2004 E60 Software Upgrade - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 11:24 PM
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When software updates are released for PC and Mac, the new features are quickly reviewed by every computing magazine. Today, however, the software that runs my 2004 545i was upgraded and here is a mini review of that upgrade.

Background:
As I left my driveway yesterday morning heading to the office, I received a dire warning on iDrive: "Insufficient steering and/or hydraulic fluid, discontinue driving and contact the nearest BMW dealer." I pulled to the side and called a service advisor who asked a couple of questions then instructed me to drive the car to the dealership right away. A loaner was provided and the car was expected to be ready the same afternoon.

At 5pm, bad news. BMW had recently ordered a "soft" recall that required replacement of the oxygen sensor and an upgrade to the entire system software. The software upgrade procedure was under way at 5pm but was taking an unusually long time. The car was held for another day.

At 5pm today everything was ready. A minor dent on the side door had been repaired at the same time. After driving about 40 minutes I found some noticeable improvements! I did not expect the software upgrade to actually be noticeable...

Observations: Here's a list of some changes I noticed quickly:

1. Feel of Active Steering is improved! I prefer a slightly tighter feel similar to my previous E39, and the software update seems to have accomplished just that. A tighter steering leads to significantly less driving fatigue over long distances because the wheel remains stable and requires fewer "course corrections."

2. Voice Recognition has been greatly improved! Prior to the upgrade the following voice commands NEVER worked properly:

"Frequency one zero two point five." --> Set radio to 102.5.
"Scale half mile."
"Scale 800 feet."
"Scale 5 miles." --> In fact none of the "scale" options worked for the navigation map.

All of these bugs have been fixed.

3. The navigation voice prompt now uses better English. For example, the voice used to say:

"Take the second on the right."

Now it says:

"Take the second road on the right."

Minor change, but welcome nevertheless.

Finally, in addition to the software upgrade I also noticed that BMW replaced the headlight switch knob with a larger unit! Owners often complained that the headlight switch located on the left side of the instrument panel was too small for anyone with adult size hands. Glad to see that BMW paid attention and replaced the switch with a "full size" version.


Maybe there are other Easter eggs to be discovered...but overall I am quite pleased with this update.
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-12-2004, 02:18 AM
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Yup....recalls are here too....and I'm loving it! Test driving/gassing.....sooo many 5ers....

Was wondering why we had more 5ers lately...

Thanks!
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-12-2004, 12:21 PM
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Another surprise: Hitting the audio power button while playing a CD now PAUSES the disc. Previously, the disc would continue playing and there was no way to pause it when, for example, answering a phone call or placing an order through a drive-thru window.

Later I'll check if MP3 CDs can finally be played...
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-13-2004, 09:33 AM
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What software version was this? 13.3?
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2004, 12:43 PM
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There were some significant issues with Firmware 13.3 update. It did affect the CCC unit on some 545i.
BMW did work on some modifications to the CCC unit along with the V 14. Not so sure if this mod. will include the introduction of an entire new CCC unit for a better interface with 13.3 upgrade.

regards
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#6 (permalink) Old 11-13-2004, 05:30 PM
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MP3 CDs are still not playable. Sheesh.

Not sure which firmware version I have. How do I obtain this info? And more importantly, where can I find "Release Notes" which list and describe the fixes and enhancements made?
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-13-2004, 05:56 PM
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ksz, I have a 2005 545 which came with all those upgrades. In fact, the sordid history of the first year of the new 7-Series influenced me to hold out till the 5-Series second model year.

Anyway, since you have voice command, I assume you also have Nav. Have you found a way to use voice to bring the navigation map back onto the screen when you've gone into another function such as Entertainment? Also, have you discovered a voice command that will stop the guidance?

And, if you have satellite radio, have you discovered any voice commands for that?
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-14-2004, 02:33 AM
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cassidym,

I special ordered my car with all the options except rear side airbags, comfort seats, and active cruise control. B)

I am still quite pleased with the software upgrade despite the continuing lack of MP3 playback, which should be all in a day's work for a bright Microsoft engineer!

To view the navigation map from any screen, I simply say:

"Map, direction of travel"

or

"Map, facing north"

This has always worked for me, but I have not tried this with the new software. I'll check tomorrow and post a repy if it fails.

As for switching off navigation guidance, I don't think there's a voice command for that, but it is doable through the Navigation screen with the iDrive controller. Simply select your destination, press the controller, and uncheck the checkbox from the pop-up menu.

Finally, I do not have satellite radio. I am seriously considering it, but I am not sure if it is compatible with Nav...
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#9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2004, 04:05 PM
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The voice commands for bringing up the roadmap still work correctly from any screen.

Couple more observations:

1. Fuel consumption is calculated more accurately now.
2. Average speed is also calculated more accurately.

3. However, RDS (radio data system) does not seem to be working. Radio stations are only identified by their frequencies now instead of by their station Ids.
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#10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2004, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ksz@Nov 14 2004, 01:33 AM
cassidym,

I special ordered my car with all the options except rear side airbags, comfort seats, and active cruise control. B)

I am still quite pleased with the software upgrade despite the continuing lack of MP3 playback, which should be all in a day's work for a bright Microsoft engineer!

