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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-01-2008, 01:19 PM
danieljsinclair danieljsinclair is offline
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Question Another blank screen problem with Navigation

I have an OEM Navigation system (Mk4) in a 2002 E39 which was working until we had some flat battery trouble. Now we have a blank screen.

From what I hear the old Mk3 firmware's were susceptible to voltage spikes and jump-starting could kill them.

We now have a blank (but backlit screen). The radio works fine, and you can still operate the channels, even select TV (audio only) but no picture. I don't know my way through the menus well enough blind to get voice prompts see if the GPS is still working.

I've tried swapping back to the MK3 but that didn't work either which lead me to believe that perhaps it wasn't the computer.

Our local BMW Dealership diagnosed the "Head Unit" (display). So I replaced that with a working (I was assured) unit from ebay but it's exactly the same problem.

I've tried putting a V29 firmware CD into the computer because I understand that it will eject when it finishes and that might fix a problem with the computer flash. I've done that, but nothing visible still. The eject button works OK, the light comes on, it whirrs into life but I don't get a picture.

I'm forced to conclude one of three things;
1) The dealership misdiagnosed the fault - it isn't the head unit after all.
2) The 'new' replacement head unit/display has the exact same fault as my unit and was sold to me by a scammer.
3) I broke something else putting in the display (unlikely).

Does anyone have any other ideas, or recommend where I might be able to get it fixed?

I now have two computers, a MK3 and MK4 and two head units. The navigation doesn't work with any combination. Presumably if BMW didn’t quote the GPS as being at fault they’ve managed to ‘talk’ to it over the iBus successfully?
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2008, 04:25 PM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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The same thing happened to my Nav system- twice! Both times as a result of jump start.

The problem is a tiny in-line surge protector (like 20mA or something). It's inside a small, rectangular box in the cables that connect your Nav system. Basically, I had to cut the wires (two, IIRC) to remove the box and then used a multimeter to determine where the fault lie.

Once the circuit- there's three, IIRC, is found. clip and remove the old resistor then solder on another. The resistor was about $.17 (that's cents). Since I didn't know what it was, I paid a guy $10 at a radio repair shop to diagnose and replace the first time.

I'd take a picture of it, but my car is at the body shop wondering what it did to deserve such an OC owner.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2008, 08:25 AM
danieljsinclair danieljsinclair is offline
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So what does the box look like exactly? And will the resistor appear "burned out"?

I've found a box a little slimmer than a pack of cigarettes, with three screws in the lid. It just has one thick black coming from it. Is that it?

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  #4  
Old 02-02-2008, 08:39 AM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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I don't see it in that pic. It was inline with either the blue or red plug. My understanding is that the box acts as a surge protector to keep any spikes from killing the nav computer. In my case (and if your is also bad) it did it's job. The resistor (capcitor, I think) appeared normal.
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2008, 09:02 AM
danieljsinclair danieljsinclair is offline
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So how big is the item I'm looking for? It's black, with a blue/red plug on either end?
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2008, 12:39 AM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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It should be inline with the blue and red/purple plugs shown in your picture. It's likely covered in cloth tape like the rest of the harness. It's less than 3/4" thick and about 2-3 long x 1" wide. But I don't REALLY recall the dimensions.
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2008, 02:29 AM
danieljsinclair danieljsinclair is offline
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Hmm. Did I mention that my car was manufactured 2001 and came with a Mk3 as standard. I wonder if the surge protector you're talking about only came in 2002 and later to protect the Mk4 computers?

Is your car post 2002?
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  #8  
Old 02-03-2008, 08:11 AM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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My car is a 2000, but I converted to the TV in Motion in '01 and MKIV in '03. I had a problem with the DVD portion and ordered another item (a cable, I think) in '04. I am unsure if the harness I have arrived with the car, in 01, or in '04.

When it broke in 06, I did call NavTV about the part. They said it wasn't used anymore. Which makes me think it came with the original TV In Motion kit.

Sorry.
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2008, 09:33 AM
danieljsinclair danieljsinclair is offline
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Ah that's a shame then. It explains why I can't find the device you're talking about, and it sounds like that's probably not my problem then.


I've tried plugging the blue socket from the TV directly into the GPS and it doesn't help. So my problem is possibly somewhere between the TV (via TrafficMaster) to the display.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'm any closer to a diagnosis. BMW diagnosed the display but changing that didn't help. I think I'm going to need to go back to them and challenge that theory.

The problem with the dealer is that all they do is plug it into the diagnostic. If they can't talk to something they conclude it's a faulty device. What they don't do is try a new one out. There must be something else between the two ends that's at fault. It's a shame I can't bypass the TrafficMaster system.
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  #10  
Old 02-03-2008, 11:59 AM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danieljsinclair View Post
There must be something else between the two ends that's at fault. It's a shame I can't bypass the TrafficMaster system.
This device perfectly fits your description. It is inline with the harness. The only thing that will diagnose it is a multimeter. Find a diagram of the plugs into (and out of) your NAV computer and which should be hot on ignition, then start your dagnosis. When you see which one isn't getting juice, trace the wire. My bet is you'll find an in-line device just like I've described somewhere along the harness. To test, you can simply bypass the harness (and it's protection) and see if you get light.

You should be able to bypass the traffic system. You could even bypass the TV and just go from the NAV computer straight to the nav screen, but I have a feeling that the problem lies along that harness.
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2008, 02:38 PM
danieljsinclair danieljsinclair is offline
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Unfortunately I don't think I can bypass the TrafficMaster. I've tried bypassing the TV to no avail but the TM system is hard wired (shown on right).



I don't suppose the loom that goes between the GPS and the TV could be plugged directly into the display unit (assuming I remove it) could it?
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2008, 02:59 PM
danieljsinclair danieljsinclair is offline
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Resolved

Turns out the dealer needed to recode/reset my board monitor display unit. It came from an X5 and the service person muttered something about it needing to "accept the new module". I'm not really sure what they did exactly, but its working now. The TrafficMaster now doesn't work incidentally, but the Mk4 GPS makes that redundant anyway.

From what I can tell its not a trivial job to remove, so I'm just glad it doesn't prevent the system from working.
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2008, 08:25 AM
danieljsinclair danieljsinclair is offline
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Update

I think I was given the wrong information by the service rep - when I looked at the wiring myself, the dealer HAD bypassed the TrafficMaster system. That's what got me back online again.
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