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      02-20-2019, 07:14 PM   #1
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135i MHD flash failed => car wouldn't start => how it was fixed

Greetings all,

I bought a 2008 135i in December and after a very interesting baseline dyno test (it produced 250kW at the wheels; and I thought I'd bought a stock car), I wanted to install the MHD software so I could make use of the data logging package as the car was producing lean AFRs at low rpm.

Summary:

I tried to complete the MHD first write and it failed part way through. After this I couldn't flash back to stock using the backup I had created, and I couldn't flash to stage 0, and the car would crank but not start. Advice from MHD was that the ignition wasn't on properly for the initial flash (the fuel level should show on the display, which I have found only happens after pressing the start button twice after the key is inserted), and the backup was corrupt. I bought a better battery charger (25A), removed the backup from the phone and stage 0 flashed successfully. The car now starts and runs without fault (though I can't reliably scan for codes - more on that in Aftermath).

The cause of this may have been a tired battery and a low capacity battery charger (according to other posts it should be capable of producing over 20A).

I thought it might be helpful for others to write out what happened, and how it was rectified.

Setup:
  • Android device: Samsung Galaxy S9
  • Android version: 8.0.0
  • K+DCan cable: BimmerGeeks ProCable
  • OTG Adapter: Samsung (came with phone)
  • Battery charger: first one used was 5A, second one used was 25A

Sequence of events:
  • Connected the battery charger (5A)
  • Connected the K+DCan cable to the OBD2 port
  • Plugged the K+DCan cable in to the phone via the OTG adapter
  • Turned on the ignition
  • Checked the connection several times by scanning the codes, going to history, going back to see that the connection was stable
  • Went to the store and bought the base software and the logging package
  • Went in to flight mode
  • Completed a backup
  • Started a stage 0 flash. Seemed to be going ok so I went to do something else
  • After about 10 minutes I heard a noise, went in and found the windscreen wipers on and a write fail message on the phone screen.
  • Attempted to connect to the car by scanning codes again - couldn't read codes - specifically said "Connected" at the top of the screen, and "Cannot retrieve error codes" below the buttons.
  • Turned off the ignition, then back on, and tried to communicate again but it wouldn't
  • Tried to start the car - it would crank but not start.
  • Tried to flash the stock tune - this went all the way through to 100%, then displayed a message saying "Failed to write to DME. DME Status: DAF Signature verification not carried out".
  • Went inside & looked up a forum which said I needed a higher capacity battery charger and I should disconnect the battery for 30 minutes then try again.
  • Disconnected the battery for 30 minutes
  • Connected the battery again
  • Tried to start the car again - no change - cranks but doesn't start
  • Disconnected the battery again, for around 45 minutes.
  • Went and bought a 25A battery charger, then connected it.
  • Reconnected the battery again
  • Tried to flash both stock and stage 0 maps - the same effect. Gets to 100 %, then displays the same message.
  • Tried to communicate again using the code scanner - same effect.

Advice from MHD:

After this I wrote to Momir and Martial at MHD for advice with the description above. Momir wrote back to me with the following:

1. if the windshield wiper go on then ignition is not on properly (the fuel gauge must show the actual fuel level, key in, press start button)
2. your backup is not good (corrupted), please delete it from the MHD folder on your device (a backup is not needed, mhd has all stock files built in)

After these steps just flash stage 0 and you should be good.

I also called some Melbourne tuning shops for advice. Southern BM were the most helpful, advising that the battery needs to supply 13.5 volts to the DCM at all times during the charging process. Evolve Technik were happy to have a look at the car to help with resolution. Auto Racing Technik (who MHD list on their website as a partner) didn't answer the phone.

Issue Resolution:

I did exactly this - removed the backup from the phone and then flashed stage 0, and it worked - the car now starts and runs well. I have since had the battery replaced as the charger reported a fault saying it couldn't recover the battery back to 100% after being on charge for 3 days.

Aftermath:

I am still having trouble with loosing comms between the phone and the car when I initiate an activity (like starting a log or reading codes), and I will try a different android device and also a different OTG adaptor to see if there is any change. Not sure if the original lean afr issue has been solved or not as I haven't been able to log while driving due to these issues. The symptom is weird - the car is running and the MHD app says it connected (checked using the code scanning function). If I try to start a log or scan for codes the car will stumble (sounds like a misfire), and the MHD app will loose communication and try to connect again. The codes can't be read or the log doesn't begin. I'd appreciate advice on how to fix this.

