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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-23-2013, 02:45 PM
Armadyllo Armadyllo is offline
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Hello All New Member / Water damaged ECU Problem

Firtsly would like to say hello and introduce myslf my name is Dyllon and I have recently purchased a 2008 335I sedan, - great car except for my recent problem.

After breaking down the other day which looked like a (hpfp) fuel pump problem which came up on screen my mechanic replaced with a new fuel pump, once this work was carried out the car would not start looked like the battery was low and also had that replaced 5 year old battery was probably due, the car still would not start and after some detective work had a look at the engine managment ECU under the windscreen wipers and found that it had been water soaked which was still wet looks like the drainage pipe was blocked and that area filled up with water. We are trying to dry out the ECU but I do not like my chances. I would say I may need a new one.

I would appreciate any help or input into the matter if it can be repaired or just require a new one, I believe this work needs to be carried out be BMW.

Has anyone heard of this before ?

Would anyone think there is a relation between the fuel pump and battery

Thanks in advance

Dyllon

Last edited by Armadyllo; 09-23-2013 at 03:24 PM. Reason: update
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2013, 02:52 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Any water damaged electronic device will behave oddly and unpredictably.

Your best bet, unfortunately, is to get a new DME. I wouldn't risk a shotty repair on a module that controls your engine, the most expensive part of your car.

Many local coders can retrofit a DME for you. Whether or not a used DME can be retrofitted, I'm not sure. But if you do find someone local, MAKE SURE they know what they are doing. Find someone with experience flashing and retrofitting DMEs. If it's their first time retrofitting a DME, find someone else.

The e9x DME housing is sealed pretty well. This is the first I'm hearing of a water damaged ECU. I would suspect the last person who worked on your car, didn't replace the lid correctly. It locks in place and has a slim chance of working itself loose.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2013, 03:25 PM
ebloom ebloom is offline
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Had a rough-running problem shortly after starting in a 2008 328i. Dealer diagnosed water and leaves in the ECU. Turned out that once everything was clean and dry, no more problems. ECU must not have really been wet. Hopefully this will work for you as well.
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2013, 04:26 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armadyllo View Post
I would appreciate any help or input into the matter if it can be repaired or just require a new one, I believe this work needs to be carried out be BMW.

Has anyone heard of this before ?

What's made by man can be fixed by man, but PCB repair takes special skills - dealer will simply R&R board w/core charge to send old unit for repair and resale by another company.

Unless a chip's been damaged, and that might be observed by eye only with an electron microscope, unit might be resuscitated w/dionized water/alcohol wash 'n' dry.

Big question: How'd water get in?

Also: What, no conformal coating on the PCB?!?




.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 09-23-2013 at 04:30 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2013, 04:47 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebloom View Post
Had a rough-running problem shortly after starting in a 2008 328i. Dealer diagnosed water and leaves in the ECU. Turned out that once everything was clean and dry, no more problems. ECU must not have really been wet. Hopefully this will work for you as well.

Leaves....LEAVES? Have you accessed the ECU? Encased, with elastomer seal....?!?!?!?!?!?

The top would have to come off for that, a very, very unlikely event. Try it! Not easy to remove, has couple o'slide locks. And even if you do get in, encased again:


Notice the retangular sockets for connectors. Leaves got through the outer case and inside the connector[s]?

Well, there's an old employee saying: "Management only knows what they're told." Applies to BMW service dept customers too. Your antennae might go up at this: I mentioned that I can read BMW proprietary codes to a SA at a dealer just North of San Francisco. He - really! - shrieked, then went belligerent.

That vendor now resides at the bottom of my list for car repair....Indy in town was always much, much better anyway. Now that warranty's up, I'll avoid BMW dealer service. Maybe you should too!

That said, if the outer case fills with water, inner case is shielding + heat sink, NOT water tight. Here's a photo showing what appears to be white hard water deposits and a toasted component - poss power regulator - upper left. Magic smoke released, that one.



Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 09-23-2013 at 04:57 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2013, 04:55 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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.

For the curious: White hardness deposits removed w/inhibited acid.

Ahoy matey! How much did I pay for my car? $60k? And now I find....NO conformal coating evident on above ECU board, common where moisture and dirt contamination is to be locked out. Yo...Munich....are you there?



Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 09-23-2013 at 05:03 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2013, 05:17 PM
Armadyllo Armadyllo is offline
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Thank you all

Just had a chat with my mechanic he seems to think the water has come through where the wiring harness or somthing similar comes out of the box, hard to describe over the phone. I think its best to go have a look myself after work.

He seems to think that because of this problem it has made my fuel pump run constantly and wrecked it hmmm ? hard to say he also stated that wipers and other things were going off due to the problem with the ECU.

