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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > N47 and N57 Turbodiesel Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > First time BMW owner seeking advice regarding ECU remap / tuning
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      07-30-2018, 04:22 PM   #1
HEBPEME
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First time BMW owner seeking advice regarding ECU remap / tuning

Hello fellow BMW owners and enthusiasts!

I have just purchased a used BMW 320D X-Drive, year of make 2013 and i am delighted to say the least. My particular version is a Sport line, so it also has gear paddles behind a wheel which is wonderful.

I have literally one question:

Is it safe to have my car ECU remapped or chipped because i have read and heard that performance can be improved and even though most companies who provide this service claim there are no negative effects on the engine and gearbox, i am a bit reluctant so i was hoping that you guys could give me the most honest answer.
Basically, is the gain noticeable (acceleration wise) and is there a high risk to doing such a thing.

Thank you all in advance very much!
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      07-30-2018, 07:01 PM   #2
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You could go two routes. An ECU flash or a piggyback.

Piggybacks intercept the signal from a cars engine ECU and trick it into providing more boost pressure. Dinan makes a piggyback for your model that increases power to 236 HP and 233 Torque. They don't only trick the turbo, they also control other things like the fuel system. Piggybacks are nice because they can be removed and/or reinstalled in minutes. This is a common choice for those that have a warranty they'd like to preserve. Some piggybacks only trick the turbo but don't control other systems. It depends on how much you want to spend.

An ECU tune from Bootmod3 or other reputable tuning companies is a complete remap of the existing engine ECU. There's no interception and no tricking, so these systems are considered smoother and more well rounded. Gains are similar or even better, but this will void any existing warranty if they find out it's tuned.

Since you're in a 2013, and assuming you don't have any or much warranty left, I'd go for the flash. Search google for the reliability of that engine when tuned. I know nothing about the 320 but do know that the 328 and 335 handle tunes very well.
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      08-01-2018, 05:23 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for your answer Pdegene

From what you wrote and from what i heard, i assume ECU remapping is a better option. I have already found few companies in my country (Serbia) that provide this service and also give you a warranty, which i think is very good and it also makes me feel safer about tempering with my car.
I will make an appointment with one of them and discuss all the options they can offer and eventually i will make up my mind.

Thank you again for your advice and a detailed answer

Take care
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      08-01-2018, 01:28 PM   #4
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Forget the tuning "boxes". They are crap, especially on a diesel.

Find a good European tuner with a lot of experience on BMWs, and go with them. Make sure they have some sort of guarantee.. as poor tuning is often worse than stock on your engine safety.
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      08-01-2018, 01:31 PM   #5
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A good tune will have very noticeable acceleration, and very little downsides.

I have the same n47tu engine as you, and it is around 230hp and 450nm now. It is very noticeable, and have driven it over 13000 km without issues. A proper tune should behave like factory, while keeping all parameters safe.
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      08-01-2018, 02:44 PM   #6
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Thank you Enabled!

As a matter a fact, one company i found is providing various options and one of them is a complete ECU remap, custom made for each car. They say they are first "reading" my particular ECU and doing the mapping according to it. They also provide a warranty, which can't be bad. The guy told me i should get around 20-25% performance gain which sounds phenomenal and the price should be around 450$ so do you think this is valid or they are just a bunch of frauds? Unfortunately, i cannot speak for United States since i live in Serbia so perhaps prices are different but how does this sound to you? I mean what they told me.

Cheers
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      08-01-2018, 03:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enabled View Post
A good tune will have very noticeable acceleration, and very little downsides.

I have the same n47tu engine as you, and it is around 230hp and 450nm now. It is very noticeable, and have driven it over 13000 km without issues. A proper tune should behave like factory, while keeping all parameters safe.
Hi, where did you get your car tuned? Is it in Europe or outside? How much did you pay? Who are they? Can you share more info so that it helps other users like me. Thanks
I am from Germany...
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      08-01-2018, 07:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HEBPEME View Post
As a matter a fact, one company i found is providing various options and one of them is a complete ECU remap, custom made for each car. They say they are first "reading" my particular ECU and doing the mapping according to it. They also provide a warranty, which can't be bad. The guy told me i should get around 20-25% performance gain which sounds phenomenal and the price should be around 450$ so do you think this is valid or they are just a bunch of frauds? Unfortunately, i cannot speak for United States since i live in Serbia so perhaps prices are different but how does this sound to you? I mean what they told me.

Cheers
Hi. 20-25% gain sounds about right. I did ecu remap 2 times. First was with reputable company, they said it should be ~225hp but they did not have dyno. Had the tune for 2 years and ~100k km with no problems. At the moment I have 225k km on odometer. I am driving ~50k km per year.
Just 3 months ago I decided to dyno my car. The result was 197hp for the first tune. The guy doing the dyno was also specializing in ecu remaps and does remaps for racing cars and said that safely he could get it up to 225 and smoothen the torque and power curve as there was slight dip around 3500 rpm.
So I went for 2nd remap. The result was 224hp and 459 nm. I felt significant difference between 1st and 2nd remap. And now I can rev higher as the power does not die at 4200 rpm. Now it still pulls to 4800 rpm. If you do it right the first time you will definitely feel the difference. I tested the 0-100 km/h times for stock/1st remap/2nd remap. Managed to get it down to 6.2 sec from 7.4 sec stock.
Had the tune for 2 months and ~10k km with no issues.

My takeaway from this experience is to go to reputable shop which can do dyno before and after.

In Latvia the price is ~250-350 USD. So a little bit cheaper.
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      08-02-2018, 12:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plikmuny View Post
Hi, where did you get your car tuned? Is it in Europe or outside? How much did you pay? Who are they? Can you share more info so that it helps other users like me. Thanks
I am from Germany...

I tuned my car myself. I have been tuning and experimenting on certain diesels and petrol cars for about 4 years now.


For this car, it took months of studying and defining the car's maps, a couple of very very good pro contacts, and weeks of logging and testing changes.
It didn't really cost me much, except the time. But the time spent was time spent learning.

It is NOT an easy task. These new diesels are very complex and complicated. It is not for a beginner, that's for sure.


I still have some potential left for more power, but the car is incredibly good even so. It is a fun work in progress project for me.


Also, there are no pro US based tuners that will do an F30 tune for under $600.. so be very careful.
Many of them just get their tunes from Europe anyways...
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      08-13-2018, 04:03 PM   #10
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I got my car tuned from a good guy in Germany. After tuning it produces 222hp and 450 nm. I am more than happy now. It feels a totally different car. Gear changing, pickup and mileage everything is awesome.... I got it done for 360.... I can't ask for more at this price..... Super happy....
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