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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
problems with failures aftewards? In other words, do you think they are aware of the number of ECUs that crashed and burnt after a flash, and now taking extra or different precautions to peel the case apart and seal it up again? :confused: I'm certain the failed units are a minor percentage, but still it could happen and the cost is pretty steep.

I'm wanting to stage 1 my car but still freaked out over what it could potentially cost me if something goes wrong and I have to buy a new ECU. :(

I still can't figure out why they can't crack the code to flash through the Obie 1 Knobie port. :eek:
 

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Maybe some are...I talked to my local guy recently about it and he had no idea people were having problems like that. None of his installs have ever had a problem, and he doesn't work at a dealer, so he just hadn't heard about it yet. I'm sure I'll end up at his shop for a Eurodyne tune one of these days...
 

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Just find a reputable dealer in your area and express your concerns beforehand. Usually the ECU failures are due to shoddy/careless work when either cracking open or sealing shut the ECU. As long as you go to a tuner with renowned work and customer service, you should be just fine. The tune is worth it.
 

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It would sure be nice for some software company or tuner shop to step up and do a video showing the entire process from start to finish.

From what I have learned on other threads, the bottom cover is stuck to the components on the bottom of the PC board by some very sticky thermally conductive heat sink compound. If the cover is yanked off, that is what causes the PC board to flex, and that can damage the solder joints, which are already compromised by the EU's insistence on lead-free solder.

I'm wondering if it would help to remove the cover gradually, maybe by inserting tapered shims into the joint and pushing them in gradually and giving the thermal compound time to release at it's own rate. That would minimize the amount of flexing.

I'm told that the old sealing compound is very difficult and time consuming to remove, so shops are merely putting more sealant on top of the old cured sealant, and hoping that will do the job.

Ask any decent mechanic what they think about the idea of not bothering to scrape the remnants of an old gasket off of mating surfaces before reassembly.

While it might keep moisture out, the bottom cover may well be further from the PC board than the designers intended, so that makes the cover less effective as a heat sink, and that assumes that shops are replacing the original thermal compound at all.

The worst case would be to leave an air gap between the cover and the components. Without the heat sinking they will overheat in operation, and eventually fail.

So there are the solder joint failures, which show up immediately, or very soon after the tune.

Then there's the heat failure, which can take months to show up. This is the failure that is seen as burned areas on the PC board.

Since I've never seen one of these jobs done, I'm speculating, but based on the information that I have gathered, and my own experience in the engineering world, it seems logical that the probability of success could be increased significantly by:

1. Taking extreme care when removing the cover to minimize flexing of the PC board
2. Taking as much time as is necessary to remove the original sealant from the joint
3. Removing the remnants of the old thermal compound and applying new compound of the correct type
4. Then, and only then, should the ECU be resealed.

If the shop insists on charging more for the job, so be it. That would be money well spent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
It would sure be nice for some software company or tuner shop to step up and do a video showing the entire process from start to finish.

From what I have learned on other threads, the bottom cover is stuck to the components on the bottom of the PC board by some very sticky thermally conductive heat sink compound. If the cover is yanked off, that is what causes the PC board to flex, and that can damage the solder joints, which are already compromised by the EU's insistence on lead-free solder.

I'm wondering if it would help to remove the cover gradually, maybe by inserting tapered shims into the joint and pushing them in gradually and giving the thermal compound time to release at it's own rate. That would minimize the amount of flexing.

I'm told that the old sealing compound is very difficult and time consuming to remove, so shops are merely putting more sealant on top of the old cured sealant, and hoping that will do the job.

Ask any decent mechanic what they think about the idea of not bothering to scrape the remnants of an old gasket off of mating surfaces before reassembly.

While it might keep moisture out, the bottom cover may well be further from the PC board than the designers intended, so that makes the cover less effective as a heat sink, and that assumes that shops are replacing the original thermal compound at all.

The worst case would be to leave an air gap between the cover and the components. Without the heat sinking they will overheat in operation, and eventually fail.

So there are the solder joint failures, which show up immediately, or very soon after the tune.

Then there's the heat failure, which can take months to show up. This is the failure that is seen as burned areas on the PC board.

