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Stuck on vacation - who makes cat delete flash?

738 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Tomvw
The day before we left for vacation, I took the car to the dealer to have a new key programmed, and for an alignment. Several hundred miles into our drive, I started experiencing misfires, and getting catalyst performance below threshold, and O2 Sensor #2 out of spec. MIL codes. I have a downtube, and no cat/o2 sensor 2, and the ECU Software Flash on the chip I had removed those codes. Somehow, my flash was overwritten. I limped the car to the APR headquarters in Alabama, and the folks there were kind enough to get me going again (sans $550), as they said my ECU did not show in their database as having their software. Car runs well with APR, no more codes, but idles at 750rpm, which is not a high enough idle when the AC, Radio, Phones plugged in, GPS, satellite radio, headlights are all on - drains the battery in about 2-3 minutes of sitting at a light. I'd like to find out what the original software was - I always though it was APR, but the previous owner was the one who did the work on it.

My question - what other companies have flashes for a B5 2003 Passat 1.8T Wagon that have a cat-delete/O2 #2 delete option (ie, remove the thresholds for catalyst and catalyst O2 sensor)?

What I know:

1) It was programmed through the ECU port, there was no "module" installed
2) APR didn't have VIN in their database, and they said there was no "module" installed.
3) GIAC, as a California company, can't do the cat-delete/testpipe option
4) I don't think it was Revo
5) Car vin is not in the Unitronics database
6) I don't think it's Neuspeed - isn't that just a module?

Any assistance with finding out what the original software on the car was would be hugely appreciated!

Many thanks in advance!
TJ Tryon
2003 Passat 1.8T Wagon
2011 GTI
1973 Porsche 914
1995 BMW 318i (race car)
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Well. I can guarantee you, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that your original software, before being overwritten at the dealership, was not APR (BTDT). Please share the dealership name if you would. :hmmm:

I also find it a bit odd that APR is once again doing drive-in/while-you-wait ECU modifications at their Opelika facility. I tried last October, and was told I'd need to leave an ECU (that already had 1 bar software installed) with them and they'd mail it back after the Immo defeat was complete. Uhm, no...I couldn't trust that specific ECU to be modified and shipped back without issue...even by APR (too many potential SNAFUs if an ECU Immobilizer defeat isn't completed and proven in the car on the same day). So much for same-day customer service.

Must've been Unitronic or semi-private (k0mpresd ;)) as no other company I know of will go anywhere near any emissions-related readiness code overwrite activities after the whole VW Dieselgate emissions fiasco.
Dealership was one in Indianapolis, my normal mechanic (the shop's master mechanic) was out of town on new model training. I don't blame the guy working on my car, I probably just need to better tell them that I've had the chip upgraded.

I previously had the ability to switch programs on the cruise control; I think APR is the only ones using cruise control to do so, but they said they couldn't find my VIN in their database, and when they exported the ECU, their programming was not found (which I assume was due to the dealership reflash). I thought the program switching was in non-volatile memory, and wouldn't be overwritten with a factory flash, though the tuning would be.

As of right now, program switching is not working, though the car is running perfect as before, though the idle is only 750, which is not enough with the headlights, everything we have plugged in, and the radio. If we get stuck at a light for a couple minutes, it starts to shut down VCDS doesn't seem to be able to let me change the idle. I hope this means I don't have the correct alternator or alternator pulley on it. Alternator was replaced with lifetime warranty, so no worries if I have to replace it, though I wish I could use VCDS to set the channel 1 adaptation (current value is 128)

APR told me that they don't do drive in ECU flashes normally, but made a special exception for me, as my car was in limp mode (EPC on), with misfires from the cat performance out of spec and o2 sensor below threshold, and was running extremely rich, and we were 8 hours from home (with a well running car), and 4 hours from our destination. We basically were stranded there on our way to vacation, and they were nice enough to help us out.
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tjtryon, are you the one who had it flashed originally? If not, perhaps the ECU came from another car, thus the VIN did not match up with APRs database. But I don't have any experience with APR, and I'd take Electron Man's word.

You can adjust RPMs with VCDS (full version, I don't think VCDS Lite can do that).
I can't help you with the flash, but if the battery is going flat after a few minutes idling (even at 750 RPM) you need a new battery and/or alternator.
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