Monday, October 31, 2016

What are the top 5 options that are most useful that you can code with your BMW F45 and F46 (AT and GT)?

Often, people will ask me what are the common options that are requested. Well, it's really up to your own preferences but I will simply name these few options as a must-haves.

Here are the top 4 settings:

     1)    Auto Start Stop disabled by default instead of enabled upon engine start.

     2)    “Zero” second auto fold mirror upon car lock instead of default 3 seconds. 

     3)    Blinking turning light: set number of blinks to 5 to 7 instead of default 3 blinks during turning. May only works with car that has "dreimal" listed as an option in the "BLINKZYKLEN_ANZAHL_TIPP" parameter. Newer car with updated software will have to look for "PIA_DEFAULT_TIPPBLINKEN" and change it to "Tippblinken_fuelfmal".

4)    Radio and Navigation switched off automatically when driver side door is opened. 

5)    DAYLIGHT Running Light ON/OFF option enable in your head unit Connected Drive menu.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions on BMW retrofits

1) Can I upgrade my screen to 8.8 inch without changing the BMW head unit or iDrive?

Yes, you can upgrade your screen to 8,8 inch with a much higher resolution of 1280 x 480. However, if you do not have navigation in your head unit, it may not be that useful. Original 6.5 inch has a resolution of 800 x 600.

2) What are the differences between Navigation, Navigation Plus and Navigation Professional package sold by BMW for F45/F46?

Business Navigation System package: 6.5 inch screen , Navigation Head Unit (EntryNav), standard iDrive controller and 32GB flash memory (VO code: 6UN)

Business Navigation Plus System package: 8.8 inch screen, Navigation Head Unit (EntryNav) , touch iDrive controller and 32GB flash memory (VO code: 6UP)

Navigation Professional: 8.8 inch screen, Navigation Head Unit with DVD player and 200 GB Hard disk (VO code: 609)

3) Can I upgrade my basic media unit (without Navigation) to EntryNav (Navigation Head unit) on my car?

Yes, you can do it. This will involves updating your MAP(which is based on ROUTE maps) with new FSC code to activate the map and installing the GPS antenna. I am doing some further research on it and will update my result in future postings.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

DIY Guide: How to retrofit Dynamic Cruise Control with braking on your BMW F45/F46 (No need to remove airbag or disconnect your car battery!!!)

Look no further! This is your ultimate DIY guide in enabling your Dynamic Cruise Control with braking on your BMW!

What do you need?

1) BMW Cruise Control switch ( Part number : 61319263551) for your BMW F45/F46

2) A Torx screw driver

3) A Philip screw driver

4) A pair of scissor

5) 2 x cable tie (small)

6) Some masking or scotch tape to protect your airbag area on the steering wheel

That's it!


1) You will need to disassemble your new cruise control switch so that you can plug it in with the existing cable on your steering wheel. Cut the cable tie on the wires so that you can pull out the wires safely from the white molex connector and you can put back the cover with its screws back after this operation.

 2) You have to perform the same steps for both side of the switches as both switches has to be replaced together to make it work.

3)  Paste the masking tape on the marked area around your air bag to prevent from accidental scratches as shown below:

Here are the steps!

Step 1: Rotate the steering wheel to your left:

Step 2: There is a hole just on the steering wheel just behind the speed limiter switch. Use your Torx screw driver to reach out to the hole behind to unscrew the torx screw. You may need to adjust your steering wheel to full extension mode to use your Torx screw driver more effectively. 

Once the screw is out, you will be able to pull out the switch slowly by hand. Note: Be prepared! The horn may accidentally be triggered no matter how careful you are!

Step 3: Cut the cable tie that is tied to the multi coloured wires. Unscrew the three screws behind the switch using your Phillips screw driver.

Step 4: Slowly pull out the cover.

 Remember that the PCB board is electrostatic sensitive. Try not to touch it with your bare hands! 

Step 5: Unplug the PCB from the molex connector.

Step 6: Connect it with your new Cruise Control switch.

Step 7: Put back the cover and the 3 x Phillips screws. Use a new cable tie to tie the wires back as well.

