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BMW 5-Series (G30) Forum 2017+ BMW 5 Series (G30) General Discussions Variable Damper issue and instability FINALLY 100% FIXED!!

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      11-26-2021, 08:33 AM   #1
CnSky
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Many of you know I have had issues with the car and my Variable Damper system. This has been going on for 11 months. I knew a week after buying the car that something was off, it just didn't feel like a BMW and had vibrations and instability in the rear especially.

The seller helped me with cost at BMW for 6 months but as they kept saying no issue he eventually stopped once I was outside his warranty (we didn't fall out over this) I bought ISTA and a cable and investigated myself while learning all about the cars system. I changed items that BMW told me to (totally waste as the alloys and tyres were not the issue as I suspected) or that I felt were the issue.

In summary don't let BMW try solving a VDC issue as they haven't a clue how it works and tend to just blame tiny buckles or tyres or tracking or anything else. They didn't even check the VDP module as standard. Other issue is no fault codes are kicked for malfunctioning VDP or ACSMs.

The ACSM is a very sneaky piece of kit, seems it is noted as only to do with the air bags etc, but it also had the huge job of controlling the entire flex ray system and all sensor feeds to every module in the car, hence if it malfunctions it can cause all sort of issues.

I'm convinced BMW messed up my VDP and ACSM when I had them do a full IStep software update a week after purchase.

Thank the gods for KUBAX on here he was the person who helped me change the VDP recode it and recode my ACSM today which finally has the car fixed.

Next steps are to get it remapped and ceramic coated as I wasn't willing to do either until I fixed the Variable Damper issue.

For anyone interested to date in sequence with cost in euros
Car unstable ride in town over uneven surface
• Refurbished alloys (500)
• Changed tyres non-RF (1170)
• New alloys and tyres with RF (3600) (old alloys were 759Is and had manufacturing defect BMW refused claim as I refurbished them but only because BMW had dented one of them go figure)
• RFB on alloys (100)
• Changed tyres to MPS4S (1200)
• Multiple trailing arms and rear subframe inspections incl. RSF bolts replaced by BMW (500)
Vibration on highway now added to unstable in town
• RFB on tyres (100)
• Changed VDC cable front left (50)
• Changed VDC shock front left with used one (350)
Noticed that VDP voltage was 6ma to front left and all other zero makes no sense
• Changed VDP module and had coded (300)
Most of instability gone vibration remains and all shocks get 2 ma but front left gets 3 ma.
• Changed back to original tyres (100)
• RFB on tyres (100)
Vibrations gone was related to the MPS4S tyres being defective but seems like one shock rear right feels harder than all others in town and front left gets 3ma still.
• Michelin refunded me to a credit note at BMW (1170)
• Changed rear ARB drop links (220)
• Changed rear left bearing (200)

Scoped all shocks while driving over bumps seems they are fluctuating wildly when going slow, video on you tube. Higher amps = harder shocks. 2ma seem to be rest state but changes in Ma don't correlate to the shock that hits a bump.

Decided to have ACSM recoded and VDP (100) FINALLY FIXED::

So spent Euro 8590 and received Michelin credit back to BMW at 1170 total = EURO 7420

If BMW had identified the issue, it would have cost me for new alloys and tyres and a new VDP plus ACSM and VDP coding = EURO 4100

Wasted Euro - 3320 because of BMWs inability to understand their own cars and refusal to properly diagnose even when told to do so and paid.
ACSM recode solved the issue thank the gods and Kubax!!!
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      11-26-2021, 01:21 PM   #2
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So recoding the air bag module helped with random road vibration/harmonics? I've gotten more and more annoyed by it lately as my work commute is 90% highway where its really noticeable.
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      11-26-2021, 02:26 PM   #3
CnSky
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Yep helped vibrations and rear instability.

The variable dampers also work to reduce vibrations so if they are not working properly it can cause the issue.

It's all down to how the sensor data is shared and the ACSM manages that via flex ray.

Well worth a try to recode your ACSM and VDP as kubax charges very little for his work compare to what BMW charge for their time. Even if it doesn't solve it it's small money.

All you need is a cable and your laptop and communicate with the car he then logs in remotely.

My main fix was a recoded VDP that runs the variable dampers and a recoded ACSM as it was clearly corrupted.
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      11-26-2021, 02:40 PM   #4
CnSky
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Mach550 any chance your running Michelin pilot sport 4S tyres?

If so then that's likely your issue as it was causing harmonic vibrations on my car.

I went up a side wall size as I see you planned on other threads and the PS4S caused vibrations on the motorway that rise and fall.
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      11-26-2021, 02:45 PM   #5
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FYI Michelin refunded me (took 3 months) when I priced it was the tyres by using vibration analysis tools and when it immediately went away after swapping.

In US you have much better warranty from Michelin than here where I had to wait months.

See below the NVH app the brown line is the harmonic vibrations caused by the over size sidewall MPS4S tyres.
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      11-26-2021, 04:35 PM   #6
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Have a look at MG flasher if your thinking of remapping.
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      11-26-2021, 05:01 PM   #7
CnSky
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Looks interesting are you using it? Would like to know how easy it is to use.

Does the phone have to be permanently attached or can you upload a remap and then come back later and change back to stock.

Looks like it's around $425 for licence and a stage 2 map for the B48 engine.

Can probably get BMWorkshop to do it for that price in Rathcoole.

https://www.bmworkshop.ie

BMW are useless these days in Ireland, I couldn't be bothered with them knowing even if the engine blew as they won't offer any good will since the UK office took charge but I would like to be able to revert if selling.


QUOTE=IrishG30Guy;28297553]Have a look at MG flasher if your thinking of remapping.[/QUOTE]
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      11-26-2021, 11:52 PM   #8
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Glad you finally were able to wrestle this to submission!
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      11-27-2021, 04:57 AM   #9
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I admire your tenacity and getting to a final solution, well done.
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      11-27-2021, 06:50 AM   #10
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Thanks guys and a huge thanks for everyone's advice and feedback over last 11 months was a hill to climb.

Good thing is I'm probably the resident expert on VDC for 530e's so if anyone has any problems in future I'm available.

Never let a machine get the better of you!!!
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      11-29-2021, 07:19 PM   #11
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After last few days working I have to say the VDC is sublime when it works.

I'm gonna have to go find any posts I made last few month complaining about it and change my opinion.

It really is a huge improvement over non VDC with 20s which I have driven a few of recently.
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      11-30-2021, 04:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CnSky View Post
After last few days working I have to say the VDC is sublime when it works.

I'm gonna have to go find any posts I made last few month complaining about it and change my opinion.

It really is a huge improvement over non VDC with 20s which I have driven a few of recently.
Good to hear. As it should be.

What has surprised me, it didn't throw up a code or two on your car, when malfunctioning.

I also wonder if any dealers in the UK would have suggested a VDC fault, due to your symptoms.
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