BMW Racemode Tuning FAQ

We've got answers!

We've got answers to your most frequently asked questions in our tuning FAQs. For anything else, you can always call us!

OTS Vs. Custom

A common question we get is, why should I pay for custom tuning instead of downloading an OTS map? That's a great question, and I will explain both below. 

Companies such as MHD and BM3 have created OTS maps geared toward users installing common modifications (free flowing exhaust, HPFP, etc.) who want quick and easy power upgrades. For many platforms, they can be a substantial upgrade over the stock mapping and precisely what you are looking for. Most will be happy with this choice for a simple configuration who simply just wants to add power(stock turbo and fuel system). We offer flashing OTS maps for BM3 and MHD at our local Houston location. Some factory safeties may be altered depending on the software and platform. If you are interested, don't hesitate to get in touch with us for more information. 

Custom tuning (ECUTEK, BM3, MHD) is geared towards the consumer looking to get the most out of their simple setup or have extensive modifications done to their car, such as upgraded turbocharger, port injection, methanol injection, etc. Also, if you are in a hotter climate or high elevation or want to change the way your car delivers power, this is where custom comes as an advantage. Our custom tuning will allow for stricter safties for IAT's, headroom for engine timing where your fuel quality may differ week to week, and wastegate adjustments for higher elevations. Our approach to custom tuning by default is to adjust OE tuning strategies and limitations for boost, loads, and torque. The performance gains may be minimal over OTS but with more of a focus of control, reliability, and safety.

A custom tune is required for anything that requires significant changes (turbo, port injection, etc.). 

Should I use JB4?

JB4 is a tool used for various BMW platforms that tricks the various OEM sensors to increase power. While it can be effective for some platforms, that is not the case for everything. Most consumers who utilize this option are just after the ease of installation, price, and simple power bump, which we understand. Do your research on platform-specific forums and see what other enthusiasts have to say!

What do I need for remote tuning?

For many BMW platforms, you will need a Windows OS-based laptop for the first flash for customers on ECUTEK. In most cases, we have the ability to use phone flash afterward and can exchange your Deskey for a phone flash license after the initial flash. Secondly, you will need an ECUTEK Bluetooth module. 

For other platforms we tune for BMW, such as MHD and BM3, you will need a Wi-Fi module appropriate for either of the platforms. 


Which Calibration Software Should I Use?

The BMW tuning platform is popular with enthusiasts with many software suites to choose from! You have many options, which I will briefly discuss below. If you have any in-depth questions you'd like to explore with us, do not hesitate to contact us for more information.


EcuTek is our preferred software platform for BMW and other platforms that we support. With over two decades of engine electronics expertise, EcuTek is an industry leader in software calibration tools. With BMW specifically, they brought custom maps, flex fuel, intricate data logging, CAN input/outputs that offer powerful functionality to the consumers.

EcuTek implements Motiv Reflex integration, which is one of the most important benefits it has over other competitors. At the time of writing this article, they are the only ones to offer this which makes this the most robust offering for any users utilizing port injection. With this powerful control over both the factory DI system and supplemental port injection to work in conjunction, we can implement joint fuel deliveries and safeties in the event of a PI system failure. This is crucial in the event of a PI failure where you would end up with a lean cylinder that can cause catastrophic damage. 

Another feature that EcuTek leverages for the BMW platform is additional sensor inputs for Motiv Reflex, such as fuel pumps or boost control solenoids that tie back into the DME. For B58 Gen 1/Gen 2, S55, and S58(Cloned), we recommend EcuTek. 

BM3 is a newer cloud based software that can be used for many BMW platforms. They offer OTS and custom tuning that can be flashed from your phone or laptop. They also include easy to change options such as cold start delete, burble adjustments, and flex-fuel maps that can be changed quickly. We offer in-house flashing for any of BM3's OTS maps along with custom calibrations. This is for customers who have already purchased a BM3 license and want to save money opposed to switching to other software suites such as EcuTek or MHD. BM3 are continuously making improvements to their software, and we are excited to see what they have to offer. 

