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-   -   DIY: The Definitive SAT NAV Removal & BMW AUX Install (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=938013)

scrace 08-10-2012 04:22 PM

DIY: The Definitive SAT NAV Removal & BMW AUX Install
When I first attempted to do this DIY, I had a horrible time trying to get the NAV unit out and couldn't find a thread detailed enough to give me the piece of mind I was not going to break anything.

Exact AUX I bought from: www.getbmwparts.com


Exact AUX Cable I bought http://www.amazon.com/Griffin-GC1710...ords=aux+cable


Tools Needed:

Philips Head Screw Driver
Flat Head Screw Driver or Small Pry Bar
2 Nail Files (I bought mine at CVS for $4 each) or something similar honestly after trying to make my own tool out of a clothes hanger and using a knife these worked the best.


This is what I laid out before starting.

Step 1: Remove passenger side trim.


I started 2-3 inches from the left side and pried up with a nylon tool.


Then moved over a couple more inches and found one of the orange clips.



I continued to pry until the far right side popped off and remove the piece. The last rivet on the left will not pull off (at least in my case it did not pull off) so I have to slide it to the left until it unhooked from the rivet head. (see step 2 for more details)




Step 2: Remove trim piece above NAV unit.

This is what the start of the NAV unit trim should :hmm: look like.




Now notice how the passenger side trim piece slides over top of the rivet head.

I just pried this off and broke a clip on each side of the trim, if you turn the orange piece 90 degrees it will come out as the holes are elongated (longer vertically, than horizontally)

BROKEN CLIPS on center trim



Also, a friction fit clip in the middle of the trim.


I left the drivers side clip on at first because I was scared of breaking something, later on I just said f:censor: it and pulled it off. :str8pimpi

Step 3: Remove center AC and NAV Unit Screws

4 Locations


Step 4: Remove AC Vents.


Apply firm pressure to both sides un an upward direction. I had to use both hands the pictures are just an example, I had to use one hand to hold the camera. You'll hear two tabs free themselves from the clips on the bottom and then it will just come right out.




I then turned vents upside to get the brackets out of the way of the NAV unit coming out. This is also where I decided to remove the top trim.


Step 5: Removing the NAV unit.

Hit the CD load/eject button so the unit opens. You have 15 seconds until it will close again, when it starts to close hit the button again and it will stay open, do this until it stops trying to close, it took me 2 trys.


Now place your nail file into the two bottom corner locations until the NAV unit loosens up. Once this happens push from the back of the unit towards the front, it will slide right out once you have the clips free.



This is what my unit looked like from the bottom after it slid out, I didn't remove the nail files yet. The clips on the sides will move towards the unit when they are released, so when you move the nail file out they will spring to the outside.





Step 6: Find AUX connection that is described in the instructions that come with the unit.


Remove the it from the tape, best way is with a flat head screw drivers, and to scrap the tape off the connector.


scrace 08-10-2012 05:07 PM

Step 7: Run the NAV side connector up through the slot on the top left side of the glove box. I just pushed it up and I could easily see and grab it with my hands, needle nose pliers might help if you're doesn't feed up so easily.


Look there when feeding it up, the blue and yellow piece, it will come up to the right of it.





Step 8: Plug the connector in and then zip tie the connection to one or two of the other wire looms there. I did not use any other zip ties just so I can move around the AUX cable without removing my NAV again. I pushed the remaining AUX cable slack down behind the climate control unit. Put the unit back in after taking out the tools you used to pop it out. Tuck the wire looms to the left side of the unit and make sure it's not pinched anywhere.




Final Product





All put back together



This AUX cable is perfect to fit in the cracks of the glove box, it's flat not round, by far the best cable I've seen for $5. Also, nothing is really holding the AUX cable from BMW in place the wire loom holds pretty well on the sharp plastic in the glove box, and you can barely see it.

I ended up not using any of this...but might in the future.


Things not necessary that I saw in other DIYs, if you do it this way
Removing the glove box
Disconnecting the battery
Disconnecting the NAV unit

Also, you stick the nail files in these two places. I can't add anymore pictures to the original post.


