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      11-28-2018, 08:38 PM   #23
Symo
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I know BMW say "don't do it" but do you think you could refill the cartridges with a modified syringe just as they refill ink jet cartridges. Has anyone tried?


In Australia, when you order a 540i this feature comes as standard. I had a loaner for 24hours and didn't notice it in that. My wife (who has a bionic nose that's better than a blood hound) also didn't notice it. I could put up with driving about with the scent cartridges being empty but not if the car keeps popping up a nag screen telling me BMW needs more money.

Last edited by Symo; 11-28-2018 at 08:39 PM.. Reason: wish I could spell
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      11-28-2018, 08:54 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Symo View Post
I know BMW say "don't do it" but do you think you could refill the cartridges with a modified syringe just as they refill ink jet cartridges. Has anyone tried?


In Australia, when you order a 540i this feature comes as standard. I had a loaner for 24hours and didn't notice it in that. My wife (who has a bionic nose that's better than a blood hound) also didn't notice it. I could put up with driving about with the scent cartridges being empty but not if the car keeps popping up a nag screen telling me BMW needs more money.
Never seen a reminder message come up. If you didn't smell it then yes, either the cartridges were empty or the scent level was set to 0 (they go 0-3).

I wondered about the refill option myself as the cartridges don't last long if you leave them switched on and they seem to cost a disproportionate amount of money. I knew the MB system could be refilled but the cartridges were simpler design. The BMW version looks like it has a chip and reservoir (kind of like an inkjet printer cartridge).

I rarely use mine (only temporarily if at all), so mine have lasted me over six months so far. The car came with a kit of four different flavours and two at a time can be installed. I'm only out on one of them at this stage with two untouched still in the cupboard.
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      11-28-2018, 09:02 PM   #25
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Never seen a reminder message come up. If you didn't smell it then yes, either the cartridges were empty or the scent level was set to 0 (they go 0-3).

I wondered about the refill option myself as the cartridges don't last long if you leave them switched on and they seem to cost a disproportionate amount of money. I knew the MB system could be refilled but the cartridges were simpler design. The BMW version looks like it has a chip and reservoir (kind of like an inkjet printer cartridge).

I rarely use mine (only temporarily if at all), so mine have lasted me over six months so far. The car came with a kit of four different flavours and two at a time can be installed. I'm only out on one of them at this stage with two untouched still in the cupboard.


Thanks DBO. Haven't actually collected my car yet so just going on what I have read here. I just got the VIN from the dealer last week (and trying to track it through production / shipping without luck). I hope to collect my car in January 19 if the stars align.


After I empty my first cartridge I may try to refill one with some old spice or some other trendy scent
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      11-28-2018, 09:10 PM   #26
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Ah the dreaded wait ... you'll love the car once you get it. There's so many gadgets on board that you'll quickly forget about Ambient air or the ozone generator

Surprisingly few 540i G30's around actually. Might be a few more down there in Melbourne but up here they're like hens teeth.
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      11-29-2018, 08:21 AM   #27
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Wouldn't have picked this option but it came with a pack.
I must say I like it a lot, even though cartridge price is quite steep.

I find the fragrances very discreet and refined.
Its not a constant smell, more like periodic sprays. Its quite subtle and I definitely enjoy it that way.
You can tune the intensity (= frequency of spraying ?) from 1 to 3 through iDrive and I can definitely smell it, even on 1 (the lowest setting).
System is integrated in the gloves box. I appreciate not having a ugly plastic pad stuck on the dashboard our dangling from the mirror.
Being able to switch fragrance directly from iDrive is nice as well (choice of 2 cart.).
There are 4 suites of fragrance, each suite available in 2 versions : light or strong.
Green and blue suites are my favorites.

I spend about 150 eur / year on cartridges. Not cheap but worth it for me.
I'd tick the option again.

Last edited by karmakal; 11-29-2018 at 09:17 AM..
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      11-29-2018, 03:49 PM   #28
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Well, curiosity got the better of me last night and I pulled one of the cartridges apart to see what's hiding inside and to examine ways to refill.

For those waiting for a reasonable and rational expose of why these darn things are so expensive - get ready for disappointment. There's actually nothing special about the scent cartridges whatsoever. They are essentially just a sponge bob square pants inside a fancy plastic housing. The most delicate part would be the small rubber seal around the opening. The chip at the bottom is obviously only used to carry the data for the label (i.e. the scent name appears in your iDrive). No mechanical or electronic components inside. There's no need for syringes or otherwise for refill. Just pop the top off and soak or replace the sponge bit with something you like. Just make sure you don't overfill (i.e. see any liquid draining from the cartridge if you invert it). The best approach would be to replace the sponge as the remainder in the old one will mix with whatever you're adding in on top.

I'm guessing that due to the very small liquid this thing holds, that the scents are eau the toilette or perfume type (i.e. reasonably highly concentrated). Perhaps someone will offer liquid refill for the scents at some stage.

P.S> Wear gloves! otherwise your fingers end up with a toxic dose of Golden No.2.
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      11-29-2018, 05:24 PM   #29
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Brilliant DBO. That's what I'm talking about!! Given the design of the thing now that we see it disassembled, why even pull it apart to refill?. Take the dead one out and place "x" number of drops (from a eye dropper) of Chanel #5 onto the foam pad and seal it back up again until a new cartridge needs replacing in your car, By the time you need to place it back in your car the Chanel #5 will have evenly adsorbed into the sponge.

