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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-23-2009, 08:41 AM
unrathr unrathr is offline
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Question Garmin GPS Reception Problems

I'm new to Bimmerfest and have a strange problem. I have a Garmin Nuvi 350 that works perfectly in my 2003 325xi with a beanbag mount. However, I can't get the GPS to hold satellite reception in my wife's 2005 325ci. Garmin recommended a remote antenna but that hasn't worked.

It's the strangest thing. I can be 20ft from the car with the GPS and it works perfectly. As I move towards the car, it gradually loses the signal. However, on occassion it will hold a signal. I've tried mounting it in several loacations with no luck.

I checked with the dealership and they thought it might have to do with the wiring package for a phone which continually sends a signal although I don't have a phone installed in the car. They are making an inquiry with BMW.

Any thoughts out there. I've threatened to trade in the car but my wife wants no part of that!!!!

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2009, 08:46 AM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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I have a Garmin Nuvi 250W and I have no problems at all with reception. Good luck finding out what's wrong.
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  #3  
Old 06-23-2009, 09:34 AM
Les Earl Les Earl is offline
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If the Garmin is ooperating on its own battery and unable to capture, my guess is that the BMW is either generating a spurious signal that over rides the satellite signals. (this seems unlikely). To check it, disconnect the car battery, and wait a "bit", then try the garmin again. If it works repeatedly, you will at least know the problem is produced by the car's electrical system. If it doesn't, I'd look in the trunk for Damien.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:46 AM
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Gryphon Gryphon is online now
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Just a thought, if your Garmin has a bluetooth option...turn it off in the '05.
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  #5  
Old 06-23-2009, 09:48 AM
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KrisL KrisL is offline
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Does your '05 have tint?
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2009, 06:35 PM
unrathr unrathr is offline
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Red face Garmin reception Problem

Thanks for the reponses. No tint on the windows, no Bluetooth, no Damien in the trunk!!!! I'll try the battery disconnect as I think there's some signal being sent out interferring with reception.
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2009, 12:51 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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My 350 works like a charm in my 2004 vert. Try changing the angle of the antenna flap?
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  #8  
Old 06-24-2009, 01:49 PM
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MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
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You know Unrathr.
I have this issue in a different way.
Blackberrys don't seem to get good reception if there on the t-mobile network in my car.
But my sidekick works fine and it's on T-mobile...
I've tried my fathers Garman GPS in my car and it seemed to work fine...
humm I'd have to give this problem a good thought and some testing to see the real problem.
Here are my questions for you.
Do you have a after market sound system?
Have any wires in your sound system been replaced or rewired?
Do you have XM radio, Sirus or anything like that?
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2009, 02:38 PM
unrathr unrathr is offline
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Garmin Reception Problem

Thanks Malibu!

The radio and sound system are original to the car. No wiring has been replaced that I know of. Sprint cell works great.I have an XM radio that works fine. It's a portable unit and I move it from car to car.

I'm doing the baterry disconnect thing tomorrow. We'll see what happens.
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  #10  
Old 06-25-2009, 02:59 PM
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MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unrathr View Post
Thanks Malibu!

The radio and sound system are original to the car. No wiring has been replaced that I know of. Sprint cell works great.I have an XM radio that works fine. It's a portable unit and I move it from car to car.

I'm doing the baterry disconnect thing tomorrow. We'll see what happens.
Try using the Garman GPS unit without the XM present.
Then try the XM present with the GPS.
See if there is a difference.

The battery disconnect is a good idea.
Resetting stuff might help.
See now since your sound system is completely stock we can rule that out.
let me know the results I think were onto something here with the XM radio and or some sort of thing that just needs to be reset that can be accomplished with battery disconnect.
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2012, 12:26 PM
kikmouse kikmouse is offline
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I found fix!!!

Hello All, and to anyone who had same problem!!!

If anyone is still interested on fix for this issue...

I found out the reason for this GPS problem.
I had exactly same problem with my 06 M3 conv as unrathr discribed.
My garmin works perfact everywhere and in any cars but as I walk close to my M3 while key is turned on, garmin GPS gradually loses signal and completly lose signal near my M3!!!

I thought my car must be sending out some strong RF signal that interferes with GPS, so started to take out parts that has anything to do with RF signal.
I took out stereo system, but no luck.
I took out all the door walls and seats to find out where Lojack is installed, but failed. (Good job on Lojack hiding that crap )
Then, suddenly I realize BMW SOS system might send out strong RF signal.
So I took out the TCU (telemetric unit) from trunk, and voila!
My garmin regains full signal!!!
Since then, I have not lost GPS signal for two weeks now!

While BMW dealerships were pointing fingers on others, the problem was BMW's malfunctioning TCU.

If you take out TCU, BMW SOS and bluetooth will not work.
For me, I could care less. My car runs fine and I have GPS working now.

On my M3 convertible, the TCU was located in trunk behind the driver side rear seat under the trunk carpet wall.
I heard none convertible ones have TCU near CD changer rack in trunk left side carpet wall.

Just in case, I disconnected battery before disconnecting cables from TCU.

I hope this helps.
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2012, 01:18 PM
E46_Ci E46_Ci is offline
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I have a TomTom Live in my '05 and have had zero issues with sat reception... have BMW Assist... I also had a Garmin Nuvi 1490 LMT that I used in the Bimmer, but moved that to the Mercedes since I would have very weak sat reception on that... it would put me 5 or 6 streets over, this is interesting.
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