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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-09-2006, 03:19 PM
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stream stream is offline
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The Ultimate iPod Info Thread

I wanted to connect an iPod to my car and decided that waiting for the BMW iPod connector might take a while...or never happen, so I got the aux input installed ($64 part + $140 install).

This is what the aux input looks like--it's typically installed in the glove box, next to the flash light:


Here's the aux input install directions:
click here

I decided to have the iPod in the center arm rest (to be out of sight, and also have easy access).

For a power source, I went with the Monster iCarCharger, since it has a direct line out (not through an amplifier like the Belkin adapter, so you have a clean output), which I hardwired to the switched power lines of one of the power outlets in the rear center console (below the A/C vents). You definitely don't want to use the headphone jack, since it is filtered and tailored toward headphone use and the quality & volume level of a headphone simply cannot compete with your car stereo. The headphone jack sound quality and bass levels are greatly reduced. The bottom dock connector (which transfers audio out of the iCarCharger's 3.5mm port) generates pure, unfiltered sound.

Here's a list of parts you'll need--on a difficulty scale of 1 - 5 with 1 being the easiest, I'd say this DIY is a 3--once I had all the parts, it took me half an afternoon to complete:

Monster iCarCharger--$40 from BestBuy:

http://www.monstercable.com/computer/produ...pple%20Products

Monster MP3 MusicConnect shielded cable with mini-stereo connectors (1/8" mini jack on each end)--$20 from BestBuy:


http://www.monstercable.com/productPage.asp?pin=3258

Griffin AirClick remote control for iPod--$40 at Apple Store:
http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...lick/index.php

Wire connectors--$4 at RadioShack:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...tId=2104016&cp
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...tId=2104018&cp

18 gauge wire--you'll need about a foot--I bought 4 feet to have extra ($0.12 per foot)

In-line fuse holder & fuses--$5

With this set up, when you have the audio input on aux input and the iPod playing & you turn off the car, the iPod pauses and shuts itself off after a few minutes. When you start the car, the iPod turns on and is still paused (at the point in the song when you turned off the car), and I use the Griffin AirClick to resume playing, by pressing the play/pause button (actually, pressing any button will work). I keep the AirClick remote in the drivers door storage area, so it's easy to press the play button. You don't have to open the center arm rest to access the iPod, except when you want to select a new playlist.

I first removed the coin holder in the center arm rest--there are 4 torx screws (red circles)--you can see the coin holder on the seat (yellow circle):


Next remove the panel that holds the 2 power outlets at the back of the rear center console--I used a metal spackle knife to wedged it out from the bottom sides--you need to use a bit of force, and it will eventually snap out on both bottom sides. Here's instructions :
click here

The 2 clips on the bottom sides (red circle) fell into the center console so you need to find them with a flash light and replace them for reassembly. The pic also show the 2 clips from the bottom edge of the A/C vent (yellow circle--see next instruction).



Next you remove the A/C vent--instructions:
click here

There are 2 clips (yellow circles) at the bottom corners, which you use needle nose pliers to pull down and out, then you pull the assembly toward you and down to remove. The red circle shows a blue female connector which I connected to the green wire in place of the stock connector, to fit the harness I made:


To hardwire the Monster iCarCharger, I used the metal spackle knife to wedge open the part of the adapter that would slide into the power outlet, to reveal the spring in the center, and one of the metal pieces on the side. I attached a female connector to each and crimped to secure (red circle). The pic also shows the line out connection (yellow circle):


I assembled a harness to tap into the power and ground wires from one of the rear power outlets. The blue male connectors at the far right connect to the female connectors that originally connected to the power outlet (the red circled connection is unnecessary--you can use a straight wire here). The orange female connectors (yellow circles) connect to the power outlet:


Wrap all exposed connections with electrical tape, and reinstall A/C vents and power outlet panel.

Once you have the aux input installed in the glove box, you need to run the mini-stereo cable from the glove box to the rear center console. First remove the trim at the side of the rear center console, using a metal spackle knife and pushing towards the rear of the car--instructions here:
click here



Remove screw (red circle) from side trim panel and pull panel toward you and down. After plugging cable into aux input and fishing through back of opened glove box door, run cable into top of panel and behind it:


Run cable along side of rear center console, and into rear section:


Run mini-stereo cable and coiled wire from Monster iCarCharger into center console compartment below the coin holder--this pic has a white wire for easy identification showing location. You'll need to enlarge the opening, using a Dremel or similar tool, so the iCarCharger plug will fit through:

Install coin holder.

