Reprogramming of the P38
BeCM, Remote Handset, Lockset or ECM
Reprogramming Alarm System Options
Remote Handset Replacement
Lockset Replacement or Rebuilding
The BeCM, Remote Handsets, and ECM are all interrelated on the Range Rover 4.0/.6. If one is replaced, the others may need to be reprogrammed. This page attempts to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding replacement and/or reprogramming of these components. It is thought that some of the aftermarket diagnostic systems like Rovacom may ebe better at this nefarious work than the official Testbook/T4 -- or at the least, the operators of the unofficial systems are not bound by official Land Rover doctrine in these matters.
Reprogramming Alarm System Options
If you are an anti-vehicle alarm system person like me, you might wish to disable some of teh security system's more annoying and potentially stranding features. Although not advertised or sanctioned by the official manuals and dealer network, some aspects of this extremely irritating system can be reprogrammed or disabled if you have access to the appropriate diagnostic equipment such as TestBook/T4, Rovacom or Autologic.
1. Passive Engine Immobilization (for description see alarm system operation & diagnosis page): This feature is enabled or disabled for different markets, so it should be possible to disable it by reprogramming the BeCM.
2. EKA (Emergency Key Access): This can probably be disabled too, but there may be no point in doing so.
3. BBUS (Battery Backed Up Alarm Sounder): If your vehicle has this (eg Japan and some other markets), and you try to disconnect it, the thing will go off and sound for 4.5 minutes. However the ETM does give a method of discarding it without this irritation -- if you turn the ignition on (position II), turn it off again, then unplug the BBUS within 17 seconds it will not go off.
Replacing the BeCM
Steven Norman, who runs an independent Land Rover shop and uses a T4/TestBook, reports that he has successfully performed BeCM replacement quite frequently without consulting the factory. Some reprogramming is required, however. The following summarizes the issues involved.
1. Engine Remobilization Code
If the BeCM has to be replaced, the shop manual states that the new BeCM will still automatically transmit the correct engine remobilization code to the ECM -- this code is unique to the vehicle.
2. Central Locking Codes
The BeCM uses a code taken from a 14 digit lockset bar code, programmed into the BeCM at the factory, and compares it with the code transmitted by the remote handset. If you replace the BeCM, the same lockset code will have to be programmed in. The official manuals imply this can only be done at the factory, and furthermmore that if a new lockset is required, then the BeCM must be replaced with a new one programmed at the factory with the correct new code. However, rumor has it that in actuality replacement BeCMs can be reprogrammed if you have a Rovacom system or similar, and in all probablility the existing BeCM can be programmed to accept a new lockset code if you replace the locks.
3. EKA Code
Aidan reports that when replacing a BECM it asks for the code, In countries (Europe) where this feature is enabled the original code is presumably used; in other countries (Australia, North America and ???) a null # is inputted (1515).
Replacing and Reprogramming Key Remote Handsets
Cheap Replacements on eBay:
The combination of fixed and rolling codes used by the remote handset is unique to the vehicle and as far as anyone can find out to date, replacement handsets have to be programmed correctly at the factory. Accordingly, beware of cheap remote handsets advertised on EBay or elsewhere -- it is highly unlikely that you will be able to get them to work on your vehicle!! (The reason these exist is that the electronics on many other vehicles can "learn" the code transmitted by the new remote, but the Range Rover system does not work this way). If you do buy one, you can try the procedure below used for officially purchased keys -- but I do not think it will work unless your remote is pre-coded at the factory for your vehcicle.
Procedure for Programming a New or Non-Functional Remote:
New remote handsets even if ordered from the factory apparently have to be programmed/synchronized to the BECM by a special procedure formerly known only to dealers. Peter Marsh went through this dilemma when he purchased an official new remote for $147 from Land Rover (UK) and had to give them his VIN and Grandmother's maiden name. He got it to work by the following procedure: "Close the car. Insert the new remote in the drivers side lock pressing and holding the button with the lock symbol. Turn the key to the right as if locking, still holding the lock button down. Hold in this position for 3 seconds. Turn back to the centre position and pull the key out - STILL HOLDING THE KEY BUTTON. Once the key is out release the lock button. Whalla. Mine worked a treat after this." Wayne Gardam used the procedure from this section to get an old remote going again. When he purchased his Range Rover, one of its remotes would not work even after replacing the batteries, cover and keypad. The usual synchronization procedure had no effect. Search of net and owner's forums turned up a variety of suggestions from buying a new unit and getting the dealer to do it to turning in door for 10 seconds or placing in ignition etc. Finally, the procedure above worked first time! When Dan Foley got a new remote handset through the dealer, they wanted an extra $60 to program it, but he tried the above procedure himself and it worked perfectly.
Replacing the Locksets or Rebuilding the Lock to Fit a Given Key
The BeCM uses a code taken from a 14 digit lockset bar code, programmed into the BeCM at the factory, and compares it with the code transmitted by the remote handset. If you have to replace the vehicle's lockset (which would presumably involve a new door lock, ignition lock and remote handsets), the manual says the BeCM must be replaced with a new one programmed at the factory with the correct new lockset code. In actuality, however, it is possible, although not simple, to reprogram your BeCM using a Rovacom or similar. You might also have to reprogram the ECM for a new mobilisation code, which is also possible with a Rovacom or similar.
M P Fox confirms that Autologic will unlock a factory BECM, so it is now possible to change a lockset without buying a new BECM, and when the the BECM is reinstalled it reads the mileage and other codes from the serial memory so it will function again.
Depending on whayt your original problem is, you may be able to avoid changing the lockset in the first place. Mike Coleman reportes that when he accidentally discovered that the only key he had for his 95 Range Rover did not work in the door, he got a locksmith to let him in. The locksmith was able to rebuild it to fit his key (£60). No reprogramming was necessary.
If you have to replace the Engine Control Module (ECM, or sometimes called the Engine ECU), it has to be reprogrammed to accept the correct remobilizationn code form the BeCM. Steve Norman, who runs an independent shop and has a TestBook/T4, reports that he has done this quite frequently. If you fit a new engine ECU (new or used) you can use T4 to match the immobilization signal into the engine ECU. THus you can have more than one "matched" engine ECU to a vehicle. So, once matched to the vehicle, you can swap ECU's without re-matching.
Remote/key Handset Problems and Solutions
Alarm System Operation & Diagnosis
Diagnostic Scanners for Range Rovers
Andy Cunningham's page on Replacing the Locks
If you have corrections, comments or suggestions, email us.
Page revised February 2, 2012