Learnings:
  • The battery should be charged before starting.
  • The batter charger should be 20A or higher in capacity
  • The ignition has to on and the fuel level displayed required pressing the start button twice without starting the car (in a manual)
  • The MHD app doesn't provide a clear indication of its connection status
  • The MHD app instructions don't specifically state the first three learnings
  • I searched this thread for help while working through this: [URL="https://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1342249"]

I would be interested in how others have got on with this.
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      02-20-2019, 08:37 PM   #2
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This is why we use a power supply, not a charger, when doing programming.

A power supply supplies a constant voltage to the vehicle. A charger supplies a sine wave voltage that is truncated on the negative side. That means it has very short bursts of charging voltage, and off time. Have seen several computers bricked while programming using just a charger.
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      02-20-2019, 09:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
This is why we use a power supply, not a charger, when doing programming.

A power supply supplies a constant voltage to the vehicle. A charger supplies a sine wave voltage that is truncated on the negative side. That means it has very short bursts of charging voltage, and off time. Have seen several computers bricked while programming using just a charger.
How about a charger that has a supply mode? Meant for using when changing your battery but don't want to lose any of your car's settings. Would this work?

My CTEK 7002 has a supply mode:
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      02-20-2019, 10:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
This is why we use a power supply, not a charger, when doing programming.

A power supply supplies a constant voltage to the vehicle. A charger supplies a sine wave voltage that is truncated on the negative side. That means it has very short bursts of charging voltage, and off time. Have seen several computers bricked while programming using just a charger.
Interesting - and not something that has been suggested to me before. Can you give an example of a 12V power supply? Sounds like something I'd like to have in my tool kit.
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      02-21-2019, 09:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollup View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
This is why we use a power supply, not a charger, when doing programming.

A power supply supplies a constant voltage to the vehicle. A charger supplies a sine wave voltage that is truncated on the negative side. That means it has very short bursts of charging voltage, and off time. Have seen several computers bricked while programming using just a charger.
Interesting - and not something that has been suggested to me before. Can you give an example of a 12V power supply? Sounds like something I'd like to have in my tool kit.
This is what we used at Honda.

https://www.amazon.com/Midtronics-PS.../dp/B002YKCQE2

We use something similar at BMW.
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      02-21-2019, 10:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
This is why we use a power supply, not a charger, when doing programming.

A power supply supplies a constant voltage to the vehicle. A charger supplies a sine wave voltage that is truncated on the negative side. That means it has very short bursts of charging voltage, and off time. Have seen several computers bricked while programming using just a charger.
How about a charger that has a supply mode? Meant for using when changing your battery but don't want to lose any of your car's settings. Would this work?

My CTEK 7002 has a supply mode:
The cheaper ones we use are 55 amps, the bigger ones will do 90 amps continuous.

https://www.deutronic.com/produkte/d...-computer-1ac/

When programming, it is normal to see the power supply putting out 25-30 amps.
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      02-23-2019, 07:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
The cheaper ones we use are 55 amps, the bigger ones will do 90 amps continuous.

https://www.deutronic.com/produkte/d...-computer-1ac/

When programming, it is normal to see the power supply putting out 25-30 amps.
..or more! MHD flashing probably won't do it but programming an F or G series car through ISTA can easily increase current draw to double that. The blower and headlights come on, fuel pump sometimes..
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      02-23-2019, 08:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
This is why we use a power supply, not a charger, when doing programming.

A power supply supplies a constant voltage to the vehicle. A charger supplies a sine wave voltage that is truncated on the negative side. That means it has very short bursts of charging voltage, and off time. Have seen several computers bricked while programming using just a charger.
How about a charger that has a supply mode? Meant for using when changing your battery but don't want to lose any of your car's settings. Would this work?

