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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:02 PM
relinuca relinuca is offline
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: '08 X3
Missing TCU?

Our son just bought an '08 X3 in very nice condition. It was advertised as being "BlueTooth compatible". But when trying to activate registration with his iPhone 5, he discovered that the car has no TCU!

Did X3's come standard with a TCU? Or would have a TCU been installed only if the car was ordered with a special options package? How does "BMW Assist" fit into this issue?

Was the so-called BlueTooth compatibility claim just a play on words?

(Sorry for all these questions...we're still learning about such things.)

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Old 10-15-2012, 01:19 PM
legalfee's Avatar
legalfee legalfee is offline
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Location: Irmo, SC
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 478
Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i 5AT
You can purchase a TCU from Ebay. The TCU is Bluetooth and BMW assist (you have to pay a charge for this). The ULF is Bluetooth only and you need a pairing button to make it work. The car should be prewired and have a mic but I would check.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:40 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,891
Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
If it has the Premium Pkg., it would have had a TCU in the rear cargo area driver side, behind a panel.

2008 X3 3.0si Premium Pkg.

Leather upholstery, front-seat lumbar adjustment, BMW Assist system w/one year service, wireless cell phone link, automatic day/night rearview and outside mirrors, compass, universal garage door opener, additional interior lights.

Previous owner may have removed it because it was faulty (sometime known to go into a loop and drain the battery).

Or the selling dealer yanked it out to sell on ebay?

In earlier model years, TCU and ULF were different boxes, but became integrated into one box.

Bluetooth compatible sounds a bit weaker than Bluetooth enabled to me.

You may or may not have a case based on semantics for the seller to pay the cost of a TCU.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:06 AM
relinuca relinuca is offline
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: '08 X3
An Update

My son has solved his BlueTooth problem, more or less.

He recently acquired an iPhone 5 (he loves the latest cell "gadgets"). He can now connect his iPhone (a) to the car's mike/speaker system via a connector located in the rear of the console, and (b) to the car's cigarette lighter socket. Doing so allows him to make/receive calls via the car's mike/speaker system.

And since the iPhone 5 has "voice control", he can access his cell's directory via voice commands.

Other than the unsightly cable connections, he's "good to go" and has avoided the very costly task of having a TCU or whatever installed to enable OEM BlueTooth.

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