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Old 05-08-2010, 03:25 PM   #1
bitsnbytes
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My Experiences With VF- Blown Motor While in VF Possession

This is my story- every single bit of it is the truth and my sole intention is to share my frustrations and disappointment in my F/I journey so hopefully others don't experience what I have been through.

So I finally save enough money to buy an M3 (I had a Civic, an Acura to BMW) so I was extremely excited. Business was good at the time so I decided to treat myself with some aftermarket performance parts for my M3. That was when I joined M3forums and e46Fanatics to learn more about my M3 and F/I options. I'll be the first one to admit I'm not a car mechanic so I learned as much as I could by reading posts by more knowledgeable people. The consensus on the M3forums seemed to show that VF was a popular choice and appeared to have great customer service. It seemed like everybody who had VF was happy with their kit and this swayed me to go with VF.

• Purchased a VF Stage 2 kit on 8/28/08 for $11,000
- The car never ran right ever since I put VF's supercharger in there. From the start, there were cold start issues, idling problems, high long term fuel trims, and failed coil packs. I have sent my ECU back to VF at least 4 times over this 18 month ordeal for a re-flash
• I have spent over $4,000 after install to troubleshoot, diagnose, and attempt to fix my car. Total costs are now at ~ $17,500 not to mention the costs of headers, cats, towing charges to get my car fixed, and lost time (which is very important to me):
- $11,000 for kit
- $2,500 for install
- $4,000 mechanic fees to troubleshoot, diagnose, and parts

Each time I contacted VF, their response was "there has to be some other issues with the car (fuel filter, O2 sensors, coil packs, clear adaptations, air leak)"
• I ran all necessary tests and replaced all parts that VF asked me to do. I even bought gauges (AFR, Boost, and engine oil) to monitor my car so I could report back any symptoms. Great- more money I had to spend on my car...

These are the symptoms (From October 2008 - February 2010) that I experienced with the VF Stage 2 kit on my car:
• Cold start issues- would have to crank 2-3 times to start my car.
• Idling issues during cold start (rough idle would go away after 5 min)
• Long term fuel trims show +7/+9 when it should be around 0
• My car seemed to run fine besides the symptoms noted above; I never got around to dynoing it but boost showed 10 PSI and AFRs were at low 11's at WOT

• The first week of April 2009, I was doing some work in LA so I was finally able to bring my car down to VF (from San Jose, CA to Anaheim, CA) to have the issues mentioned above looked at and VF made some changes to my fuel rail but VF was unable to fix the cold start issue and high term fuel trims. *Note* they were busy with other installs so I was only able to get 3-4 hours of their time (over the period of 4 days) after driving all that way from San Jose, CA
• VF released their "Alpha" N tune (mafless setup) early this year and I spoke to Nik and he recommend that I move to this tune to fix all of my issues. After putting this "Alpha" tune in below are the following symptoms I experienced (February 2010 - Present):
- Car no longer had cold start issues BUT had horrible idling issues. ANYTIME my car was at idle (at a stop) AFRs were all over the place. Anybody within 20 feet of the car could hear the car idle surging. If you can imagine this was very embarrassing for me so the car pretty much sat in the garage unless I was driving it to get it looked at by a mechanic
- Car seemed to drive perfectly fine besides the embarrassing idling issue. I did, however, get SES lights every now and then due to "Multiple Cylinder Misfires". AFRs were in the low 11's or high 10's and boost showed ~10 PSI
- When the weather became warmer I noticed that when I turned on the A/C, the idle surge would virtually go away. I could literally turn on and off the A/C and the car would start and stop idle surging. (Based on my mechanics, yes I have multiple now, they all seem to think it's because of the software)
- VF had no resolution for this. My car sat in my garage for 2 months since work consumed any free time I had. I ended up paying my friend to drive my car from San Jose, CA to Anaheim, CA for me. VF understood my frustration and paid for his flight back to San Jose, CA. My friend dropped off my car to VF on 4/28/10.
• I get a call on 5/4/10 (Tuesday) from Nik. He reported that he put my car on the dyno and the first pull showed an incredible power of 490 rwhp. He mentioned that the car seemed to run great after clearing adaptations. During the 1st dyno pull all the readings look normal (boost, AFR). But when he put it on the dyno again shortly after a white cloud of smoke left my exhaust while the car was near redline and the car would not start anymore which indicated there might be engine damage. At this moment he did not know what occurred and requested permission to open my engine to evaluate the cause. He assured that VF will step up and resolve this issue for me. I was completely shocked but was comforted that VF would step up and rectify this issue. The way Nik phrased this I thought they would cover everything for me.
• In the morning of 5/6/10, I get a call from Nik and he informs me that the engine has failed and I will need a new one. He claims that the engine failure *could* have occurred because the car had pre-existing engine issues before arriving at the shop. When I asked why he thought this- his response was "the way the crack formed in the engine it showed that it may have been there for some time." He offers that VF will cover 50% of the costs and I would cover the other 50%. I was COMPLETELY SHOCKED at this and immediately refused this offer. At this time- I demanded that VF buy back the supercharger and pay me for the cost of the motor. He refused to buy back a used Supercharger that I have had for a year and half. I expressed my disagreement and immediately asked him to put it in writing and to have him word the email carefully. I mentioned to him that I will go after him with a lawsuit.
• Within an hour- I get a call and voicemail from Nik saying he has re-considered and wants to work with me. In an email, he writes that he is not 100% sure why the motor failed and that he would refund me the cost of the VF Stage 2 kit and for a new motor + labor to get motor installed but I could not mention this to provide negative publicity to VF.