MHD + features that were recently announced bring similar features to EcuTek's software suite such as Motiv Reflex integration, boost by gear, true flex fuel, and a few others that will be made available to the B58/S58 platform. We are looking forward to utilizing this platform more and more in the future with their robust capabilities.

What should I choose? The tuning landscape for BMWs is constantly evolving. The competition amongst these big three tuning suites only benefits us as professionals, which trickles down to the consumer. Our suggestions can change over time, and a specific hardware configuration may make us favor one software over another. Please get in touch with us if you need our guidance on which software platform to choose for your modern-day BMW. 

General Tuning FAQ

How does remote tuning work?

Remote tuning is our most convenient way to get tuned with us for those not local to the Houston area or any of our dealers. Simply put, all you need is a smartphone and an ECUTEK Bluetooth module. 

Purchasing: On our homepage, select the Racemode drop-down menu and your platform (Infiniti, BMW, etc.) to select all the options that apply to your specific situation. An ECUTEK Bluetooth module is required for all remote street tuning. If you have any questions navigating the options on our website, please feel free to give us a call at 832-786-9038. 

Preparation: We recommend having all maintenance items up to date prior to performing any data logs. Those items can include oil changes, tires, brakes, other fluids, etc. You will also want to install all of the modifications that you have communicated to us before you flash your car with the first base file made by us. That is especially important for aftermarket parts such as larger 3'' intakes, HPFPs, etc. 

Process: When we send out our first calibration base file, you will receive detailed instructions on how to flash the file and data logging instructions. OTS customers will not receive data logging instructions as they are not required for that tune type. Ideally, you will want to have your battery in excellent shape before flashing and have a battery tender hooked up to the battery during the flashing process. After our data logging process is complete, our tuners will notify you the tuning process is done and ask about adding additional maps. 

How long does the remote tuning process take?

The average remote tuning process can take anywhere from 6-to 10 business days from the moment you receive your ECUTEK kit in the mail. The overall time will depend greatly on your response time and our overall customer volume at any given moment. We strive to stick to our 1-2 business day timeframe for the years we have been tuning. Please consider that weekends and holidays are outside of our quoted times. We work through our mailbox on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

If you have not heard back from us for over three days, please get in touch with us at 832-786-9038. 

What are your response times?

We strive to provide a 24-48 hour response window during business days. Often times, if you are working with our tuners on a remote custom tune, you'll be receiving a revision a day unless we are exceptionally busy in which case you'll be closer to 48 hours.

But you'll NEVER be waiting weeks for a reply or a revision from us. We also offer lifelong data-log reviews and are available for general sales or customer service support by phone, email, or text.

What do I need for remote tuning?

For many BMW platforms, you will need a Windows OS-based laptop for the first flash for customers on EcuTek. In most cases, we have the ability to use phone flash afterward and can exchange your Deskey for a phone flash license after the initial flash. 

For Nissan/Infiniti, all you need is a EcuTek Bluetooth module and a modern smartphone. 

What's the difference between remote street tuning and dyno tuning?

Our remote street tuning process is about what most of our customers choose to go with. This option's most significant benefit is that you do not need to visit a shop or any additional hardware outside of an EcuTek Bluetooth module and your smartphone! This approach will require you to find an appropriate road course to perform wide-open throttle pulls in various gears that are recorded using the EcuTek mobile app. We will send step-by-step instructions along with a YouTube video you can follow along with. 

Dyno tuning involves placing the vehicle on a dynamometer, essentially a set of rollers that simulate road conditions while the vehicle's engine is running. We then make various adjustments to the tune based on real-time data feedback from the data log. This is geared towards customers who want to complete the tuning process as soon as possible and also want to see what power numbers their car puts down. Another benefit is that we, or the dyno operator, can hear potential problems that may arise when performing dyno pulls. We will still likely ask you to perform a data log on the street as loads can change from the dyno to the street. 

The cost tends to be higher as you need to rent a dyno at your local performance shop or our dyno at our Houston, TX, location. 




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