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Old 20.03.2010, 13:57
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Re: bringing my USA BMW to CH?

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You said the quality of a USA BMW would be different to a European one; I showed that was not even slightly the case.
Really...? Really? Did the groan make you feel better?

Completely uncalled for, and you've shown nothing. Your examples were for manufacturing origins, not destined consumer markets. If you don't understand the difference, then I wish you luck.

But, this is a total thread hijack, apologies for that to the OP. Listen to the engineer guy for the radio info, he's right. I'm out.
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Old 20.03.2010, 14:32
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Re: bringing my USA BMW to CH?

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BMW USA radios tune in 200kHz increments, as is standard in the USA
They stop on odd numbered radio stations, ie 101.1, 101.3, 101.5 etc

Here in Zurich this means you cannot tune to Radio 24 on 102.8 and 102.0

If you are in a town where by luck the radio is on an odd numbered channel eg 101.1, then you can receive it. But certainly you will have great dificulty receiving FM radio in Switzerland especially when the RDS tries to automatically change frequencies to those that cannot be received. So driving around and listening to DRS3 will be really frustrating.

I have a friend who had a USA BMW that wasn't reprogrammed to ECE.
He got so frustrated with the radio, and the other USA differences, eventually he sold the car and bought a ECE model.
talking about me?
radio was indeed a good reason why I got rid off my 6er. Yes i had 10's og gigs of songs on my ipod nicely integrated into Idrive but that and lack of TMC and traffic radio updates were a factor in downgrade to ECE A4. as far as comments about quality it is total BS. In fact I would add that my car with equipment I had was a rarity. Bring the bimmer. You will enjoy it and take advantage of Kiwi's connections. The guy knows his stuff. My next ride will definitely come from US so let's hope USD tanks in 2-3 years from now.
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Old 20.03.2010, 23:42
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Re: bringing my USA BMW to CH?

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Which is why the RDS AF function keeps you on the correct frequency for your area, and that only functions flawlessly when you can receive all frequencies without any restriction.

Maybe your US digital receiver does, but the BMW car radio does not

I have worked on many many BMWs specifically converting them from one market to the other. I know the differences in the radios, the nav systems, and the TV systems.

I am familiar with the global specifications and the differences between the four key world market regions, being Japan, Oceania, Europe and USA. I am a qualified electronics engineer with 20 years experience, and I know the differences. I've even sat down and retuned radios by altering the PLL.

The BMW USA radios - and in all BMW cars for at least the last 15 years - are set for tuning in 200kHz steps, and that simply does not work in Europe.

Whilst older generation BMWs could be changed from region-USA to region-Europe at the touch of a button, the newer generation cars have the radio region linking to the vehicle region, and thus much harder to change

Maybe you have experience with non-BMW radios that tune in 100kHz steps, and in that case the issue does not arise (ignoring RDS differences and de-emphasis differences)
You could have said that the frequency difference may work but would work better with an ECE conversion and I would have conceded that it may well be... BUT that it still works adequately as is.

The fact that you are telling me that the radio in my own car doesn't work makes me wonder. If you are indeed correct then I guess I only imagine that I listen to it every time I drive the car that I bought and imported here 2 1/2 years ago. I guess I've been deluded all this time... When will I learn... ?
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Old 21.03.2010, 08:11
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Re: bringing my USA BMW to CH?

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You could have said that the frequency difference may work but would work better with an ECE conversion and I would have conceded that it may well be... BUT that it still works adequately as is.
Depends on you area and where you drive and what you tune to

With my car I drive from Wallis to Ticino to Bern to Rorschach and everywhere in between

I listen mainly to DRS3.

Examples of frequencies I listen to:
Region Zurich (Uetliberg) 104.8 xx
Region Luzern (Rigi) 103.8 xx
Region Eastern Switzerland (Säntis) 105.6 xx
Region Bern (Bantiger) 99.3

All frequencies marked with xx are not available to a USA radio

So if you live and drive in Bern, you would not notice.