Since I've never seen one of these jobs done, I'm speculating, but based on the information that I have gathered, and my own experience in the engineering world, it seems logical that the probability of success could be increased significantly by:

1. Taking extreme care when removing the cover to minimize flexing of the PC board
2. Taking as much time as is necessary to remove the original sealant from the joint
3. Removing the remnants of the old thermal compound and applying new compound of the correct type
4. Then, and only then, should the ECU be resealed.

If the shop insists on charging more for the job, so be it. That would be money well spent.
Good points. The thing I would be concerned with is all the scraping of the old sealant generating a static charge (if the housing and operator wasn't properly grounded). Also I wonder if the proper reapplication of thermal compound on the power transistors is handled right and then using the proper electrical grade silicone sealant to seal it back up? The home window stuff has a corrosive outgassing and isn't good for the pcb. There really should be a trained electrical tech doing this work.

Yeah, any flexing of the board could compromise it right away
 

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There is definitely not "so many"

Think about how many people have flashes from all the tuners...think for a min

I don't know how many but it's a ****in **** load and then some. Now how many cases of a fried ecu have we seen on all the forums...I don't think I have seen even 10. The margins are so small you have the same chance of getting run over by a dump truck.

Just use a reputable shop in your area or remove the ecu and mail it to your tuners HQ and have them do it. Seriously it's not something that would stop me from getting flashed.

Edit: I see you are in Ohio, If you want APR go to HS Tuning. Regarding the cost if your ecu does get toasted I think APR can get most ecu part#'s for their customers who they determined was not caused by being flashed for $1200 but don't quote me. Do some research on golfmk6 there was a guy who posted his whole saga with what it ended up costing him
 

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Good points. The thing I would be concerned with is all the scraping of the old sealant generating a static charge (if the housing and operator wasn't properly grounded). Also I wonder if the proper reapplication of thermal compound on the power transistors is handled right and then using the proper electrical grade silicone sealant to seal it back up? The home window stuff has a corrosive outgassing and isn't good for the pcb. There really should be a trained electrical tech doing this work.

Yeah, any flexing of the board could compromise it right away
Yes, it's very important to use the correct type of sealant. The sealant that's specifically designed for electronics applications is expensive, so there's an incentive to cut corners.

Hopefully, companies like APR give very specific information to their distributors as to the correct materials to use. And hopefully they follow those recommendations.

Obviously, grounding the metal case is essential throughout the entire operation, and the work location must be spotlessly clean.

The last place you would want this work done is at a car show, with a poor environment, and a line of people waiting to get their cars done putting pressure on the techs.
 

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I watched the guys at redlinespeedworx in washington,nj do the flash on my gti.
They cut slits in the metal retaining harness that holds the ecu in the car, once the ecu was removed they gently started slicing the gasket material with a razor, once the material was cut they gently started prying the cover off, making additional cuts into the material as needed as to not provide additional stress on the board. Then once the gasket material was cut through they were able to pop the cover off the ecu and set the ecu into its boot loader mode.

been flashed since 2010. *knock on wood* no issues with the ecu what so ever
 

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I've owned a MK IV GLI & put over 40K miles on the apr tune without issue. I'm now on my second car with apr at 16K miles, again without issue. If I did have an issue, I would source a totaled MK VI buy the ecu, defeat the immobilizer and save.
 

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On a TDI, but process is the same from what I understand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhBc4B2-tjU
That video is useless. The critical steps (opening and resealing the ECU) are deliberately omitted. :thumbdown:

"Some of the steps required to OPEN the ECU have been excluded from this video.

Without the proper care and attention it is very possible for an inexperience technician to cause irreparable damage to your vehicles ECU."

No ****, Sherlock!
 

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That video is useless. The critical steps (opening and resealing the ECU) are deliberately omitted. :thumbdown:

"Some of the steps required to OPEN the ECU have been excluded from this video.

Without the proper care and attention it is very possible for an inexperience technician to cause irreparable damage to your vehicles ECU."

No ****, Sherlock!
Are you flashing it yourself? From what I understood authorized retailers get the un-cut version as that was supposed to be the training video sent out to the installers. It did seem to be kind of a close secret I guess as they kicked me out of the room when they were filming that portion lol.
 
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