My CTEK 7002 has a supply mode:
Looked up & their site says

Unique Supply and Recond mode
The Supply mode serves as a power supply unit that can run 12V equipment up to 7A. When changing a battery, important settings will therefore not be lost. The unique Recond mode restores the power capacity in a stratified battery, prolonging its life. The stratifying process starts after just a few deep discharges of the battery.
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2011 135i DCT | Sport pkg | PPK | Ohlins R&T swift sprigns | M3 front arms | Diff. brace | RSFB inserts.
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      02-25-2019, 10:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
The cheaper ones we use are 55 amps, the bigger ones will do 90 amps continuous.

https://www.deutronic.com/produkte/d...-computer-1ac/

When programming, it is normal to see the power supply putting out 25-30 amps.
Fantastic, thanks for the advice.
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      02-26-2019, 05:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juld0zer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
The cheaper ones we use are 55 amps, the bigger ones will do 90 amps continuous.

https://www.deutronic.com/produkte/d...-computer-1ac/

When programming, it is normal to see the power supply putting out 25-30 amps.
..or more! MHD flashing probably won't do it but programming an F or G series car through ISTA can easily increase current draw to double that. The blower and headlights come on, fuel pump sometimes..
Ugh, programming G cars....
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      06-23-2019, 10:08 PM   #11
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Hi, I am from Hong Kong, I have did a lot of review before try to flash my car with MHD, and I finally decide to flash it today, but my flash didnít went well and my car couldnít turn on anymore, the following was the process of my flash, hope that you can help me.

First, I have my battery charger connected to my car, then I pug in the K+DCAN cable, it connect successfully, I purchases the flasher module and stage 1 map, then I go backup my ECU and start flash the map. Firstly it go well, but then it stuck at (15%, 31min left.). I wait for more than 1 hour but it still stuck at 15% and start raining (I donít have a gauge at my home, I just do the flashing outside my house) so I have no choices and I unplug the cable, then I restart the phone and ofcause my car canít start anymore.

After my phone restarted, I try to flash my car back to stage 0, the MHD app go well and start flash back to stock, later on, it stuck at (89% 2min) left again, after half hours and it rains again... I have no Choice to unplug the cable again. Finally, the MHD app no longer connects to the ECU, I try with the same cable that I have used and it said no cable detected. That is all the process of my flash, and I have couple questions want to ask, hope that you can give me some help, thanks.

1:The MHD app no longer connects to my ecu(the same cable that I have used for flashing), is that mean my ECU go totally dead? Or only the problem of the cable?

2: Why will my flashing stuck during the process? The problem of the cable, phone or the battery? Have anyone got the same ďstuckingĒ problem before when you try to flash your car?
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      06-24-2019, 12:43 AM   #12
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Some cables just stop working sometimes.

Your battery voltage might be dropping to low.

Dont worry nothing will be broken in ecu.

Just charge battery long as you can, try again and if cable wont connect after lots of attempts get another cable.
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      06-24-2019, 06:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brule View Post
Some cables just stop working sometimes.

Your battery voltage might be dropping to low.

Dont worry nothing will be broken in ecu.

Just charge battery long as you can, try again and if cable wont connect after lots of attempts get another cable.
Also had some nightmare and sleepless night experiences in this department, what has worked for me was to do the following

1)Charge the battery before you intend on flashing, preferably the night before
2) Before you flash, disconnect the battery for 10-15mins, this enables the ecu to clear out its cache
3) If your fortunate to have another car at your disposal, use a set of booster cables and connect it up to your car, whilst the other car is left to idle ( Whatever you do, please just dont start your vehicle at any point in time with the cables connected, as you could fry your FRM)
4) Connect your battery charger in supply mode to the front of your vehicle ( I know this seems a bit overkill, considering you already have a vehicle connected to the rear battery )
4) Ensure that your phone is fully charged and in aeroplane mode
5) Have just the ignition on the car On, and then commence with your Flash

The Above process has never let me down and iv flashed my car and friends vehicles, multiple, multiple times

Last edited by Boost3d_1M; 06-24-2019 at 06:49 AM..
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      06-24-2019, 05:24 PM   #14
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Does your battery charger have a supply mode and does it output a constant 25 amps or more. If not, Iíd suggest something like the Ctek mxs 25 charger.

Did you buy your cable from BimmerGeeks or Twisted Tuning. If not, buy one as they are guaranteed to work as opposed to the random chance you take with eBay cables.

Make sure your phone is in FlightMode.

Take a deep breath and go through it step by step.
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