To view the navigation map from any screen, I simply say:

"Map, direction of travel"

or

"Map, facing north"

This has always worked for me, but I have not tried this with the new software. I'll check tomorrow and post a repy if it fails.

As for switching off navigation guidance, I don't think there's a voice command for that, but it is doable through the Navigation screen with the iDrive controller. Simply select your destination, press the controller, and uncheck the checkbox from the pop-up menu.

Finally, I do not have satellite radio. I am seriously considering it, but I am not sure if it is compatible with Nav...
[snapback]230534[/snapback]
ksz, I have the Satellite radio and like it a lot. You get all the Sirius channels and can store up to 12 of them in the presets list. I actually look forward to my commute now because I can listen to whatever sort of music I feel like without commercials, news breaks, weather alerts or traffic reports. And they have a seperate channel for just local (in my case, Baltimore, Washington) traffic and weather.

At one time, BMW would not deliver the E560 with Nav and SAT radio becuase the two interferred with each other. Apparently, the engineers in Munich stopped mis-designing cupholders long enough fix the problem. Also, you could get the add-on Sirius or XM radio with the antenna that sits on the dash. Mind you, having it integrated into the existing radio and iDrive is much more aesthetically pleasing.

Let me know what you eventually do.
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#11 (permalink) Old 11-15-2004, 12:03 PM
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Cassidym, thanks for the info.

Couple of questions for you and other E60 owners:

1. Do you have "Autostore" available for FM frequencies? This option no longer exists after my software upgrade. Autostore should appear next to:

"MANUAL PRESETS ALL STATIONS"

in the FM subfunction list.

2. Do you have RDS (radio data system) which displays station Ids such as KROK, KBAY, etc.? This feature also appears to have been removed. There is no on/off switch for RDS; when displaying all stations, the Ids are automatically displayed if your firmware supports RDS.

3. Can you play MP3 CDs? If you browse the owner's manual you will see screenshots illustrating the operation of MP3 playlists.
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#12 (permalink) Old 11-16-2004, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ksz@Nov 15 2004, 11:03 AM
Cassidym, thanks for the info.

Couple of questions for you and other E60 owners:

1. Do you have "Autostore" available for FM frequencies? This option no longer exists after my software upgrade. Autostore should appear next to:

"MANUAL PRESETS ALL STATIONS"

in the FM subfunction list.

2. Do you have RDS (radio data system) which displays station Ids such as KROK, KBAY, etc.? This feature also appears to have been removed. There is no on/off switch for RDS; when displaying all stations, the Ids are automatically displayed if your firmware supports RDS.

3. Can you play MP3 CDs? If you browse the owner's manual you will see screenshots illustrating the operation of MP3 playlists.
[snapback]231249[/snapback]
1. The 2005 owner's manual shows autostore but I haven't noticed it. I've mostly been using the Satellite radio
2 Apparently it doesn not have RDS. There is no reference to it in the owner's manual and I can't find it on the radio. The satellite service does have RDS and it works very well and is surprisingly timely. For example, when a song comes on, the screen almost immediately shows the title and artist. When the song stops and the disc jockey starts talking, the DJs quickly appears on the screen.
3. No mention in the manual about MP3
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#13 (permalink) Old 11-16-2004, 01:47 PM
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So FM Autostore and RDS have been eliminated. This is disappointing; I will write a polite but stern letter to BMW. A manufacturer must NEVER take functionality away arbitrarily and without notice. WE PAID FOR THE ADVERTISED FEATURES. RDS, in particular, was clearly advertised.

Specifications are often subject to change, but only BEFORE a customer buys the product. Once a customer has purchased a product with features A, B, and C, the manufacturer is not at liberty to remove any of the paid-for features.

Every luxury sedan today supports RDS.
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#14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2005, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ksz@Nov 14 2004, 02:05 PM
The voice commands for bringing up the roadmap still work correctly from any screen.

Couple more observations:

1. Fuel consumption is calculated more accurately now.
2. Average speed is also calculated more accurately.

3. However, RDS (radio data system) does not seem to be working. Radio stations are only identified by their frequencies now instead of by their station Ids.
[snapback]230812[/snapback]

I have a 2004 545i with every option except for heads up display. I have had Idrive problems (4 dealer visits in 13 months) since the first month that I've owned the car. The vehicle is a fantastic driving machine but I've found the Idrive system very unstable. I've had two upgrades and during each one, I've lost functionality in one or more other applications. Specifically, I lost the RDS in the first upgrade and I was informed by my dealership that it is not available in another upgrade as yet. The problem with my Idrive is that it has been unable to "boot up" when starting the vehicle on 4 different occasions. The screen will 'hang' on the BMW logo or currrently it is "hanging" on the disclaimer screen. Any experience similar to this with you?
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