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      12-11-2015, 03:54 AM   #1
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Question ECU flash - questions

Hi,

Due to some reason, I may need to update firmware on some ECUs (ECU flash) of my F30 car.

Normally when I do FDL coding or VO code, I will keep the engine turn on as to prevent power loss in the middle of coding process running. And I will normally do VO code on ECUs one by one instead of selecting all ECUs at once. (I know if I keep the engine on and VO code all ECUs, which include DME, will terminate the coding process in the middle). Is this correct?

Now, I need to update firmware (flash ECU). Do I need to shut off the engine during the process? With door opened or closed? I heard that I need a big industry grade charger connecting at the front bonnet to keep the car charging during the long process. How big I need and any model or spec suggested? How long does it normally take to update one ECU like NBT?

Thanks a lot!
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      12-16-2015, 04:52 PM   #2
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*watching for the answer on this one
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      12-17-2015, 05:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolala
Hi,

Due to some reason, I may need to update firmware on some ECUs (ECU flash) of my F30 car.

Normally when I do FDL coding or VO code, I will keep the engine turn on as to prevent power loss in the middle of coding process running. And I will normally do VO code on ECUs one by one instead of selecting all ECUs at once. (I know if I keep the engine on and VO code all ECUs, which include DME, will terminate the coding process in the middle). Is this correct?

Now, I need to update firmware (flash ECU). Do I need to shut off the engine during the process? With door opened or closed? I heard that I need a big industry grade charger connecting at the front bonnet to keep the car charging during the long process. How big I need and any model or spec suggested? How long does it normally take to update one ECU like NBT?

Thanks a lot!
For the NBT, you will need an ICOM and a battery tender such as a schumacher inc-700a son it can provide "constant" power.
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      12-18-2015, 01:18 AM   #4
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Any charger that can output at least 50amp at 12v constant charge should suffice though BMW recommends 70amp or more. From my searches, chargers of that amperage can't be purchased new for less than $250. And the used market is scant.
ECU flashing can take a long time. But I don't really know how long exactly. If it's under an hour running a 15amp charger(much more reasonably priced) while taking precautions to shut off all devices in the car that draw power, HVAC, all lighting, etc should be safe as well. I've run a 15a charger for a couple hours before the voltage started to drop below what was safe for programming.
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      12-23-2015, 04:00 AM   #5
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I recently flashed all ECUs on my F32, only took about 35 minutes. Also you can just use another car with jump leads as the power source which is what I did, had an M4 and the 2nd time I had a range rover hooked up

You can check the voltage with the BC screen menu so you'll see if you are able to maintain it or not.
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      12-30-2015, 06:17 AM   #6
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Thanks all of your input
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      01-06-2016, 11:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
I recently flashed all ECUs on my F32, only took about 35 minutes. Also you can just use another car with jump leads as the power source which is what I did, had an M4 and the 2nd time I had a range rover hooked up

You can check the voltage with the BC screen menu so you'll see if you are able to maintain it or not.
Hi Jaddie,

Your idea looks perfect as it saved money for buying 12v high ampere power supply.

I have some more questions, hope you can give me some hints.

If I turn on the electric power of the car with engine off during flashing, will the car auto power off after a few minutes? I think at least the headunit will being auto power off after 5-7 min idle (with engine off). It is quite dangerous with power suddenly auto off during flashing. Is there an easy way to solve this problem?

Any hints?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Coolala; 01-07-2016 at 12:13 AM. Reason: With information update
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      01-07-2016, 06:38 AM   #8
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Hey Coolala,

No worries!

Sure, basically just turn the ignition off & back on just before you go ahead and do the actual flashing, whenever a TAL operation is in progress the ESYS will keep the power on anyway.

You can just check the appropriate columns for all the ECUs at once, there is no need to do each one at a time, ESYS will then be able to do them in parallel and also work out dependencies and take any required measures.

Kind Regards
James
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      01-07-2016, 01:18 PM   #9
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Turning on parking lights and leaving drivers door open with ignition on will also decrease chances of the jumped car from going to sleep.
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      01-07-2016, 10:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
Hey Coolala,

No worries!

