Your BMW may not be giving you everything that it has to offer. For example, you may not be happy with your BMWs fuel economy. On modern cars, many components are controlled by onboard computers rather than mechanically. Therefore, you will need to actually plug into the computer, known as the ECU, to make adjustments.
Your car's fuel economy can be tweaked if you know the speed at which your car is driving at the majority of the time. For instance, if you mostly remain local and drive under 30 MPH, you will need different settings from if you often spend hours driving down an expressway at 60 MPH or higher in order to have the best fuel economy.
Tuning your BMW is also an important part of getting the most horsepower out of your vehicle. You will be able to increase or decrease your engine's rev range. You will also be able to increase or decrease your engine's speed limit. These are useful if you need your BMW to drive at a higher speed for whatever reason.
If you will be adding upgrades or mods, you will need to make changes to the computer to avoid damaging your system or reducing your system performance. If you have a new part installed by a professional, he or she will likely tune up your engine to make it compatible with the new upgrade.
It is especially a good idea to tune up your BMW if you have purchased a new car. When a new car is released, it will come with a stock tune. Then, when the developer comes up with new, improved maps, these are distributed to dealers. Through a process known as flashing, the old map is erased, and the new map is put in its place. At the very least, your car should be tuned up every year.
Tuning Up Your Own BMW ECU
If you would like to take the tune-up into your own hands, another option is to use a laptop and your own software program. Then, with the right adapter, you can plug into your ECU and make the necessary tweaks. Car manufacturers are often too conservative with the settings, and your BMW's full potential may need to be unlocked. It is much easier than in the past when you had to physically swap one computer chip with another.
Contact a BMW tuning shop for more information and assistance.