Question about 1994 BMW 3 Series

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I need to reprogram my engine computer, to factory settings. Is there anyway I can do this, or do I need to take it somewhere?

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  • Hi R, I don't get it, have you had a re mapped computer fitted or has someone remapped it for you. What is different on the programming of your management system to the factory fitted?
    Regards Johngee10

  • rbell1168 Mar 05, 2011

    John, Thamks for your responce! The problem began when I had to replace the original computer, due to failure. I bought a OEM from a salvage yard. Now I have a light showing on the dash (yellow circle with a exclamation point in the middle) which indicates my transmission isnt shifting right. I was told that I might need to get the computor reprogammed. I still have the original transmission computor. Sometimes the tranny will act correctly, but only for a short time. Also, my convertible top wont go down.

    Thanks,
    Rich
    94 325I

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A 1994 is an OBD I computer. My understanding is that if it has been reprogrammed, someone has replaced the chip in the computer. If the seller did not give you the original chip, you will need to find a computer from an identical (and I mean identical in almost every regard but the paint color) junk yard car.
Go to the websites of the aftermarket performance parts vendors to learn about 'chipping' your car.

If you just mean the computer settings that adjust for local ambient air pressure and driving style, those will adjust themselves over time, or you can disconnect the battery and turn the key to the on position for a few minutes to clear programming back to default settings. If you have your original radio, you will need the radio code after disconnecting the battery.

Posted on Mar 05, 2011

  • rbell1168 Mar 05, 2011

    Thanks for the input! The computor did come from a identical car, or so I was told by the salvage yard I bought it from. But now the tranny stays in 3rd gear, mostly. Sometimes it will drive and shift right, but only for a short amount of time. I was told that the computor may have to be reprogrammed, and I still have the original transmission computor. I also have the problem that might convertible top wont go down.
    Thanks again!
    Rich

  • Manolito64 Mar 06, 2011

    You are past my level of expertise with these computers.. I just have two comments that may be helpful.

    These transmission computers tend to be the first system that gets glitchy when a battery is old. The transmission computer starts complaining while the car still cranks and starts OK.

    From what I have read, a common problem with e36 convertible tops not going down is the sensor that tells it when the trunk lid is open. It won't go down if it thinks the trunk lid is open.

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Rbell1168,
The following is the inherent truth on ALL BMW transmission controllers; They can not be "reprogrammed" or "chipped" they only read pressure from the transmission and tell the transmission when to shift (years 93-99). Next the gear box MIL (malfunction indicator light) only pertains to things of the TCC (torque converter clutch) and should be handled by a reputable shop that specifically deals with transmissions. Next, The M50 BMW ECU can be flashed by some local shops or the dealer, which is the best bet since it IS BMW. There are three companies in the US that actually chip and reflash the software on the -154, -190, and -196 ECUs. this is done by a program that calculates the air/fuel mixture for the fuel and spark advance, if you need a stock ECU for better performance it is best to just go and grab one out of a beater in a junk yard some place then spend $250 and flash it back to stock. It is important that you use just one of the three ECUs that were used that production run. As the others from say a 5 series or a 7 series will not operate your motor correctly.
If you have a 318i you can use a 325i and 325iS, but not a 325e as they have more of an economy set up and will give you drive ability issues, and that is only if you have the 2.7L I6 not the 1.8L I4. Hope this helps and let me know if you need any clarification as this stuff gets confusing the first few times you try to soak it in.

Posted on Jul 14, 2011

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Hi R, The comment stated by my guru friend is in fact correct. There are two different manufactures who produce management systems for you vehicle. It is very important to get the exact replacement as the wiring connections are different. The computers cannot be reprogrammed, as my friend has said they can only be re chipped.with different electronic mapping. Take the original management system and the unit you've purchased and tell the supplier you need the exact replacement. If you already have a direct replacement, then the one supplied is defective and needs to be exchanged.
Regards Johngee10

Posted on Mar 05, 2011

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