• ESS-Tuning service and Alpha-N E60 M5 S85 V10 tuning issues - Third party account of switch to Evolve Alpha-N S85 tuning

      Hey guys, just wanted to share a story and do a small write up on my friends experience with his M5 over the past few months. I have been there step by step with my friend while he has modded his M5. A nice experience to me aswell as I got to see what mods did what, and how this lovely V10 responded for my future reference when I mod. My friend isn't a forum type of guy, so I'm telling his story as he urged me to share it. So let's begin the story.


      About the car:
      2010 M5 SMG 3x,000 miles
      ESS tune
      ESS SMG tune
      RPI oem catless headers with ceramic coating and wrap
      RPI oil cooler
      RPI scoops with BMC filters
      RPI GTS exhaust
      RPI pulley

      As you can see within a one year period he dropped a lot of money modding the car, also adding install prices, and maintenance like plugs, diff, tranny oil, etc. He was a true modding addict and enthusiast for this S85 beast.

      Tune wise, he started with ESS base tune only, then ESS+header tune, and finally ESS+header tune+ alpha N. Progressed nicely with the ESS tunes.
      His car worked very well through all the mods and being tune only, and FBO with header tune. The ESS tune didn't give him any issues through these mods and time that were directly related from what we could tell, power was OK, not the most consistent but OK. (really don't know how bad a tune is until you try a better tune, will get to that later)

      Where the issues startedÖ.

      What to mod next? Alpha N seemed like a good next step. So my friend got the ESS alpha N hardware and alpha N software from ESS. Installed the hardware, and uploaded the software, and this is where all hell broke loose.

      Right after flashing the car, it began throwing 02 sensor codes, all kinds of codes for both top and bottom sensors but for mostly the pre-cat 02 sensors. WTF? I was confused as hell. Put some miles on the car thinking they might go away, cleared the codes multiple times, they just instantly kept coming back. Contacted ESS, they said cant be the tune, its programmed for catless headers and alpha N.

      OK, my friend tosses out the money for new pre-cat sensors on both sides and install even though the car never had this issue before and car has under 40K milesÖ Installed new 02 sensors, No change! We try uploading the stock file, tune only file, tune+header file, etc and nothing works, car stays in limp mode and runs horrible, continues to throw 02 sensor codes. Even going back to the old header tune with alpha N uninstalled we were getting the same issue now.

      OK I checked the 02 sensors fuses for him, checked the wiring, everything checks out. How can these codes just pop up out of no where right after the alpha N software upload on a 3XK mile car? Seems like the alpha N tune from ESS did something wrong. And all the hardware retaining to the 02 sensors is perfect, double checked by a mechanic.

      So after contacting ESS numerous times for help and suggestions throughout this ordeal, they would just keep giving generic answers like, not our tunes fault, it is a hardware problem, bring it to the dealer. They went as far as to say they donít have time to troubleshoot this with him as hardware issues are time consuming for them! Go to the dealer again.

      Really I was in shock ESS didnít try to send him another tune, or adjust the tune or give him suggestions on what to try via tuning. They left him high and dry! Really lost respect after seeing what they did to him, I felt my friends pain as he loves his M5 as I do and would hate to be in this situation. It seemed 100% tuning related since the issue popped up right after flashing it with the Alpha N tune. After researching on the forums, it seems this has happened before to a member as well with ESS, where he flashed his car via ESS and the codes that were thrown keep coming up even after going back to stock tune. My friend had to no choice except to find the best indy he can and leave his car with them to try to figure out what in the world is happening even if it means reverting the car back to 100 % stock.

      Fast forward 2 weeks later, trying to fix the issue at a mechanic shop. Went as far as changing some type of CAS computer and the alternator to no fixing of the issue. Just more money dumped after this mystery ESS alpha N flash tune made the car go nuts. Car was basically just a loss!

      So now the superhero comes into play. Sal and imran @ Evolve automotive and the evolve team..

      I suggested to my friend he contact and try to get a tune from evolve since there so knowledgeable on the S85 platform and own one, and still to this day are tuning them. If anyone has most experience around the S85 ECU, how the ecu reacts and tuning them, its evolve. They would be able to solve this issue if its really tuning related.

