MUST HAVE BMW i3 BimmerCode Mods/Coding

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

  1. Activate the AM Radio which is disabled by default,
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. If you have a dog riding in the car, you might also want to turn off the seat belt reminders and gongs.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

10 Things You Didn’t Know About BMW i3

BMW i3 was an engineering and a technological show piece for BMW.  The design was never meant to be  long term or reach huge production numbers. It was a showcase and a test bed for many innovations and processes. With production ended in 2022 after 8 years, I’m sure BMW has learned a lot in the process and is now implementing these finding in their new EVs. With that said, let’s talk about 10 things you probably do not know about the BMW i3.

  1. Battery Capacity/Range Anxiety:

A very cool first fact about the BMW i3 is that it was the most efficient EV on the market when it came out beating out even some current Tesla models, needing only 270 watts to go a mile. Even so, range anxiety is a real thing for many people, and I’ve witnessed this myself as my friends were asking me if I’m going to a charger because there are only 30-40 miles left on the guess-o-meter. To battle this, BMW has doubled the battery capacity in 5 years and offered a Range Extender for those needing longer trips. Until 2019, all BMW i3s also came with a heat pump, which means the range wasn’t as affected during the cold months as some other EVs. It’s optional for 2019 and newer cars, so check before buying. There are a couple of limiting factors when it comes to the powertrain as well. If you live in a very cold climate, you will have to pre-condition the battery before taking off or your power will be limited. Pre-conditioning also help in a very hot climate, if you park your car on very hot asphalt, then get in it and drive fast, your AC will prioritize cooling the battery rather than you. If you precondition the battery before leaving, it solves that problem as well. A second limitation is that the Range Extender is just that, a generator for your batteries, it cannot maintain more than 70 mph while on the highway, so there is some planning when going on longer trips. Interestingly, I have found myself strangely obsessed with squeezing as much mileage out of each charge and obsessing with efficiency. I even run my front tires 3 PSI over recommended pressure for better tire wear and better rolling resistance. While I find it fun, not everyone would agree.

  • Built with carbon fiber

Part of the efficiency comes from the way it’s built. More specifically the material the car is made from. BMW i3 uses many composite materials throughout the interior and exterior, of which many are recycled and the entire car was designed to be holistically sustainable, not just electric. Materials, size, weight, the right-size, everything. Efficient without being excessive. Of course, BMW i3 was also the first mass production car with most of its internal structure and body made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastics. There is almost no metal in this car and that includes the body panels which can replaced much easier than on a normal car. All of this results in BMW i3 being the lightest EV on the market that can seat 4 comfortably.

  • The Handling

Small battery and light body results in a car that handles a lot like a go cart. It’s a fun car to drive that’s controlled, but playful if you push it. Rear wheel drive has excellent drive characteristics and allows for an accurate and light front suspension with no torque steer. This small rear wheel drive city car is a real pressure to drive swiftly and other manufacturers are now following this formula as well. Just don’t go on the highway, but if you do, check out this video on how to make it highway worthy!

  • Forged wheels

As you can see this car has a lot of supercar-like features that no one would expect out of a little city run-about and it doesn’t end there. BMW i3 wheels are forged aluminum, which means they are lighter and stronger than a standard cast wheel. Once again, this reduced the weight of the car and improves handling due to less unsprung weight. These aren’t without flaws, of course, as the very thin wheel and tire combination can make the car a little twitchy and good luck finding more than a couple of tire manufacturers in this size.

  • Rear Doors/Windows:

There are also many design features AND even flaws that most people may not know about. Some of these make the car look more modern than anything on the road or at the very least very unique. One of the more obvious ones is that the front doors are frameless just like they would be in a convertible and there is no B pillar thanks to that carbon fiber shell. This gives the car a very unique look with all of the doors opened. While we have the doors open, if you look at the rear door, you will find that there is no power windows in the back.. they are fixed in completely. One of the more unique styling choices here is of course the window drop below the belt line. It’s controversial, but I personally love it for my dog as it gives her an unobstructed view out of the sides. I’m sure it’s great for kids as well.

