BMW 530i - Adding The BMW "Sports Mode" Button Hack

Picture of BMW 530i - Adding The BMW
This instructable will uncover the option to add the BMW sports driving mode on all 2006 BMW 530i's with the E60 chassis. The sports driving mode was never offered for this particular model, even though they classify this car model as a sport model, you couldn't get the actual sport driving mode. How this works, and how it's possible, is because this model and other E60 chassis BMW's use the same engines, with the same electronics. Since different models use the same chassis, a lot of the options will be the same. Certain options are not offered on lower end models, even though the capabilities are there. I have only done this hack on a 2006 BMW 530i with the E60 chassis, but I believe this button can be added to any E60 chassis, in the 5series models, in the "I" class.


Screwdriver (Phillips)
Pry Tool or flathead screwdriver
(2) Bushing Contact With Wire Lead (
Momentary button/switch of your choice
18 to 22 gauge wire
Wire Strippers/Cutters
Soldering Iron
Heat shrink

Quick Scope of Work:

What we are going to be doing is actually very simple. We will be taking the dash apart to get to a harness that is connected to the ecu , once we have the dash/ecu out and the back exposed we will be adding two pins to a harness, which will be connected to a momentary switch or button of your choice. After the two wires are inserted in the harness you need to figure out where you want to mount your button/switch. Run wires and button to the desired spot, and mount switch. Put everything back together in reverse order as you took it apart. Now to make sure it works, start your car, push the button you installed and make sure the word sport comes on in the info center in between your gauges.

And there you have it.
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techboy4111 month ago

Oooh, agrressive engines? When will THAT happen on a Silverado (<-dream truck)?

verdelj7 months ago

adding the button doesn't do anything except turn on the light on the dash board, it will not do anything else, the platform is the same but the electronics, programming and calibration is different, also the some systems are different like the abs and transaxle.

lovepistol (author)  verdelj7 months ago
It definitely works for a 2006 530i, and just as you said yes, it does light up the light that says sport. Something that was not offered on that car for that year, and that is the whole point of this instructable. Why would they put just a light in the car, with all the wiring to the ecu? If it didn't work then how could taping into pins that were empty on the wire harness that was plugged into the ecu make a light emit on the dash? The information center is displaying what the ecu is telling it to, if the car didn't have the capabilities or the electronics to carry out something, then it will not display that it is in "sport mode." I have had lots of drive time with this car, the steering does get stiffer and the engine's behavior does get more aggressive. As for other models, it is an assumption that it could work, but this instructable was only for the 2006 BMW 530i.

By the engine is more aggressive do you mean the shift mapping changed?

mpeake7 months ago
I'd love to see a hack on the new Imprezas like this...
seamster7 months ago

This is a great hack!

Is there a similar thing I can do to my 20 year old F150?

I'm guessing... no! Ha ha :)