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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > How to detect a Cobb (or non-piggyback)?



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      11-22-2012, 10:51 PM   #1
TexE90
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How to detect a Cobb (or non-piggyback)?

So I recently bought my car used and it's apparent the previous owner tweaked some things here and there on the car. Is there a way to see if he tuned it? I've checked the ECU and there is no piggyback module. How can you tell if there is a Cobb or the like downloaded without running a dyno?
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      11-22-2012, 10:55 PM   #2
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I doubt anyone would leave the Cobb in. Its plain stupid as they can uninstall it and sell the Cobb I don't know about A Dinan or GIAC
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      11-22-2012, 11:15 PM   #3
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It's near impossible. Ask me how I know.

The major flash tunes are Cobb, GIAC and Dinan. Call or email a GIAC dealer in your area; they'll be able to run your VIN and tell you if your car is in their database. A dealer would be able to tell you if it's Dinan, and Cobb can also run your VIN.

It's likely an open source dyno tune, though, which you will likely never get to the bottom of if you can't get a hold of the previous owner.
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      11-22-2012, 11:38 PM   #4
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Used turbo cars have been tuned much more often than NA cars. If you want everything reset, you can always have the dealer flash back to stock for you.
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      11-22-2012, 11:43 PM   #5
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Only way to see if a COBB unit is installed is try to install another AP onto it. If the DME's "married" to a different AP, then it wont let you install the tune on the 2nd AccessPORT.

With the other major flashes (GIAC, Dinan, Renntech, etc), you're gonna need to call the tuner & run your VIN
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      11-23-2012, 12:15 AM   #6
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Easiest way to tell:
Boost gauge
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      11-23-2012, 11:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmyk View Post
you will likely never get to the bottom of if you can't get a hold of the previous owner.
+1

OP, a question you should have asked before buying. But most likely the tune was removed and or uninstalled. Good luck and enjoy your new car.
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      11-23-2012, 11:39 AM   #8
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^ Bought through a dealer, no info on the previous owner (though I'm sure I could track him down if I had to).

I'll probably just have the dealer flash back to stock so I know where I'm starting from. Thanks for the input!
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      11-23-2012, 12:23 PM   #9
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You never really said why you think the DME has been messed with. Does the car run more boost than stock?

There might not be anything done to it. A dealer flash is going to cost you a good chunk of change so you might want to be sure first.
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      11-23-2012, 01:15 PM   #10
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Actually if there is a tune you can just hook up a boost gauge and see if you are boosting over 10 PSI most of the time. That is the cheapest way if the other ideas dont work. Stock boost is between 7-10 depending on conditions.

Typical flash would boost atleast 15 PSI tapering to 12 or 11. Dinan might be a little less.
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      11-23-2012, 03:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexE90
^ Bought through a dealer, no info on the previous owner (though I'm sure I could track him down if I had to).

I'll probably just have the dealer flash back to stock so I know where I'm starting from. Thanks for the input!
You can run Cobb on top of another flash tune if you want to. It'll just save your current flash as the backed-up "stock" setting. That's what I did. Saves a trip to the dealer to get flashed back to stock.
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      11-23-2012, 04:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemw335 View Post
Easiest way to tell:
Boost gauge
this.
Stock boost would be around 8.5psi or 0.6 bar.
If your has software (jb, procede, cobb, custom remapping etc) on it, then you would have greater boost varying from 11 to 20 psi)
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      11-25-2012, 02:53 PM   #13
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Just bought a JB4 so I'll run the stock map and see what the boost is at.

The reason I'm suspicious is my car blew it's turbos a whopping one week after I got it. I want to make sure it's not because of an overboost from a flash tune (or maybe the previous owner removed some mods but never reduced the boost and all of the above caused the turbos to go kapuut). Whatever it is, I want to do what I can to make sure it doesn't happen again anytime soon.
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      11-25-2012, 02:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexE90 View Post
Just bought a JB4 so I'll run the stock map and see what the boost is at.

