Top 8 cheap and easy first mods and customisations for any BMW! | Road & Race S03E12

Top 8 cheap and easy first mods and customisations for any BMW!  | Road & Race S03E12

This time on Road and Race we look at the
easy way to code your BMW to access all the hidden features, how to hack your standard
exhaust to make it sound epic and amongst other things, how to cheaply improve the look
of your BMW In the last episode I discussed the good and
bad things about my M3 after about a month of ownership. Having now had the car for about 3 months
here are all the things I’ve done to it to make it my own. Here I’m using a E92 M3 but these mods should
work with most BMWs. So let’s start with no.1, How to access hidden features Although BMW let you alter a lot of settings
I found there were things I wanted to change on the car but couldn’t. I didn’t like the way the car beeped when
you locked it, it annoyed me when I was warned me far too early that I was low on fuel and
I wanted the digital speedo to tell me the actual speed I was going not the “adjusted”
version you get. But the biggest frustration for me was that
you had to remember to manually fold the side mirrors before you got out of the car. So obviously I’d forget, get out of the
car, remember and then have to go back….!!!!! So what’s the easy solution to this? Well all these settings are changeable via
a simple phone app called Carly for BMW. You need to buy this app and their special
OBD adaptor although they do make a free Lite version and support some third party adaptors. Anyway, you simply plug in the adaptor, start
the car, load the app and select your car model. Once in there’s an incredible array of settings
you can now change. Their website lists them all and I’ll put
a link ni the Description box. So first up I change the setting to turn on
the menu in the idrive that allows you to change the alarm beep when locking. Bit round about that one isn’t it but now
you can see a new setting in the iDrive. Next up I change the fuel warning alert from
31 miles to 12 miles and set the speedo is show the “true” speed. Here you can also turn on the digital speedo
if you don’t already have it. But best of all I can now turn on “Comfort
Folding for sideview mirrors” so now they fold automatically when I lock the car. Lovely. The Carly app can also be used for fault diagnosis
and check engine codes. On to no.2 New front grille Whilst I think the M3 is a stunning looking
BMW there was one element that I thought could be improved; I never really liked the chrome
grill. I’d seen the dual slat gloss black grill
on the current F generation of M3’s and wanted it. Unfortunately it’s a different sized grill
than my earlier E generation car. But fear not, after a bit of hunting around
I found a seller on ebay making a F style grill for my car! And for only £40. Bargain. I’m always a little dubious about ebay purchases
as I worried it wouldn’t fit properly but to my surprise it was a perfect match. Here’s a comparison with one of the new
grills installed. And it is finished with both. Installation was really easy. I just had to remove these 4 screws to get
access and the grill is only held on with these clips. Took about 20 minutes. Number 3
Better sounding exhaust Whilst many 3rd party exhaust systems exist
for a BMW you’d be looking at at least £1000 for a full system and then the cost to have
it fitted. One alternative is to hack your existing exhaust. Here’s a diagram of the standard M3 exhaust. For about £100 you can have the two perforated
sections shown here in yellow replaced with a solid piece of stainless steel. This is more commonly known as the “two
pipe” mod. Unfortunately this was done to my car by the
previous owner so I don’t have any video of what it sounded like from the factory but
here’s what it sounds like now. If you like you can make the exhaust even
louder by also replacing the green sections too but I’ve been told this can make the
exhaust drone which would be annoying on motorway journeys. No.4
Clutch stop. For £20 you can buy this little device that
fits behind your clutch and reduces it’s travel. You first need to remove this plastic cap
and then it slots straight in. Some claim it can make shifting quicker which
is good for the track or drag racing but I got it to be more comfortable when driving. As I now have to push the pedal less far I
can move my seat further back which I prefer. No 5
Leaf grilles Where do leaves and rain water go when they
land on the front of a BMW? Down this hole that’s where. Over time it can get blocked. Here you can see mine was already filling
up with junk. If you want to avoid having to use my patented
“screwdriver technique” you can buy leaf grilles from any BMW spare department for
about a tenner. Then all you have to do is periodically lift
them out to empty them. They came as standard on my plain old E90
320D but not on my M3. Strange eh? No 6
Phone integration If you have an older BMW like mine which doesn’t
Apple Car Play or even support Bluetooth audio you can retrofit a cheap cable based solution. Here’s mine. It’s a £12 iphone Composite AV Cable from
amazon which supports the older ipods and iphone. I’ve attached the official Apple lightning
adaptor for my iphone 6S and a phone to mini jack adaptor. . At the other end is a USB to 12V adaptor
from Aukey. This is the more powerful type that delivers
2.4 amps rather than 1 amp so be able to will charge the phone whilst being used. Also from Aukey is their magnetic air vent
mounting kit. You stick the flat piece of metal to your
phone and then insert the plug into an air vent. The phone just sticks right on. I’ve tucked the rest of the cabling under
this plastic trim, tied up the slack in the arm rest and plugged the 12v and mini jack
in. I’ve then programmed button 8 to be the
Line in input for the stereo. No 7
Custom steering wheel button settings This button on the steering wheel can be set
to one of a number of functions. I like to use it to turn the iDrive screen
off. You don’t really need it on most of the
time and turning it off will save a little bit of power and save the screen. But mainly I turn it off when driving at night
as I find it distracting. No 8
The boot Removing this panel from the boot reveals
BMWs puncture repair kit. If you remove it you’ll find a new size
space to work with. Personally I found their tyre compressor cheaply
made and hard to use so I’ve replaced it with my trusty one from Ring. Also had room for tyre glue from Holts and
a few essentials such as a tyre pressure checker, tyre thread depth gauge and a laser thermometer. So that its fro me. If you’ve got any cheap and easy mods you’ve
done let me know in the comments. Next time on Road and Race Since I like to track my cars the second thing
I like to do once I get a new one is to inspect then upgrade the brakes. So join me next time when I attempt to fit
racing spec brake pads and fit new brake hoses and to rusted and seized brake lines. Spoiler alert, it didn’t go as easy as planned…. If you’ve enjoyed the video then please consider
subscribing and clicking the Like button as it really helps me be able to make more shows. Click the video in the top right of your screen
to watch the next episode in this series or the one in the bottom right to watch from
the start of this series. And as always thanks for watching.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Good video, and some good ideas, I did most when I bought mine but also did the Racemesh Lower Grille front and rear, changed the side indicators for black ones instead of the Crome, next I will be following you in the brake pad change to ceramic and painting the Calipers. Was going to change the brake lines but already saw your other video.