      So with no other option then to sell the car or buy a new expensive ECU from bmw or who knows what else that would cost thousands. So he called evolve, told them his story and issues, got the evolve alpha N kit. They went above and beyond helping him, making him feel comfortable while explaining the process to him. They sent him a file to upload and then the alpha N tune upload and he loaded it up and Guess what? Not sure how he did it or what he changed but he works magic!

      NO CODES! Car was running flawless! No more limp mode, no 02 sensor codes, car was idling nice and smooth like stock. ESS idled high and rough.

      Throttle response in M mode is amazing! Just has such a great feeling putting your foot down, my friend was blown away by the drivability and response over the ESS tune.

      The midrange and top end power was down right scary. We took the car for a test drive last night so I can directly compare his old ess tunes vs this new evolve tune, and to say the least, the power was astonishing, I was so addicted! Car was just jumping and taking off like a rocket! The car was going by RPMS so much faster it was incredible! An important thing to also note was the consistency! Back to back runs, the car didn't even hiccup once, and gave the same exact hard pull each run with no variance which really shows how well a tune shines, ! My friend is just thrilled his car is in working order and now with even more power! Honestly, the ESS tune felt good, but you donít really know how good a tune is until you try a tune that is better. Then you know what the other tune was lacking, in this case, drivability, midrange/top end power, and consistency.

      I'm not biased in anyway, I don't even own a tune, but I thought this story I would share to show Evolve passion, knowledge and customer service! Not sure if ESS has to re-evaluate their tuning and alpha N tuning, but also their customer support! My friend is beyond angry with ESS as he was a very loyal, pro ESS guy and thought they were top of the line in terms of BMW tuning, and was let down immensely, and left for dead by them. I know the E60 M5 is the older platform now but customer service shouldn't be put off because of this, especially when itís a tuning issue. Anyways, it was a very expensive and tough ordeal for my friend, I tried my best to help him in diagnosing throughout this ordeal, but glad he finally got it fixed with the help of Evolve, he only regrets not going with them sooner.

      Here are some pics throughout his modding and issues:

      First test drive with the evolve tune:


      Evolve goodness






      Evolve owner happiness:


      ESS alpha N tune, high idle when fully warmed and stopped that ESS said was normal


      Vs EVOLVE stable, smooth nice idle under 1K


      Late night flashing ESS tunes to try and fix the issue after flashing ESS alpha N tune:




      RPI headers, coated and wrapped:

      BTW do not go to Autocouture in NJ to do installs on any of your cars.. There installs are very sloppy and not professional. They installed my friends headers and didn't put back the oem heat shields, the main wire of the car sat and got burned on the headers! My friend had to bring the car to another Mechanic, who had to cut away the burned wires and individually re-connect all the wires! Or replace the whole main harness of the car just because of the Autocoutures improper and sloppy/lazy work! They also do very sloppy job on car wraps! But that is another story! Find another place for car work!






      RPI oil cooler:


      Stock vs RPI pulley:


      RPI GTS exhaust:





      I know what tune i will be getting this spring now as well
      This article was originally published in forum thread: ESS tuning and service issues || EVOLVE to the resuce with more power started by 5soko View original post
      Comments 76 Comments
      1. Mybabym5's Avatar
        Mybabym5 -
        Pics and facts speak for themselves! Even if i launch or race the car that harness doesn't just come unclipped as Tommy so eloquently put it! Yes it's true i wanted to trade the car in cuz of shops like acm and tuners like ess that messed up my car almost beyond repair! I simply couldn't take it anymore! As for your or your shop's integrity let the people on this forum be a judge of that...
      1. sal@autocouture's Avatar
        sal@autocouture -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mybabym5 Click here to enlarge
        Pics and facts speak for themselves! Even if i launch or race the car that harness doesn't just come unclipped as Tommy so eloquently put it! Yes it's true i wanted to trade the car in cuz of shops like acm and tuners like ess that messed up my car almost beyond repair! I simply couldn't take it anymore! As for your or your shop's integrity let the people on this forum be a judge of that...
        You're right. Facts are facts. We've made our points as much as possible. Clearly you've made up your mind and there's no changing that. Good luck in all your future endeavors, Vato.
      1. 5soko's Avatar
        5soko -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sal@autocouture Click here to enlarge
        You're right. Facts are facts. We've made our points as much as possible. Clearly you've made up your mind and there's no changing that. Good luck in all your future endeavors, Vato.
        Sal, one question as we have steered this thread off its course and i have said what i wanted, Vatos car has no OEM heat shields on his headers. Any idea where they are or what the story with those are?