The reason I'm suspicious is my car blew it's turbos a whopping one week after I got it. I want to make sure it's not because of an overboost from a flash tune (or maybe the previous owner removed some mods but never reduced the boost and all of the above caused the turbos to go kapuut). Whatever it is, I want to do what I can to make sure it doesn't happen again anytime soon.
How many miles were on the car when you purchased it?
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      11-25-2012, 04:01 PM   #15
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82,251... 251 miles outside the turbo warranty.
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      11-25-2012, 04:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexE90 View Post
82,251... 251 miles outside the turbo warranty.
That's just shady dealer. IMO.

Most likely there is no tune, if there is then the.dealer sold you a modified car and then I bet you have a case for free replacement and or return. Obviously it's not CPO?

Edit: how many miles on the car when you bought ? I may have misunderstood you, it.sounded like you bought.the car then shortly after.turbos blew.
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      11-26-2012, 09:40 AM   #17
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It's not CPO.

Car had ~82.25k miles on it when I bought it. Engine malfunction light (30FF - low boost pressure) light came on at ~82.50k miles. Took it to the dealer, dealer says turbos are blown.

I'm not sure if the turbos blew right after I bought it or if I got the car with blown turbos and I just didn't trip the indicator until 82.5k miles. Either way, it's looking like a new set of turbos for me paid out of pocket.
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      11-26-2012, 09:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexE90 View Post
It's not CPO.

Car had ~82.25k miles on it when I bought it. Engine malfunction light (30FF - low boost pressure) light came on at ~82.50k miles. Took it to the dealer, dealer says turbos are blown.

I'm not sure if the turbos blew right after I bought it or if I got the car with blown turbos and I just didn't trip the indicator until 82.5k miles. Either way, it's looking like a new set of turbos for me paid out of pocket.
wow that sucks, probably already blown....
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      11-26-2012, 12:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexE90 View Post
It's not CPO.

Car had ~82.25k miles on it when I bought it. Engine malfunction light (30FF - low boost pressure) light came on at ~82.50k miles. Took it to the dealer, dealer says turbos are blown.

I'm not sure if the turbos blew right after I bought it or if I got the car with blown turbos and I just didn't trip the indicator until 82.5k miles. Either way, it's looking like a new set of turbos for me paid out of pocket.
That makes me furious, I would make a stink about this. I believe you have a case. Tough to prove but essentially you bought a car that wasn't up to par. But without it being CPO, not sure what you can do. Don't let this dealer replace your turbos if you go that way. Or shove this car up their ass.

Notify BMWNA about this shady dealer. Was it a certified dealer?. But in the end Caveat Emptor!
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      11-26-2012, 12:11 PM   #20
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Not a certified dealer either... I live I learn...

BMWNA has told me 82k is 82k and they aren't going to help me out on this one iota. That made me pretty angry but whatever, I knew I'd have to replace the turbos eventually, I just wasn't planning on doing it 250 miles after buying the car.

I'm still holding out hope that the turbos are only failing "low boost" because a flash tune is setting the reference level at like 15 psi instead of stock 8-9 psi and if I piggyback my ecu, run a lower boost, everything will be hunky dory.

At least that's my current (and last) hope...
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      11-26-2012, 12:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexE90 View Post
Not a certified dealer either... I live I learn...

BMWNA has told me 82k is 82k and they aren't going to help me out on this one iota. That made me pretty angry but whatever, I knew I'd have to replace the turbos eventually, I just wasn't planning on doing it 250 miles after buying the car.

I'm still holding out hope that the turbos are only failing "low boost" because a flash tune is setting the reference level at like 15 psi instead of stock 8-9 psi and if I piggyback my ecu, run a lower boost, everything will be hunky dory.

At least that's my current (and last) hope...
Well good luck, RB's coming your way?
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      11-26-2012, 02:04 PM   #22
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I wish... Don't want to have to replace my tranny as well (AT... had to sell my MT car b/c the wife couldn't drive it, nor had any desire to but at least I got a faster car out of the deal).
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