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XBimmers | BMW X3 Forum BMW X3/X4 Forums (2018 - 2024) BMW X3M (F97) and X4M (F98) General Forum (2018+) PSA: Those with a 2020 on older software get a update

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      03-17-2021, 05:10 AM   #1
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PSA: Those with a 2020 on older software get a update

Hi,

Those that know me around forums know I do quite a bit of work on my own cars including coding and BMW ISTEP updates. Following the trend that I started on people getting ISTEP updates on their older M2's, I decided to give updating to the 2021 March update a try out solely for being able to code in full screen apple carplay without needing "hacks or backdoors".

That definitely was fulfilled, however not among other excitement and improvements in the car. I've let the car adapted already, so other than longer term adaptations on the transmission, it's safe to say none of this is placebo.

TLDR: Updated from 2020-March to 2021-March vehicle software, X3M much improved. OBD unlock not affected

The car feels more refined overall, maybe a tiny bit less edgy, but overall it improves the driving experience.

Big key improvements
  • Lane keep & ACC now behaves like you would expect, pingpong is much less, and car is much more reactive on corners.. no more "uhh is the car going to follow this corner?"
  • Lane keep now works during the day where there's less contrast on lane markings
  • Delay from a slow rolling start <1mph but not stopped is fixed, no more hesitation or a small clunk if you roll into power a hair too quick for the transmission to react
  • instrument cluster doesn't crash anymore if you use the konami code on the M buttons for loud starts
  • car doesn't seem to always want to idle high when the cats are cold
  • idrive much more responsive
  • Suspension damping feels a bit more controlled
  • Shifts seem more buttery
  • Only con here is.. steering feels different.. unsure if it's better or worse. There's a bit of off center lightness now, but when loaded up it feels better. I think BMW tried to make it feel more natural, but I've grown to enjoy EPS steering with a tight on center feel.. will need to give it a bit more miles to really know. Sport+ seems to be slightly more usable
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      03-17-2021, 05:56 AM   #2
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How do you update this yourself ?
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      03-17-2021, 06:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiesowns View Post
Hi,

Those that know me around forums know I do quite a bit of work on my own cars including coding and BMW ISTEP updates. Following the trend that I started on people getting ISTEP updates on their older M2's, I decided to give updating to the 2021 March update a try out solely for being able to code in full screen apple carplay without needing "hacks or backdoors".

That definitely was fulfilled, however not among other excitement and improvements in the car. I've let the car adapted already, so other than longer term adaptations on the transmission, it's safe to say none of this is placebo.

TLDR: Updated from 2020-March to 2021-March vehicle software, X3M much improved. OBD unlock not affected

The car feels more refined overall, maybe a tiny bit less edgy, but overall it improves the driving experience.

Big key improvements
  • Lane keep & ACC now behaves like you would expect, pingpong is much less, and car is much more reactive on corners.. no more "uhh is the car going to follow this corner?"
  • Lane keep now works during the day where there's less contrast on lane markings
  • Delay from a slow rolling start <1mph but not stopped is fixed, no more hesitation or a small clunk if you roll into power a hair too quick for the transmission to react
  • instrument cluster doesn't crash anymore if you use the konami code on the M buttons for loud starts
  • car doesn't seem to always want to idle high when the cats are cold
  • idrive much more responsive
  • Suspension damping feels a bit more controlled
  • Shifts seem more buttery
  • Only con here is.. steering feels different.. unsure if it's better or worse. There's a bit of off center lightness now, but when loaded up it feels better. I think BMW tried to make it feel more natural, but I've grown to enjoy EPS steering with a tight on center feel.. will need to give it a bit more miles to really know. Sport+ seems to be slightly more usable

Re: your last point - does it help with highway driving? I find my X3MC to be a bit twitchy on the highway. Requires more effort than most cars to track it straight.
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      03-17-2021, 08:30 AM   #4
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Interesting. If BM3 is unaffected, I may give this a whirl if its not too hard.
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      03-17-2021, 08:34 AM   #5
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So this update also gives you OEM full screen apple carplay?
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      03-17-2021, 09:37 AM   #6
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Getting my break in service done next week. do they do this at the dealer automatically?
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      03-17-2021, 10:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young04 View Post
Re: your last point - does it help with highway driving? I find my X3MC to be a bit twitchy on the highway. Requires more effort than most cars to track it straight.
A lot of this "twitchiness" is the suspension, particularly the bouncy rear springs. Once I put the MSS springs on, I noticed a much more relaxed highway cruise with far less constant steering correction needed.
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      03-17-2021, 12:51 PM   #8
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I'm confused. Are you offering a service or is this something BMW will do? What are the latest versions?
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      03-17-2021, 01:28 PM   #9
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This is me taking a stab but I think he's telling owners of 2020's to get the latest ISTEP update from the dealer if possible because it's an improvement. I took mine in December for the emissions recall which I assume is basically an ISTEP update but I don't really notice much difference.
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      03-17-2021, 03:36 PM   #10
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Not sure if this is on topic but are map updates over the air now? Showing "automatic update" but don't see anywhere to initialize an update.
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      03-17-2021, 03:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoWoX3M View Post
Not sure if this is on topic but are map updates over the air now? Showing "automatic update" but don't see anywhere to initialize an update.
The automatic update is already done. You only get the States you see below. The rest of the US remains not updated. For the whole US you need to update by usb.
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      03-18-2021, 03:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD^2 View Post
This is me taking a stab but I think he's telling owners of 2020's to get the latest ISTEP update from the dealer if possible because it's an improvement. I took mine in December for the emissions recall which I assume is basically an ISTEP update but I don't really notice much difference.
Thatís correct


