The P38 Range Rover is often plagued with a host of electrical problems, some very simple to other very complex electrical issues. Many of the problems are centred around the BECM (Body Electronic Control Module) This unit located under the driver’s seat, controls nearly everything on the vehicle. Central locking, electric windows, sunroof, lights, indicators, starting, alarm and immobiliser and much more. We have the facilities and equipment to reset, repair, unlock and modify all the settings controlled within the BECM. We can also test all the individual functions of the BECM.
The security system on the P38 is very complex. Each individual key fob has a unique code built into it by the manufacturer. These codes are then converted to what is called the “Fob Code” by the manufacturer and programmed into the BECM. This can only be done on a new keys set, Second hand keys cannot be programmed to this vehicle.
When the correct key is used to unlock the door the fob sends a radio signal to the receiver unit in the rear of the vehicle, This receiver then sends the signal to the BECM, The BECM then checks the received key code and checks it against the stored “Fob Code” if that is correct it will unlock the doors and cancel the alarm.
A common problem is the vehicle has been working fine, you park it up and lock the doors. When you return the central locking doesn't work and the vehicle wont start, you may also have engine disabled use remote on the dash. In this situation the EKA doesn't seem to want to work. This problem is usually caused by a worn drivers door lock. The door lock has 3 internal micro switches, that have to operate in the correct sequence to satisfy the BECM security system. If the micro switches operate out of sequence due to wear, the BECM thinks the door is being forced open and sets the vehicle into alarm mode. Obviously the EKA code is entered via the driver's door lock, if the door lock is faulty the EKA code cant be entered. Usually but not always an early warning of driver's door lock problems is the vehicle locks and unlocks whilst your driving. This is vibration causing the micro switches to operate.
Key Code Lock Out
Due to the very complex nature of the P38 electronics. The vehicle sometimes goes into a fully immobilised state, The instrument display will often show "Key Code Lockout". When this happens the engine is fully immobilised and the central locking is turned off. The vehicle designers understood that this would cause problems so they designed a method of resetting the system using the driver’s door lock.
To reset your system Download instructions here: EKA Procedure
GEMS engine (get you home emergency start kit)
If you have a GEMS engine P38 Range Rover, and you have had the misfortune of the vehicle immobiliser preventing you from starting the engine. I.e., Vehicle immobilised, Key code lock out, or the check engine light not coming on or any other BECM orientated non start problem. We now have an emergency kit of parts that you the owner can temporarily fit to the vehicle, enabling the vehicle to be driven home, or to a garage etc. The kit of parts is a modified Engine ECU and two link wires. The only tools required are a “Philips screwdriver” to remove the engine ecu box, plastic cover. The fitting of these parts should take less than 10 minutes. Once fitted the engine can be started and driven as normal. This is intended as a get you home tool, and not a permanent fix. Please ring 07976159583 for details and information.
Central Locking Issues.
Each remote Key Fob has a unique identity and transmits this identity to the remote receiver located in the rear of the vehicle. The remote receiver then sends this information to the BECM to unlock/lock the doors and switch off the Immobiliser. A well documented problem is the remote receiver fails due to age and then it seems to accept any frequency being transmitted within range, The can include Central Heating remote thermostats, Garage Door controllers etc. This fault causes flat batteries and burnt out door locks due to the central locking, locking and unlocking the doors continuously. The best option in this situation is to replace the central locking receiver. Only use a new item from Range Rover they have modified the design to prevent this happening in the future.
A WORD OF WARNING Some deceitful people have purchased a new Remote receiver from Range Rover around £180 and then taken the printed circuit board out of the new unit and swapped it with the printed circuit board from their old unit. They have then put the new case containing the old defective board into the brand new cardboard box and advertised it on (that well known auction site) as a new type remote receiver. If you need to replace your remote receiver get it from Range Rover.
Each remote fob is coded to the vehicle and its impossible to match 2nd hand Range Rover fobs from one vehicle to another, Unless you have the fob code from the original vehicle BECM. We now can supply an aftermarket Key to work your vehicle. We either need an original fob, which we can recover the fob code from, or a fob code obtained from your BECM. It doesn’t matter if your original fob is not working, we can usually recover the fob code. We can then program a new Key or Fob with this code. Please see picture for key type. New keys are supplied cut. New keys will need synchronising to the vehicle.