Sure, basically just turn the ignition off & back on just before you go ahead and do the actual flashing, whenever a TAL operation is in progress the ESYS will keep the power on anyway.

You can just check the appropriate columns for all the ECUs at once, there is no need to do each one at a time, ESYS will then be able to do them in parallel and also work out dependencies and take any required measures.

Kind Regards
James
Hi Jaddie,

All understood, except that "..just turn the ignition off & back on..". Is that the word "on" means turn the ignition on? Then, it will be:
1. Press button once to turn on electric (with ignition off)
2. Press button one more to turn ignition on
3. Go ahead to start TAL processing

Sorry for my very poor English as English is not my native language.


Can do all ECUs at once <- this is cool!

Thanks again!
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      01-07-2016, 10:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cryptocar View Post
Turning on parking lights and leaving drivers door open with ignition on will also decrease chances of the jumped car from going to sleep.
I'm sure it is a very good idea.

Thank you!
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      01-08-2016, 04:27 PM   #12
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Hey Coolala,

Yeah basically, just cycle it so its a "fresh on" for the ignition, that way the timer as it were is reset, also the parking light trick has been said to be no longer effective. But it can't exactly do any harm I suppose

Just get it flashed haha, once you start the process it will keep it on anyway so it doesn't really matter!

Hope it all goes well, if not I'm sure we'll be around to help so just post here in the unlikely event any issues arise!


Jaddie
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      01-11-2016, 02:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
Hey Coolala,

Yeah basically, just cycle it so its a "fresh on" for the ignition, that way the timer as it were is reset, also the parking light trick has been said to be no longer effective. But it can't exactly do any harm I suppose

Just get it flashed haha, once you start the process it will keep it on anyway so it doesn't really matter!

Hope it all goes well, if not I'm sure we'll be around to help so just post here in the unlikely event any issues arise!


Jaddie
Hi Jaddie,

Thanks again for your time explaining this.

Based on what you said, it is to have ignition on during flashing. Have you flash the DME or all ECUs at that time?

For my understanding, taking example of FDL coding and VO code. If the ignition is on, and we VO code ALL ECUs at once, including the DME, the ignition will automatically turn off when it codes the DME. This will do harm for coding process. CAF file will be crashed.

For the flashing process, if ignition is allowed to turn on. Then why will we need an external charger? So it's still a little bit confusing

Could you share more about your experience? Many thanks!
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      01-11-2016, 03:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolala
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
Hey Coolala,

Yeah basically, just cycle it so its a "fresh on" for the ignition, that way the timer as it were is reset, also the parking light trick has been said to be no longer effective. But it can't exactly do any harm I suppose

Just get it flashed haha, once you start the process it will keep it on anyway so it doesn't really matter!

Hope it all goes well, if not I'm sure we'll be around to help so just post here in the unlikely event any issues arise!


Jaddie
Hi Jaddie,

Thanks again for your time explaining this.

Based on what you said, it is to have ignition on during flashing. Have you flash the DME or all ECUs at that time?

For my understanding, taking example of FDL coding and VO code. If the ignition is on, and we VO code ALL ECUs at once, including the DME, the ignition will automatically turn off when it codes the DME. This will do harm for coding process. CAF file will be crashed.

For the flashing process, if ignition is allowed to turn on. Then why will we need an external charger? So it's still a little bit confusing

Could you share more about your experience? Many thanks!
It's fine to keep engine running during flashing of all ECUs not part of the power/drivetrain this includes EGS transfer case DME EKPS etc.
To do flashing of any power/drivetrain ECU you cannot have the engine running and in all cases for flashing these ECUs an external power supply is necessary (its very risky to not use one of the following options). 50a + constant amperage charger or a jump from a separate car with a running alternator.
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      01-11-2016, 03:38 AM   #15
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Ignition needs to be ON for all flashing and coding.
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      01-12-2016, 04:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cryptocar View Post
It's fine to keep engine running during flashing of all ECUs not part of the power/drivetrain this includes EGS transfer case DME EKPS etc.
To do flashing of any power/drivetrain ECU you cannot have the engine running and in all cases for flashing these ECUs an external power supply is necessary (its very risky to not use one of the following options). 50a + constant amperage charger or a jump from a separate car with a running alternator.
Wow....All understood now.
hehe...then I think I can now flash some ECUs like NBT without buying the expensive 50A charger
Many thanks!
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      01-12-2016, 04:06 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
Hey Coolala,

