With different equipment packages and ticked option boxes upon the purchase of a car, some features remain “hidden” behind a software-based wall. While there are more than a few reasons why they remain unseen by the naked eye, one of the primary explanations is that car manufacturers, such as BMW, have always looked to streamline their production processes and reduce costs to be more efficient. That means that even if the most well-equipped 3-series BMW and the least-equipped car of the same series roll out of an equivalent assembly line, the differences between their options and equipment might be related to the software rather than the hardware of the car.
There are exceptions to the rule, sure, as some features – like the swing your leg under your trunk to open it, enabled by the Comfort Access system – require certain control units to be placed in the car. But changing the startup animation of your iDrive system or activating side marker lights does not require any specific control unit or if you are using OBDeleven, any programming knowledge, as the intelligent automotive solution enables you to turn on these and more hidden features with One-Click Apps, which are pre-made coding functions.
1. iDrive Startup Animation changes
This hidden feature is pretty self-explanatory, as it changes the startup animation of the multimedia system once you turn on the car.
Much like it is self-explanatory, you can change the animation easily with OBDeleven by plugging in the device into the OBD-II port, connecting to it with Bluetooth, and navigating to the Apps section on the OBDeleven mobile application.
From there, find the right One-Click App for your infotainment system, namely whether it is the Car Information Computer (CIC), Next Big Thing (NBT), or the NBT EVO, and pick out the option that suits your needs best. For example, on some BMW vehicles, you can choose between Default, M, Alpina, BMW i, and other animation styles when you activate the One-Click App.
The animation will change upon the next startup of your vehicle.
2. Digital speed display
Few would argue against the fact that BMW makes some of the most cohesive and well-designed onboard computer displays in the automotive industry. However, not everybody is perfect and if you find yourself craving a digital number depicting your speed on the primary driver’s display, OBDeleven has a One-Click App for that.
In addition to activating it via the mobile application, you will also have to go through an in-car procedure, namely, you will have to press the on-board computer button on the turn signal lever repeatedly until the digital speed display is shown.
3. BMW Side marker lights
Differences are plentiful between the United States and the European Union and its surrounding members or economically-tied associates, including the legal basis upon which automakers operate in the two regions.
One of the differences is the side marker lights on BMW and other car brands, which are on by default in the US while being disabled from the get-go in Europe. Nevertheless, with the pre-made coding functions, you can enable or disable the side marker lights without a hitch.
However, be mindful that these lights will not work if you have full light-emitting diode (LED) lights on your car.
In addition to activating the side marker lights, you can also adjust the brightness of said feature with a separate One-Click App called Side Marker Lights Brightness. In order to adjust the brightness, you first have to have the lights active, which then will allow you to regulate the intensity of bulbs while you are driving on the road.
4. Start/Stop Memory
Even if we could argue days on end about the ingenuity or the true purpose of the Start/Stop feature, discussions about whether drivers like the feature is another activity that would seem to not have an end to it.
Whether you are a fan or not, having the option to turn on or off the Start/Stop feature is – without much debate – nice. To permanently disable or enable the Start/Stop function on your car all you will have to do is navigate to Apps on OBDeleven once you plug the device into the OBD-II port and choose the Start/Stop Default Setting pre-made coding function.
In such case that you would like to have the feature enabled or disabled according to the last choice you made before turning off the engine, the Start/Stop Memory One-Click App is the one you should use.
If you do like this feature, you can take an extra step and enable the symbol of the Start/Stop system to be shown on your primary driver’s display with the Start/Stop Dashboard Symbol One-Click App, which can also disable the icon’s appearance on your instrument cluster.
5. Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Pressure and Temperature display
As anecdotal as it might be, one of the best indicators that technology on cars has advanced quite a bit is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Replacing the old as time visual inspection method, the sensors placed either on the rim or in the valve stem allows drivers to be notified of even the smallest changes in tire pressure with a warning light on the instrument cluster.
But the TPMS Pressure and Temperature Display One-Click App goes a step further and ¬– if you have either the NBT or NBT EVO – showcases the tire pressures and temperatures live on your multimedia screen. Much like with other hidden features that were mentioned on the list, all you will have to do is to navigate to Apps and find the pre-made coding function that you are looking for to activate the pressure and temperature displays.
6. Mirror Dip
Rear-view cameras on cars have largely become a standard in today’s automotive industry, as some countries – such as the United States – have mandated that cameras need to be installed on all new vehicles. As such, the importance of mirrors when parking has diminished slightly, especially as rear-view cameras have improved in terms of the picture quality they can deliver to the infotainment screen.
Nevertheless, if your car is a bit older or was not built for the US market – where backup cameras became mandatory on May 1, 2018 – yet still has power folding mirrors, you can activate or deactivate the Mirror Dip function quickly and without doing any of the coding yourself with OBDeleven’s One-Click Apps.
7. Trunk Button Operation when closing
Different from all of the hidden features that were mentioned above, the Trunk Button Operation when Closing the pre-made coding function will improve the comfort of using your vehicle when you are outside of it.
Simply put, the One-Click App makes a coding adjustment that you do not need to hold down the button on the key fob responsible for closing your trunk. Instead, a simple press of the button will close down the trunk, making your life much easier when you are holding your shopping bags – after all, no self-respecting human being does several trips when they have returned from the supermarket!
In the case that you want to hold the button to open the trunk, the pre-made coding function also provides this option.
The requirement for this One-Click App is to have the Trunk Closing via the Key Fob application or function active from the factory.