Remote Key Fob Re synchronisation instructions here: Remote Fob Re synch
Range Rover in their wisdom made the alarm and immobiliser self arming, so when you get out and lock the vehicle, the alarm and immobiliser are turned on automatically. The only way to reset the alarm and immobiliser is by using the remote key fob or entering the EKA (Emergency Key Access) code via the driver's door lock. If the remote fob fails, or you don’t have the EKA code. Your vehicle is dead. We can program the BECM so the alarm and immobiliser doesn’t self arm, Therefore it wont immobilise itself every time you leave the vehicle. This also means that aftermarket keys can be used. We can also retrieve the EKA code from the BECM or reprogram a new EKA code with a more memorable number.
The Immobiliser function works by the individual engine control unit requiring a valid EMS code to be received from the BECM to enable the engine to start. This code is unique to the engine control unit, on all P38 except early petrol variants fitted with the GEMS Fuel injection system. The GEMS system has a learn facility that accepts the first BECM EMS code it receives when new.
Many non start situations are caused by the immobiliser function, this is usually either the BECM stored EMS code not matching the Engine ECU required EMS code, or the immobiliser going into lock out.
We can read the EMS code from the engine ECU and re-enter it into the BECM, on early petrol GEMS vehicles we can reset the engine ECU to the learn mode. So it accepts the next BECM code it receives. This we can do at the roadside.
If the BECM has gone into lock out, many dealers, garages will tell you the BECM is un repairable and has to be replaced. We can with our complex equipment connect to the internal electronics within the BECM and reset the lockout. We can also reset and modify all the other parameters stored within the BECM.
Replacing your old BECM
If you need to replace your BECM we can copy all the relevant information from you old BECM and program your new / second hand BECM with all the original parameters like, “Fob Code” EMS codes Millage etc. This will then allow your new/Used BECM to work correctly on your vehicle.
Range Rover in their wisdom understood that the key fob might not always work due to flat battery or damage so they included a get you started function. The BECM has a Security number called the EKA code stored in it. This number can be entered by turning the driver's door lock backwards and forwards the correct number of times to match the EKA code. This then turns the alarm and Immobiliser off. Many owners have lost or have invalid EKA codes, We can retrieve or reset the stored EKA code.
BECM and ENGINE ECU Resyncronising Tools
Many non start problems are caused by the BECM forgetting the security code it should send to the engine control unit to enable the engine to run. This is usually caused by age of the components within the BECM. To overcome this problem we have a reset tool for hire that will Resyncronise the BECM and Engine ECU. The tool just plugs into the diagnostic socket in the passenger foot well. Everything else is automatic. Call us on 07976159583 to hire, tool will be posted so you will receive it next day, Reset your P38 and return the tool.
Click on link to see reset tool in action www.youtube.com/watch?v=isK4FlIUGMQ
Diesel Engine Glow Plug Issues
During the last cold weather, we have been called to quite a few diesel Range Rovers that would not start, A few had been wrongly diagnosed as Engine ECU - BECM syncronisation issues. Most turned out to be defective Glow Plugs. The 6 cylinder BMW engine seems to need all 6 glow plugs working on a cold morning to get it going. If you need to test the glow plugs its easyer to test them at the Glow Plug relay than at the glow plug. The glow plug relay is bolted to the side of the Engine ECU inside the plastic box, behind the battery. The ecu just lifts out of its box. WARNING be very careful if you lift out the engine ECU , the wiring loom connected makes it all too easy to lay the Engine ECU on top of the battery Whilst you fiddle with the glow plug wiring. The slightest slip sees the engine ECU touching the battery + terminal, causing a big flash. Which burns out connections inside the Engine ECU. We have done 2 in the last 2 weeks that needed major ECU repairs due to shorting out to the battery + terminal.
We see lots of BECM's that have been sent to other "repairers" that have been returned and the vehicle will not run afterwards. The BECM is the brains of the whole vehicle and contains all the Imobilisation codes and the coding required to operate the central locking via the remote fobs. If these details are erased or changed the BECM will not function correctly. These details can be re-entered but its often very difficult to recover the correct information.
Think before you send the most complex part of your vehicle to some unknown repairer.
The saying, If you think a Profesional is expensive see what an Amature can cost you, comes to mind.
We now offer a fully mobile P38 BECM, Immobilisation reset service, The basic Cost is £150 plus traveling expesses. Travelling cost are £1 a mile (one direction only) From our post code RH16 3PD to your post code, as calculated by AA autoroute (online)
We have been to Barcelona in Spain to sort out a p38 that had been to 3 different garages to try to get started. Customer drove us back to airport in his P38.