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Originally Posted by robopp View Post
I'm confused. Are you offering a service or is this something BMW will do? What are the latest versions?
I donít offer this as a service. If you slip your SA some cash and make up a story about how nav or CarPlay doesnít work, they can usually get the update done on book time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Cole View Post
So this update also gives you OEM full screen apple carplay?
Not automatically but now allows you to code in full screen with BimmerCode.
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      03-18-2021, 06:40 AM   #13
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I got intrigued and reached out to my SA who said "BMW will only pay for software update when we replace a part that requires programming or a TSB that calls for programming."
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      03-18-2021, 06:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiesowns View Post
Thatís correct




I donít offer this as a service. If you slip your SA some cash and make up a story about how nav or CarPlay doesnít work, they can usually get the update done on book time.



Not automatically but now allows you to code in full screen with BimmerCode.
Oh - that last one about the CarPlay is nice.

But you really have to trick the dealer to update the software? They wonít just do it on request?
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      03-18-2021, 06:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spta97 View Post
Oh - that last one about the CarPlay is nice.

But you really have to trick the dealer to update the software? They wonít just do it on request?
My experience is they won't. I've had luck (on my other BMWs) saying Carplay isn't working well.
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      03-18-2021, 06:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young04 View Post
My experience is they won't. I've had luck (on my other BMWs) saying Carplay isn't working well.
Well thatís true with me as well. Itís laggy and has been since the start.

I also received the unable to measure oil level error - Will that help the case for this update?

Finally, do you have to let them come to the conclusion or can you just say youíve read the ISTEP update helps CarPlay issues?
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      03-18-2021, 08:35 AM   #17
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I think most dealers are like this. You have to look at the list of changes and then be sneaky by claiming you're having a specific issues that just so happen to be addressed by the software update. Jag was REALLY bad at this when they were rolling out huge changes to their in house infotainment system a few years ago. You'd have to BS them with fake issues even though the software changes they were adding every 4-6 months were huge changes with piles of features and fixes.
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      03-18-2021, 08:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spta97 View Post
Well thatís true with me as well. Itís laggy and has been since the start.

I also received the unable to measure oil level error - Will that help the case for this update?

Finally, do you have to let them come to the conclusion or can you just say youíve read the ISTEP update helps CarPlay issues?
I'm due for an annual oil change soon. I think I'm going to say that my Car Play is glitchy and say I read the ISTEP update helps. It's not entirely false, although it hasn't been as glitchy lately.
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      03-18-2021, 10:41 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pluckydks View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by spta97 View Post
Well that’s true with me as well. It’s laggy and has been since the start.

I also received the unable to measure oil level error - Will that help the case for this update?

Finally, do you have to let them come to the conclusion or can you just say you’ve read the ISTEP update helps CarPlay issues?
I'm due for an annual oil change soon. I think I'm going to say that my Car Play is glitchy and say I read the ISTEP update helps. It's not entirely false, although it hasn't been as glitchy lately.
They will schedule you an appointment with the BMW Genius and pretend they have no idea what istep is. Seriously.
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      03-18-2021, 11:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allinon72 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by pluckydks View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by spta97 View Post
Well that's true with me as well. It's laggy and has been since the start.

I also received the unable to measure oil level error - Will that help the case for this update?

Finally, do you have to let them come to the conclusion or can you just say you've read the ISTEP update helps CarPlay issues?
I'm due for an annual oil change soon. I think I'm going to say that my Car Play is glitchy and say I read the ISTEP update helps. It's not entirely false, although it hasn't been as glitchy lately.
They will schedule you an appointment with the BMW Genius and pretend they have no idea what istep is. Seriously.
You would think this kind of update would be part of regular servicing of the vehicle. Absent any issue, does anyone know if you can pay out of pocket for it? Just curious.
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      03-18-2021, 01:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strohw View Post
I think most dealers are like this. You have to look at the list of changes and then be sneaky by claiming you're having a specific issues that just so happen to be addressed by the software update. Jag was REALLY bad at this when they were rolling out huge changes to their in house infotainment system a few years ago. You'd have to BS them with fake issues even though the software changes they were adding every 4-6 months were huge changes with piles of features and fixes.
Pretty much. If you want the latest infotainment system version on a new car under warranty you have to identify the specific issues that necessitate the upgrade and tell your dealer that you are having those issues.
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      03-18-2021, 02:29 PM   #22
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I took my X3M in for 1 year service a few weeks ago and service tech said there was a software update due. He said they would need the vehicle for a full day, so I took a raincheck. I am assuming this is the update being discussed. It was them that mentioned the update so no subterfuge or arm-twisting needed.
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