BUT, I wonder if that chip on the bottom holds a serial number and the car knows that the cartridge has been used before and rejects it??? And given that its just a sponge, how does the car know its empty?

The only risk (and its real) is explaining to the wife why your car smells like Chanel #5 all of the time.
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      11-29-2018, 05:31 PM   #30
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Quote:
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BUT, I wonder if that chip on the bottom holds a serial number and the car knows that the cartridge has been used before and rejects it??? And given that its just a sponge, how does the car know its empty?
The car doesn't know if a cartridge is empty. It just shows the name of the scent.
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      11-30-2018, 08:56 AM   #31
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The car doesn't know if a cartridge is empty. It just shows the name of the scent.
iDrive shows the remaining level of each cartridge.
Don't know if its based on real use or lapse of time though.
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      11-30-2018, 03:36 PM   #32
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iDrive shows the remaining level of each cartridge.
Don't know if its based on real use or lapse of time though.
Huh??.. where are you seeing that? Mine doesn't do that. What version of the iDrive software does your car have? Can you share a screen shot or photo?
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      12-01-2018, 07:58 PM   #33
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Huh??.. where are you seeing that? Mine doesn't do that. What version of the iDrive software does your car have? Can you share a screen shot or photo?
Apologies for butting in, but my car also gives me alerts re ambient air on start up. The first is to warn me that a cartridge is nearly empty. If you keep using that cartridge, eventually the pop up message is to the effect that it is empty. I can't send a screen shot as neither cartridge is empty or near empty at the moment. While I don't know, given that you discovered that the cartridge has a fragrance soaked sponge in it, I doubt the car actually measures the level of fragrance left. Most likely, it works on a number of "puffs" to empty (as you can intermittently smell the scent when it is released) which are then counted on the chip on the cartridge. If I'm right, then I suspect that if you "re-fill" a cartridge, it will still show up on iDrive as being empty.

The version of iDrive software I have is 006.001.044. But the pop-up messages have always appeared since I got the car in October 17.

BTW I paid $75 for a cartridge at my local dealership. Very expensive, but it's a nice feature IMHO. I will confess, I do have a sensitive nose so maybe that's why I smell it while others don't notice it!
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      12-02-2018, 12:06 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBO View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by karmakal View Post
iDrive shows the remaining level of each cartridge.
Don't know if its based on real use or lapse of time though.
Huh??.. where are you seeing that? Mine doesn't do that. What version of the iDrive software does your car have? Can you share a screen shot or photo?
Quote:
Huh??.. where are you seeing that? Mine doesn't do that. What version of the iDrive software does your car have? Can you share a screen shot or photo?
Here's a pic.
Color of the cartridge drops as you use it.
When cartridge is empty it looks fully black.
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      12-02-2018, 03:12 PM   #35
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Well there you go.. guess they updated that in the iDrive because mine looks completely different. Must be a timer type - nothing in the cartridge itself to suggest it can measure the quantity.

Thanks for posting the pic.
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      12-02-2018, 03:26 PM   #36
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This must not be available in the US. Just got a fully loaded M550i and there's no ambient air option.
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      12-03-2018, 01:21 AM   #37
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This is what my iDrive shows me. I'm on version 006.006.006
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      12-03-2018, 02:18 AM   #38
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This is what my iDrive shows me. I'm on version 006.006.006
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This is what my iDrive shows me. I'm on version 006.006.006

I'll have my car in February and I will post a picture of what my idrive shows me. From previous experience I feel BMW Australia don't do firmware updates unless their is a issue with the car that warrants the effort on their behalf.
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      12-04-2018, 10:02 AM   #39
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My version seems older : 005.012.001
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      12-05-2018, 12:59 PM   #40
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You can't reuse the cartridges , the chip on the back of cartridge tell the car how long it's been used for, for example 5000 miles on setting number 2 will tell the car is empty even know when you take it out there is still a strong smell which is a complete con if you ask me.

There is the valve in the compartment where the cartridges go, that opens up to the airflow through at a set period of time depending what setting you have it o depending what setting you have it on (1,2 or 3), this is why you can't top up the cartridge as the chip is telling the car not to open the valves because it's empty.
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      10-25-2019, 03:29 PM   #41
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In my 7 Series I have been running empty for 2 months now and still when I press the Ambi Air to setting no. 3 I can sense the smell, so it certainly opens the valve and lets the air through. If you look at the delaer options when trying to order you have a couple of sents of which you have them labeled no1. Or no2. As I think no.2 is a stronger sent than no.1
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      02-10-2020, 09:52 AM   #42
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There is hardly any smell with the ambient air fragrances. My cartridges have run out and I don't feel any difference.
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      02-10-2020, 09:57 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drjolokia View Post
This must not be available in the US. Just got a fully loaded M550i and there's no ambient air option.
This is available in US. It came factory installed in my 2020 X7 M50i.
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      02-10-2020, 09:59 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Shepway View Post
You can't reuse the cartridges , the chip on the back of cartridge tell the car how long it's been used for, for example 5000 miles on setting number 2 will tell the car is empty even know when you take it out there is still a strong smell which is a complete con if you ask me.

There is the valve in the compartment where the cartridges go, that opens up to the airflow through at a set period of time depending what setting you have it o depending what setting you have it on (1,2 or 3), this is why you can't top up the cartridge as the chip is telling the car not to open the valves because it's empty.
Hope someone finds a way to reset the chip!
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