Here is the basic instructions to reading and writing files to your BMW car through the diagnostic port under the dash with the I flash or the Powergate hand held Programmer.
Is your battery in good condition? If the battery of the car dies during programming of the ecu, the ecu can be left as a Brick, Paper Weight, ie NO GOOD !
You cannot damage the ecu while reading out the ecu memory, only while you are programming the ecu memory!
The BMW ecu takes one hour to read and from 7 minutes to 15 minutes to program. The safest thing to do is back up your Car Battery with a jump box. This way, the chances of the battery dying during programming is very slim. With the I flash, if you try and use a battery charger, it can cause noise over the K line and cause the I flash to throw an error. Using a quality Jump box is best. If you have the battery charger plugged into the wall and the laptop plugged into the wall, then you will most likely get a error while reading and writing the file from the ecu.
1. Download the I flash software to your home laptop computer. Works best on Windows XP and Windows 7, it will work with Windows 8 if you disable the signiture driver and then download the I Flash software. You can use a Mac if you run Virtual Windows. For the Powergate Programmer, it is set and ready to read the file. You need to download the software I will email to you to transfer the file to your home computer.
2. Link up to the ecu with the obd2 cable and the I flash software or the Powergate Programmer. The diagnostic port is located under the drivers dash near the hood release.
3. POWER NOTE: Since the BMW turns the power off if you open the drivers door after 10 minutes, I do not take any chances when reading or writing files to the ecu. I put down the drivers window, hook up my I flash with my laptop in the drivers seat and reach through the drivers open window and never open the door ! You can also sit in the car and put the laptop in the passenger seat, but do not open the doors ! Push in the ignition button until you get position 2 or until the power comes on and all the lights on the dash light up, then turn off all accessories, radio, climate control, etc.
4. Reach through the window, turn on the power to the ecu, push the ignition button in and then start the I flash SW or select tuning on the Powergate Programmer, select next, next next until you get to the options screen, or Read Oem File on the Powergate Programmer.
5. Name the file with your name and year, etc. john-08-Mini-OEM-manual Email me the saved OEM file. You need to transfer the file from the powergate programmer to your home computer first.
6. I will email you back the tuned file and you Download the modified file to your laptop. For the powergate programmer, you need to transfer the modified file from your home computer to the powergate programmer and then walk to the car for tuning.
7. Walk to the car, power up, go to the options page and select program ecu memory. For the powergate, select tuning and select write file to ecu or program ecu.
8. If an error ever occurs during the middle of programming, do not turn off car power or laptop power or unplug the cable. Try to start the write file to ecu again. You can also go to Recover ECU and select the OEM ecu file that you origninally read and put the ecu back to stock. The OEM file will be a .org file and the tuned file will be a .mod file. If an error occurs with the Powergate, the same applies, try starting the write file to ecu again, do not turn the power off to the car or ecu.
9. NOTE: You will often get the service car light on the dash after programming since the ecu data has all been re-set and the car no longer has correct time reference for the service time. This light will go away or disappear after 3 drive cycles.
9. Any problems or questions, email or call me ! 303-656-1611