iPhone 3GS + E92 BMW 335i via Bluetooth

I had been trying to pair my iPhone 3GS to my car for about 24 hours now. Having navigated my way through the menu systems on both the phone and the car, I figured it should be easy: just pick a PIN and enter it on both devices. And yet I failed. Many, many times. I rebooted the phone. I rebooted the car. I Googled. They were obviously talking to each other, since the phone could see the car, and the car knew when the phone wanted me to confirm the PIN. But pairing failed over and over again.

It turns out, not surprisingly, that reading the instructions would have been sufficient. There were two points I missed in the instructions for the car:
  1. I didn't have the ignition on to the second stage. This may not have been critical, since, as noted above, there was clearly some communication going on, but I did it anyway. Specifically: ‘Switch on the ignition, and, in addition, press the start/stop button without operating the brake or clutch pedal.’ To be honest, I had never done that before, and didn't even realise it was a feature.
  2. This is the critical bit. When entering the PIN using iDrive, it is not sufficient to enter the PIN and just wait, which I had been doing. About a dozen times. The label ‘Confirm passkey’ that appears on the screen during PIN entry isn't just a label, it's a menu choice. So the sequence is: enter the PIN, select down on the controller to highlight ‘Confirm passkey’, and then select that with the controller.

What I had been doing was getting to the final step, and then letting the whole process time out. Repeatedly.


  1. Thanks paul. I was having the same problem with the process timing out, and your tip about confirming the PIN with the idrive did the trick.

    I had to repeat the process twice, though, since the first attempt didn't take. Even with all the right info showing on the car and phone, there was never any connection. I eventually had to erase all my settings on the Iphone GS, and a message came up saying I had lost my SOS service on my 525i, but all seems to be working now.

    thanks again.

  2. I'm glad this helped someone. I almost thought it was too obscure to post.

  3. this was an excellent tip. I had spent about two hours on the phone with apple, att and bmw and now one shared this little tidbit of news. I tried it and it worked perfectly.


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