Yeah basically, just cycle it so its a "fresh on" for the ignition, that way the timer as it were is reset, also the parking light trick has been said to be no longer effective. But it can't exactly do any harm I suppose

Just get it flashed haha, once you start the process it will keep it on anyway so it doesn't really matter!

Hope it all goes well, if not I'm sure we'll be around to help so just post here in the unlikely event any issues arise!


Jaddie
Thank you!
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      01-12-2016, 07:32 AM   #18
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You're very welcome!

No need to be so worried about the charger scares haha, a jumped car is all you need running, you can even check the voltage in your car anyway!

Do you know how to view the unlocked BC menu on your dash/kombi?

Jaddie
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      01-12-2016, 10:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie
You're very welcome!

No need to be so worried about the charger scares haha, a jumped car is all you need running, you can even check the voltage in your car anyway!

Do you know how to view the unlocked BC menu on your dash/kombi?

Jaddie
Hold Trip reset for 10 seconds scroll to unlock and enter code that is the sum of the last 5 digits of your VIN. Mobile diagnostics activated.
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      01-12-2016, 10:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolala
Quote:
Originally Posted by cryptocar View Post
It's fine to keep engine running during flashing of all ECUs not part of the power/drivetrain this includes EGS transfer case DME EKPS etc.
To do flashing of any power/drivetrain ECU you cannot have the engine running and in all cases for flashing these ECUs an external power supply is necessary (its very risky to not use one of the following options). 50a + constant amperage charger or a jump from a separate car with a running alternator.
Wow....All understood now.
hehe...then I think I can now flash some ECUs like NBT without buying the expensive 50A charger
Many thanks!
Exactly. Most ECUs you code are perfectly fine to do with engine running like NBT and FEM BODY
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      01-17-2016, 07:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cryptocar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolala
Quote:
Originally Posted by cryptocar View Post
It's fine to keep engine running during flashing of all ECUs not part of the power/drivetrain this includes EGS transfer case DME EKPS etc.
To do flashing of any power/drivetrain ECU you cannot have the engine running and in all cases for flashing these ECUs an external power supply is necessary (its very risky to not use one of the following options). 50a + constant amperage charger or a jump from a separate car with a running alternator.
Wow....All understood now.
hehe...then I think I can now flash some ECUs like NBT without buying the expensive 50A charger
Many thanks!
Exactly. Most ECUs you code are perfectly fine to do with engine running like NBT and FEM BODY
While this is true the OP is talking about flashing NBT. I haven't seen anyone try flashing with the engine on and wouldn't try it myself. If the battery is fully charged flashing NBT by itself shouldn't be a problem. I would confirm you don't have dependencies on other ECUs. For instance when I flashed DME I had to flash DSC as well and had to use Rheingold to clear out all the errors. Definitely be ready for this kind of thing if you are flashing the car.
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      01-17-2016, 10:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamRWS6 View Post
While this is true the OP is talking about flashing NBT. I haven't seen anyone try flashing with the engine on and wouldn't try it myself. If the battery is fully charged flashing NBT by itself shouldn't be a problem. I would confirm you don't have dependencies on other ECUs. For instance when I flashed DME I had to flash DSC as well and had to use Rheingold to clear out all the errors. Definitely be ready for this kind of thing if you are flashing the car.
Yes, understood, and thanks for your explanation. I have Rheingold to clear out all errors.

Could you tell me more, if flashing ECUs with engine off, how to prevent the auto electric power cut off in the middle of flashing process? The electric power will be cut off after a few minutes idle, right?

Thanks in advance!
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