I'm far from a expert in this area just hoping to get it fixed.

Regards

Dyllon

Last edited by Armadyllo; 09-23-2013 at 05:18 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2013, 05:24 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armadyllo View Post
Thank you all

Just had a chat with my mechanic he seems to think the water has come through where the wiring harness or somthing similar comes out of the box, hard to describe over the phone. I think its best to go have a look myself after work.

He seems to think that because of this problem it has made my fuel pump run constantly and wrecked it hmmm ? hard to say he also stated that wipers and other things were going off due to the problem with the ECU.

I'm far from a expert in this area just hoping to get it fixed.

Battery voltage checked?
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2013, 05:52 PM
Armadyllo Armadyllo is offline
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I'm not sure on the voltage apparently he had to purchase a new battery because this one had run to low
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2013, 11:19 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Wipers are controlled by JBE module. It is separate from the DME and I don't believe any info is relayed between the DME and JBE for wiper control.

With that being said, I don't see why the wipers would be randomly acting up from a water damaged DME.

The JBE controls power to many ECUs within your car and is located in the cabin, under the fuse panel. I would have that ECU checked for faults.

I would also check the windshield cowl cover. If it's lifting at all (there are gaps between the glass and cowl), repair/replace the cowl.

A lifting cowl allows water to drip into your AC blower motor, which also drips into your passenger foot well area. If you have a wet/damp carpet, it can be from the cowl issue, bad door seals, or a clogged sunroof drain.

The water leaks near the fuse panel and JBE and it could be allowing water to short out the JBE.
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Last edited by fdriller9; 09-24-2013 at 11:21 AM.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2013, 01:26 PM
Armadyllo Armadyllo is offline
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Thanks again for your replys. The ECU looks very rusty has been sitting semi submerged for a period of time. The cars on the way to BMW as we speak I dare say they will order a new ECU. They quoted a minimum of a 3 week wait here in Australia. No car for a while

Regards

Dyllon
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2013, 01:41 PM
jburke4689 jburke4689 is online now
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Too bad about the 3 weeks to Australia. We could get a helicopter engine from Texas to Baghdad in one day and that was using UPS (United Parcel Service).
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2013, 01:53 PM
Armadyllo Armadyllo is offline
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Hi JBurke yeh a bit rough on the 3 weeks, I can buy somthing of Ebay and have sent from the US in less than a week
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2013, 09:54 PM
Armadyllo Armadyllo is offline
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Just got the good news from BMW, ECU is gone and they need to replace the housing box aswell. They want 4k to fix / asked if BMW would help out on cost due to this being a issue with the box that has caused the problem etc. but because I am the second owner they would not help. No choice now but to have the work carried out.

Damn !!!
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  #15  
Old 09-25-2013, 01:56 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armadyllo View Post
Just got the good news from BMW, ECU is gone and they need to replace the housing box aswell. They want 4k to fix / asked if BMW would help out on cost due to this being a issue with the box that has caused the problem etc. but because I am the second owner they would not help. No choice now but to have the work carried out.

Damn !!!

Do they mean the metal enclosure or the larger plastic enclosure?

Hey post a high res pic of the old ECU board front 'n' back - evidently the card's been removed from its metal can.....
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  #16  
Old 09-25-2013, 01:48 PM
Armadyllo Armadyllo is offline
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Hi Calwaterboy

I'm pretty sure they said the plastic enclosure, he mentiond it has drainage points at the bottom that had been clogged up with grit so it wouldnt drain.

He also mentioned that the box had not been tampered with. Would you think BMW should share some of the cost of this problem after admitting the the box had failed to achieve what it was designed to do ?

I will ask them to hold the parts and will pick them up in a couple of weeks take some photos and post them up. I'm not vey familiar with there design do they have a card inserted into the ECU ?

Thanks

Dyllon
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  #17  
Old 09-26-2013, 09:02 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armadyllo View Post
Hi Calwaterboy

I'm pretty sure they said the plastic enclosure, he mentiond it has drainage points at the bottom that had been clogged up with grit so it wouldnt drain.

He also mentioned that the box had not been tampered with. Would you think BMW should share some of the cost of this problem after admitting the the box had failed to achieve what it was designed to do ?

I will ask them to hold the parts and will pick them up in a couple of weeks take some photos and post them up. I'm not vey familiar with there design do they have a card inserted into the ECU ?

By card I mean the ECU is a Printed Circuit Board, like the photo a few posts back. Yeppur, sure would like hi res pics! Whole board, front and back if you can....

Now I have to wonder - the plastic box being rather well sealed, how did grit get in? Water an outside possibility through the cable holes, though they are edged w/seal material.

.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 09-27-2013 at 04:31 AM.
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