Here's the iPod in the armrest:


You can remove the iPod from the armrest to change playlists, etc.:


I ripped my CDs using Exact Audio Copy w/ LAME eocoder http://users.pandora.be/satcp/tutorials.htm at 256 kbps VBR, then volume normalized using MP3Gain at 94 dB http://mp3gain.sourceforge.net/ , and the sound quality is excellent. Anybody want to buy a CD changer??!!
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Last edited by Ågent99; 10-31-2006 at 01:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2006, 09:37 AM
eSpec30 eSpec30 is offline
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Hey Stream,

I just got my 06 530, and was going to do the aux installation at my local dealership in SoCal, but i was quoted $70+ for the part and $260 for the install (i guess $130 per hour). The service guy said that for this install it tells him to quote the customer $260 for install, and it can range up to 4 hours to update software and install.

Does this sound right to you? I feel like every dealership is going to quote me at least 2 hours for install, since its what they're "supposed" to do.

Thanks
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2006, 10:20 AM
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stream stream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eSpec30
Hey Stream,

I just got my 06 530, and was going to do the aux installation at my local dealership in SoCal, but i was quoted $70+ for the part and $260 for the install (i guess $130 per hour). The service guy said that for this install it tells him to quote the customer $260 for install, and it can range up to 4 hours to update software and install.

Does this sound right to you? I feel like every dealership is going to quote me at least 2 hours for install, since its what they're "supposed" to do.

Thanks
The part lists for $71 (at lease back in June) and I got a 10% BMWCCA discount, so I paid $64. The aux input install instructions (see beginning of my first post above) say 1 hour install time, so I have no idea where your dealer is getting that "it tells him to quote the customer $260." My dealer charged me 1 hour labor ($140). Why don't you show the dealer the install instructions, and ask him to show you where "it" says $260?
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  #4  
Old 03-31-2006, 12:03 PM
dpang dpang is offline
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I am also in the San Francisco Bay Area, can you please let me know which dealer you use here in the SF Bay?

Thanks.
- Danny
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2006, 12:45 PM
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stream stream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpang
I am also in the San Francisco Bay Area, can you please let me know which dealer you use here in the SF Bay?

Thanks.
- Danny
Peter Pan.
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2006, 03:06 PM
dpang dpang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stream
Peter Pan.
I called Peter Pan and they have quoted me over $220.00. Can you please let me know your Service Advisor name?

Thanks.
- Danny
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2006, 03:04 PM
eSpec30 eSpec30 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stream
The part lists for $71 (at lease back in June) and I got a 10% BMWCCA discount, so I paid $64. The aux input install instructions (see beginning of my first post above) say 1 hour install time, so I have no idea where your dealer is getting that "it tells him to quote the customer $260." My dealer charged me 1 hour labor ($140). Why don't you show the dealer the install instructions, and ask him to show you where "it" says $260?
He was saying something that since I have navigation, it could take a while, and he's seen an aux install go to 3~4 hours before. I wonder if they take their time on purpose and charge for 2 hours when they can be diligent about it and do it in one. Sucks because it's not like you can stand there and watch them so that they finish it one hour.

This aux input is going to cost me the price of another ipod itself. I found the install instructions from one of your earlier posts by the way. I'll go in and see what they say with install instructions in hand.

Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 04-01-2006, 03:33 PM
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stream stream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eSpec30
He was saying something that since I have navigation, it could take a while, and he's seen an aux install go to 3~4 hours before.

Thanks.
FWIW, I have nav.
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2006, 04:16 PM
eSpec30 eSpec30 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stream
FWIW, I have nav.
I know, that's why its so frustrating when these dealerships say it takes at least 2 hours, especially since people (like you) have gotten it done in one.
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  #10  
Old 07-07-2006, 02:13 PM
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iPod Connector Update

Got an update from my dealer.

The good news is it will be available the end of July (pricing not available yet).

The bad news (for me, at least) is that the retrofit programming for my car will not be released until September (applies to nav equipped E60 cars produced prior to 9/05).

So close, yet so far.
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  #11  
Old 07-07-2006, 03:23 PM
chitung chitung is offline
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Thanks, Stream. It's just a 1/4 of a good news. The other 3/4 quarter is bad news. Need to wait again until 9/06. Bump!
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2009, 03:13 PM
t12jfk t12jfk is offline
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Yes m8 recently had it done by BMW they removed the cd changer for the ipod interface, got it done when i bought it great job no farting about with cd's etc if u r thinking about it for info the interface wont charge 4th Gen IPOD's go to apple and get an attachment called scosse approx £20 it charges ok then.
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2009, 10:40 AM
billy mo billy mo is offline
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Just picked up the 530 from the dealership after having them install the aux input. I was also going to ask them about a speaker upgrade because the sound left a lot to be desired. However, after running the iPod through the aux input, the sound was so much better than the FM. Makes me realize that the speakers are not as bad as I once thought.

$145 Labor, $70 part
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:08 AM
tcolv tcolv is offline
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Just had the dealer install the ipod kit in my '04-545i. Reading this thread, I know there were limitations but even so, I could not see any reasonable aftermarket alternatives and didn't feel comfortable ripping my brand new car apart- I'm a BMW virgin. Cost me $550.