But drive from Bern via Luzern to Zurich and on to Eastern Switzerland, and your reception of DRS3 becomes nigh on impossible

If you find that adequate for your needs, then great

For me, unfortunately, I would rate it as inadequate.

Anyway, depending on your model BMW, fixing the radio frequencies can be as easy as just using your fingers and selecting the right option.
Warning: may contain traces of nuts.
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Old 22.03.2010, 17:19
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Re: bringing my USA BMW to CH?

hey zuifmufi,

I'm also bringing my Audi S4 from Cali to Switz. There are a few things to consider and this forum is full of info, but it is not complete.

Firstly is the radio/navi. At least for my Audi, this is already "cracked" by several audi navi experts between the UK/EU and US. There is at least a specific audi navi forum that helps with such software changes between EU and US. With regards traffic monitoring and the use of radio (satellite or FM) frankly I'm not too concerned. In theory audi navi with the EU software will work no probs, but I use the CD/SDcards for my listening pleasure. In any case most local radio in switzerland is pretty bad and I don't understand them anyway, so I'm not concerned.

The second big thing is whether you will have to make any changes to your car to comply with swiss regs. Someone mentioned that it was easier to sell it in the US and buy one local. Well yes and no. It may be easier to sell in the US, but economically it is totally worth bringing my car in. Considering cost of rego and transport compared to the differences in values. Even my car being 3 yrs old now is still worth 10-20kCHF more than what I would get in the US!

Also, these days there are less significant manufacturing differences for US destined cars and EU market cars. The big things to note are headlights (xenons need washers), exhaust fumes, speedo (km/h shown) and indicators (orange turn signals) and something to do with the wheels/tires. Additionally, I found a few local contacts that do this sort of thing regularly and were able to analyse my car build (the exact details of what was put on my car) to determine if it would require significant homologation to swiss standards. Thankfully they believe it won't need to change much based on the car's setup.

Someone mentioned that the US suspension is different on some models. This is true in some cases and typically the US suspension is higher and softer. But my understanding is that this is not of great concern to the swiss authorities if it is higher and softer. I have aftermarket suspension, which may require swapping back to OEM, getting rego and then putting it back on again, but hopefully not.

With regards importation these are the basic procedures:
1. swiss import customs clearance (I believe you get this when you either drive across the border or when it is unloaded from the container)
2. necessary modifications to meet swiss regulations
3. registration of your car in switzerland (requires gas emissions test, etc)

The import also depends on if you are bringing it as part of your household goods (under form 18.44) and also that you own it for more than 6 months. That way you don't pay customs duties or taxes.

Documents required for swiss import customs clearance:
- original form 18.44
- copy of passport
- copy of lease or property title to place of residence in switzerland
- copy of residence permit
- copy of attestation of residence from the local gemeinde
- confirmation of employment from employer
- copy of foreign title showing a date older than 6 months.

you will then be issued form 13.20A and 18.44 will be stamped. These are neede for starting the registration process.

Then you need to go through the process of making any changes to get it registered.

It's not an easy process, and it is somewhat still vague to me, also since I have not been through the process yet. So the above is only what I have learned and may or may not be accurate. The process may also be slightly different depending on the Canton.

With regards a conformity document. I still haven't been able to track one down. No one really knows. Audi of America doesn't have one. The exporters don't have one. My next stop is the DMV to try and get a copy of the original first registration certificate.

It's a process. It's not fun. But I can't wait to have my car here!

Good luck and if you need help the forum is mostly helpful and I will try where I can.
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Old 07.04.2010, 11:19
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toronto has become a little unpopulartoronto has become a little unpopular
for your s4

the letter of conformity you get from audi switzerland, the importer in bern... dont have the number here with me sry, but let me know if you have trouble finding it i can look it up. for a deal of 750 francs they spend a few minutes looking at the car and writing a letter that it conformes to swiss standards... i did this for my q7 which was new and owned less than 6months, or is it 1 year i cant remember.. for my a4 i did not need this as i owned it for the minimum period so I think for that reason you don't need that document, surprised on your s4 you would need it if you have owned it for 3 years.
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bmw, car from usa, car import, import car

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