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MTL E36 10-29-2012 12:07 PM

Radio station not displaying
Hello everyone,
i'm new to the forums and new to bmw. I have a 98 328is and I am having issues with my oem radio. The radio station channel won't display. It shows a solid orange, nothing else. I can switch stations just fine, it just won't display what station i'm on. If anyone can please help me with this.


IndianBob 11-13-2012 07:00 PM

I have the same problem with my 1997 328i radio display, and if you do a google search you'll see it's very common on our E36's.
My simple free trick is to carry a small flashlight in the glove compartment that I use to read the display by just shinning light on the display to read what station I'm on and for setting all of the stations. I discovered this one morning when the sun was shining directly on the radio and I could read the faded out display for the first time.
Try it, it works!

ZeGerman 11-13-2012 07:35 PM

MTL may be experiencing different symptoms than you, Indian. The "dim" display which you experienced is indeed very common. Had the same thing happen in my car, which I fixed by re-soldering the resistor on the circuit board inside the stereo. Very easy fix.

A completely 100% blank screen, even when illuminated with an external light source such as a flashlight, is symptomatic of a failed display board and/or connection, and is different than the dim display problem. This too is possibly repairable - I believe there are some DIYs available online for it.

IndianBob 11-13-2012 08:17 PM

I read about the soldering fix and may try it some day, but for the time being, my display looks completely blank, and even the same on my VW's Bosch radio looks completely blank, until I shine a flashlight at them and they both then display the stations and modes. He may have the same problem as I have.

veteran011 11-14-2012 10:19 AM

Does your display look like this?

Or is the display simply dim?

IndianBob 11-14-2012 11:21 AM

Mine doesn't even display the FMMan reading, the whole display is blank.
BTW, you set your temp to 90F ?

veteran011 11-21-2012 04:14 AM

I do when its cold out. Somethings wrong with the actuators that control which vents the airflow is coming out of so I have to overcompensate by turning the temp up and putting the blower on high.

Also if your display isn't showing anything its gotta have the transistor resoldered. Mine was like yours when bought the car but I had a friend with a steady hand resolver the transistor and lo and behold there was light!

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