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Product Review:

Turner Edition P3Cars Integrated Vent Gauge - E46, E60, E82, E85, E89, E90, E92, E93, F10, F12, F20, F30
** Updated 02/05/2013 **

We're used to having information at our fingertips. What we don't know can be looked up or downloaded using any number of websites or apps. But data from your car, especially a BMW, has been a little tougher to come by until now. P3Cars has developed this advanced digital gauge to fit in the dash of BMW E82 1-series, E9X 3-series, F10 5-series, and F30 3-series. First released as a simple boost gauge for turbo cars, the software has been tested and developed for naturally aspirated models too, including the M3. This is not just another boost gauge.

The P3Cars vent integrated digital interface (vidi) gauge plugs into the car's standardized OBD plug in the left footwell. Run the cable up to the driver's left air vent (above the headlight switch). P3's digital gauge is integrated to the stock vent for a clean and almost factory-looking appearance. Minor trim removal is required for access during the install but this is really a plug-in installation that takes no more than 30 minutes if you're taking your time.

P3 has developed software that draws data from the OBD plug. This plug is along the same CAN BUS information superhighway that the engine computer and body modules use for communication. It's the same plug that dealerships and shops use to scan and read fault codes or update electronics. In fact, the P3 vidi gauge also funtions as a fault code reader and clearing tool (for generic OBD "P codes"). The P3's plug can be un-installed for access to the OBD port by your mechanic or state inspection station.

With access through the OBD port, the full range of features on the vidi gauge is almost limitless. But for simplicity and ease-of-use only the most important and useful data is displayed: intake air temp, exhaust gas temp, coolant temp, boost/vacuum, ignition timing, throttle position, uncorrected speed, RPM, a shift light, battery voltage, acceleration timing, and brake timing. It will also save and display peak values for each parameter, allowing you to go back and analyze what's been happening. See below for a more in-depth description of each parameter. Other P3Cars features are a color matched display and automatic dimming with your other gauges. It can be configured to display either English and Metric units.

In keeping with the Motorsport and Performance heritage of Turner Motorsport the Turner Exclusive edition comes complete with additional performance timers. These additional acceleration timing features are performance measurements we figured our core customers would love most. 0-60 is joined by timing for 0-100 and braking from 60-0 and 100-0. These features are perfect to measure performance gains in a consistent way, storing your best time of the session. Adding an intake and software package? Well record the difference it makes in 0-60 and 0-100 times!

Not only is this data informative and, at times, entertaining but it also allows you to evaluate and analyze your car's performance. The acceleration timer is obviously useful in evaluating horsepower upgrades but also in critiquing launch settings and technique. Ditto for the braking timer in analyzing the differences in brake pads or pedal application. Or use the peak recall function to see how much the traction control system is closing the throttle to reduce power output (might be time to upgrade to that limited slip...).

In addition to the data captured from the OBD plug, the P3Cars kit comes with three universal analog inputs. For instance, if you wanted to display Air/Fuel readings you can use an analog line to your AFR wideband sensor in the exhaust. You can tap into chargepipes for actual boost pressure or reading boost on aftermarket supercharger kits (works great on boosted M3s!). Or monitor before/after intercooler temps. On turbo engines you can monitor methanol injection. Or monitor transmission or differential fluid temps. Or just about anything else you can imagine. The P3 gauge becomes your own custom dash just like a race car. Additional parts and gauge configuration will be required when using any analog inputs. The P3 wiring works with any analog 0-5V sensor which is the standard among universal sensors.

This gauge upgrade will be one of the best mods you make to your car! It looks like a factory part, retains the function of the left side vent, and displays a wealth of useful information. You will be enjoying and utelizing this upgrade for as long as you own your car!

User Feedback

  • kalud, "Install was pretty easy, took at most 15min using the included obd connection. I'm really impressed by the build quality and overall product."

  • Willizm, "I got the first gen gauge and it still impresses my friends as to how OEM it feels and looks."