"We offer to provide this cost to you and your request for a refund of your invoice #9055 for product return on the understanding we discussed that you agree not to pursue legal recourse and not to provide any basis for negative publicity to VF to occur in this event"

I'm sorry this post has been so long but this was only a tip of the iceberg on how frustrated and disappointed I have been with VF but more importantly I needed to show the true character of how VF and Nik conducts their business. I have gave my situation considerable thought- by posting this information I may never get my full refund back from VF BUT at what moral cost? I am not rich and I NEED this refund. I have poured so much money, time, lost the love of my M3 because I've been so bitter at my experience. I literally have a useless car now after spending over $65,000 (this includes cost to purchase the car). How many conversations do you think I have with my significant other? I have been working 12+ hours a day, 7 days a week trying to save up enough money to purchase a home for me and my family? To add (I'm not trying to get more sympathy here but to show you how much anger I have built up) my fiancι's mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer ~ 1.5 years ago. Long story short, we did everything in our power financially to give her the best treatment. This has dramatically changed our lives more ways than one. People who know me on this forum can confirm this.

So what is my intent of this post to share my experience and hopefully get VF to pay me. If you look at my post count on these forums, I don't contribute much due to my lack of car knowledge. This is me doing my part and trying to help others think twice about F/I. I want to contribute what I can to these forums and I could only do so through my experiences.


I have talked to two other forum members that also had blown engines from VF. MSPired did not get any money until he posted his story. Even tho Nik agreed to pay- they both told me it would be be a painful and long drawn out process of actually getting the money. Nik was suppose to draft an agreement and have it to me last week- then he said Monday. I got fed up with broken promises (see above).

I can provide receipts for all repairs and costs to my car to back my story. I can also provide all email communication that I have had with VF (over 100's of emails). I am meticulous about keeping all my records. Everything I have said in this email is the full 100% truth and I know others will go on here to mis-direct these facts and even my intentions. For the people who know me- I'm a hard working honest person.

I'm unsure what to do at this moment but I'm open to ideas. My car is currently at VF and I need to come up with the money and get a trucking company to pick up my car. I hope they don't burn it to the ground after reading this... Please send any suggestions you may have.

