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BMW Head up screen

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I find reading the speedo at night a bit hard unless I have the brightness turned right up I am short sighted but have to wear glasses for distance these are not bifocals so I find the instrument quite blurred

I was looking at larger display options, my previous car was a Grand Scenic which has a huge Digital Speedo.


The easiest option was one of the many speedo or Navigation apps for my Iphone but that means mounting it on a holder, not ideal when I have it out of sight in the Media Snapin adapter in the armrest 

Then I came across the plethora of head up devices on Ebay most are generic and require pluging in to the OBD port so may or may not work fully on the F11


I am also aware of BMWs own after market kit



Which looks like a good choice, however at £300+ not something I want to buy without being certain it will do the job.


So as a compromise I bought a Garmin Hud+ second hand on Ebay (£40) the hardware is similar in design to the BMW unit but obviously does not offer the full features of the BMW version which I believe is also linked to Garmin.


It does however give me the chance to gauge if the display is readable or not and thankfully yes it is. It is driven (in fact has to be driven) by an Iphone or Android app which being a navigation app does offer an alternative to the built in Nav system. I have used it a few times with or without guidance (when it just shows speed and direction North North East etc). The guidance is pretty good, the direction are transmitted via bluetooth through the car speakers and the visual direction via the hud. The count down in metres to junctions are accurate and it includes a current speed plus speed limit display


Which on a couple of occasions has been more accurate than the built in camera based system fitted to my car.

I often find that completely misses some speed changes and I am not 100% convinced it is actually reading the road signs at all sometimes but is instead relying on out of date nav map data!


Anyway the Garmin device is proving interesting and if I like it I will consider buying the BMW version not specifically for the extra features but because it seem to be designed to fit in that recess above the cluster.


The Garmin Hud+ with the little screen clipped on is too tall to be located centrally above the binnacle.


An added bonus the Garmin Nav App includes an optional RTTI for £17 a year so far less than £240 to BMW to get RTTI back now my 3 years have expired via connected drive but that would mean mounting the Phone in a holder in order to see the screen I guess.


One other interesting feature the Garmin app has in the setting menu are two Hud hardware options the Garmin Hud+ or the BMW Head up screen meaning the BMW unit is not tied solely to the built in nav system and BMW version of the App


Edit the BMW HUD does not display factory NAV info at all only vehicle data from the can bus.


Does anyone here have the BMW system fitted?

If so have you tried both the BMW and the Garmin Apps with it?


One quirk with the Garmin app which may get annoying

every time any navigation instruction (or speed camera warning) are being given the bordmonitor switches to the incoming telephone screen, I guess because it is seeing the message as an incoming phone call

Edited by Alexak

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I have an F11 on order due the middle of November and have the HUD option on that.


Looking forward to trying it out, also the speed limit option.

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Yes obviously the OEM factory fit Hud would be nice to have but it, like the night vision system seems to be very rare in the 2nd hand market.

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It will not work with the oem factory install Hud only the aftermarket version in the link I posted above or is that the version of Hud you are getting?

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As said in my first post

The Garmin Hud+ with the little screen clipped on is too tall to be located centrally above the binnacle which is really where it needs to be.

Then it would be a great budget little gadget.

I have been using it offset in the centre of the dash and I decided I would go the next step and buy the OEM kit


I got a good price from Harry Fairbairn BMW £292 including P&P which I was pondering on buying

Then a 'New' one popped up on Ebay in Germany which I bid for and won - lets hope it ain't busted or anything........


That cost me £170 :)

It arrived today and I hope to wire it in tomorrow the kit is extremely comprehensive and even the box is fancy but not quite to the standard apple do for their stuff!


More to follow but it is now getting dark and I need to go and feed the Sheep and pen in some Chickens!

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All wired up, only four wires power and can bus

I am not as young as I used to be so found it a tad uncomfortable groveling about in the footwell.

I also soldered the power connections rather than use the quick connectors provided I hate that type they can easily damage wires by cutting through the insulation and several strands!


Physically on my Oyster dash it ain't too pretty the unit is ok but the black cable is an eyesore, obviously far less obvious on a black dash

Once the car is a bit older and I am less bothered about the impact I may well drill a hole for the cable directly below the hud itself.


The entire thing seems to be wifi based three way via the can bus interface phone and Hud

The cable looks to be power only.


It relies solely on the phone app for navigation but everything else works via can even the power setting are displayed which I did not think the 520d provided

the speed limit info comes from the camera in my windscreen as best as i can tell. i.e I don't think the nav app was doing it.

cruise info is also replicated

The the speedo reading is nice and big - the primary reason I bought it in the first place. 

Some iffy pictures from my phone whilst waiting for swmbo in the Doctors Surgery car park.

I am going for a job interview tomorrow so will give it a better test.


1st  pic connected to phone and internet for speed camera info

2nd  pic engine off

3rd is demo mode.


Edited by Alexak
fixed pics

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The speed limit info is not using my onboard system instead it is via the Garmin app on the phone.

After two trips to Telford and back today via different routes it is was slightly more accurate than my on board camera/bmw nav based system, which regularly fails to detect speed limit changes as I go past the signs


A bonus the garmin app also has a speed camera database and that lights up a red graphic alongside the speed limit.



Now the down side

The Garmin app has a really annoying side effect

Every time it announces a direction via Bluetooth audio the nav screen switches to the phone display, this flickering is distracting even with the monitor off each direction announcement turns it on again what is even more irritating is each time it display the sped camera icon it bleep and again switches to the phone screen.


