Anyone who enjoys driving always wants to maximize the pleasure that they get from behind the wheel. For plenty of people that means making sure that the performance they achieve from their car is as good as it can possibly be. Sure, for some this includes making some pretty major modifications. But we’re not all experienced home mechanics or can afford to make big changes to our BMWs.
There are, however, some simple ways that we can make them run a little better, accelerate a little faster and create an altogether more exciting driving experience.
Lose a little weight
It sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how many people constantly drive round carrying excess weight in their cars. It might be snow shovels and other equipment stored in the trunk all year round or that set of golf clubs that just seems easier to leave in the car. So only carry the essentials you need for the journey – and some people even recommend only ever having a maximum of half a tank of gas for weight-saving reasons.
Put in some premium synthetic oil
Oil is like the lifeblood of your engine. It performs more functions than you might ever imagine. For example, it doesn’t simply lubricate all of the moving parts of your engine, it also cleans them and even helps to cool down its operating temperature. So, it makes perfect sense to use the highest quality oil you can find, and this is invariably a synthetic kind. It may cost a little more than natural oil, but it’s worth it.
Stiffen up the suspension
There’s a trade-off to be done here. If you want to greatly improve your BMW’s handling and cornering at speed, you’re going to have to settle for a firmer ride. But if that’s something you’re prepared to do then it’s well worth getting the shockers and springs replaced. While you’re about it, it’s also an idea to ask the suspension shop to swap any rubber bushes with polyurethane ones instead. They last longer and add to the firmer control.
Replace your spark plugs and air filter
These are both operations that are easy for the home mechanic to carry out. The principle behind doing this is simple. The stronger the spark igniting the gas, the better the combustion will be, and old spark plugs soon become corroded and less efficient. And, just like humans, engines need plenty of oxygen to perform at their best. Old air filters get clogged up with dust, dirt and other particles which stops a percentage of that oxygen getting through.
Get better tires
Tires are what keep your BMW car in contact with the road. So, fitting the best that you can is obviously going to be a big contributor to how it handles. Choose the right ones for the conditions in your area and the type of driving that you generally do, and you’ll soon feel the benefit. The best can be expensive though. So you might want to look into a good tire payment plan that’s going to help you spread the cost.
Tweak your ECU
Pretty much all the functions of engines these days are controlled by an electronic control unit. By loading different software, you can dramatically change the way that your car performs, you just need a garage that has the equipment to do this. One word of warning – this may well invalidate the warranty from some manufacturers if it subsequently develops an engine fault, even if it’s not been directly caused by the ECU.
It also goes without saying that taking good care and scheduling regular maintenance for your auto is also going to improve its performance. Then you also have the choice of making even more radical changes if you have the money and the inclination.
But, for most drivers, just following these six tips should do the job very well indeed.