  • Former_Boosted_IS, "The P3 gauge has a lot of great features and looking fully OEM is one it's really strong characteristics. I think monitoring what your engine is doing is the beginning of modifying your car, not the end. Holding to that philosophy, this should be your first purchase when modding your car not your last. The new CAN data is smooth and offers considerable supplementation to our BMW gauges. Things like coolant temp that should have come with the car are now included. From a funcationality standpoint, the gauge is really top shelf. When P3 says this is a simple PNP, they are not lying. I wouldn't hesitate for a fraction of a second to purchase a thing from P3 in the future."

  • K B Vettin, "i want to let the M3 community know how pleased i am with the P3 digital boost gauge. this gauge is much better than the round ones you have to create a cluster of in your ashtray. I use the boost function and easily scroll to check the air intake temp, exhaust temp, it flashes when i reach 8000 RPM's, and my favorite the zero to 60 timer. This plugs into your [OBD plug] so all the data is spot on and you tap the supercharger vacuum line to read boost. this gauge was definitely worth the wait!"

  • Ian///M, "I just fitted the P3Cars V2.1 in my 1M last week. I am very happy with it and it looks very OEM and stealth. Nice to have all that extra info the P3 gives."

  • Mark, "I have to say that this is a very slick device that has some wow factor. The functionality of the unit combined with the 10 minute install / removal makes this a very useful item for you whether you are using the unit to keep an eye on temperatures / boost levels, improve your performance times (while obeying all traffic laws), or using it when an unexpected check engine light pops up on your dash. If this functionality seems useful to you then I'd highly recommend buying one."

  • Displayed Data

    Intake Air Temp
    Displays the temperature of the air from within the airbox. Cooler air is more oxygen-rich which will burn better in the combustion chamber. On naturally aspirated engines you can evaluate temps with or without a cold-air intake. Or make adjustments to your intake's heat shield to better seal it from hot engine air. On forced induction cars you can see the efficiency of intercooler operation.
    Exhaust Gas Temp
    Displays the temperature of the exhaust in the header before the catalytic converter. From this measurement you can judge air/fuel ratios - a hotter temp indicates the engine is running lean.
    Coolant Temp
    Displays the coolant temperature. Many engine maps and the engine tuning is based on the coolant temperature. When temps get too high the engine computer will dial back the timing which helps reduce temperature. You can monitor your cooling numbers and decide if a cooling upgrade will benefit you.
    Forced induction cars have the option for monitoring boost. On an N54 engine (2007-2010 cars), and cars with an aftermarket turbo or supercharger, a vacuum line must be routed to the intake chargepipe and plugged into the P3 gauge. On N55 (2011+ cars), the gauge can read boost data from the OBD port without running a vacuum line. This data can be displayed in realtime through the P3 gauge. You can also run an analog probe into the chargepipe and have it display here as well. This gauge is so useful we install one in nearly every supercharged E9X M3 we build here!
    Ignition Timing
    Displays ignition timing. This may be useful for judging the quality of gasoline brands. Poorer fuels will lead the engine computer to draw back the timing. Higher quality types will resist knocking more and the engine can run with more timing.
    Throttle Position
    Displays the throttle open position as a percentage - 0 = closed, 100 = full throttle opening. This is the perfect tool to monitor how much the traction control system intervenes in your acceleration. Monitor the max value for throttle position coming out of corners. Too little throttle opening and the traction control is intervening a lot. Add a limited slip unit to your differential to shift power to the wheel with the most traction and watch your throttle opening peg to 100!
    Uncorrected Speed
    Displays your actual speed without any correction. The standard speedometer has a correction factor that makes it read higher than actual at normal speeds.
    This feature is also very useful for determining trap speeds on racetracks. You can use it to verify that the new line you took resulted in greater speed at the end of the straighaway.
    Displays actual engine speed, before being corrected at the tachometer.
    Shift Light
    You can have a shift light set in any display mode. The light is pre-set to match whatever the programmed rev limit is for that gear.
    Battery Voltage
    Want to check and monitor your battery condition? Maybe you have additional electrical draws from stereo or in-car entertainment. Use this data to ensure you have the correct voltage to support your system.
    Acceleration Timing - a Turner Motorsport exclusive!
    0-60 acceleration
    0-100 acceleration
    These runs are repeatable - it records your lowest time and resets the timer back to 0:00 when the speed comes back to 0. You can make hard accel runs all day and it will remember your fastest time!
    Braking Timing - a Turner Motorsport exclusive!
    60-0 braking
    100-0 braking Repeatable, same as the acceleration features above.