Goodluck! :thumbsup:

serdar255 08-10-2012 05:13 PM

Good Diy

Mango 08-10-2012 05:16 PM

Nice writeup. Although those trim pieces can just be carefully pried out with a screwdriver (to start it in one corner) and your fingers the rest of the way. or hell, i've done it using just my fingers before. no damage. so this $32 plug plugs into the back where the CD changer would plug into correct? I have a DICE installed in my car for when I used to have an iphone... but now that I have no iphone... it's just a very expensive AUX port. I should have done this.. much cheaper and simpler... only thing is you cant charge your iphone/ipod as seamlessly...

scrace 08-10-2012 05:30 PM


Originally Posted by E46Mango (Post 14643878)
Nice writeup. Although those trim pieces can just be carefully pried out with a screwdriver (to start it in one corner) and your fingers the rest of the way. or hell, i've done it using just my fingers before. no damage. so this $32 plug plugs into the back where the CD changer would plug into correct? I have a DICE installed in my car for when I used to have an iphone... but now that I have no iphone... it's just a very expensive AUX port. I should have done this.. much cheaper and simpler... only thing is you cant charge your iphone/ipod as seamlessly...

This is what I had before in my 325 (didn't have the mode button on my head unit)



It charges the unit and plays over bluetooth, only have to plug the unit in to charge, it's wireless playing from there. The quality is pretty good...I'm hoping the AUX will be better which is the only reason I'm going this route...if I don't like this I'm going to get a DICE unit.

I bought the micro 2 usb charger and I hope that will work, I read somewhere that you can't charge and play through the AUX at the same time with some units, I haven't driven my car since I did this install so if it doesn't charge while playing I'll have to figure out a solution. (I have an iPhone 4s)

$30 for the cable really isn't bad, I know it works and I don't have any interest at the moment to make one myself. It could not have been an easier DIY.

rts58 11-30-2013 09:25 AM


I know this is an older post, but I just registered so I could say thanks OP! I installed the aux input to my 330xi yesterday and it went well only because of this information. I used the flatter end of a couple nylon tire levers to remove the trim. I installed the input into the ash tray area next to the pen holder. And I used a couple computer case expansion slot inserts trimmed to look like the navigation removal tool instead of the nail files.

Thanks so much!!

ClancyO 03-30-2014 07:58 PM

Resurrecting this old post to say thanks! This post help make this installation a breeze!!!

Side note, I was able to do it with one nail file, you just have to be quick and free each side when you feel it click. Also, did not disconnect the cable on center vent, just folded it over on the dash. Finally, I routed the aux in to the ashtray.

fmzip 04-22-2014 08:35 AM

Great post!

Here's my issue. I have a 2001 which I upgraded the 4:3 NAV to 16:9. Since my car is a 2001, it does not have the Aux cable in the car. So how would I hook up an Iphone with my setup? I have the correct BM53 tuner so I assume if I knew which wires to tap into in the trunk off the BM53, I could simply make my own cable and tap off that instead. Any ideas??

I am assuming this post here is my solution, anyone tackle this as the pics are missing:


PosingOwl 06-09-2014 02:14 PM

So, I was trying to accomplish this this morning. I realized that I forgot to order a part (the auxiliary adapter).... stupid me I know.... question is. Can I go to radio shack and buy one or does it has to be directly from bmw

ClancyO 06-09-2014 04:39 PM

From bmw. There is a thread out here about how to create your own cable, but you still need the connector and some resistors soldered in line to make it work. Worth the $35 from the dealership IMHO.

Weaver585 05-10-2015 07:20 PM

I attempted this today and got to the point where you must get the sat unit to remain open. I could not for the life of me get the unit to not close. I tried for over 2 hours, hitting eject, waiting for the unit to try and close, and then hitting eject again as the unit was closing. Nothing ever worked, tried it with the car on, with the car off, with a cd and without a cd. Every possible timing combination for hitting eject the second time. I attempted to remove the unit in the 15 seconds available many times to no avail. If anyone can help me keep the sat unit open please post or message me. Thanks all.

cmstrilchuk 07-23-2015 10:07 PM

Pull fuse #41 when the unit is open.

Onizukachan 03-18-2016 12:36 AM

Just a little tip. You don't have to remove the bordmonitor at all.
The plug you seek is on harness on the left side of it at the top, visible when you remove the AC vents.

rrose72 01-12-2017 08:50 AM

eject doesn't work
hey guys I'm replacing my nav head unit in 03 zhp, but the buttons dont work and I'm not able to eject (open the unit to access bottom tabs). is there a manual way to get this open? thanks

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