BMW DME Information


A digital motor electronics (DME) is a computer system or microprocessor that is integrated with an automobile's engine. The DME monitors and controls the functionality of key engine components and makes adjustments as needed, similar to the way race cars operate. All current BMW automobiles have a DME system.


  • The world's first digital motor electronics system was developed by BMW and released in 1979. The car that contained the DME was a BMW 732i.


  • The DME controls all of the car's critical engine operations in order to achieve peak performance while optimizing features such as reliability, fuel consumption and eliminating emissions.


  • The DME is basically a collection of sensors placed in key locations within the engine. The sensors constantly collect data about the car's performance and relay that data to a microprocessor. The microprocessor combines the data from different areas of the car and determines any adjustments necessary to enhance performance. The DME then transmits instructions to the engine components that need adjustment.

Signal Amount

  • Over 1,000 individual data items flow into the DME system every second. These items include throttle position, engine speed, air temperature and density, air intake volume and the speed of the car.


  • The DME microprocessor assesses all data received by comparing performance standards among the engine components and looking for a fluctuation in standard performance. When the DME detects a defect, it automatically adjusts other engine components to compensate for the defective one. For example, if data received from the spark plug indicates irregularities in spark plug firing, the DME stops the flow of fuel to the cylinder that functions with that spark plug. The ability to cease operation of a defective part can diminish or eliminate engine damage.


  • The DME also assists the performance of the car's electrical system by monitoring the performance of the battery. The DME measures and adjusts the charge level of the battery to obtain maximum performance and to extend battery life.

Expert Insight

  • DME's create records of any system failure that the dealership can access during routine maintenance. These records allow you to maintain your car in top performance condition by alerting you to possible defects even when there are no other signs of a problem. DMEs can be used to analyze the effect of engine modifications by reading the diagnostic reports before and after any modifications are performed.

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