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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, Everyone,

I hope I am not beating a dead horse, this is my first time here, and I searched but came up empty.

I recently acquired a 2004 530i that has iDrive with no navigation, Bluetooth, satellite... None of the amenities that we have grown accustomed to in more recent times.

Based on the iDrive's tight integration with the rest of the car's functionality, I am at a loss as to what to do to upgrade. The CD player barely works, and discs tend to stick in it, and the lack of features makes it very dated. Even the phone option that is not enabled is out of date when Bluetooth is the way to do this today (and I have no idea if it actually even works - it tells me to talk to BMW to enable it)

Does anyone have any tips on what to do to gain more functionality?

I am very curious as to what options there may be to get at a minimum Bluetooth and navigation, and I would like to preserve as much of the original look and feel as possible. I've looked at some aftermarket stuff that would essentially install where the CD drive is now, but I don't think that would fly, and the fit and finish would be sub-optimal - essentially a pop-out screen that would cover the climate control, and I am guessing it would likely disable the entire factory system...

Thanks in advance!
 

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Hi, Everyone,

I hope I am not beating a dead horse, this is my first time here, and I searched but came up empty.

I recently acquired a 2004 530i that has iDrive with no navigation, Bluetooth, satellite... None of the amenities that we have grown accustomed to in more recent times.

Based on the iDrive's tight integration with the rest of the car's functionality, I am at a loss as to what to do to upgrade. The CD player barely works, and discs tend to stick in it, and the lack of features makes it very dated. Even the phone option that is not enabled is out of date when Bluetooth is the way to do this today (and I have no idea if it actually even works - it tells me to talk to BMW to enable it)

Does anyone have any tips on what to do to gain more functionality?

I am very curious as to what options there may be to get at a minimum Bluetooth and navigation, and I would like to preserve as much of the original look and feel as possible. I've looked at some aftermarket stuff that would essentially install where the CD drive is now, but I don't think that would fly, and the fit and finish would be sub-optimal - essentially a pop-out screen that would cover the climate control, and I am guessing it would likely disable the entire factory system...

Thanks in advance!
Basically your options are going to a CCC system which BMW used up until 2010, or CIC which they used after that. CIC is leagues beyond the CCC systems and is not much more expensive if you do it yourself. Either case, it's best to shop around and you have to stalk ebay for a while if you want a good deal... mine came out of of the UK but it was the best price around. CIC also has another add on called a "combox" which gets you even more features.. it adds streaming music over bluetooth, internet access from the idrive screen, album art on the screen, emails/text messages showing, etc. It's super cool

Thread previously posted pretty well shows what you are in for

You can get bluetooth with the system you basically have now (Need a newer "TCU", can find on ebay) but nav is going to require a whole new system. System = new screen & the brains (part that actually sucks the CD's in..)

Anyways. My other thread should give you an idea of how much it'd cost. If you're still interested we can give plenty of help
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow.

I read through the forum, schpenxel, and I must say, you are a far braver guy than I am. While I am not averse to DIY, that's is fairly involved, and I don't know if I am ready to undertake such a project. I also don't think 3k is something I want to spend, either...

Can you explain the possibility of just updating/upgrading the TCU? I think for now just having Bluetooth would be good. I'm pretty new to BMWs, as in this is my first. I need lots of help and guidance as far as selecting the right parts and doing what may be needed to get them to work properly.

Thanks for that post, by the way. I am now much more educated than I was when I started yesterday, and the exceptional amount of detail in that thread was most helpful!
 

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I read through the forum, schpenxel, and I must say, you are a far braver guy than I am. While I am not averse to DIY, that's is fairly involved, and I don't know if I am ready to undertake such a project. I also don't think 3k is something I want to spend, either...

Can you explain the possibility of just updating/upgrading the TCU? I think for now just having Bluetooth would be good. I'm pretty new to BMWs, as in this is my first. I need lots of help and guidance as far as selecting the right parts and doing what may be needed to get them to work properly.

Thanks for that post, by the way. I am now much more educated than I was when I started yesterday, and the exceptional amount of detail in that thread was most helpful!
It's not as bad as it looked, but nonetheless, probably not a great first project unless you really want to dive right in ;)

Do you know when (month/year) your car was manufacturer? The TCU module is a computer in the trunk of your car. It is basically what controls all of the bluetooth functions as well as bmw assist services, etc.

If you can post the last 7 digits of your VIN it would make it easier to look up what options your car came with. Some cars in 2004 came actually equipped with bluetooth but BMW disabled it (I assume there were some bugs or something??). In those cases it's just some software changes you have to make to get bluetooth going

Next, in terms of easiness, assumes your car is wired for bluetooth, but the TCU computer does not support it. In that case, you install a newer TCU (easy enough to find on ebay) and then do some software updates so the car knows how to use. This was my case..

And finally, in terms of not so easy, there is the possibility that your car is not wired for bluetooth at all. In that case you have to run wiring for a microphone and I would assume some other things prior to being able to install a TCU. I've never done this, but BMW does have a guide to doing it so that is good

Here is a thread I did on removing the TCU just so you can see what/where it is and looks like
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=656105&highlight=
 
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