There was a time where a regular oil changes and the occasional new tires were all the maintenance a BMW needed. But for a modern BMW with iDrive, it takes a little more effort to keep your car up to date.
Whether you need to update your iDrive software or upload the newest map to your BMW Navigation system, keeping your BMW’s iDrive modern should be considered a regular maintenance task. If your current map is more than a year old, it would be wise to update it.
Roads change all the time. New roads are built, old roads are being closed, new roundabouts are being made and a two-way street can be made into a one-way street.
The last thing you want, when using your navigation, is to be sent out on a wrong route, or suddenly seeing on your map that you are driving on a road that doesn’t exist in your navigation system. BMW adds more than 140.000 miles of new road to its maps each year, so you will get a much better driving experience by updating the maps on your navigation system.
To check which version of the navigation system that is installed in your BMW, go to your iDrive navigation map, open the settings menu, and scroll down to the bottom, where you will find the menu “Navigation system version”. Here you will find the year of your current map.
There are different ways of updating your BMW Navigation system, depending on whether you have a CCC, NBT, CIC or EVO system. We have tried to explain in as simple a matter as possible.
The map is saved on a DVD on older iDrive models, which you have to insert in the DVD-drive of your BMW – These units are called CCC-units. The map update process is so simple, that all you need to do is change your old BMW DVD-map out with a newer version of a map, that fits your make and model.
Where older BMW-units use a DVD to store the map on, newer BMW models have been fitted with internal memory, where the map can be saved. An advantage of this is that the navigation system is much faster.
The process of updating the BMW Navigation map is still quite simple in cars where you have to manually update the map. You need to save the updated map on a USB-stick, or buy a USB with the map already on, which you then insert into the USB-port on your BMW. The system will automatically register that a new version of a map is ready to be installed onto your iDrive.
You may be prompted to enter a FSC activation code. This FSC activation code is VIN-specific and must be purchased as a stand-alone product.
The update can take up to an hour and a half to finish, in which period the car needs to be turned on while the update process is going on. To ensure that the update process goes smoothly, we recommend that the car is plugged into a battery charger.
Once the update is finished, you are ready to take a drive with your new and updated navigation system. NB: You need to have your car update to the newest BMW-software, if your car is from before March 2010, so the car can be set up to receive the updates via USB. If your car is made after March 2010, it should be ready to receive the USB without any needed updates.
The most visible difference in the two navigation systems is the screen size. Navigation Professional has a bigger screen with a better resolution, than what you will find on your Navigation Business. Depending on the year, there can also be a difference in map, memory, speed and features.
It is necessary and extremely important that you find out, whether you have Navigation Business or Navigation Professional installed on your BMW, as the systems have their own update version. If you need help with identifying your system, please don’t hesitate to call Schmiedmann. We can find the correct map update and navigation model for your BMW, by using your VIN-number, as we can see all of the installed factory equipment by looking it up in our system.
This guide should be seen as a general guidance on how to update your map and navigation system. There can be variations, that this guide does not conclude, more complicated ways of updating your system, as well as country-specific methods for updating the navigation system in your BMW. We recommend that you contact Schmiedmann with your VIN-number to get the correct guidance. We can see which region your car is from and which equipment is installed by using your VIN-number and we can therefore quickly find out which map update your car needs. Don’t hesitate to call us or send us an email, if you have questions about updating your BMW. We have more than 22 years of experience of working on BMWs and we are more than happy to help you.
Our DVD and USB map updates are all original BMW products. Our USB map updates include a USB stick preloaded with the latest BMW map data for your vehicle. Should you need an FSC activation code, you can also purchase this from Schmiedmann. As it is VIN-specific, you must inform us of your VIN when purchasing.