Don Phil

E39 Bluetooth module - straight swap for newer gen?

4 posts in this topic

My e39 bluetooth module is gen 2 or 3 I think and is useless with my android phone, every 10 seconds or so the Bluetooth connection drops for a few seconds before reconnecting. Reading up on this there isn't anything I can do to solve this without trying a newer ULF module.

I've found one manufactured in 2009, presumably from an e60 or similar. The newer module casing is different to the e39 shape, is the swap simple to do and are the connectors the same?

Also, when changing modules, is it plug and play or do you need the new module coding to the car?

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

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Hi,

 

You won't be able to use the E6x module as it uses a different communication protocol so it's electronically incompatible. The issue is that later modules only have a higher 'chance' of being fully compatible with your Android phone/handset, and the only way to know is to try one. Complicating things there is there'll be another user with the same handset as you and using the same later generation BT module as you but one of you might get dropped connections and issues and the other won't. This is due to various factors - old modules and internal Bluetooth Stacks (software/firmware etc), new(er) handsets not using a fully compatible Bluetooth stack, potential of running different software on the handset as well as technical glitches/issues. 

 

The E39 shares it's BT modules with the E46 which was produced 3 years after the E39 ceased and also, some later MINI car's also used the same protocol/systems. For the E39, there's a range of 1st to 13th generation BT modules and these will plugnplay swap with no coding needed. It's the same for any that came out of the E53/E46 although I think some later ones came with enhanced features like voice activation and again don't need coding. The later the generation you go, the more expensive the modules become. I think the module from the MINI will be £200-250+. 

 

Currently, it's iPhones which have the best compatibility with the old BMW BT modules and Android can be hit and miss. So the 'easiest' way would be to switch to an iPhone for the best chances of successful use. If you don't wish to do that (Don't blame you!) then it's going to be a little bit of a gamble for getting a later Gen BT module and then fitting it all to try - hopefully the first one you'll get will work. If not, then you'll need to remove and re-sell it and try another one. Some owners will say they have X generation and their X android based handset is fine, and other's will say they had it and it didn't properly work and have had to change. 

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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Thanks for the reply amd useful info. Turns out I had a pre gen 1 module hence the issues I described. After doing some reading here https://store.bimmernav.com/blogs/installation/history-and-comparison-of-bmw-ulf-modules I plumped for a gen 5 module and it seems to have done the trick, when the Bluetooth connects it doesn't drop out any more after a quick test I did when fitting.

 

 

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

Edit to add... it sort of works.

 

I have to unpair and re-pair each time I want to connect, otherwise it drops out straight away if I just let it connect from its last pairing. Not ideal but better than before as it stays connected once paired.

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I have a v13 module (the latest that will fit an e39) and it works perfectly on all 3 Android phones I've tried it with (that covers 3 generations of Android too)

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