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jben 04-20-2004 11:03 AM

Audio system speaker failure after object shifts in trunk
Am hoping some of you audio experts can advise me if there’s an easy fix for my problem or if I should bring to dealer. My speakers stopped working after an object in the trunk moved and banged against the trunk liner.

Here’s what happened. While driving with a heavy barbeque propane tank in the trunk (just filled) I took a sharp turn and heard a loud “thunk” sound from the rear. The sound was the propane tank falling down and hitting against the sides of the trunk I was listening to the radio at the time and the audio immediately failed. The business CD display continues to display the station frequency or CD track, but there is no sound from the speakers. I examined the trunk and there is no visible damage or dents in the liner. Also, the radio and CD controls appear to work as usual but there is no sound from the speakers. I suspect that the speaker cables travel through the trunk and were disconnected by the shifting propane tank. However, I don’t know where to search or how to remove the trunk liner panels.

The car is 2000 BMW 328 Ci with fold down seats, standard audio with Business CD head unit and BMW 6-cd changer mounted in trunk enclosure (e.g., special doored compartment on left hand side – opening door exposes changer as well as small shelf to hold extra cartridges.)

Kaz 04-20-2004 11:11 AM

If there is no sound from any of the speakers, there is probably some sort of damage to the wiring going to the amp (behind the changer). It could be as simple as the connector getting dislodged from the amp, or as bad as a wire in the harness getting pinched/cut. The amp harness disconnecting seems unlikely since it locks in place pretty tightly, but that's always a possibility.

I'd take out the left trunk liner and check the amp connection, and start from there.

Salvator 04-20-2004 12:11 PM


Originally Posted by jben
While driving with a heavy barbeque propane tank in the trunk (just filled) I took a sharp turn and heard a loud “thunk” sound from the rear.

That "thunk" was the sound of fate warning you not to carry loaded propane tanks, (especially unsecured propane tanks) in the trunk of your vehicle! I'm sorry to have to hi-jack your thread, but please promise that you'll at least secure the tank down before you do that again... A 6-unit condominum was destroyed across the highway from my (former) condominimum when a renter who was moving tripped while carrying a 1/4 full bbq propane tank, and dropped it on the concrete edge by the sliding glass door. It exploded, and took the 6 units above and beside the renter's unit with it... Fortunately, no people were killed (everyone was at work), although some people's pets perished in the ensuing fire. The thought of a bomb rolling around in your trunk gives me chills! Might I recommend the BMW cargo net... expensive, but better then blowing up!

As for your radio issue, I would agree with the previous post that maybe the sharp edge of the tank may have impacted the wiring and cut / crimped it in some manner... Check out for CD changer installation instructions, which should help you reverse-engineer the removal of your liner... Good luck!

jben 04-21-2004 05:00 PM

Problem Fixed!
Thanks Kaz and Salavator
Per your advice I removed the trunk liner and examined the power cable to the amplifier. The wires looked ok and it was correctly plugged into the amplifier socket. However, there was a small plastic lever at the socket connection that was a bit loose. I pressed the lever down to its locked position which more fully engaged the plug. Now everything is working correctly (wow - going 1 day without audio was painful!)

Removing and reinstalling the trunk liner was a bit of a pain and I worried about breaking the plastic rivets, but it it all worked out fine in the end. The CD install instructions on (very well illustrated with photos) were helpful.

Sallvator, I appreciate your safety comments about transporting propane. In my case I thought I had it secured using my BMW accessory “cargo net”. However, the net was too small to place over the upright tank, so instead I placed it around the tank, “pinning” it against the trunk opening. This seemed secure, but the tank slid out when I cornered and the rest is history. Next time, I’ll place the propane tank on its side, and use the cargo net on top.

Thanks again everyone

Kaz 04-21-2004 05:15 PM

I always carry propane tanks and anything similar wedged between the front and rear seats of my car.

Good to hear the 'damage' was minimal.

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