Is your BMW’s DME dead? Don’t worry, you can still fix it for a very reasonable price!
The love for BMW’s can be bitter sweet. The way they make us feel is almost indescribable, but sometimes, they’re not as reliable as they used to be. At least electronically.
One issue you can run in to and can make you re-evaluate your relationship with your car could be a Digital Motor Electronics (DME) problem. The signs for such issues come in a variety of scenarios. The DME takes care of every single important aspect related to your car, receiving up to 1,000 separate pieces of data input per second, including engine speed, air intake volume, air temperature and density, coolant temperature, throttle position, accelerator position and vehicle speed.
The DME verifies all incoming data by comparing it with the reaction of the rest of the system. If a defective sensor delivers faulty data, the DME replaces it with preset standard values. If a spark plug fails, the DME immediately cuts fuel flow to the cylinder in order to prevent engine damage.
The DME looks after the electrical power system too, with sensors measuring the charge and condition of the battery as well as current electrical power consumption. By maintaining optimum battery charge levels and thus avoiding flat batteries, it prevents damage to the battery and guarantees maximum battery life.
When something goes wrong inside the DME, you can get all sorts of issues, from the car not recognizing your key fob, to rough idling and increased fuel consumption or transmission jolts from time to time. Going to the dealer, will usually result in an estimate that includes replacing the unit altogether and then programming a new unit to work with your car.
If you’re wondering how much that can cost you… Probably a several thousand dollars.
There are other solutions out there though. The most common way to deal with it is to get a used DME unit that works, from a scrapped car and have it programmed to your car. This would cost just $400 plus the price you pay for the used DME.
To get it sorted, you’ll have to ship your original DME and the used one you got from the scrapped car, to a specialist that can program them. Once the parts arrive, they will make sure the used DME will work on your car, ship it back to you and have you on the road in a matter of days, saving yourself serious money.