BMW X5 E70 xDrive 40d Phone Cradle Removal

About 18 months ago I purchased my latest BMW from Sytners Sheffield, a 2013 X5 E70 xDrive 40d M Sport. I was quite excited to find that it had a phone cradle installed in the center console. Of course, since the car was built, mobile technology has come on leaps and bounds and I found that it was not possible to get an adapter for my mobile phone, which meant that the cradle just became something that was filling up space in the storage area and got in the way.

I figured it should be possible to remove the cradle so I took a quick trip to Sytners parts department to ask about obtaining a blanking plate. The team were really helpful and were able to find the relevant part and order it for me. Don’t forget that there is a discount on parts when you show your BMW Car Club GB membership card.

The part number for the blanking plate is 51 16 9 115 083

The removal of the cradle is quite a simple job and took my around 45 minutes.

The first thing to do is to remove the carpet trim that runs down the side of the center console on the driver’s side. The is a single T20 torx screw by the pedals. Remove the screw and gently, but firmly, pull the trim away from the tunnel. There are two push connectors holding it in. When these have been pulled away simple pull the panel towards the front of the car as there are two slide clips holding the back.

Once the front panel is off, the back panel needs to come out as well. This one simply slides forward and I found it easier to do this from the rear seats and push it forward as trying to pull it was quite tricky with the drivers seat being in the way.

Once the back panel is out there are two connectors which need to be disconnected. You will see the cable coming from the cradle inside which is fixed to the tunnel by a couple of clips. Unclip the cable and follow the cable to find the two connectors and disconnect them. There is a large black one which pulls away from the plastic support and a smaller connector with a purple connector. The trick to disconnecting the purple connector is to use small flat blade screw driver to lift the purple cover and then press down on the clip beneath to release the clip holding the two sides together.

After disconnecting the wires, we can now look to remove the phone cradle. The cradle is held in place by two T20 torx screws which are hidden under the cradle, lift up the cradle and unscrew. The cradle will pull away easily and it is then a case of feeding through the connectors to allow the cradle to be removed.

When the cradle has been removed you can refit the carpet panels. The blanking plate simply pushes in to place. Here is a before and after.

This is a simple at home job that does not take long to do and gives you back a lot of storage in the center console.

BMW X5 E70

So something strange happened a few weeks ago. It was a Saturday afternoon and nothing really happening so my wife and eldest daughter went with me to Stratstone BMW in Chesterfield. We had a bit of a look around the used cars but there was nothing to take our fancy. After that we took a trip to the new (I say new but it has been there a year or two now) Sytners in Sheffield. This is a lovely dealers and we thought we’d grab a cuppa and take a look at some X3 and X5.

There were some really nice nearly new X5 in stock and this really got the taste buds tingling. However, these were a bit out of the current price range as I was fancying something newer than the E53 but not that new as to cost the price of a small nation.

The reason I had been thinking about something newer was that the E39 had been hit whilst I was away for work. Some nice person had gone down the side of it and left a paint transfer all down the side. Most of this came off with the machine polisher but there was some work needed to fix a spot over the rear wheel arch. Having to sort this out made me notice some rust coming through on the top of the wheel arch. This little bit of rust along with rust starting to come through on both sills and the fact that the recent MOT had shown some kind of leak on the top end showed me that I was in for some more garage bills. It was going to be either keep the E39 and spend some cash on it or trade it in for something newer.

Now, because I had been thinking this way I had mentally started to put together a list of the things I wanted from the idea car:

  1. Cream / Beige interior
  2. Sunroof
  3. Heated seats (kids also wanting heated rear seats as they had been feeling left out)
  4. Built in entertainment screen
  5. Would be nice to have another 3 litre but this time maybe a Diesel
  6. Had to have the wow factor

So, whilst looking at the cars in Sytners the sales person asked if there was anything of interest. Nope. Could he look at what other cars they had. Sure. So off he went and he came up with an X5 and an X3 that he thought I would be interested in, both of which were arond the back of the building so off he went to find the keys and bring them round for us to check out.

Well, the first one to come out was the X5 and straight away this had the wow factor. 2013 E70 xDrive 4.0d, 3 litres of loviness with twin turbo. Cream and black interior, panoramic sunroof, heated seats all round. Yep, this one just ticked all the boxes for what I was looking for.

The X3 came round and even though it was nice, it didn’t have all the bells and whistles and was straight away consigned to the rejected pile.

There was no way I thought that the salesman could find me a car that matched everything I wanted but somehow he managed it, without even knowing (as I hadn’t told him about my list).

We ended up walking away that afternoon with the deal signed for the E70. The E39 has gone on to hopefully be loved by someone else and we have the lovely new E70.

The E70 has already been on the BMW Car Club stand at two shows, the Doncaster Classic Car show and the BMW Show @ Santa Pod.