        Click here to enlarge


        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by krnnerdboy Click here to enlarge
        I loved my evolve s2 on my s85. Your spot on by saying the power felt the same with back to back runs, more importantly when I was ringing it out on the track. The support from sal was amazing and I'm a lifetime customer. Only if they could tune my gt3....or my 14 cummins.... Are you listening sal?!
        Yea, like i said before, i am stock tune. I am no biased towards anyone. I drove his ESS car in all stages, tune only, headers and tune, alpha N tune. The ESS didnt seem to be very consistent, like one pull would have a stomach sinking feeling, and another pull the RPM's would be going but the feeling wasnt the same. The evolve seems to deliver back to back consistency much better. I can only imagine on the track, this is very important.



        Getting back on the topic for this thread... mybabyM5's car is going to the dyno Saturday afternoon in NY time. It is going to be a dynojet and i will be meeting him there aswell. So we make a new thread with the mods, numbers, pictures and videos of the evolve tuned M5 on the dyno. Should be fun..
        I met with mybabyM5 tonight as he was so excited to show me the car now fully adapted to the tune as he says it has gotten better in power. I drove the car, runs smooth, idles smooth, no codes or hiccups and the power is ripping. I have to get a tune for M now!
      1. Irishace's Avatar
        Irishace -
        Evolve is so win. Awesome guys, was a no brainer for my tuning choice.
      1. 5soko's Avatar
        5soko -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
        Evolve is so win. Awesome guys, was a no brainer for my tuning choice.
        For my 335i needs JB4 was to my liking but for the V10 M5 evolve really is top dog, seems the same for the M3.
      1. Mybabym5's Avatar
        Mybabym5 -
        I agree with 5soko 100%! EXPECT ONLY THE BEST FROM EVOLVE! Excellent products and unparalleled customer service
      1. hakentt's Avatar
        hakentt -
        sad to see people getting charged so much money by these shops for simple work
      1. ezec63's Avatar
        ezec63 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 5soko Click here to enlarge
        For my 335i needs JB4 was to my liking but for the V10 M5 evolve really is top dog, seems the same for the M3.
        Dude thats crazy !! I dropped off my c63 while your sisters ML was there back when i first got the car had no idea it was hers. Not going to rip into this much more but I saw the job and it was subpar. I know vinyl will never be paint but this was very obvious. At that same time AC also wrapped my oem spoiler that came out terrible and was bubbling everywhere had to send it back and they re painted it. Then my c63 and /////AMG badges were way out of wack they just bunched everything together it was a nightmare trying to get it lined up again after they removed them and then washed the car so no mark was left. A little measurement or blue tape for marking wouldve helped her pretty basic.

        Also now im getting my windows re-tinted darker. ACM also vinyl wrapped my window trim satin black and it started fading which obviously wasnt there fault. I took it to my new mechanic and when he peeled off the vinyl my rubber window seals were all sliced up by the razor they used to cut the vinyl. Absolutely unacceptable especially since i paid top dollar. After seeing the problems I had with such a small basic job and seeing @5soko sisters car in person. I believe his story 10000%
      1. 5soko's Avatar
        5soko -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ezec63 Click here to enlarge
        Dude thats crazy !! I dropped off my c63 while your sisters ML was there back when i first got the car had no idea it was hers. Not going to rip into this much more but I saw the job and it was subpar. I know vinyl will never be paint but this was very obvious. At that same time AC also wrapped my oem spoiler that came out terrible and was bubbling everywhere had to send it back and they re painted it. Then my c63 and /////AMG badges were way out of wack they just bunched everything together it was a nightmare trying to get it lined up again after they removed them and then washed the car so no mark was left. A little measurement or blue tape for marking wouldve helped her pretty basic.

        Also now im getting my windows re-tinted darker. ACM also vinyl wrapped my window trim satin black and it started fading which obviously wasnt there fault. I took it to my new mechanic and when he peeled off the vinyl my rubber window seals were all sliced up by the razor they used to cut the vinyl. Absolutely unacceptable especially since i paid top dollar. After seeing the problems I had with such a small basic job and seeing @5soko sisters car in person. I believe his story 10000%
        WOW dude!! I remember your amg coupe being there! It was one of the first i have ever saw aswell so i was looking at it all around.. Wow tough story for you too man! Very unacceptable.. Thanks man!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        I have been asked to delete this thread. I will not do so.

