications, and subsequently in trying to reprogram vehicles. It appeared he had successfully enabled On-Line Diagnostics but ProgMan (BMW's reprogramming application) was "shutting down". He wrote us that the "latest software version" interfered with his computer's USB ports, that the BMW site "crashed" while he was trying to program a vehicle, and that ProgMan was hanging up at the point it checks to make sure files are up-to-date. At no point have we been able to say what is causing the trouble. It appeared that Mr. Layton had most everything in place and configured correctly to achieve success. But there are still some open issues yet to be resolved: (1) We cannot emphasize enough that a proper power supply must be employed when reprogramming a BMW vehicle. Even a very good battery charger with an exceptionally clean signal can interfere with the programming process. Mr. Layton insists his power supply could not be an issue, but we could not find documentation to confirm that this unit meets BMW's website-posted specifications. In the long term we would like to test the Vector and similar products to see if they can be used with BMWs, but in the short term we can offer to loan Mr. Layton the same unit our franchised dealers use the next time he encounters a BMW reprogramming job. (2) Although there is no evidence to suggest a problem with Mr. Layton's J2534 interface (Actia tool), we cannot rule it out. So we will loan him a new unit, if he is willing, to eliminate the tool as a possibility. (3) We cannot help but wonder if Mr. Layton's air card service is in some way interfering with the connection. We have heard anecdotes that air card connections are extremely noisy and unreliable. Unfortunately we have no experience using wireless internet connection for BMW on-line applications, nor do we know of any independents using this method. BMW never contemplated the use of these applications in a completely mobile setting. BMW advises its own dealer network to always use hardwire rather than wireless connections, when reprogramming. (4) We apologize for Mr. Layton's frustration (and anyone's frustration) in trying to contact us. At this time we do not and cannot maintain a telephone hotline for technical or website support. The number Mr. Layton received when he set up his PayPal account was there by mistake, and we apologize for that error. Subscribers must use the "contact us" web-site link to reach us. Because we could not find a problem with the BMW on-line applications, its servers, or related tools, we must consider this issue closed (as an NASTF information request). If the three above items do not improve the situation, we will pay to have Mr. Layton's PC configured and set up by a shop that specializes in on-line tools, if he is willing.