BMW’s exceptional engineering standards have made the brand famed for producing comfortable cars with outstanding performance. While BMWs can be faster than other cars on the road, enthusiasts want to push their rides to their performance limits. A BMW tuner can offer professional recommendations on the modifications you can do on your car to improve power output. BMW tuning happens in different stages to slowly but safely raise the limits on optimal performance.
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BMW Stage Tuning
Stage tuning refers to a set of upgrades fitted in clusters to improve performance. Each level’s enhancement adds to your engine’s power output, making it faster. Tuning your car in stages starts with key modifications in stage one to more complex performance upgrades in stage three or higher. While stage modifications can differ in different car types, BMWs often include similar changes that influence their functioning. Some factors that influence the modifications you install in your ride include:
- Your car’s engine capabilities
- Intended performance goals
- Modification and upgrade limits for your vehicle
- Existing performance additions to your car (e.g. turbos)
Work with a BMW expert throughout the stage tuning process since they can recommend upgrades that suit your car to provide optimal performance. Here’s some insight into the different tuning stages.
Stage One Tuning
Stage one tuning is the entry-level performance upgrades on stock rides. Performance upgrades at this stage involve slight modifications using OEM parts to maximize power output. Stage one modification often involves chip tuning and hardware upgrades like intake and exhaust swaps while retaining the original catalytic converters. During the stage one tune, BMW experts may also look for potential areas of power loss and try mitigating it for optimal performance.
Engine remapping in stage one can create power gains. BMW experts can install an engine control unit (ECU) to improve the existing engine’s functionality. The chip controls combustion by managing fuel injection timing, spark, and boost. Adjusting such settings on the chip to the most efficient options helps unlock more power from the engine. You may enjoy better throttle response which provides faster acceleration.
Intake and exhaust system upgrades in this stage help improve your engine’s breathability. A better air intake system avails more oxygen for an efficient combustion process within your engine. Exhaust system upgrades help eliminate by-products within the combustion process, keeping your engine operating optimally.
Stage Two Tuning
Manufacturers focus on efficiency, but that can limit the power output. Stage two tuning seeks to resolve limitations and push your car’s performance limits. BMW experts swap the limiting parts with aftermarket alternatives to improve performance. Since stage two involves changing multiple parts, it is more expensive than stage one tuning. Common upgrades in stage two tuning include:
- Engine and gearbox mounts: Manufacturers install flexible mounts to manage vibrations on your car. Improving power output in your engine will increase your engine’s vibrations, so the new mounts can prevent such vibrations.
- Intercooler: Installing intercoolers helps make the air from turbos colder to keep your engine working properly. Cold air is denser and contains more oxygen which translates into more power.
- Cold air intake or induction kits: Improve the fuel-to-air ratio for an efficient combustion process with these kits. Cold air also cools your engine, improving performance over long drives.
- BMW performance body kits: These involve things like side skirt splitters, front spoiler lip, and rear diffusers to improve your car’s aerodynamics. Body kit upgrades offer your vehicle a sportier look and allow you a better throttle response.
Stage Three Tuning
Stage three tuning focuses on building a track car by pushing your car over its performance limits. BMW experts can recommend large-scale hardware swaps for their respective upgrades. Depending on your vehicle’s original components, experts can create custom builds to improve power output. Common performance upgrades in stage three tuning include:
- Engine rebuilding: Changing cylinder heads and inlet valves in your engine can help optimize performance. The engine rebuilding process can also involve installing performance spark plugs and an aftermarket head gasket for an improved combustion process.
- Fuel pump and injector upgrades: These can be added to increase the amount of fuel in the combustion chamber for better power output.
- Suspension tuning: This may improve your car’s handling at high speeds.
Work With a Reputable BMW Tuner
BMWs are a fan favorite for many enthusiasts due to their outstanding engineering standards, but manufacturers always leave room for improvement. You can tune your BMW in stages to achieve the desired performance levels. Working with a reputable BMW tuner can help you install the right performance upgrades to optimize power output.
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