        The owner of the M5 is apparently according to him being threatened by ESS due to this thread and asked me to delete this. I think deleting this does not fix the problem, it only masks it.

        BimmerBoost will not cave in to bullies. I told the owner if ESS withholds whatever refund they are supposed to give him I will step in to reimburse him from my own pocket.

        I strongly believe he should stand up for himself and not be bullied. I will not participate in hiding poor customer service or abuse.
      1. rawad1017's Avatar
        rawad1017 -
        of course. forum tuner drama.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rawad1017 Click here to enlarge
        of course. forum tuner drama.
        I'm not playing it. If it is true that they are making the kind of threats he is telling me that they are they should be exposed for it. Caving in to them solves nothing and just hides issues meaning a perpetual cycle of abuse.

        It stops here.
      1. rawad1017's Avatar
        rawad1017 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I'm not playing it. If it is true that they are making the kind of threats he is telling me that they are they should be exposed for it. Caving in to them solves nothing and just hides issues meaning a perpetual cycle of abuse.

        It stops here.
        like what kind of $#@!face company goes through every depth of the internet to delete bad reviews about them. that's just like..unbelievably sad..
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rawad1017 Click here to enlarge
        like what kind of $#@!face company goes through every depth of the internet to delete bad reviews about them. that's just like..unbelievably sad..
        Um, a lot. They all try to remove negative reviews.

        I just don't know why this guy is so scared now. He obviously wanted to share his story so why stop now? How does that help anyone or prevent anyone from going through what he is going through?

        If I was him I'd post up all the threats he says he has received and show the true colors. Now isn't the time to back down.
      1. Mybabym5's Avatar
        Mybabym5 -
        I can't physically go through with this anymore! I have asked this forum to delete the thread! All i want at this point is to at least get the refund from ess for the alpha-n tune! I do not wish to continue this argument and i have no more strength to go on with this war! I am publicly asking the administrator again to take down the thread as it doesn't really help my situation at this point; in fact it only makes it worse...
      1. Mybabym5's Avatar
        Mybabym5 -
        I am not scared! I am exhausted from all this! I need strength, time and money to finish fixing my car
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mybabym5 Click here to enlarge
        I can't physically go through with this anymore! I have asked this forum to delete the thread! All i want at this point is to at least get the refund from ess for the alpha-n tune! I do not wish to continue this argument and i have no more strength to go on with this war! I am publicly asking the administrator again to take down the thread as it doesn't really help my situation at this point; in fact it only makes it worse...
        Look, it isn't just about you. It is also about all the people from this point forward who will spend their hard earned dollars. Taking this down means the cycle can continue on indefinitely and countless more people can go through what you went through.

        I am offering money out of pocket to you and I'm sure forum members will chip in to help when people see you are getting taken advantage of. Why let anyone threaten you and push you around? This should be exposed, not hidden.

        I will not remove the thread. It does not help the tuning community it only masks problems. If you give in to them they will see they can use threats to get things pulled. It's essentially forum terrorism. What they should be doing is working positively to make sure you are happy and to prevent problems like this in the first place.

        I'm sorry, I can't delete this for you. It goes against the principles of what we are trying to accomplish here. I'm more than open to working with you toward a positive solution rather than hiding this.
      1. Mybabym5's Avatar
        Mybabym5 -
        Well, i have made my point, i think! I guess that is the way i see things! I do not wish to continue with all this any further! Just wish me luck with fixing my car!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mybabym5 Click here to enlarge
        Well, i have made my point, i think! I guess that is the way i see things! I do not wish to continue with all this any further! Just wish me luck with fixing my car!
        I do wish you luck and will do everything in my power to help you... just not by deleting anything. Feel free to PM me with any further developments or if you need help with anything.
      1. plbusa's Avatar
        plbusa -
        Wow. I'm new to this forum but have already reaped a wealth of information. Clearly know now who NOT to use but any suggestions on who to use to do a SC upgrade to my 840Ci? M62 motor. Also, the car is in Fort Lauderdale so proximity would be helpful but not required.