BMW cars are renowned for being solidly built with well-balanced handling, decent passenger comfort, and an exceptional engine under the bonnet. They stand up well to stop-and-go driving around town, but they really shine when driven at cruising speeds.
When someone owns a great vehicle, it’s only natural to want to make it the best it can be. This is where BMW tuning comes in. The term covers any type of vehicle modifications to jazz up the car’s appearance and optimise the car’s power and performance. The tuning possibilities are almost endless.
First of all, you can improve the look and the aerodynamics of your car with a body styling kit. The kit may include new bumpers, front and rear spoilers, side skirts, roof spoiler, rear skirt insert, bonnet vents, tailpipe trims and more, all working in visual harmony to give the car a sportier or more aggressive look.
Not only do these enhancements make your car more stylish, they may also improve handling by reducing wind resistance and increasing vehicle stability, especially at motorway / highway speeds.
You can also replace the standard road equipment on your BMW with components designed for high performance vehicles. For instance, upgrading the suspension with new struts, shocks, and dampers can make a considerable difference in vehicle steering and control.
If you want better stopping power and a sharper look, you can replace the original brake set with new pads and calipers. And you can put on new forged alloy wheels and matching tyres to give your car more attitude while also improving ride comfort.
One of the most popular BMW tuning techniques is to remap the engine ECU. This is a cost-effective way to improve performance, speed, and power. Some BMW owners think that a remap gives the best value and most driving enjoyment for the money. The procedure alters the engine and fuel system settings to produce more bhp and torque. The ECU can be remapped through the car’s OBDII (on newer cars) or by swapping the chip for a new one (on older vehicles).
The engines in most BMW vehicles are built strong and durable. They can easily handle more power than the standard engine settings allow. In fact, BMW diesel engines are just begging to be tuned. Turbo diesel cars typically achieve power gains from twenty to thirty percent from a remap, depending on the model. But more important than the actual numbers is the way the car performs afterwards.
What drivers enjoy the most after a remap is more responsive throttle and more linear delivery of power. The engine pulls stronger through gears with less lag and without the flat spots normally found in a diesel. The car will be smoother to drive under any circumstances, with super torque and a surge of power when you have the opportunity to open it up on the road.
The best cars to remap are those that are basically sound but a little underpowered. The 330d and the 535d, in particular, are very popular models for BMW tuning.
In fact, certain BMW enthusiasts say that the BMW 330d has one of the finest diesel engines available, with plenty of untapped power to set loose with a remap. And as for the 535d, well, there’s nothing like a remapped version. You still get the comfort and affordability of the 5 series, but the car’s power and performance will approach that of much more expensive saloon cars.
M badge cars are more highly tuned than the standard vehicle, so the power gains from a remap will be less. It may still be worth doing for better power delivery and handling.
You can also tune petrol cars such as the 540i, but power gains won’t be as significant. An increase of about 15 bhp is the most you can expect, along with improved drivability.
Drivers often can’t resist using more throttle at first because it’s so much fun. But once you resume your normal driving habits, you’ll eventually see fuel savings from the remap. If higher MPG is a priority, you can choose to tune your BMW for best fuel economy rather than highest power and torque.
You don’t need to change the brakes or other vehicle components after a remap. The standard brake set-up is more than adequate for the engine’s extra power. Some BMW owners choose to upgrade the suspension and install higher quality tyres after an ECU remap because these modifications complement the car’s more powerful and responsive engine.
BMW tuning isn’t just for weekend racers. It’s for anyone who wants to bring out their car’s engineering potential and turn the car into something unique. Even if you don’t care about owning a flash car, you should give a little thought to a remap. You’ll find that driving is a lot more fun with a well-tuned engine.
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