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I have a mid-option BMW 316i (2013). Which means that it has an iDrive display LCD in middle of the dash, which has Bluetooth/AUX/USB and other stuff but it does not have navigation and obviously no GPS. To add nav to it, is just a matter of software change and addition of GPS receiver. Easier said than done. Is it somehow possible to do it. If yes than how.

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  • This was asked recently, but seems to have disappeared... but I think you are correct with easier said than done. – Solar Mike Jul 29 at 18:38
  • It's possible - although it's a bit more complex then "just" adding a GPS receiver and flashing the software. Which headunit do you currently have? Also was your car manufactured before 07-2013 or after? – motosubatsu Jul 30 at 11:52
  • @motosubatsu I dont know the answer to these questions. And I just found out, it is a 2012 3 series F30 316i Dated: 26.11.2012, it was imported and registered in my country in 2013. vindecoderz.com/EN/check-lookup/WBA3A1105DJ603201. If I contact my local BMW would they provide these service of changing – Moon Jul 31 at 12:38
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Marketing, Marketing, Making Money, Marketing.

This may come as a surprise, but it shouldn't. The company that designed and built your vehicle did so to make a profit. That GPS / Nav system? Its a very high dollar option. It wouldn't surprise me if that option package generates $1200 USD of extra price to a demanding customer.

And then there are design and manufacturing issues. Guess what. Less is more. If you are going to manufacture something, and design and tooling costs are crazy expensive; it's way better to design things to be in common. Too many options in the manufacturing plant = the potential for screw ups and bad quality. As an example, let's look at the computer motherboard for your entertainment / HVAC Control / Navigation system. Do you want to tool up two or three of those, or just one. Obviously you are going to tool up just one. Remember tooling is crazy expensive.

I know that on the high end vehicle lines I worked at, the only difference between the navigation option and not WAS A SINGLE PARAMETER BIT SET IN SOFTWARE STORAGE at the end of the manufacturing line. And yeah, that bit location and its values was a highly secure secret from all the employees not working on that specific engineering team. And as for the GPS chip? Depends on what that costs. If its $0.10 or less it wouldn't surprise me if they just soldered that onto the board, and gave it away. Remember one quality screw up costs a lot in repair costs and reputation. (e.g. you ordered a Navigation option, and the board was missing the GPS chip, ouch.) You absolutely don't want to degrade quality.

(Note: I was curious about the price of GPS chips, so I just did a quick check... seems they are now built into bluetooth / mobile rf antenna / integrated units, and they are pretty cheap in quantity. If I had to guess, the GPS hardware is probably already there...)

You are asking for all the trade secrets on how to set that software bit.

If that every got out, it would totally corrupt the companies ability to make profit on those type of options.

Here's a hint. NOT going to happen. No way, no how. Sorry.

Have a nice day.

  • dude, I am not asking for trade secrets, I am just asking the proper way to get this installed. And I am asking because I dont know the first thing about BMWs. It's been 3 weeks since I owned this thing. – Moon Aug 1 at 8:55
  • Apologies a) You can do what the rest of us do, and bluetooth your cell phone to the car and use Google Maps for navigation. b) In order to get GPS on this unit, you absolutely are asking for trade secret, but you just haven't realized that yet. Follow the money. Think about it as if you were BMW. I will say I have a lot of experience in this realm, but NOT at BMW. It's totally possible you are talking about a factory aftermarket plugin device, and I'm off base. My comments are intended for generic automotive / engineering telematics , HVAC & entertainment issues.. No offense intended. – zipzit Aug 1 at 17:27

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