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Installation of Crystal Series Products.

  •  If you are tech- and car-savvy, you can install the products yourself if you follow all instructions.
  •  Check the instructions and videos to decide if you can do it. Incorrect installation may damage your car.
  •  Let an independent BMW workshop do the job if you think it looks too difficult. 
  •  Don't go to a BMW dealership because they may use BMW:s installation instructions instead of ours.
    This may damage your car.

Installation Videos & Installation Instructions.

Power to all affected components must be OFF when installing gear shift knob and multimedia controller knob.
This can be achieved in two ways:

A. DISCONNECTING VEHICLE BATTERIES

  • Gasoline-powered vehicles: Disconnect negative cable for all vehicle batteries before starting installation!

  •  Mild hybrid vehicles: Open hood, wait 5 minutes and disconnect negative cable for 12V battery in trunk before starting installation!

 

B. REMOVING CENTER GEAR CONSOLE

  •  All vehicles: Remove center gear console before installation! All batteries can stay connected.

Both methods have their merits:

Method A:

 

 

 

The least intrusive. No workshop visit required. To perform the installation successfully, we recommended you position the passenger seat as far back as possible, sit on that seat and use a mirror and a flashlight. Pay specific attention to the position of the ribbon cable. Before you start, check that all visible functions in the vehicle are without power. For instructions on how to disconnect the batteries in your car, see BMW Repair Manual below.

Method B:

 

 

 

Performing the installation offline makes it easier to do the installation steps because you can see the equipment up close and at a preferred angle. However, removing the center console trim is required to extract the gear console from the car. This is a job more geared towards workshops. For instructions on how to do it in your car, see BMW Repair Manual below. This method is required for plug-in-hybrids.

What drivetrain does my BMW have?
- If your car is of model year 2021 or later and has a 6-cylinder engine, it's a mild hybrid.
- If your car has an "e" in the model designation, it's a plug-in hybrid.
- If none of these apply, your car is gasoline-powered.

Instructions for disconnecting batteries and using BMW Repair Manual

Link to BMW Repair Manual ($30 for 1-day access)

Printed installation instructions are provided with the products. The latest electronic versions can be downloaded below. The level of difficulty for the installation is measured on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is very easy and 5 is more difficult.

Multimedia Controller Knob

Installation instruction (PDF)
Installation time: 45 min  Difficulty: 5  

Start/Stop Button

Installation instruction (PDF)

Installation time: 15 min  Difficulty: 2 Satisfying result!

Gear Shift Knob

Installation instruction (PDF)

Installation time: 1 hour  Difficulty: 5 WARNING! Position cable correctly in connector!**

Volume Button

Installation instruction (PDF)
Installation time: 15 min  Difficulty: 3 Alternate installation methods: see below

Workshops.

If you need help with your installation, contact an independent BMW workshop. There are two Master workshops that are familiar with our products:

West Coast:

Solely Bimmer
23854 Via Fabricante
MIssion Viejo, CA 92691

949-586-4269

East Coast:

Bimmer Hub
45 North Ave E.
Cranford, NJ 07016

908-463-0499

In other areas, search online. Be aware that not all workshops accept third party parts, so you may need to shop around.

Installation Instructions Updates.

November 3, 2021: Installation in the new 2022 X3 LCI and 2022 X4 LCI: While our parts are compatible with these models, we do not currently recommend installation because of shortage of BMW spare parts should there be a problem with the installation.

October 3, 2021: Installation of the Crystal Gear Shift Knob: If the vehicle cannot shift into gear after installation, a short circuit in the gear shift module under the gear shift knob has occurred. Our Crystal gear shift knob does not cause this. There are three possible reasons for this malfunction:
a) BMW dealership tried to install, following their installation procedures instead of ours.
b) All vehicle batteries were not disconnected or the center gear console removed before installation.
c) The ribbon cable was not in the correct position in the connector when the cable lock was closed. The cable tabs have to fit exactly into the connector's cutouts before closing the lock. See picture above.
If this error occurs, the center gear panel has to be replaced. The Crystal gear shift knob and the iDrive controller are not damaged. They can be installed successfully with a new center gear panel.

October 17, 2021:
I
nstallation of the Crystal Volume Button. Be very careful when you remove the OEM silver ring, so you don't dent it. Use a thick piece of cloth and pliers that are not sharp. Don't press the pliers too hard, don't pull, just wiggle back and forth until the ring snaps off.
If the trim ring does not come off, the other way is to remove the black OEM button using sticky rubber or a glue stick, small screwdrivers or by drilling a hole in the OEM button. To use the glue stick method, first heat up the black OEM button slightly with a hair dryer, then hold the trim ring with pliers/cloth when pulling out the button.
With the drilling method, fasten a screw in  the hole and pull the button out with pliers, or insert a small Allen wrench in the hole and pull the button out. See Bimmerpost thread 3 on page Reviews.

February 17, 2021: In the installation instructions for mild hybrids, the 12V and 48V batteries were mixed up. The 12V battery is a conventional battery in the trunk; the 48V battery is a lithium-ion battery under the hood. The instructions have been corrected.

January 29, 2021: Installation instruction (PDF) for the Crystal Volume Button is now available online.

January 28, 2021: The instructions for the Multimedia Controller Knob have been updated. When installing the transparent ring, it is important not to use force. The ring only fits in one position.

December 17, 2020: The Gear Shift Knob has been redesigned. The original version had a brass coil which was used together with 2 Allen screws to fasten the gear shift knob to the gear shift rod. The new version does not have a brass coil. Instead, BMW:s OEM T10 torx screw is used to attach the gear shift knob to the shift rod.

December 16, 2020: The instructions for the Multimedia Controller Knob have been updated. Some customers prefer to unplug the ribbon cable, while others prefer not to. It is up to the installer to decide what works best. The reason the instructions say to remove not just the touchpad surface layer but also the adhesive film under is to achieve a tight fit. If you have a leased car and are concerned about restoring the iDrive controller, you may want to leave the adhesive film on the printed circuit board.

November 16, 2020: Recommendations from the manufacturer detail that vehicle batteries must be disconnected before installation of all Crystal Series products, not just the Crystal Gear Shift Knob. Exception: plug-in hybrid models.

August 28, 2020: When installing the Start/Stop Button, it is recommended that you let the sticky rubber set for about 5 minutes after you have attached and formed it, before trying to pull out the original start button. This will make the material stronger. If this does not work either, you can heat up the original start button slightly with a hairdryer set on Low before attaching the rubber.

Compatibility Update.

August 28, 2020: Gear Shift Knob lights. Your BMW was shipped from the factory with the base gear lever with just one light (the P button). Our product uses the available voltage primarily to power the model logo with a bright white light. The remainder is used for the P button. It will light up with an amber light. The intensity will depend on model and equipment level. (If you were to install BMW:s crystal gear shift knob, only the P button would light up, not the model logo. This could be fixed with a change of coding in the car, but it would be vulnerable during future software updates.)