I want to add that I never gave permission to allow VF to put my car on a dyno. I gave them permission to troubleshoot my car (not sure if putting a car on a dyno is classified as troubleshooting...) and drive it to and from the VF shop and their homes. I guess they don't test drive during business hours.

Last edited by bitsnbytes; 05-10-2010 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:46 PM   #2
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This sucks..plain and simple. I hope they step up and do the right thing.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:48 PM   #3
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VF Sucks....Why don't they ever chime in on here?
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:55 PM   #4
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wait a second. VF told you they would cover your supercharger AND you a new engine. so you would still be out about 5K for random mechanics and parts. but they would be covering the majority of the money, and fixing their mistake. and all they asked from you was to keep your mouth shut? and you decided that was a bad idea? so instead you go on the internet and say how terrible everything is, and how much they suck, ect. even though they are buying back your supercharger, and getting you a new engine?
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:55 PM   #5
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sorry to hear this, thanks for bringing out in the open what we knew VF was already doing......offering repairs for silence. it sucks that you are left out in the cold just for telling the truth, just shows the mentality of Nik, out to make a buck at any cost to the customer.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:57 PM   #6
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Bitsnbytes: Word my friend. You are powerful to post your story at great financial risk. Those of us looking at F/I thank you....
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mvrk10256 View Post
wait a second. VF told you they would cover your supercharger AND you a new engine. so you would still be out about 5K for random mechanics and parts. but they would be covering the majority of the money, and fixing their mistake. and all they asked from you was to keep your mouth shut? and you decided that was a bad idea? so instead you go on the internet and say how terrible everything is, and how much they suck, ect. even though they are buying back your supercharger, and getting you a new engine?
dont slam on someone for having morals. if you dont undestand obviously you dont have any.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:01 PM   #8
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dont slam on someone for having morals. if you dont undestand obviously you dont have any.
sure. i wont slam on someone for having "morals". please grow up. this is a pissing contest, plain and simple. Call me crazy, but i put taking care of my family ahead of internet "morals" if he needs the money he should keep his mouth shut, its an honest offer.

unfortunatly in the world we live in its impossible to have a cookie and eat it to.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:06 PM   #9
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sure. i wont slam on someone for having "morals". please grow up. this is a pissing contest, plain and simple. Call me crazy, but i put taking care of my family ahead of internet "morals" if he needs the money he should keep his mouth shut, its an honest offer.

unfortunatly in the world we live in its impossible to have a cookie and eat it to.
like i said, now we know what kind of person you are....i applaud him for standing his ground.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:12 PM   #10
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like i said, now we know what kind of person you are....i applaud him for standing his ground.
sure. in my priority list

family>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>bit of internet stardom.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mvrk10256 View Post
sure. i wont slam on someone for having "morals". please grow up. this is a pissing contest, plain and simple. Call me crazy, but i put taking care of my family ahead of internet "morals" if he needs the money he should keep his mouth shut, its an honest offer.

unfortunatly in the world we live in its impossible to have a cookie and eat it to.
This post was to share my experience so others that were in my position are aware of the potential problems that come with F/I (all vendors). I also wanted to share my experience dealing with VF so people like you don't get into this mess I got into. If you don't see the value of that on your end- I guess I should have kept my mouth shut. You should buy my supercharger I'll give you a great deal on it...

Heck I'll sell you my car with a VF stage 2 installed for cheap AS-IS-CONDITION. Of course, I expect payment first...

Last edited by bitsnbytes; 05-08-2010 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:16 PM   #12
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This post was to share my experience so others that were in my position are aware of the potential problems that come with F/I (all vendors). I also wanted to share my experience dealing with VF so people like you don't get into this mess I got into. If you don't see the value of that on your end- I guess I should have kept my mouth shut. You should buy my supercharger I'll give you a great deal on it...
i would love boost. but no ///M
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mvrk10256 View Post
sure. i wont slam on someone for having "morals". please grow up. this is a pissing contest, plain and simple. Call me crazy, but i put taking care of my family ahead of internet "morals" if he needs the money he should keep his mouth shut, its an honest offer.

