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Old 01-09-2006, 11:05 AM
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BMW Bluetooth Retrofit into a BMW X3

Contributed by: glenberk

08/18/2004

The following applies only to BMW X3 vehicles (at least in U.S.A.) that do not have BMW Assist (no Premimum Package):



1. This weekend, I installed the Bluetooth Kit for the X3. This kit
includes: (a) the ULF Module that goes in the left rear inside panel;
(b) the microphone that goes overhead above the front seats; (c) the
Bluetooth Antenna that goes in the left side C pillar (the just behind
the rear seats); and (d) the pairing button/housing that goes inside
and replaces the small thin compartment in the center console/armrest.



2. Total install time: 6 hours. This install time was increased from
what others might find because: (a) I was working without the benefit
of any instructions, as my dealer couldn't find any in their bmw
computer system for the X3 install kit; (b) I was doing this without
the benefit of learning from others in the web who had previously done
this; and (c) I took lots of photos to be able to put together a
summary for the benefit of others.



3. I am glad to report that everything went aok. Although certain
things were quite a challenge! For example, the microphone at one end
was slightly larger than a piece it had to slide into and I had to pull
out a file and whittle it down. Another example would be the microphone
cable was glued down to the inside of the roof liner, and it took quite
a bit of time and "mello force" to pry it loose. They use very strong
glue. One nice surprise; The X3 kit includes the Bluetooth Antenna that
goes inside the trim of the C pillar. However, once I got there the
vehicle (February 5th production date) came from the factory with the
Bluetooth antenna already installed. Wow! Wonder why they did that.
Could they have known that many of us purposely avoided the Premium
Package so we could be free from BMW Assist in order to be able to
install the Bluetooth Phone kit?!



4. Two things I couldn't do. One: there are more than one antenna
cables in the left rear. I think I narrowed it down to two. But will
have the dealer's service people show me which one to click on (that
step will take less than 10 seconds). Second: I could tell the
telephone system was installed ok, but it apparently will not work
until the dealer "recodes" my vehicle computer. For example, I tried to
"pair" the bluetooth phone but the vehicle seemed to not be able to
make contact. The dealer had warned me they would need to do this. I
guess I believe them now. I'm going to have this done early this week.



5. Fantastic news for those with the DVD Navigation. The Bluetooth kit
contains a voice recognition module that works for the phone system AND
the navigation system. I was able to use the voice recognition system
for the navigation system right away. It is amazing. You press the
button on the lower left side of the steering wheel. You then hear a
beep through the audio speakers (it will automatically cut out any
music that happened to be on). You then speak "scale 2 piont 5 miles"
and the nav screen immediately (and I mean instantenously) changes to
that scale. You can speak "gas station at current location" and
immediately the display says "wait a minute" as it searches the dvd
database, and then within a few seconds the list of nearby gas stations
comes up on the screen. The total list of such commands is available on
several places on the net. And no, you can't verbally input a
destination!



6. I'll report back later this week on how the phone system works after
I visit the dealer (and pay them for the privilege) to have my computer
coded.



7. One final note: I highly recommend that anyone thinking about
purchasing an X3 get the dvd navigation system. And if others don't
already know, BMW now has an official policy that says "it is ok to
remove the BMW Assist Module" so that the Bluetooth Module can be
installed immediately. This new policy can be read via the
www.x5world.net website. I know BMW says
they will eliminate the conflict between those two sometime this fall,
but my bet is any retrofit kit won't be available until late next
winter or spring 2005. After all, the Bluetooth Kit for the X3's (again
those withouth BMW Assist) was supposed to be available in Spring 2004.
But they were only released by BMW for sale in the U.S.A. within the
past two weeks (sometime in August 2004). My dealer had no idea the kit
was even available until I ordered it 10 days ago (after BMW NJ
confirmed for me that it was finally released and available). So, in
closing, anyone with BMW Assist who wants to get rid of it "now can
have it removed by the dealer". That would then allow you to have the
Bluetooth Kit installed immediately.


References:
http://bimmer.roadfly.org/bmw/forums/e83/5539162-1.html

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