Bluetooth® FAQs

Select a frequently asked question.
Bluetooth® wireless technology is designed to replace cables for communication between personal communication devices. It is intended for both voice and data communications.
The Bluetooth® name refers to King Harald ''Bluetooth'' Blaatand, a famous Danish king of the 10th century, who unified Denmark and Norway. Bluetooth® wireless technology is aimed at unifying communication between the telecom and computing industries.
Bluetooth® wireless technology was developed by Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia and Toshiba in early 1998. These companies later formed a special interest group known as the Bluetooth SIG. The Bluetooth 1.0 specifications were released on July 26, 1999. The technology has recently enjoyed widespread use for hands-free calling.
The IEEE 802.11b (WiFi) standard is commonly used for wireless networking. Bluetooth® wireless technology is not a competitor with 802.11b, but rather a complement to it. While 802.11b is generally a replacement for wired local area networking, Bluetooth® wireless technology is more commonly used as a replacement for cables between individual devices within a very short range (up to 33 feet). Bluetooth® wireless technology is part of the 802.15 standard.
Depending on the Bluetooth® profiles included on the device, Bluetooth® wireless technology has the capability to wirelessly synchronize and transfer data among devices. The Bluetooth audio capabilities can be used for headset and hands free applications. The exact functionality provided by a Bluetooth enabled device depends on the Bluetooth profiles included.
All BMW Assist-equipped vehicles produced 10/04 or later except 7 Series, which received this service effective with 3/05 production are compatible with Bluetooth® wireless technology. Refer to the Compatible Vehicles section for more information.

Additional information on the BMW Assist and Bluetooth system is available at www.bmwassist.com or call 1-888-333-6118.

Download BMW Assist brochure
A profile is a description of how to use a specification to implement a particular function. The International Standards Organization (ISO) first came up with the idea of profiles. In Bluetooth® wireless technology, there are several profiles available and they are arranged in a hierarchical fashion. For example, in order to use the headset profile, a device must also include the lower level profiles such as the serial port and general access profiles.
Devices with Bluetooth® wireless technology must go through a pairing process with the handset before they can be used. Pairing is a special process used when two devices connect for the first time. The pairing process is used to generate a link key that is used for authentication purposes during subsequent Bluetooth connections between the two devices.
When Bluetooth® wireless technology is turned on, you may notice that the battery in your mobile phone discharges faster. Please consult your mobile phone Owner's manual for more information. BMW offers recharging cradles for many popular handsets
To use your Bluetooth® wireless technology enabled phone in your vehicle, an initial one-time-only pairing procedure is required. To pair your phone, initiate Bluetooth® search mode in the vehicle. Then depending on the handset, initiate search mode or discoverable mode.* Once the vehicle finds the handset, a Bluetooth passkey is required to complete the pairing procedure. Please see Currently Available Phones section for more information.
Some vehicles require a random passkey to pair the handset to the vehicle. You may choose any combination of 4 to 16 digits. Enter the passkey on the phone or vehicle, as prompted, and then the other device will ask you to verify it. Some vehicles require a fixed Bluetooth passkey for verification which is included in the vehicle's Owner's Manual. Vehicles with a fixed Bluetooth® passkey include:
  • 2005 and earlier 3 Series Sedan
  • 2006 and earlier 3 Series Coupe and Convertible
  • 2008 and earlier 7 Series
  • 2010 and earlier X3 SAV
  • 2006 and earlier X5 SAV
  • 2008 and earlier Z4
  • 2006 and earlier M3 Coupe and Convertible

*Please consult your handset owner's manual to learn about your handset's Bluetooth® features and functions including turning on Bluetooth®, pairing procedures and other options.
To make a call, select an entry in your phonebook using your multifunction steering wheel keys, iDrive or radio controls. Then press the telephone or “speak” button to dial the desired number. It’s that easy. In certain vehicles you can also use voice-activated controls, radio or on-board monitor keys to dial a number. See your Owner’s Manual for details.
BMW's optional handset cradle* provides power for your mobile phone and helps keep the battery charged. Your hands-free system also includes an external antenna connection for improved reception and a safe-latching mechanism to keep the mobile phone in a secure location. BMW encourages you to purchase a center-installed cradle for your handset with Bluetooth® wireless technology. Please visit your BMW Center for a list of available cradles or visit BMW Accessories.

*BMW offers cradles only for certain phones with Bluetooth® wireless technology
You can pair up to 4 handsets. As of Model Year 2011 BMWs, you may have up to three devices connected at the same time. In vehicles older than Model Year 2011, only one handset can be connected to the vehicle at a time.
The vehicle will search for the most recently paired handset first. In most newer BMWs, it is also possible to select the desired device to be paired from the iDrive system.
Yes, there are videos available. Refer to the Owner’s Manual section and select your vehicle and associated video. Please consult your mobile phone owner's manual for more information.