    Installation is very very simple but does require a delicate touch because you are dealing with plastic trim pieces. Unscrew the lower knee bolster from under the steering column. Loosen and set aside or completely remove the lower kick panel with the hood release. This gives you greater access for running the cables and storing the components. Then pop the vent from the dash and remove the "OBD" cover from the kick panel. Run your cable and the low profile OBD plug through the dash and plug it into the OBD port. For N54 cars you must run a vacuum line to the chargepipe for the gauge to read boost. We like to run the lines through the steering column boot but you can also route it through the e-box if desired. And if you are using any other auxiliary sensors now is the time to install those, run the wiring, and plug them into the P3 gauge harness. Plug all of your components together and reinstall the vent with the digital gauge. On E9X cars, we recommend the optional low profile extension harness (see below), or minor trimming of the original OBD cover for a seamless install. As you can see, the underside of the dash is pretty full of wiring already. Rather than wedge the P3 components into the wiring loom - where they might pinch or cut something critical - we will usually tape or press the pieces into the foam backing of the knee bolster. You can also zip tie them to something structural inside the dash but make sure you can still access them in the future.

    P3 gauges are engineered specific for each chassis so a basic setup is required upon first install to match the gauge electronics with your car and to ensure it is communicating correctly. When you first turn the car on, the gauge will go through a brief setup so that it can accurately interprate the data and set your user preferences. Follow the instructions on this page to complete the setup.

    The P3 gauge includes a fault code (DTC) read and clear functions. If there are any stored fault codes, they will appear every time you turn the car on. These are the standardized 4-digit "P codes" and you can find their meanings through a simple web search, a Bentley Service Manual, phone/tablet apps, forums, BMW dealers, local service garages, state inspection stations, and other places. On E9X models the factory internal BMW codes are also displayed (not just the generic P codes).

    P3 also offers a low-profile plug with a 2-ft extension cable. This is a very handy feature, especially on cars like the E9X 3-series, that have very tight access to the OBD port. The low profile is slimmer than the standard P3 plug so it fits better behind the OBD cover. The more compact design also makes it easier to unplug the P3 gauge when access to the OBD plug is required. The 2-ft extension cable gives you more options for a final location, making it more accessible and easier to switch between the P3 gauge and other OBD tools.


    Configuration & Setup
    Operation guidelines
    Installation Guidelines
       E82 128i/135i P3 Gauge Installation [PDF]
       E9X 328i/335i/M3 P3 Gauge Installation [PDF]
       F10 528i/535i/550i/M5 P3 Gauge Installation [YouTube]
       F30 328i/335i P3 Gauge Installation [YouTube]

    Product Links

    E82 128i/135i/1M P3 Integrated Vent Gauge
    2007 E9X 335i P3 Integrated Vent Gauge
    2008-2013 E9X 328i/335i/M3 P3 Integrated Vent Gauge
    2011+ F10 528i/535i/550i/M5 P3 Integrated Vent Gauge
    2013+ F30 328i/335i P3 Integrated Vent Gauge
    2003-2008 E85 BMW Z4 P3 Integrated Vent Gauge
    2009+ E89 Z4 P3 Integrated Vent Gauge
    2012+ F12 640i/650i/M6 P3 Integrated Vent Gauge
    1999-2006 E46 3 Series Integrated Vent Gauge
    2004-2007 E60 5 Series Integrated Vent Gauge
    2008-2010 E60 5 Series Integrated Vent Gauge
    2012+ F20 1 Series Integrated Vent Gauge

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