Originally Posted by saxon
they said ecu's must be brand new and cant be reused from another car
i was asking if i bought a used msd81 if they could program it for me since they are online for 300-400
Hmm, I can see why they would say that. Basically, Engine ECUs have a serial number that are VIN matched from the factory for traceability and regulatory reasons. That's not to say it can't be done, just that they're "not allowed" to do it. I don't know specifically about BMW systems, but when dealers need to change a fried ECU, their diagnostic software can VIN write and immobilize a "fresh" ECU to the car. The same can be done with the used ECU, but they're not supposed to. I would take up James's suggestion and try a third party shop, if the problem does come down to your ECU/DME.