unfortunatly in the world we live in its impossible to have a cookie and eat it to.
How is it a pissing contest..after spending close to $20,000 he is out a motor and money. I would bet my last dollar if this happened to you, you would be posting up. The only person to ever get Nik to pay restitution is Mike, he did that only after he posted. Nik tries to keep these things quiet by threats of lawsuites or privacy statements. Nik offered to settle and then drags it out for months and months. sad fact.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:23 PM   #14
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like i said, now we know what kind of person you are....i applaud him for standing his ground.
Lets see if Docwhite jumps in here and claims that the tune is good.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:24 PM   #15
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I am so sorry to hear your VFE Experience. It really takes a man to turn around and risk a full refund plus motor refund by telling all publically in order to make sure that VFE doesn't do this to another customer ever again.

I can't comprehend why VFE would do this to anyone in the first place, but after MSpired I hoped they would have learned their lesson and did a 180 with customer service. The fact that they did not only proves the sad theory....that under most circumstances, bad people WILL NOT CHANGE! This has been truth with human beings in general whether it is someone who runs an BMW FI Aftermarket company (Osh at RMS) or a convicted sexual offender like John Albert Gardner III, etc..

Let this be a warning to all those who currently have VFE products and those who are thinking about purchasing VFE products! This is proof that you don't need a VFE Stage 2.5 or above with built motor to experience such a nightmare! It could happen with your VFE Stage I or Stage II!!!!!!!!!!!

It might be time for many of you to sell your VFE kits now and go a different route like MSpired did before you become the next statistic! You think that another choice is $4,000 or so too high? Just think how deep you will be if this happened to you and VFE didn't step up like they are threatening due to the OP's public soap box. $10,000? $20,000? More?

I think now would be a good time to go back and read MSpired's latest thread telling everyone how crazy happy he is with his car. You will have a different perspective.

OP: I truly hope Nik at VFE is reading this and he still comes through 110%! If he wants to save whatever amount of reputation he has left he better do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:24 PM   #16
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How is it a pissing contest..after spending close to $20,000 he is out a motor and money. I would bet my last dollar if this happened to you, you would be posting up. The only person to ever get Nik to pay restitution is Mike, he did that only after he posted. Nik tries to keep these things quiet by threats of lawsuites or privacy statements. Nik offered to settle and then drags it out for months and months. sad fact.


I was under the impression nik said he would cover the engine, labor, and cost of the kit.....

of course i guess there is no garuntee that he will actually do it. but if you take him at his word, and he does the work in a respectable amount of time and all that was asked of me was to keep this off the internet, I would give him the chance to make it right.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:32 PM   #17
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I was under the impression nik said he would cover the engine, labor, and cost of the kit.....

of course i guess there is no garuntee that he will actually do it. but if you take him at his word, and he does the work in a respectable amount of time and all that was asked of me was to keep this off the internet, I would give him the chance to make it right.

What about any of these experiences would lead you to believe he's telling anything close to the truth?
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:34 PM   #18
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I was under the impression nik said he would cover the engine, labor, and cost of the kit.....

of course i guess there is no garuntee that he will actually do it. but if you take him at his word, and he does the work in a respectable amount of time and all that was asked of me was to keep this off the internet, I would give him the chance to make it right.
I think the point some are making is that by going this route, you are saying, "I don't give a if any other VFE customer goes through the same nightmare because I chose to keep my mouth shut, as long as I get paid it's alllllll good yo!"
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:36 PM   #19
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I think the point some are making is that by going this route, you are saying, "I don't give a if any other VFE customer goes through the same nightmare because I chose to keep my mouth shut, as long as I get paid it's alllllll good yo!"
well if i had a family that depended on me for income..... sorry if that offends you but i would chose them over you...

could always beat it out of nik.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:40 PM   #20
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Internet exposure, though not the best option, always gets things taken care of. Shady companies like VF deserve all the bad rap they can get.
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