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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-29-2010, 11:17 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 38
My Ride: e46
dealer ecu update question

I just want to get my oem alarm activated and all three dealerships told me the same thing, there's a software update for the ecu that needs to be performed before they can do anything computer related on my vehicle. Problem is all of them want 6hrs labor just to do the software update alone. I called BMW NA but they said they are aware of the update and it is not a covered expense nor will it qualify under my CPO. Has anyone gotten the update for less than 6hrs labor or gotten BMW NA to cover the expense? My car is an 04 330Ci with 60k miles, thanks!

Last edited by Mase075; 04-29-2010 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 9,245
My Ride: '94 325iC & '00 323i
I recently bought an '00 323i that I got a great price on, but had to spend a little to get it past the smog nazis in my state. Anyhow, I have an independent BMW guy in my town that I use for the stuff I can't do myself. I was having problems troubleshooting the many different Check Engine Light codes, so I had my guy look into the car's computer. He reflashed the program in the blink of an eye. He plugged in his diagnostic computer to the round plug in the engine bay and pulled the OBD II codes, and got more detailed information that I was getting on my two-bit scan tool -- he got the same codes, but he also got the operating voltages and other parameters that I could not see.

In any case, he said my car had the original program (firmware) in it, and that there was an update. His diagnostic computer pushed the updated firmware in, and did it in a matter of a few minutes. Seriously, he charged an hour and it took mere minutes. The same guy programmed my other E46 to take a factory alarm system that I bought on eBay and installed. He flashed that car and programmed the alarm system all at the same time. One hour labor -- maybe it was a half-hour labor on that car because he also got the job to put new lower control arms on and repair a power steering fluid leak.

I think that 6 hours is way too long for this job. WAAAY too long.
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