How to Integrate a Smartphone Control System for Remote Start in a BMW X5?

Your BMW X5 is more than just a car. It’s a statement of style, an embodiment of luxury, and a testament to the power of German engineering. Now, picture this: the ability to start your vehicle remotely using just your smartphone. Sounds like a prospect too good to be true, doesn’t it? Yet, with the latest advancements in BMW’s car tech, this is not only possible but incredibly easy to set-up. So, if you’ve always wanted to start your BMW X5 remotely from your smartphone, now you can. This article will guide you through integrating a smartphone control system for remote start in your BMW X5.

Overview of BMW’s Remote Start System

Before we dive into the how-to, let’s take a moment to understand what the Remote Start system is. BMW’s Remote Start system is a feature that allows you to start your vehicle’s engine remotely using a key fob, or in this case, a smartphone app. This feature is not just for the tech-savvy, but for anyone who wants to take full advantage of their vehicle’s capabilities.

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This system is especially useful in extreme weather conditions. If it’s a chilly winter morning, you can start your car from indoors, allowing the heater to warm the vehicle before you step in. Similarly, during a hot summer day, you can cool down the car before you get inside.

Setting Up BMW’s Digital Key.

To use the remote start function from your smartphone, you will first need to set up your BMW Digital Key. The Digital Key turns your smartphone into a car key, enabling you to lock, unlock, and start your car using your phone.

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To get started, make sure you have the BMW ConnectedDrive app downloaded on your smartphone. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Once downloaded, open the app and create a ConnectedDrive account if you do not already have one.

After setting up your account, select ‘Digital Key’ from the app’s menu and follow the instructions provided to pair your smartphone with your car. Remember, your vehicle must be equipped with the Digital Key feature for you to use it.

Integrating the Remote Start System.

After setting up the Digital Key, you are ready to integrate the remote start system with your smartphone. To do this, you need to enable the Remote Engine Start option within the ConnectedDrive app.

First, open the app and select ‘Remote Services’ from the menu. Then, select the ‘Engine Start’ option. Here, you will need to input your iDrive password to authorize the operation. Once you have input the password, your remote start function will be enabled.

From this point onwards, you can start your BMW X5’s engine remotely by pressing the ‘Engine Start’ button on your smartphone. The engine will run for fifteen minutes, after which, if you haven’t entered the car, it will automatically shut off.

Troubleshooting the System.

While integrating the remote start system with your smartphone is a straightforward process, you may encounter some issues. In such cases, do not fret. There are a few common troubleshooting steps you can take.

If you can’t see the ‘Engine Start’ option on your app, ensure that your vehicle is compatible with the remote start feature. Not all BMW X5 series vehicles support this feature. Contact BMW customer service for confirmation if you’re unsure.

If the system is not responding, try restarting your smartphone and the ConnectedDrive app. If the issue persists, you may need to update your app or the iDrive software in your BMW vehicle.

Staying Updated.

The technology in BMW vehicles is constantly evolving, with regular software updates improving functionality and introducing new features. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your BMW X5, it’s important to keep your Digital Key and the ConnectedDrive app updated.

To check for updates, open the ConnectedDrive app and go to the ‘Settings’ menu. If an update is available, download and install it. Similarly, for iDrive software updates, navigate to ‘Software Update’ on your car’s iDrive screen and follow the prompts to download and install any available updates.

By following these steps, you can transform your BMW X5 into a smart car, leveraging the power of your smartphone to control your vehicle remotely. With the BMW remote start system, you can enter a warm car on a freezing winter day, or a cool car on a blistering summer day, making every drive a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Keeping Your BMW Remote Start System Secure

One key aspect to remember when using the Remote Start system is security. As you’re essentially turning your smartphone into a key fob, you need to ensure your device is protected to prevent unauthorized access to your BMW X5.

Firstly, ensure your smartphone has a secure lock system in place, such as a PIN, password, pattern, or biometric access like fingerprint or face recognition. This will prevent anyone who might get a hold of your phone from easily accessing the BMW ConnectedDrive app and, by extension, your vehicle.

Secondly, never share your Digital Key or iDrive password with anyone. This password is the key to operating your car remotely, and giving it out can give others access to your vehicle.

Finally, regularly update your smartphone and the BMW ConnectedDrive app to the latest versions. These updates often come with security patches that fix potential vulnerabilities in the software. Remember, a secure operating system equals a secure remote starter system.


In summary, integrating a smartphone control system for remote start in your BMW X5 is a straightforward process that provides convenience and luxury at your fingertips. The BMW Digital Key and the BMW ConnectedDrive app, once downloaded, paired, and set up, allow you to remotely start your car’s engine from the comfort of your home or office.

However, while this feature brings ease and convenience, it is important to remember that the security of your BMW series car lies in your hands. Keeping your smartphone secure, not sharing your passwords, and staying updated with the latest BMW app and operating system updates are crucial to enjoying the benefits of the remote start function without any hiccups.

Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or just someone looking to make the most of their car, the BMW remote start system is a plug and play option that adds value to your driving experience. So, don’t wait, start your BMW X5 remotely today and experience the future of driving.

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