  2. Very nice BMW. Great job on video editing. It's a lot of hard work. I really love BMW's. After watching thousands of YouTube videos like yours, It motivated me to buy one too. Check out my new BMW channel:

    Again, Great job. Keep it up.


    I am inquiring about a 2011 BMW M3 that has 63k miles on it and I do have cold feet in getting the car because it's somewhat close to getting up there to the high miles, so I was just wondering what are the issues that I could be facing, the​ other option car I had was the 2017 STI but I'm more inclined towards to the BMW M3.

  4. You have to buy this app when you have ios, but it's for free on Android. So.. re-think your phone choice.

  5. I pick my glossy grilled for £30 on eBay on my E46 I'm warning you do not spend too much money on these cars they were empty your pockets right out and you will have no food to eat

  6. Comfort folding apparently doesn't work unless you also have heated mirrors. Not a common option in Florida.

  7. if you're looking for a louder exhaust, but can't afford a performance one, try a muffler and or cat delete. be warned the drone is real.

  8. for bluetooth, you can also try a bluetooth audio module like the tatronics one. basically it connects to the stock audio input and turn it on. it emits a bt signal that your phone can connect to. put the audio in aux and boom. there you go.

  9. Great Clip I have a 2008 335i re the Audio just buy a Bluetooth reciever its Usd $10 and play all Audio from Android or iPhone through it connecting to bluetooth adapter to the AUX plug and power it with the power source all in the center console it's much better

  10. I think spending 40 pounds for a black out grill is a waste, I went and bought the cheapest spray can black paint and painted mine on some newspaper in the driveway, I parked beside a guy who bought his black grills after, no difference at all except his shines a bit, and mine is matt black, which i prefer anyway.

  11. Hi, I was just wondering if you recommend the Carly device now you've had it a while? I too wish to get it so my mirrors fold on locking!

