In this entry – introductory information about this service procedure. Information gathered, based on many questions – when, why, etc. Therefore the format of the entry will be Q/A.


In which cases the re-adaptation of the engine should be performed?
Re-adaptation of the engine should be performed after each repair of the engine. Any of its systems – VANOS, EGR, TEV, not even talking about Lambda probes, throttle, etc. – has an impact on the performance of the engine. After the repair of each system, which has an impact on the performance of the engine – re-adaptation has to be performed.


Should be the re-adaptation performed after maintenance works?
For example, change of spark plugs, oil change – these are maintenance procedures, not repair. After them, the re-adaptation should not be performed. But, if the engine has had misfires and the error messages regarding them are recorded: it is recommended to re-adapt the engine. If there are error messages regarding oil pressure: the re-adaptation of the engine should be performed.


What defines the necessity to re-adapt the engine?
The necessity to re-adapt the engine is defined by technical information of BMW AG. The obligation to re-adapt the engine is mentioned at the end of the description of each repair work. Unfortunately, the description of the re-adaptation itself is incomplete. For example, the need to re-adapt the flywheel (and description, how to perform it) is not mentioned at all; evaluation of the adaptations is not described correctly (it is limited to mentioning the error message list).


What does includes the re-adaptation (organizationally)?
For the non-specialist, this process can be explained in the following way:

  • using specialized equipment, to the engine management is “told” that the repair works are completely finished, the engine is switched in special service mode, in which it performs (during following driving session) measuring of parameters of all hubs/systems of the engine;
  • the service specialist performs the driving session, during which he performs a series of specific actions for the engine management to be able to complete necessary tests and measurements;
  • after driving session, the service specialist, using specialized software, evaluates the live data of the engine management system and measured parameters, and makes a decision – does the engine runs as it is supposed to or it still has some problems. Depending on this decision – the car is either returned to the owner or the repair works are continued.

The engine re-adapting should be included in the estimate, which is received before repair works. Typically the re-adaptation of the engine takes about one hour. This time can increase, if the conditions required for the re-adaptation (a good quality road, where is allowed to drive with 90..100km/h), are located not very close to the repair shop.


I brought my car to the dealer/specialized service center; they did not perform any test drives. How so?
Yes, unfortunately, even the dealers do not comply with the requirements of BMW AG. In 99% of cases, re-adaptation of the engine is not performed. Yes, it is a gross violation of the manufacturer’s instructions. Yes, such action causes many problems – the desirable result of the repair is not reached, and it is not also evaluated if the repair is performed correctly.


Re-adapt, it means: delete adaptations?
No. “Deleting” of adaptations is the first step – the most straightforward and fastest stage of the re-adaptation. Why the quotation marks are used for the term “delete”? Because this term is from a long time ago, from the times of first DME/DDE. In modern DME/DDE, the deleting of adaptation does not happen, when pressing a button in the software. More precisely – only some of several hundreds of adaptation maps/values are cleared. For the rest – the “flags” (status bits) are stated, and they give the command to DME to forcibly restore the adaptations of the exact hubs. The reason for such action – ease and speed up the “restoring” of the engine, assuming that the most significant part of the elements and their parameters are not changed.


What else, except the “deleting” of adaptations, happens in the re-adaptation process?
In the re-adaptation process, two fundamentally essential procedures are happening:

  • creation of new and correct adaptations;
  • evaluation of the created adaptations.

The second stage – evaluate the adaptations and the performance of the engine, are an integral part of the re-adaptation. Only when the engine runs perfectly, and all adaptations are correct, the re-adaptation is finished. If there are any malfunctions in the engine performance or any of the adaptation values are incorrect, the cause of the problem should be solved, and the re-adaptation should be performed repeatedly.


Will the engine make the necessary adaptations itself?
No, unfortunately – will not. Even assuming that all hubs of the engine work perfectly, a special sequence of actions should be performed to create the correct adaptations.


What are the consequences, if the creation of adaptations is left to the car”itself”?
The performance of the engine can be even very incorrect. I have sen the engines with non-adapted flywheels – they work with permanent vibration, incorrect fuel mixture, misfires. I have also seen engines, running in a harsh limp (open-loop) mode – even without warming-up of the Lambda probes (reason – incorrect encoding of the injectors). Most of the engines, which are left to the car to adapt by “itself” have very incorrect basic adaptations after this. This is a great success if adaptations created by the vehicle “itself” are more or less correct.


What can be the consequences of incorrect adaptations (allowing the DME to create them by itself)?
The exhaust of the car suffers the most. Damaged CO and NOx catalytic converters and Lambda probes; increased fuel consumption, permanent vibration, reduced power, shivering – typical issues. Very often – previously performed repair is as if unsuccessful – the problem is not disappearing. New, unjustified error messages can be recorded in the DME error message memory – they can be connected to the old issues or indications of entirely new problems. Neverending repairs and neverending replacement of as if damaged hubs – typical scenario.


Re-adaptation procedures for N43/N53 series engines


E series. Re-adaptation of the engine using INPA (recommended)

Note: if the car is equipped with an OEM NOx sensor, perform the desulfation session first!


F series. Re-adaptation of the engine using INPA (recommended)

Note: if the car is equipped with an OEM NOx sensor, perform the desulfation session first!


E and F series. Re-adaptation of the engine using ISTA D/+