Step 8: Push the switch back slowly to the steering wheel. You may want to put some tape protection besides the edge of the air bag/horn before performing this operation to avoid scratches. Otherwise, you can always use a fine sandpaper to sand off those scratches. Note: Be prepared! The horn may accidentally be triggered no matter how careful you are!

Step 9: Looks completed? Well not quite so. You still need to replace the right hand side switch as well! The "Res" button on the Cruise Control switch will become the speed limiter function if you did not change the right hand side switch. Test it if you want!

Step 10: Rotate your steering wheel to the right as shown below:

Step 11: Perform the exact same steps as mentioned previously above. Note that there are two connectors connected to this switch. It is harder to pull out as it is held tightly by the black connector.

Step 12: Cut the cable tie and free up the wires.

 Step 13: Unscrew the 3 x Phillips screws and remove the back cover. Plug the molex connector back to the switch.

Step 14: Put back the cover as show below and screw back the 3 x Phillips screws.

Step 15: Note how short this black connector can be as highlighted in yellow circle below.  How can you ever attached this connector back to the switch in such confined space? Does that means you have to take out the air bag??? 

Warning: This is the most difficult part of the operation! This operation is more suitable for people with smaller fingers. Maybe you will need to ask your wife or girl friends to assist in this operation!

The fortunate answer is no! You don't have to take out the air bag. Simply pull the black connector together with the wire using only a tiny bit of your strength to extend it by few millimeters. Don't pull it too hard until it gets disconnected from the steering wheel! 

With the extended length, you will be able to plug it back to the switch securely and can push it back to the steering wheel. It takes some skill to do that but it's definitely possible.

Step 16: There you have it! A Cruise Control switch enabled car? 

Step 17: Not yet, you still have some coding to do! Perform VO coding by adding option 544 and then perform "Code" to all modules within your ECU. Remember to switch off your engine before doing that as it involves coding the DME module which requires engine to be stopped.

The whole process will takes about 5 to 10 mins. Lots of errors will start popping up! Once the coding has completed (With some errors reported on the modules in your E-Sys), wait for about 5 mins before starting your engine. Press the cruise control switch button and presto! The cruise control indicator is lighted up in your Kombi screen as shown below! 

Coding success! Cruise Control ready!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

DIY Guide: Touch IDrive knob retrofit for your F45/F46

For those who are keen to retrofit your existing idrive knob to a touch version, look no further!

Here are the parts that you need:

  1. ECE touch module (BMW part number: 65829347470) Note: This is for English touch module. If you are using other language like Chinese or Japanese, you will need to use a different touch module.

     2. Touch controller (BMW part number: 65829350723)

     3. Y splitter cable adapter as shown in the photo above

4. Torx screw driver

5. Plastic prying tool

Here are the steps:

1) Shift your gear to "Reverse" or "Neutral" and switch off your car's engine. Engage your electric hand brake.

2) Ensure the electric hand brake is engaged to prevent rolling.

3) On your central console, use your fingers and feel the edge of the gear shifter as shown below and while pressing at the edge, pull it upwards. It will be detached and can be pulled up as shown in the second photo below.

4) Pull out the chrome linings around the gear as shown below.

 5) Now you are ready to pull out the central console.

 6) There are about some clips underneath the central console that can be pulled out by hand. Pull the central console out slowly by focusing at the corners where the clips are.

7) After you had pulled out the central console partially, you have to remove the clips on the top area by first removing the top cover as shown below:

8) Once the top cover has been removed, you will see one clip on both corners. Loosen them by using your fingers to press on the clips and lift the piece up together at the same time. You can use a cloth to cover the clips before attempting to unlock them.

9) Do remember that there are wires attaching to the central console. Slowly lift the central console up and reverse it to unscrew your iDrive knob from the screws and replace it with your new touch iDrive knob together with the ECE touch driver module. You can use a double sided tape to attach the ECE touch module inside the console compartment.