  12. I know others have said this but I will link the one I use. If you have the USB port and 3.5 audio plug this will give you a solid Bluetooth connection to your device and will auto connect when you turn on the car.
    SoundBot SB343 3.5mm AUX Bluetooth…

  13. How can I change the display system in a bmw 2004 520i to put a screen that supports apple phone Bluetooth etc ( brand etc)? thanks

  14. After 2 years of work I’ve bought a 2014 BMW 328i, but I really don’t like the front bumper, and I want to know if it’s possible to change the 328i bumper for a M4 bumper (front one) thank you and nice vid 🙂

  15. BMW led logo lights, for around 10 dollars you get easily installed lights for your doors that a display a hologram of the bmw sign, great purchase

  16. Carly is BS because it's $100 a year plus the cost of the adapter. I recommend anyone who's good with computers learn to do this coding themselves with a laptop. I would love to use carly but I can't subscribe to their business model. It's crazy.

    My mod recommendation would be the LCI tail lights. Looks so much better than pre-lci. Requires a wiring harness which bmw provides OEM. And you need to code (using laptop or carly) to disable light buld check. If your e92 is starting to look dated the tail lights will fix that.

  17. Mod 4, as the rubber makes no difference to the bite point, no need to add the buffer, just press the clutch less far?
    Nice vid and lovely car.

  18. The grill you put on is cool but I also like the stock one. I just made my first BMW purchase a 2011 328i with premium package with 84k miles (sorry I can’t remember conversion) it was in great condition for 8,800 USD I’m loving the first 10 days

  19. The most helpful video I’ve seen on this type of BMW. I’m thinking of getting a 330d soon so more videos on mods and gadget info would be spectacular!!

  20. thinking of getting a 525/530i E60/1, i would get the E92 but i need four doors to drive friends and girls around. 16,5 yrs old now and going to get my practising license when the snow melts, then drive for a little over a year with my parents and then get my license in 1,5 years

  21. I have e92 n54 335i modified to 415 hp.
    – door lights with te BMW badge 20€
    -alcantara interior trim (selfmade) 50€
    – ambiente light 25€
    -smoked side blinkers 30€
    – plate and interior LED lights 50€
    -steering wheel carbon fiber foil 50€
    -leather footwell 280€

    Performance mods:
    -downpipe 350€
    -cold air intake 290€
    -PP chip optimizing 1300€
    -upgraded exhaust with open flaps 2500€

    A little bit of money and some work and I now have a completely different car

  22. Better shift knob
    Window tint (I live in Texas)
    Nicer headlights (e36 gang, I put led angel eyes on mine)
    Cat delete (older bmws)
    Cold Air intake
    Aluminum pedal pads

  23. I had those grilles a both fell out of the car and hit my windshield. One on a backroad and one on a highway. Both broke 🙁

  24. Nice video, thank you for this. I have the same stereo system and my question is how can I play MP3 music files whith this?

  25. That clutch stop one you mentioned is a life saver. I recently picked up a F32 in MT and the clutch pedal going as deep as it does really puts a strain on me. My 6'4 Friend loves it to death but me being 5'8, I cannot find a comfortable position where both in the completely out + completely in, my heel remains touching the ground.

  26. 3 months ago i bought series 3 2015 to be honest its bullshit i have had audi a6 but u totally can not compear with it, i gonna never bmw again

  27. I installed an LED ring around the BMW emblem on my trunk. I also added an offset Euro tag to the front (I live in the US, and live in a state that only requires a rare tag). I own a 2006 BMW 325i so the stock bumper looked like dukie so I went out and got a more sporty looking bumper.
    Next on my list are to replace the dated headlights with new meaner looking LEDs and perhaps replacing the rear bumper. I would also like to replace the shifter knob with one that has just the bmw logo as opposed to the gear tree.

  28. the full black grill is available on the bmw performance catalog for E92, they are quite expensive, about 80 bucks. but it's well worth. i prefer to keep an OEM look, i don't like the F30 style grill

  29. For the bluetooth audio, try this…..(a usb flash drive witch send the audio streaming from the iPhone (or android) to the AUX entry of the unit:

    The bluetooth USB flash drive appears like PT810 channel on your bluetooth settings.

    it costs 8€, (I bought it 5€ two years ago) and takes 10 secondes to install……..and the sound is just incredible….

    Ricardo from France (Lyon).


  30. You should get the colored M grill for this beast
    I drive a 2014 M5 with a colored grill people love the grill more than the car itself
    Nice M3 btw

  31. Changed my grill for my X5 E70 from the factory black and chrome to an all chrome for $75 on aliexpress from China. Fits great and easy to install as it's on the hood.

  32. I've been lusting after an e92 M3 for a very long time now but can't stretch to it yet so I've just brought myself an e92 330i M Sport instead. It's a gorgeous car on a 58 plate and I like to think of it as a baby M3 lol.

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