2015 Navigation Map Update DIY for CIC models (2009+) Here
Just figured I'd pass on some info I obtained while attempting to update my '09 E93 iDrive navigation software recently. As you all probably know, from 2009 on the iDrive is now the CIC-based system (hard drive) and as such all of the official channels tell you that you have to bring the car to the dealer to have a map update performed. In 2010, I had to do this to update my maps from 2009 to 2010, at an out-the-door cost of $253 from my local dealer, and the car was there for two days. At the time, this was the only way to do it. Now, however, there are places out there to purchase what you need to do this upgrade yourself with a significant savings in both cost and convenience. Thanks to Technic and other members on the forum who provided some info and guidance.
In order to update your maps, you need two things: (1) a 3-disc DVD set containing the 2011 map data (BMW part #01990037287), and (2) a BMW Navigation Map Certificate, also commonly referred to as an FSC code (BMW part #65902181742). A couple notes about these part numbers--first, the 3-disc DVD set uses the same part number for both 2010 and 2011 maps so ask to make sure you are getting the 2011 map set if you are upgrading. I had the parts manager physically go locate the discs in inventory and visually verify that the discs were labelled 2011 before placing my order. I don't know if BMW will recycle this part number again for future years or not. Second, Tischer BMW originally believed they could order the FSC code but upon attempting to order same, they discovered the part numbers had been pulled from their system and they could not, in fact, order the FSC code. They claim BMW has since pulled this part number from all USA dealers as a part they can order for a customer (I cannot verify if this is true or not).
Okay, on with the update. DISCLAIMER: As with any car modification, proceed at your own risk. I had absolutely no issues with the procedure, even with a small hiccup (see below). Also, I have no affiliation with the vendors I mention in this DIY--they were simply the cheapest and most reputable at the time I needed to make my purchase--both were *awesome* to deal with and have great customer service. This doesn't mean it will be that way for everyone in the future. Again, proceed at your own risk.
1. Get the 2011 3-disc DVD Map Set. I ordered my discs from Tischer BMW online. I conversed with Jason, the Internet Parts manager, several times regarding the recycled map part number and also the availability/non-availability of FSC codes from them. As of 05/01/11, the 3-disc DVD map set cost $7.12 from their web site. You can't find the part by searching but if you put in the actual part number you will see it. Of course, since it was the only thing I ordered from Tischer, I got whacked with a $4.95 "handling fee" and $14.95 for standard UPS ground shipping--both which I consider exorbitant--for a grand total of $27.02 to my door. If you get them through Tischer, I recommend doing so when you place an order for something else and your shipping cost should be divided out over multiple items making it more reasonable.
2. Get the BMW Navigation Map Certificate (FSC code). Since Tischer could not obtain this for me, I shopped elsewhere. When I did the upgrade in March 2010, the cost at my local dealer for the FSC code was $229. When I called my dealer this year I was told that the list price for the code is now $343, but he would give me the BMW CCA discount which would bring it to $310. They wouldn't sell it to me directly though--only if I had the dealer do the upgrade, and they would also charge $60 in labor for the install, so after tax it would be just over $380 out the door. Calling around to other dealers I had several others quote the $343 price and no one would sell it directly to me. Enter BMWRetrofit.com. I saw them posting in another forum that they could obtain USA FSC codes directly for customers. They are located in Canada, and as of 05/01/11, they charged $200 CAD, which as of my purchase worked out to $208.74 US. My CC company charged me $6.26 for a foreign exchange fee, for a total of $215 for the code. Within 48 hours, I received an email from BMWRetrofit with an attached one-page .PDF of my BMW Navigation Map Certificate containing my unique 20-digit FSC code. For those that don't know, FSC codes are generated using your car's unique VIN so it can only be used on your car (BMW's way to avoid piracy). You do have to email BMWRetrofit your VIN after your payment so they can get the code. I will say BMWRetrofit was awesome to deal with.
3. Prep the car. The update process takes just over two hours to complete start to finish, and needs to be done with the car either running or the ignition in the on position. If the car is not running, this will drain the battery so you need to have the car tethered to a DC power source. I don't know if a battery tender would suffice (very low amperage), but a standard battery charger certainly will. I connected up the alligator clips to the terminals under the hood, set the charger for 10amps, and plugged it in. I had no power problems and no battery drain. Once the power source is set, you need to have the ignition on. Press the start button twice but DON'T put your foot on the brake. This will turn on the ignition. If you press the start button only once, you put the car in "radio ready" mode which turns on the radio/iDrive. The problem with this mode is the car will go to sleep after 20 minutes and shut off your update. So definitely keep it with the ignition on.
4. Insert the first disc. It will automatically load the update program and tell you it's about to start the update and you select OK. It will then prompt you to enter in your activation (FSC) code using the iDrive wheel. Once you enter the code and select OK it will start the process. You can watch the status bar slowly crawl along as it proceeds.
5. Insert the second disc. When the first disc is done, it will prompt you for disc 2. It will not automatically eject it from the drive so you need to press eject to remove the disc, then insert disc 2. You can watch the status bar slowly crawl along as it proceeds.
6. Insert the third disc. When the second disc is done, it will prompt you for disc 3. It will not automatically eject it from the drive so you need to press eject to remove the disc, then insert disc 3. You can watch the status bar slowly crawl along as it proceeds.
7. Reboot the iDrive system. When the third disc is complete, it will tell you it is done and will then say it needs to reboot the iDrive system. Select Reboot/OK and the system will automatically reboot and your update is complete. Eject the third disc. Store the disc set with your BMW Navigation Map Certificate in case you ever have to reinstall it.
Once you are done, if you go into the Options menu in the navigation system, under Navigation Version, you will see:
Road Map North America Premium 2011
A couple final notes about the update:
1. I've heard rumors that you need to have a (relatively) recent ISTA/P firmware version in the car to do the update. I don't know if this is true or not, but I do know my car has 126.96.36.199.1 from March 2010 and I had no issues. There is no way for the layperson to check their firmware version without a specialty reader or a trip to the dealer. However, based on my experience I don't think it's an issue. As long as you have the CIC hard drive iDrive, this should work for you.
2. This update is for the map data and the POI (Points Of Interest) data only. There is no software/firmware upgrade, no new features added, and no bugs fixed/introduced. You would need an ISTA/P software update at the dealer for that, if needed. Rule of thumb: if you aren't having problems you don't need one.
3. This update can be down while you are using the car/driving, and can be interrupted and will (or should) pick up where it left off. I actually had to go somewhere while the update was still going on and I was driving down the road still using iDrive/radio/menus, etc. It even prompted me for the iDrive reboot and rebooted at the end of the update while the car was in motion without any issues. When I first started this update, I started with the car in "Radio Ready" mode and after 20 minutes it shut completely off and went to sleep. I turned the ignition back on and the update continued from where it left off.
4. At any time you can go to Navigation, hit the Option button and the last choice is a new temporary selection "View Navigation Update Status" and it will show you the current status.
So in summary, the CIC hard drive navigation map updates can definitely be done by you at home, and for a lot cheaper than at the dealer. My dealer was going to charge me $380 and I would have had to leave the car for the whole day. Total cost for the discs and the FSC code shipped to my door was $242.