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      11-05-2006, 07:45 AM   #1
Vice Consul
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Drives: 2006 325xi
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Warsaw, Poland

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Is my shark-fin antenna working?

How do I know if my shark-fin antenna is working as advertised with my mobile phone (Nokia 6230i)?
Last week I had my dealer in Poland install the eject box/trim/snap-in adapter ensemble in my U.S.-specs 2006 325xi with ZPP (=prepped for Bluetooth).
When the phone is in the adapter I can see it's charging normally. But how would I go about checking if the phone is actually connected to the shark-fin antenna, which is the other advertised benefit of buying the snap-in adapter?
The catch is that my phone's in-car reception was perfect even BEFORE I bought the adapter -- the display always showed seven bars out of seven -- so I can't say I've noticed any improvement in clarity or whatever that would reassure me that the shark-fin antenna has been hooked up. (This of course begs the questions of why I bothered to buy the adapter in the first place, but let's leave that one aside for now.)

I want to double-check because I have little faith in my dealer -- first, because this is Poland, where customer service is very poor in general, and second, because my dealer is clueless about the particularities of U.S.-specs models (even though they were happy to sell me one through BMW's Diplomatic Sales program.) As you probably know, European-specs cars ordered with the Bluetooth option (644 I believe) come with the eject box and trim built in: all you need is the snap-in adapter for your particular phone and you're good to go.

For Americans (unless you're lucking enough to be driving a 7 Series), it's not so simple: you've got to buy the Eject Box (84 21 6 946 075; $110) and Trim (51 16 7 118 054, $19.95) plus your Snap-in Adapter and find somebody who knows how to install them correctly. I'm not sure if that includes my dealer (Bawaria Motors of Warsaw). The alarm that he put in months ago still doesn't work -- the internal sensor is a dud, even though the interior lamp appears to have the requisite slots.

I've read several descriptions of the phone cradle installation process which indicate that it involves hooking up TWO sets of antenna cables, under the parking brake and inside the trunk. I have been trying to find the ones in the trunk to see what the dealer did with them... but I'll be darned if I can locate them. I've attached some photos in the hope somebody can point me in the right direction. Like other 325xi owners, presumably, I've got a lift-up compartment in the front of my trunk containing a fire extinguisher, beneath which is a plastic liner. No antenna cables here. To the left is a small access panel about the size of a U.S. license plate (what for?). The panel behind the lift-up compartment (i.e., adjacent to the rear seat) does not appear to budge... maybe these buckle-like things on the side of the trunk have something to do with it? My apologies if the photos don't come out. BTW I have the Through-Loading System and don't know if that makes a difference in the configuration of my trunk and the elusive antenna cables.

Vice Consul
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