So as a result I have muted the audio from the Garmin app, the visual indications on the Hud are brilliant and I will stick to using the BMW system for the spoken guidance.


the BMW M Drive performance analyser app also has limited functionality via the wifi interface in the Hud as well

I might have a play with that but it looks a bit gimmicky, seems to be for timing 0-60 etc....yawn!

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This looks really good to me, and had it been solely a BMW accessory I'd be out there today trying to buy one, unfortunately it's with the Garmin collaboration (originally a Garmin only product) that it seems to fall down for me. I use a combination of NBT & TomTom (Android) sat nav and the last thing I want is to introduce yet another sat nav and route into the equation. This would be a lot more attractive to me if it simply replicated the BMW system and NBT sat nav info, much like the OE HUD.

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Unlike the garmin hud+ screen which is basically useless without the app running all the time this has can integration and fits my original requirement of an easily readable speedo perfectly.


The added ability to use an alternative navigation app is a bonus the Garmin app running on my iphone is very similar to tom tom etc and on the Ipad screen is fantastic.


It also places the current speed limit info in a much more visible location.

I found the location in the cluster is too low for my driving position and a lot of the cluster obc info is obscured by the steering wheel


Ditto for the Led in the wiper stalk I can never see it to tell if it is on or not :(


I also have an HP touchpad running Android and noticed when downloading the same Garmin Hud app I actually ended up with the Navigon product. I used Navigon sat navs for years and am very comfortable with that interface.


The Garmin app supports Glympse

I left for home late last night so I sent swmbo a glympse so she could track my progress and dinner was ready and waiting when I got in.

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A couple of people have asked where the CAS and CGM is in a RHD car via pm so I will post this here:


They are on the driver side not passenger.

disconnect the battery (and leave the boot ajar so you can get in to reconnect it later)


Remove the 3 screws from the lower dash trim panel


Remove the carpet section from the console pull away at the front (2 fir tree clips) then slide it forward to unhook the three rear clips as otherwise it will obstruct removing/refitting the lower dash trim panel


Lower the lower dash trim panel.

Disconnect foot-well light, speaker and obd connector.

I found the speaker plug was a pita so I popped out the entire speaker.

The blue latch for the OBD slides forward and then the connector comes out through it.

Tie these out of the way.


Remove the lower dash trim panel


Remove the small driver side glove box, 2 screws and pull it out carefully it has some metal spring clips as well it makes it easier to get to the cas and to hide the Can interface cabling etc through this hole.


Then you can see and get at the CGM and CAS units either side of the steering column. the plugs are the biggest 2 and they have the pins number on them so you can't get it wrong. 


The plug shells simply slide off once the retaining lugs are eased.

Using a small jewellers screw driver the individual tangs can be bent down gently on each of the four wires individual connections and they can be removed from the shell. 

Take pictures of the original location with your mobile if needed so you know for sure where they were for refitting


Two of them simply provide power so don't need to be removed unless you intend to solder and use heatshrink like I did rather than those horrid crimp connector things. The other two are effectively having the can interface added in serial to them so they do have to be removed and replaced like for like with the two from the new harness


There is an option here.

You could also pop out the instrument cluster and consider drilling a hole under where you will sit the HUS that will hide the ugly power lead and negate using the silly looking clip.


Now the HUS has grown on me I will be doing this to mine in due course:


I will drill a small hole 2-3mm and I will cut and splice the power lead, (or if poss. by disconnecting it from the can interface connector) thread it through and reconnect it rather than drill an over size hole for the actual jack plug.


I will drill the hole somewhere that does not look off centre and hence glaringly wrong then I can plug it with a suitably convincing Oyster coloured trim button should I need to remove/sell the HUS at a later date.


A note on the supplied self adhesive pads

I found they did not stick too well the day I did mine was about 12 degrees C possibly a bit too cold

The one for the clip was particularly useless


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On 11/29/2015 at 0:11 PM, rasg said:

It reminds me of my brother in law's Peugeot! Hideous looking thing.


It needed to be purely functional sunshine, appearance was and is irrelevant.


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It looks to give more information than my oem HUD, but not keen on the looks either. This looks like the system fitted to the 2 series active tourer with a Perspex screen?  

Fair play for the detailed explaination. 

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1 hour ago, E39touring said:

It looks to give more information than my oem HUD, but not keen on the looks either. This looks like the system fitted to the 2 series active tourer with a Perspex screen?  

Fair play for the detailed explaination. 


This is an add-on product which is collaboration between Garmin and BMW. The one in the 2AT is an integrated unit (Navigation Plus) that uses an automated pop-up screen instead of being projected onto the windscreen which I think this is due to the depth of the dashboard and the rake of the windscreen. 

Edited by Matthew Ashton

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2 hours ago, bmwmike said:

Am I the only one wondering how you meet the legal requirement for eye sight if you can't read the hud?  Sorry to ask..

Stick wrong end

I can see the hud fine it the relative close proximity of the speedo in the binnacle that is hard to read. My glasses make it blurred but without them Road signs etc are not clear.


I had no idea how bad my eyesight had become over the years until I bought my glasses Road signs are now fully legible again. 

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Prior to the F11 my previous cars were the Zt V8 a Grand Scenic and a Citroen Picasso all had nice chunky digital displays for speed etc.
My othe car a KIA Soul EV has this which is dead easy to read

As soon as I bought the BMW I realised the clocks and obc were going to be an issue for me an probably are for many short sighted drivers.


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