Note by Gustav: Edited "Powerrip" to "Powerchip". Also, Powerchip would liek to contact the customer again to get this resolved.
My story begins a couple years ago when I sent my car to Bill and the guys at Discovery Auto. As I have detailed in previous emails I was ecstatic about the service and the overall results. In conjunction with the initial work I had done, I opted to go with the Shadowman Powerchip Software to link all of the modifications I together. Along the journey, I made a couple tweaks with the air/fuel based on some dyno results I had gotten. Bill took the information shared it with PC and got it dialed in. The car was running strong...
Let’s jump forward a couple years. I get a letter from BMW (like many of you) that states I need to take care of the emissions recall issue via a DME flash at the dealer. So I procrastinate on taking it in because I am AFRAID that it will never be the same. At a minimum I will have to send the DME back to PowerChip and have them put my initial custom programming back on. So I cover my bases prior to the emissions recall by contacting PowerChip numerous times.
This is where the fun begins. Prior to my emissions recall, PowerChip assures me getting my DME back to its current state will be no problem. I am clear that I have custom tuning on file and want to make sure that I get the EXACT same thing back. Then they act as though I will have to pay for the programming again. I was like, what are you talking about? You have it on file; part of the deal is you can reload it at any time. After some back and forth mumbo jumbo they finally reduce the supposed fee but still want a decent amount of $$$. At this point I am so pissed, and want my car to run right I oblige. So I get my car back from the emissions update and as expected it feels NEUTERED. I take the DME out, wrap it to death and shoot it off to PowerChip. They do their 25 seconds of magic and send it back to me. I put it back in my car and immediately I can tell we are not in Kansas anymore Toto. I decide to keep an open mind and let the "adaptations" take affect. Hoping to god this will bring her back to life. I put some high rpm, high speed miles on her and still nothing.
My car was running poorly (at least based on what I had become accustomed to) bogging down hard on takeoff. It had no where near the power on the freeway (no more snap). The temperature was running hotter than usual (not serious, but definitely hotter). The car didn’t even sound good anymore. The idle was way low and when I put the clutch in while slowing down to a stop the revs would dump and then rebound (lame). I often drove with the AC on to try and keep the idle/revs up to over-compensate for this crappy tuning. Bottom-line THIS WAS NOT MY SOFTWARE! So I initially give the BMW dealer (who did the emissions recall) a call and try to give PC the benefit of the doubt. I ask if the emissions recall causes any type of change in timing/tuning etc. It didn’t sound like it and regardless I had the PC software back on the DME. Now I am really pissed. At this point I felt like punching Matt from Powerchip in the forehead.
I email back and forth with PowerChip, who is slow to reply by the way. I explain this is NOT my software. The reply I get is, "this is the newest M5 software we have for the E39." I said exactly right, I don’t want the newest crap software you have (Powerchip Gold) I want MY CUSTOM SOFTWARE BACK. They kept telling me this is the new software. I kept telling them, perhaps you don’t understand English, I want what I originally purchased and was using. These calls for help fell on deaf ears.
So this fiasco and massive irritation led me back to Bill at Discovery Auto. Initially Bill was not happy that Powerchip was not handling this correctly. Bill being the diplomat gave me some very good, non-offensive, ways to go about trying to get Powerchip to do the right thing for me, THE CUSTOMER. As you can already imagine, nothing changed. Then I get a final email from PowerChip (basically washing their hands of the issue), it said something to the affect that I should go talk to Bill because if it was custom programming then he can figure it out. From one business owner to another, that is PISS POOR, UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR.
So being caught in the middle and trying to clean up other people messes (as he has done before), Bill contacts me. He is NOT PLEASED with what has happened and basically says since Powerchip won’t make this right, he will. He IMMEDIATELY has Will come to my house uninstall my DME. Will by the way is an awesome dude. That evening Will returns with the DME in tote and reinstalls it in my car. WAY ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY, considering the amount of driving involved in going back and forth. Will installs the DME, looks and me, and says "Fire her up." I turn the key and instantly both of us look at each other with a smile from ear to ear. We both new things were back to normal.
I immediately took the car out for a long test run. I immediately noticed the lug and bogging down at take off were gone. The car had a TON more snap on the freeway. The sound was NOTICABLY different from the PC version. The temperature was running substantially cooler than it had with the PC software. I also noticed the tires kept wanting to break loose at points the PC software never did. To top it off my gas mileage actually improved by a gallon or two (and that is with me at WOT routinely).
After having to drive around with that crappy PC software for a couple months (not by choice), I am elated to have my car back in its original DISCOVERY AUTO form. Honestly, the car ran so crappy with the Powerchip software that I haven’t washed her in a couple months, due to lack of motivation. I was depressed about the whole thing. After driving her a ton the last couple days it is like a new car all of a sudden. I can’t say enough.... Time to give her a bath.
Now to clarify, if I had never felt the car running under a Discovery Auto induced adrenaline rush, I would probably think PC was okay. However, once I had access to Discovery's tuning, it makes everything else seem like crap. It would be like giving someone a superior item and then taking it away and giving them something middle of the road. If you never knew the superior item, middle of the road might be great. Once you have experienced the best you always want the best and nothing else will do. The best I have experienced is the tuning/software from Discovery Auto. This is coming from a guy who has had Dinan, Powerchip, Shadowman Custom Tuned Powerchip and now Discovery Auto Software. I am not in the same league as the SC’d guys, but for a NA application I am stoked.
Hands down the DA software is the best. My hat is off to the Bill, Will, Sean and all the guys at DA. Keep up the good work. You guys get my vote!