Did you believe it? Of course, it was a joke regarding the power. But regarding greeting from the chip-tuners – there is nothing to laugh about.
Today’s patient: 1st series, 118i with N43 series engine. Just purchased it in the local car lot.
Yes, of course, a classic story – all possible error messages regarding the NOx system. When EML (Check engine) lighted up in the KOMBI, the new owner finally decided to do something about it.
Unfortunately, after the installation of the NOXEM, the next problem was discovered. After several km of driving, the error message regarding CO catalytic converter appeared in the DME error message memory.

The error message appeared in both injection modes (Homogeneous and Stratified charge), in addition – immediately, not even after measuring the efficiency of CO catalytic converters (these measurements require even driving of 100 .. 200+ km).

In addition:
a. fuel mixture data – correct;
b. mechanical efficiency of cylinders in the idle, warm engine – correct;
c. injector data on the go, Stratified charge – correct.
Note: for this engine, the efficiency of CO catalytic converters is measured in two stages. First (quick test) – as in “old times”: according to the fluctuations of control probe indications (checking if the air, which gets in the exhaust, is burned, if the Lambda is 1.00). Second – in several subsequent attempts, fuel is “thrown” into the exhaust after – the ait to burn it. Then DME calculates the efficiency of the CO catalytic converter by burning the fuel leftovers.
This time, the conclusion is harsh: the performance of the CO catalytic converter is precisely 0. What could happen to it?

When talking to the owner of the car, I made the following conclusions:
a. in the previous service center, the masters noticed the error messages regarding Lambda probes in the error message memory. The number of probes has been 3. But, when looking for the “culprit” it was discovered that this car has are only 2 probes;
b. they also have detected (by checking ZB and FA) that the DME encoding is incorrect and, accordingly, incorrectly recorded ZB (SW release);
c. the service performed the encoding of the DME and replaced the control probe.
Note. 120i/2320i with N43 series engine has two wideband probes (accordingly, also two CO catalytic converters), 118i/318i is the 2.0-liter engine (the same as for 120i/320i version), but in the exhaust – only one wideband probe and one catalytic converter.

Here is the test data of the CO catalytic converter:

3/36. So, only 8% positive results! A very pitiful situation. And last but not least – recently, all counters have been deleted! These counters are not deleted by deleting the error messages or performing the readaptation of the engine. Only case – complete reflash of the DME.

So now there is proof of complete DME reflash. Checking the existing ZB, the service specialist got confirmation that DME now has the correct software version. Why previously were there 3 probes encoded?
In my blog, there are several examples regarding exactly 118i/318i versions, which have ZB and DME configurations from 120i/320i encoded. Why?
There are many chip-tuners who think that by acting in such a way, they can increase the power of the engine! Is it so? Of course, not!

Dear chip-tuners! Please, remember:
a. this is the naturally aspirated engine. Accordingly – its torque/power is limited by the amount of air. You can NOT “suck” additional air with the help of software!
b. powerful version has both DISA valve in the inlet and the exhaust with a higher flowrate capacity. Both these hardware ensure better fulfillment of cylinders (more air and more fuel in them), and exactly these hardware tools are the ones that allow to “squeeze” more considerable torque/power!
What do you achieve by recording the software and configurations of the 120i/320i in these cars? A range or error message regarding a non-existent second wideband probe, a completely incorrect fuel mixture in cylinders, and a total limp mode! The torque/power does not increases, but quite the opposite – it is reduced! And – what is the worst – the CO catalytic converter gets destroyed completely!
When it is impossible to pass TUV in the original county, these “upgraded” cars are sold for “export” and end up on the outskirts of Europe.
This time, the CO catalytic converter is melted, and there is a huge hole in the middle.

Unfortunately, in addition to the expenses for the repair of the NOx system, now the CO catalytic converter should be replaced. The cost of this spare part (brand new; no alternatives available) is around EUR 2000.

Unfortunately, this method of “increasing the power” is very popular in Germany, The Netherlands, and France. So, if you plan to purchase exactly 118i/318i with the N43 series engine, the correct ZB and the DME configuration should be checked before the purchase!