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!

Top 15 Useful BMW i3 Hidden Features

  1. Key and Key fob

We’ll start with some simple ones for those newer to BMWs and the I3. This seemingly simple key actually has many hidden features. Everyone knows you can roll down your windows and sun roof on most BMWs by just holding the unlock button for a few seconds, but did you also know there is a physical key that has a couple of features of its own? Not only can it open the driver’s door, it can also lower and raise the windows if you hold it all the way to the right or left. Well, only the front windows, the rears are fixed in.

A couple other fun key features I found is that if you hit the lock button on your key fob when the windows are opened a little, it will go back up inch by inch and if you have a European version , you can just hold the lock button to close them completely. If your car is plugged into a charger and you lock it, you will also see the charge status. Lastly, if you hit the lock button twice within 10 seconds, it will DE-activate the tilt alarm and the interior motion sensor. Great for leaving a dog in the car.

  • Door Handle

Speaking of leaving things in the car, you don’t have to open the rear door to put something in the back. You can use this handy handle on the back of the seat to lean it forward like in a 2-door car. However, if you do open the door and look in the corner here, you fill find that you have some pull tabs behind a cover. There are these manual pulls all over the car. You can open the charging port, the front trunk and fuel filler door.

  • Fuel cap and charge port has a spot to be stored

While we are here at the fuel door, when you fill your car with either gas or electricity, don’t let the cap dangle, there is a built-in spot to keep them off the paint.


  1. Telescoping steering column

Switching over to the interior and controls, there are some fun ones here as well! For example, I recently learned that the steering wheel is not only adjustable up and down, but it’s also telescopic!? How cool!

  • Turn Signal Cancel

Some of the features you use daily also have little tricks behind them. For example, when using a turn signal, you don’t have to push it the opposite direction and turn on the other one accidentally, you can simply tap in the same direction to cancel it. I know it solves a problem that BMW has created by changing how their turn signals work, but cool nonetheless.

  • Follow me home and parking lights

You can also use this stalk to turn on follow me home lights by pushing the stalk away from you. Your low beams will stay on for 30 seconds. This is also why I upgraded mine to LEDs.

Similarly, you can turn on parking lights by pushing the stalk up or down. Left or right side of the car will stay on. Great for street parking or parking in an alley.

  • Put car in neutral/skip neutral

Switching to the other side of the steering wheel, there are a couple of features here as well. You can skip Neutral when selecting Drive or Reverse by pushing the gear change lever past the first click. This one is easy to find after driving the car for a while, but how do you put the car in Neutral? You would think you can just pop it in N and turn it off… but it just goes to Park on its own. To do so, hold the gear lever and the power button for 3 seconds and the release both. Now you are in neutral and car is off.

  • Can turn on radio when car is off

There are a couple of tricks with the entertainment system as well. As an example, you can power on the radio with the car off by simply hitting the volume/power button.

  • Shortcut Buttons

Just to the right of the power button, we have some preset buttons, but what most people don’t know is that you don’t have to use it for radio, you can use it as a shortcut for almost anything in the system. For example, you can make one of them toggle the Hold State of Charge aka turn on the Range Extender or dim the control panel brightness or even switch to different music sources and much more. Fun fact, if you’d like to reset all of them, simply hold 1 and 8 at the same time.

  • Hidden menu

Ok, ok, I hear some of you screaming that you know all of these already, but did you know that this small city car has a drift mode!?

Ok, it’s not actually called a drift mode, but there is a hidden menu that gives you tons of additional information and allows you to enable a roller mode where it will turn off the traction control, stability control, ABS and regenerative braking giving you full control of the rear wheels!

Getting into the hidden menu is fairly simple, you just hold the trip reset button for a few seconds and you are in! Here you can find a few options, including the roller mode which you can press and hold to enable. You can also unlock this menu for a ton more information, like your battery capacity, temperature and other specs not otherwise advertised. To unlock it, enter the sum of the last 5 digits of your VIN and you are in! I will do a full video on this as I think it deserves a deeper dive. We can even check out the CiC iDrive service menu in that video as well. Let me know if that is something you’d be interested in seeing.

  • Coat Hanger
  • Power plug

If you haven’t seen my camera install video, you might not know that there is a power plug right under the air vents, super convenient for charging your phone. Also, there is a hidden coat hanger behind this little cover. All you have to do is flip it around.


The last few items I wanted to mention have to do with the engine, driving and storing the vehicle.

One features that’s hard to figure out yourself as a driver is that when braking really hard, the car will also illuminate the lower lights, giving more of a warning to the cars behind, but not only that, if you open the rear hatch and your lights are no longer visible, the lower set will take over and work as regular lights and brakes! Great thinking on BMW’s part here!

  1. Rex Emissions Mode
  2. You can check oil level unlike other BMWs

Luckily BMW did more thinking around the range extender engine which leads me to the next hidden feature, you can put the car in emissions mode. This will turn on the engine and run it for 20 minutes to bring it up to operating temperatures and prepare systems for emissions testing. Your battery charge has to be under 75% as it will charge the battery as a side effect. Could be useful in an emergency! To turn it on, open the hatch, turn on the ignition and then press the accelerator pedal 3 times and hold on the third. Release and press the brake button followed by the Start and Stop button. The engine will start at this point. Another fun fact about this motorcycle engine is that it actually has an oil dip stick, so you can check the oil level unlike most other BMWs. Nice!

  • Long storage hidden feature, hack:

The very last trick that could be useful for some has to do with storing a BMW i3 over longer time. BMW says not to allow the vehicle to sit idle for extended period of time on low charge, so it must be close to fully charged to be stored. This will work great for the high voltage battery, but you will still be risking killing the 12v battery since simply having the car plugged in will not charge it. So, to circumvent this, what you can do is set up a departure time once a week, this will power on the car and charge your 12v battery at the same time saving you a headache in the future.


Wow this turned out to be a pretty long video! So, I hope you have learned something new or interesting about a BMW i3 and if you are a hardcore enthusiast, I’d love to hear some of the things I’ve missed. Also, if you’d like to access some more truly hidden features, check out this video where I show you how to code your car for more range, true control of the range extender and even adding a sport mode! Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next one!