Observe the green colored connector below. It is plugged back to the original blue connector. Remember to make sure that the connectors fit properly. One common error is the connector are plugged in reverse position. You have to make sure that they are plugged in to the connector properly and snugly.

Touch iDrive Retrofit success!

Here is what you need to code:


Note: If the touchpad still does not work after the coding, you can try swapping the connectors to the touch iDrive and the US-ECE (or other language) module box.

Monday, October 3, 2016

DIY Guide: How to upgrade your 6.5 inch screen to 8.8 inch screen for your F45/F46 (BMW 2er Active/Gran Tourer)

Like this 8.8 inch with 1280 x 480 resolution instead of your OEM 6.5 inch with 600 x 800 resolution? 

Wish to upgrade it by yourself? Now you can!

Here are the tools that you need!

1) Panel Clip Pry Open Tool

2) A Torx screwdriver (T20 size)

3) 8.8 inch screen for F45/F46 (Part number: 9370871 or 9387450)

Note: X1 F48 also uses similar screen but the part number is 9387451. It requires CID trim (part number 9353267 for Right hand drive car) to be installed together.

Can't wait to begin?

Step 1 : Use the pry open tool to pry the plastic cover underneath the CD drive. Remember not to pull out the plastic cover and you can simply leave it hanging. Note that there is a wire attached for ambient lighting.

Step 2 : Underneath the CD cover, you can find two torx screws attached to it. Unscrew them as shown below.

Step 3: Once the screws are removed, take out the cover together with the buttons and leave it hanging as shown below.

Step 4: WARNING!!! This is the hardest part! You have to remove the entire aircon dashboard using the pry open tool. Note that this will take some effort as the aircon dashboard is held tightly by the clips. 

There are two separate wires connected to the air con dash board. One for the ambient lighting on the left area and the other for hazard light/lane departure buttons. Remember that there are 3 x aircon vent modules( one on the left, 2 at the center) which may dislodge by themselves and you have to fit it back slowly.

Important strategy to pry the aircon dash board off from the car.

Check out the arrows and follow the numbered sequence:

Observe the arrows highlighted in orange. These are the areas that are safe to pry. If your car comes with lighting package, do not pry open on the area marked with a red cross as it will potentially breaks your fibre optic lighting hidden underlying the dash. 

You will need to use some strength to pry open all corners of the dashboard slowly. Use cloth to protect your dash board and glossy surfaces from scratches.

Do not pull those air con vent flaps by hand as it will detached itself easily and you will find yourself spending most of your time trying to assemble the flaps back instead of installing the screen!

In the event that those aircon vent module drop out from the air con dash, you have to snap the module back to the dash first before pushing the entire air con dash back to the car. 

Note the highlighted areas where the aircon module needs to be clipped back onto the aircon dash before putting the entire dash board over to the car.

Warning: Remember that there are no more screws held within the air con dash board and you have to pry it open with full confidence! I will not be held responsible for any damages made to your dashboard during this process and there may be risk in damaging the clips or even the entire dashboard during the process. It is recommended to have two person to perform this job if you are doing it the first time.

Here are the closeup photos of the aircon dash board. Notice the underneath highlighted area of the clips which you will need to pry it open.

Left area:

Right area:

Step 5: After some effort, the aircon dash board is finally released from their locks and you can leave it as hanging as shown below. Remember that there are two wires connected to it and do not pull out the whole dash board. Unscrew the two screws that held the 6.5 inch screen as shown below:

Step 6: Lift up the screen and check the back of the screen. There is a purple connector which provides the power and signal to the screen. Notice that there is a clip on the purple connector which you will need to push to unlock before pulling it out. It is held tightly and you may need the prying tool to assist in pulling it out.

Step 7: Replace it with the new 8.8 inch. The display will not show anything until you had performed your coding.

Step 8: Time to code!

Change the screen resolution and split screen options by setting the following options:



Step 9: Put your new 8.8 inch screw display back to the holder and screws it back using the same set of screws. Be very careful and make sure you do not drop your screws into the holes at the central console. Put back your dash board by pushing it back till you hear the "click" sound and put back your CD covers and the plastic cover.