It is a bit frustration though that I only have access to 500 songs. I have a full 80GB ipod. Is there any way to just use the ipod menu directly and bypass the iDrive interface? The dealer was no help.
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Old 07-07-2006, 07:16 PM
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///M Rakete ///M Rakete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stream
Got an update from my dealer.

The good news is it will be available the end of July (pricing not available yet).

The bad news (for me, at least) is that the retrofit programming for my car will not be released until September (applies to nav equipped E60 cars produced prior to 9/05).

So close, yet so far.
What's the scoop re the CD changer? Is the CD changer lost in exchange for iPod support?
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  #16  
Old 07-07-2006, 07:57 PM
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chuck92103 chuck92103 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5 Rakete
What's the scoop re the CD changer? Is the CD changer lost in exchange for iPod support?
Yes. BMW does not have spare MOST bus interfaces. So they take the CD changer interface and use the iPOD as a sudo cd changer.
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  #17  
Old 07-09-2006, 12:37 PM
igord igord is offline
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Talking Who's your dealer?

Hi stream,

You seem to be getting all kinds of neat (and certainly useful to me/us) updates from your dealer.

At the same time my dealer is totally oblivious.

I was wondering if you wouldn't mind telling who your dealer is?

Thanks!

P.S. also thanks for the update

Quote:
Originally Posted by stream
Got an update from my dealer.

.....
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  #18  
Old 07-09-2006, 01:20 PM
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Kzang Kzang is offline
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Most dealers on this forum should be able to give you information as well I would assume.
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Old 07-09-2006, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igord
Hi stream,

You seem to be getting all kinds of neat (and certainly useful to me/us) updates from your dealer.

At the same time my dealer is totally oblivious.

I was wondering if you wouldn't mind telling who your dealer is?

Thanks!

P.S. also thanks for the update
Peter Pan in San Mateo, CA.
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Old 07-09-2006, 08:58 PM
igord igord is offline
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ah, thanks!
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  #21  
Old 07-11-2006, 04:42 AM
GolferEngineer GolferEngineer is offline
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Exclamation iPod operating temperature concerns

I'm considering upgrading to the iPod interface in the near future - I'll sacrifice the CD changer for the iPod.

However, I have some concerns about leaving the iPod in the glove compartment during the summer and winter months.

Here is the operating data from the Apple/iPod website:
Environmental requirements
Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C)
Non operating temperature: -4° to 113° F (-20° to 45° C)
Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet (3000 m)


Being an engineer, I'm leery of leaving the iPod in the car since operation and storage cannot be guaranteed.

Do users take the iPod with them whenever they leave the care even, for example, at the shopping mall, to prevent damage?

Am I being overly concerned or does anyone have bad experiences with damaged iPods due to temperature extremes?

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Old 07-11-2006, 06:10 AM
Gary1227 Gary1227 is offline
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I was wondering if the IPOD adapter will power the IPOD off when the ignition is turn off. It would a pain to have to open the glove compartment to turn off the IPOD everytime you leave the car for an extended period of time.

For now I have my IPOD Nanno connected to the AUX port and its working and sounding great. Easy to use and with the Nanno right by my side it's easy to manuver through the menu to select music lists and songs. Although it will be nice to see the songs displayed on the I-DRIVE screen, I'm waiting for further IPOD interface details to see if it will be worth having installed.
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  #23  
Old 07-11-2006, 07:05 AM
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GBPackerfan1963 GBPackerfan1963 is offline
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I have the Dension Ice>Link installed with my 20G iPod. It stays in my glovebox year round and I have never had a problem with it. It has been in 108 degree heat and been in 36 degree cold and has shown no ill effects.
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  #24  
Old 07-11-2006, 08:05 AM
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stream stream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary1227
I was wondering if the IPOD adapter will power the IPOD off when the ignition is turn off. It would a pain to have to open the glove compartment to turn off the IPOD everytime you leave the car for an extended period of time.
When connected to a power source through the dock connector, the iPod turns itself off a few seconds after the power is turned off. Even with my hardwire iPod install (see sticky above) it turns itself off after I turn the car off.
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Old 07-11-2006, 08:01 AM
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stream stream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GolferEngineer
I'm considering upgrading to the iPod interface in the near future - I'll sacrifice the CD changer for the iPod.

However, I have some concerns about leaving the iPod in the glove compartment during the summer and winter months.

Here is the operating data from the Apple/iPod website:
Environmental requirements
Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C)
Non operating temperature: -4° to 113° F (-20° to 45° C)
Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet (3000 m)


Being an engineer, I'm leery of leaving the iPod in the car since operation and storage cannot be guaranteed.

Do users take the iPod with them whenever they leave the care even, for example, at the shopping mall, to prevent damage?

Am I being overly concerned or does anyone have bad experiences with damaged iPods due to temperature extremes?


I keep my iPod in the center arm rest console w/ no problems.
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