How to Retrofit a BMW Bluetooth

Written by ehow cars editor
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Are you tired of struggling to take or make calls when driving your car? Are you tired of those uncomfortable ear pieces? Never fear, you can retrofit your BMW so that it's compatible with Bluetooth technology. It's time consuming, but worth it. Read this eHow to learn more. The directions of this eHow apply to any BMW made after 2001.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bluetooth kit
  • Rotary cutting tool
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Scotch tape
  • Electrical tape

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  1. 1

    Remove the ashtray from where it is located in the armrest assembly. Remove the two plastic screws (you'll need a Philip's head screwdriver). Take off the ashtray piece on the bottom. Press the light's tabs inward, then pull the light out from inside the ashtray. Remove the two remaining Philip's head screws.

  2. 2

    Take out the storage trays and cup holders located in the center console by pressing in on the sides. This releases clips, thus freeing them.

  3. 3

    Pull what remains of the center console assembly by removing two screws from under the shift cover. Slide the console toward the back of the car, then angle it away from the parking brake.

  4. 4

    Disconnect the hazard and the buttons for the door locks before removing the console completely.

  5. 5

    Engage the emergency brake and disconnect the boot of the parking brake, then pass it up through the opening in the console.

  6. 6

    Find the FAKRA connector. It is beneath the ashtray assembly and is a black clip with clusters of wires running into it. Pull the wire that's loose out from beneath the interior carpet. The wire will be wrapped with cloth on one end.

  7. 7

    Pull the FAKRA connector out the back of the console assembly and into the portion of the console where the ashtray is located.

  8. 8

    Put the Bluetooth antenna securely into the mounting bracket and secure it, then connect it to the FAKRA connector. The holes in the antenna's bracket must match those of the console assembly. You can tape the pieces together to keep them aligned. Fold the pairing button template.

  9. 9

    Use tape to fasten the template to the top of the center console. Mark where you need to make a hole for the button. Cut the opening for the button using a rotary cutting tool.

  10. 10

    Reinstall the center console without the cup holders and coin tray. Make certain the holes of the Bluetooth antenna are still aligned. Secure the antenna in place with two screws.

  11. 11

    Find the black 18 pin connector assembly. It is wrapped in a cloth and is located near the parking brake.

  12. 12

    Remove the cloth, and connect the interface harness. The correct harness has 18 pins. Lock the harness together by rotating the clip on the 18 pin harness 90 degrees, then rotating it back after plugging in the Bluetooth pairing harness.

  13. 13

    Pass the interface harness's white 3 pin connector through the hole for the Bluetooth's pairing button, and connect them. Put the pairing button through the hole, and install the cup holders and coin tray.

  14. 14

    Place the Bluetooth Passkey sticker on the Bluetooth Passkey card (you'll find the sticker on the Bluetooth control module). The code matches your phone with the vehicle, so others can't use your vehicle to make calls.

  15. 15

    Take off the rear right trim panel of the trunk. Pry the two black plugs out with a screw driver. Try not to damage them.

  16. 16

    Find the 54 pin connector and white FAKRA connector (it will be wrapped in a cloth that's secured with Velcro).

  17. 17

    Align the 54 pin connector along the right side to the rear seat. Push the tabs located on top of the connector, and slide the inner plug assembly out.

  18. 18

    Remove two wires from the harness with needle-nosed pliers. They are number 7 (yellow with a green stripe) and 8 (white with a green stripe). As you're pulling out the wires, you'll have to press a small tab. Wind the wires you removed and tape them one at a time. Tape both wires to the connector wire, put the connector back together.

  19. 19

    Attach the ULF Control Module to the mounting bracket with three M5 hex nuts (included). Use four M5 hex bolts and pre-threaded clips to install the ULF Control Module. Next, connect the 54-Pin connector to the right side of the unit. It's near the vehicle seats. The white FAKRA plug goes on the ULF control module's left side. Put back the right trim panel.

  20. 20

    Pull down the access panel that is located on the headliner. It should come free by using a clean flathead screwdriver. Rotate it toward the windshield. Find the black 3 pin connector. Put in the microphone, the marked arrow pointing away from you. Put the access panel back in place. Hold the pair button. Turn the key until it's in the "On" position while holding the button. Continue to hold the button for three more seconds. Release the button. The MID screen will show "BT PAIRING". Let your phone detect the Bluetooth device (you'll find that option on you're phone's menu). Enter the passkey code, and "success" should show on the screen. Turn off the car, then turn it on again without pressing the button. The Bluetooth connected icon should appear on your phone. You are ready to use your phone.

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