Last item you may not know about the rear here is that if you want to sit in the rear of the i3 and you are alone, you will not be able to close the doors unless you climb through the front as it’s impossible to reach the front door from the back. It would be cool to have power doors that auto close or open with a button. Might have been a little gimmicky, but definitely a lot more convenient.

On the other hand, the front is very convenient since the floor is flat, so you can easily slide between the two front seats.


I have also found this VICSEED Magsafe Car Phone holder to be a very convenient way to hold your phone while driving. It can be used in any car as long as you have a tiny bit of flat surface for the 3M adhesive and a MagSafe iPhone. If your phone doesn’t support that, the kit comes with a template and a metal ring that you can put on the back of any phone. This car mount can be installed in seconds, is surprisingly very adjustable and easily holds the phone over bumpy roads with 20 built in magnets. I also really like the clean, minimalistic look when not in use. Links in the description to get yours.

  • Rudimentary Controls:

Knowing that BMW was one of the pioneers when it comes to infortainment systems, I was very surprised how rudimentary the controls and information is for charging. You cannot even select the charging speed or review any information about a previous charge. It’s limited to selecting the limit of charging speed and that’s basically it. I know you can do so much more in a Chevy Volt and it even shows much more information about the battery and other related stats.

This car also doesn’t have a way of turning off the head unit. The power button here only mutes the car. This wouldn’t be a big issue, but if you have a camera plugged into the power socket, it will stay on the entire time the car is charging.

Another nuance is the horn. Single note, and a noticeable slight delay when pressing the steering wheel button.

  • Blue Strip:

While we are here at the driver’s seat, notice this blue strip on the steering wheel? That’s not just for show, it’s actually a sensor for adaptive cruise control and even if you don’t have that option, you will still have the sensor built in.

  • Reverse Hill Assist

Did you also know that hill assist works in reverse? Meaning if you are facing downhill and put the car in reverse, it will not roll forward. Pretty cool!

  • Expensive Insurance:

Another unexpected item for me was that it costs more to insure than an average car or even BMW. Mostly because of the unique constructions and repair shops not equipped to fix them, if the shell is damaged, in a lot of cases, the car is totaled. An even simpler example would be a windshield. On most cars, it’s as simple as just replacing the glass, but on this car it’s much more involved as many trim pieces have to be removed.

  1. REx Engine:

Lastly, if you love engine specs, here are a few things you may not know about the REx engine in this BMW i3:

  1. This is a   Engine. What does all of that mean? Well, W tells us it’s a third-party engine, 2 is for 2 cylinders, 0 means it’s the basic engine. 06 is the displacement in liters, U means it’s a lower performance class engine and finally 0 tells us it’s a new development.
  2. This scooter engine produces 34HP and 40 lb-ft of torque at 4300 RPMs, but that has zero effect on how the car actually drives. The electric motor is the only thing ever driving the wheels.
  3. The gas engine operates based on how much power is requested from it which allows it to achieve 94% efficiency and it will follow 5 different operating speed strategies based on your speed and state of charge.
  4. Interestingly, this engine has a mechanical coolan pump unlike most BMW engines that rely on an electronic one. This coolant pump is force fitted onto the oil pump shaft and spins at all times. Very unusual as the delivery rate and also the flow rate through the coolant pump is solely defined by the speed of the crankshaft. There is no electrical control here.
  5. If you choose not to go with the Range Extender, make sure your car has DC charger as it is optional on 14-15 models. It’s necessary for longer trips as it allows the car to charge much, much faster.


And there you have guys, hope you have learned something new about the awesome creation from BMW and if you have one, why not check out my top 10 coding suggestions to enable longer range and much much more! Very DIY friendly and cheap to do. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next one.