The owner of E60 approached me. The error message 2E1D has appeared unexpectedly.  

2E1D ignition, cylinder 6

This error message means – the C (Collector) voltage of the 6th cylinder ignition coil management switch is incorrect. So – either the contact with the load (ignition coil) was lost, the ignition coil itself is damaged, or the ignition process is completely incorrect (for example, the ignition coil has “jumped” out – read here).

I asked the vehicle owner to check these basic things – and he reported that it did not help. Strange. If the ignition switch itself is damaged, the ignition coil will heat up strongly (even start to melt) – it is impossible not to notice it. Such a defect is possible, but it is extremely rare. Other defects which could cause such a problem – I don’t even recall any such case. 

And at this moment, the most interesting part starts. During several e-mails, the versions (what happened) of the vehicle owner started to change. True, though, all the time, he tried to claim that all was “almost” fine. Accordingly – the defect is not significant, its solution – is a small thing, and… Payment – only after the result. So my task is to solve this tiny problem on the cheap. 

And then, I asked the potential customer to send me some pictures. Together with the pictures, I got some 4th or 5th versions of what happened. 

I will show you all the pictures – take a look at them. Then, I will give my comments regarding each of them, and you will be able to compare how many nuances you have noticed. Or, maybe I have missed something interesting?

It turns out that the low-side switches and management transistors of the ignition coils are replaced. Inspiration – from my blog.

First picture: It is not clear where these components are purchased (these are not purchased from Farnell, Digikey, or Mouser). The number, too, seems a bit strange: 5 pieces. There are 6 of them necessary!

Second picture: The picture is named “resistors”. No, these are not resistors! These are TVS (Transient Voltage Suppressor). But the most interesting thing is – do you see a lighter stripe on one side of the body? This stripe indicates – the purchased spare parts ARE NOT the ones indicated in the picture. And not one, which had to be purchased.

Let’s check the Datasheet:

Here, page 7/12:

And on the first page:

So, the author, obviously, has purchased not CA (BIdirectional) but A (UNIdirectional) type elements. This is a fundamental difference – it is a completely different element! 

Consequences? Damaged low-side MOSFET switches of injector management! 

Regarding the third image, I have three objections. First: these are not MOSFET, but IGBT switches with an additional Overvoltage protection. EcoSPARK switches – intended exactly for ignition. 

Second: what is the point of changing these switches – to the same ones, which are already installed?

The third objection – these are On Semi top line products. Purchase them from the Chinese “manufacturer” – no reasonable engineer would do that! These are counterfeits, for sure! Counterfeits, which don’t have the promised power parameters, no Overvoltage protection!

So, we can make harsh conclusions from these 3 pictures. But the most interesting part will follow. Here are the pictures of the “upgraded” PCB:

Name of the picture: resistor and new MOSFETs. So, the “resistor” was not a mistake – the person who performed the upgrade actually had no idea what he was installing.

Let’s zoom in on the most interesting part of the PCB! 

What do we see? 

a. lighter lines of TVS are gone! So – these are other TVS, not the ones from the image before! Yes, these could be CA (BIdirectional) versions;

b. drivers of the ignition coils are not replaced;

c.. The colors of the low-side switches are different – it looks like some of them are replaced! Checking the imprints, have to conclude that all switches are replaced. So – some of them have been replaced already for the second time!

d. Gate inputs of some low-side switches are not touched (after soldering), but for some others – the signs of clumsy soldering can clearly be seen. Obviously, the initial replacement of the switches was done professionally (using the soldering station), but the next “upgrade” was done by some amateur;

e. Obviously, the Gate inputs have “suffered” because someone has soldered TVS to them! Yes, in the last e-mail, the owner of the car admits – the TVS have been installed “incorrectly”. 

Let’s zoom in some more: 

To what attention should be paid? 

It looks like soldering paste! The temperature by “soldering” has been too low; the paste has not melted! It has “pressed” close the MOSFET and leaked below the “resistor”! 

In addition, the right side MOSFET has a possible short-circuit with GND (here, the voltage reaches even +200V!).

And one more picture:

What do we see in this image?

a. IGBT switches of the ignition coils have been replaced. Thrue thou, not in the best quality. So, this is the picture of the latest “upgrade”. In addition, ALL switches have been replaced! Why?

b. TVS elements have disappeared;

c. It can be clearly seen that low-side MOSFET transistors are of different colors. 

Let’s zoom in on the image!

Let’s check everything step by step:

a. When soldering off the TVS elements, the temperature has been low, and we see literally broken dents in the soldering;

b. left side low-side MOSFET Gate input is resoldered – someone has soldered TVS to it? 

c. right side low-side MOSFET Source output has a soldering defect;

d. on the right side – looks like soldering paste residues by the IGBT of the ignition coils;

e. in the center of the picture – MOSFET Source output can touch GND;

f. in the center between both MOSFET – residues of the soldering paste;

g. a piece of can by the shunt resistor – short-circuit possible with GND.

But the most interesting – it looks like the previously installed ( I assume – the ones which we saw in the first images above in this entry) TVS has been burning! A logical result is if the A version instead of the CA version of TVS has been installed! And, even if the CA were installed but soldered to the Gate incorrectly, MOSFET and, possibly its driver chipset too, is damaged!

The owner of the vehicle has done everything to damage both MOSFET switches and their management elements!

Let’s zoom in on the bottom part of the picture: 

Let’s pay attention to the marked spots: 

In this fragment, we see:

a. On the right side – IGBT is soldered completely crooked; its B can touch the GND;

b. leftovers of soldering paste and not melted tin on bottom MOSFET D outputs, possible short-circuit with GND;

c. in the center of the picture: MOSFET Gate connection with a high possibility – short-circuit with the GND;

d. on the left side of the picture – leftovers of the soldering paste!

After seeing all this, does the version “everything is almost fine” sounds credible to you? Would you commit to repairing such DME for fixed and low payment (say, it is just a small thing)? Are you ready to take responsibility for this DME will it work someday, and will it be stable and reliable? I am not ready to take such responsibility. I’m even a bit scared to imagine what else has been done to this DME. 

Sentence of this entry – before committing to any job, evaluate your knowledge and experience. And did not hide the information from the repair specialist that you are approaching. A good specialist will understand the real situation very fast!