Do you own a BMW i3 and want to make it better? Hey guys and welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy channel! Today, I will show you my favorite changes I’ve done on my BMW i3 using the BimmerCode app that have completely transformed how I use the car. I will also talk about what you will need to get started and other changes that you may be interested in. So, let’s get started.
To get started, you will need an adapter that is compatible with the BimmerCode app on your phone and the app itself. I bought my Veepeak adapter for $30 on Amazon so you don’t need an expensive one for this car. You can find links in the description for the exact unit I bought, but there are many options listed on their website. The app itself is free, but if you want to do anything fun, it will cost you another $30 to activate the full version. For the total cost of about $60 you are ready to start coding your car. That’s kind of amazing if you ask me. I won’t go into the set up details, but it’s very easy, plug the OBD2 adapter in and follow the steps in the App to connect. Once everything is set up, you will be presented with different modules on your car. Each is responsible for different functionality and you can easily spend hours going through options here, but let’s highlight the ones I like the most.
With that out of the way, let’s get into my favorites!
- The most obvious change that NEEDS to happen on all Rex BMW i3s is adding the extra fuel capacity and enabling the range extender menu. These 2 options extend the distance and speed you can travel. Let me explain. The US model of the BMW i3 has an electronically limited fuel tank which can be unlocked using this method and will allow an extra half a gallon of fuel, It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s an extra 20 miles added to the range. On top of that, enabling the range extender menu allows you to turn on your Range Extender any time you want once you are under 75% charge, which is an option that is normally disabled on the US version of the car. This is very important when going highway speeds as the range extender cannot keep up with the demand if your battery is at a very low state of charge. Your speed will be reduced and you have to find a charger. With the HOLD option, if you know you will be going on a longer trip, you can start charging the battery with the range extender much sooner and keep going the speed you want. This also reduces anxiety of running out of juice on the highway as you can just fill up once out of gas and continue your travel. These 2 options allow this car to be used a lot more like a regular car and personally for me make it comfortable to be used on longer trips and outside of the city.
- Coding is all about making the car what you want it to be and I wanted a larger screen. My second favorite coding and a must have in my opinion is enabling the larger screen and resolution. Yes, this one also requires the purchase of the actual screen, but without coding it would be useless. Luckily, it’s very easily done though the app and doesn’t it look so much better!? Check out my full video on this change in the description or the card in the top right corner.
- My third favorite feature that I have enabled is the auto-folding mirrors when you lock the car. Not only does it help with exiting the vehicle in tight spots or the garage, but it’s also an awesome indicator to show you if the car is locked when you walk away. Of course, when you unlock the car, the mirrors will auto-unfold as well.
- Next modification that shouldn’t even be a modification is showing tire pressure and temperature in the iDrive menu. I have no idea why BMW would hide this information from us, but it’s very helpful to see the actual tire pressure and temperature especially when seasons change or if you suspect a slow leak and more.
- Do you hate having to hit “Confirm” or “Accept” every time you start the car or use the camera? Yeah, me too! Once you’ve read it once and accepted it, why do you have to see it every time? You don’t, so I disabled these annoying messages and warning as well. There are 2 options for this, the general Legal Disclaimer and the camera disclaimer.
- Another change to add some comfort to the driving experience was actually changing the heated seats temperature. Is this a big deal? Absolutely not, but I always found the lower settings still a little too hot for my liking, so I have lowered it to what’s comfortable for me. Similarly, you can raise the temperature if that’s what you like.
- Last, but definitely one of my favorites is coding additional driving modes! Now, this does not add any more power to the motor or anything like that, but you can enable Sport and Sport+ Modes as well as Comfort+ mode that isn’t normally available on these cars. The sport driving mode modifies the steering and sharpens the accelerator response. This takes the i3 back to how it was orifinally designed and release when it first came out, but BMW had to dial back the power off the line on the regular i3 as it was prematurely wearing the motor mounts. So, this does come with a risk and not something I would abuse, but I like to use it occasionally instead of the standard soft start. You will also notice that Sport+ doesn’t show up in the driver’s display, but that’s not a big deal to me as you can clearly see it on the big display in the middle.
- However only SPORT mode is 100% “compatible” and allows without issues to Hold State Of Charge (in my 2015 i3 Rex) while driving, in other cases I had to swich to one of the standard driving modes, turn HSOC on and then swich back to i. e. SPORT +.
Wish I could code:
Finally, there is one option I can’t figure out. Whenever I get out of the car to open the garage or get the mail or anything where I have to open the door, the car will shut off including the HVAC system, even if it’s only for 10 seconds. This is very frustrating and unfortunately, there isn’t an option to keep the car and AC running when you unbuckle the seat belt and exit the car, even if it’s in park. If anyone knows how to do this, let me know! I have circumvented this problem by programming the 4th button on the key fob to turn on Auxilliary Cooling for when I leave for longer times or forget to select preconditioning on the main screen, but I’d still like the car to stay on if I didn’t’ turn it off.
Others that may be interesting:
Those are my 7 favorite coding changes and 1 change to solve a problem that should not have existed in the first place. Let me know what your favorites are or the ones you are looking forward to doing on your own BMW i3. Here is a list of other coding options that I thought are worth mentioning. You can
- Activate the AM Radio which is disabled by default,
- You can also Enable Unlock of all doors with engine off, so if you have kids you can unlock all doors by just opening your own door. This way you don’t have to pull out your keys when you get to the other side.
- Similarly, you can disable auto-locking of doors once you start driving and even make it so you don’t have to hold the brake pedal to start the car.
- If you have a dog riding in the car, you might also want to turn off the seat belt reminders and gongs.
- Everyone knows about the tilting passenger mirror when in reverse, but did you know you can make it go even lower if you like? You can also enable illumination of the exterior door handle LED when you are in reverse and even turn on Fog lights with the welcome lights and have the Tail Lights turn on with the daylight running lights. Speaking of DRLs, you can increase their brightness as well by increasing voltage to the LED bulbs.
- And if you like to see what is happening behind you at any time, you can enable rear-view camera at all speeds and activate it by pressing the camera button in the center console.
On that note, thank you guys so much for watching, I hope I have encouraged you to get some coding done your BMW i3 and if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them. Don’t forget to like the video, subscribe to the channel and I’ll see you in the next one!