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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 07-26-2012, 11:44 AM
superloud superloud is offline
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Radio Replacement

Hi All,

It's been a while. I used to read this forum a lot...and then life got in the way (house, baby, etc).

Now that my 2007 X3 is out of warranty, the radio seems to be dying.
It started with an intermittent crackling noise coming out of what seems to be all of the left speakers. Today, all of the sound stopped working for a short time - after the car sat for a while it seems to have gone back to crackling (my wife usually drives the X3 now so I'm getting some of this second hand).

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I took the X3 to the dealer for an oil change, and I had them checkout what was wrong with the audio system (hoping it was just a loose contact at the back of the head unit). They said there was an internal short in the head unit, and that it would be ~$1100 (~$600 in parts) to fix.
Personally, I thought the labor cost sounded high. How hard is it to pop out the radio and unplug the harness and insert a new radio? They did say something about having to reprogram stuff...not sure how hard that could be. Also, I should mention that I have NAV, so not sure if that makes the job more difficult.

So my questions are:
1) Is there a DIY for replacing the radio head unit? (I didn't see one in the sticky)
2) Is it hard to do? What's involved in reprogramming?
3) Does having NAV make it more difficult?

btw, I'm not really too interested in upgrading the radio. I'm happy with the OEM setup, especially since I'm not sure how a non-OEM deck would interact with my NAV. So I figure I'll be out the $600 or so to buy the new part, and I'm just wondering if it's worth saving the labor cost. If anyone knows where I can get cheaper OEM parts that would be great too.

thanks!
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2012, 01:34 PM
legalfee's Avatar
legalfee legalfee is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i 5AT
Here's video showing you how to remove the radio:



I'd look on Ebay to see what's available. Here's one for $360: That link is for NAV but you get the idea.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-E85-E83-...20d03e&vxp=mtr

Last edited by legalfee; 07-26-2012 at 01:46 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2012, 01:36 PM
Duriisimo Duriisimo is offline
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removal is very easy..............
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USAF

MY FEEDBACK
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  #4  
Old 07-26-2012, 02:31 PM
superloud superloud is offline
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Great, thanks! That does look super easy. I already have a set of trim removal tools, so that should be a breeze.

I guess my only remaining question is to do with "reprogramming". Does anyone know what all is involved with that?
I found another video (below) that shows how to program the region code and a couple other things. Is that all I will need to do?
As I said, I have NAV, so I wonder if I'll have to tinker with that. I remember a couple years back, burning myself an update CD
to upgrade the software version to the latest...I guess if I got a used radio off ebay for example, I might have to fiddle with that again.

Oh, I probably should have also mentioned I have the premium sound pkg...so I'll need the replacement to have that as well.
More I think about it, I'll probably just buy the part new from the stealer so I'm sure it's got everything I need.
Also, if my well taken care of unit went bunk, I don't care to save a couple hundred bucks for something that could be junk in a few months.

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  #5  
Old 07-27-2012, 10:07 AM
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legalfee legalfee is offline
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You shouldn't have to program the radio as long as it's not from out of the country. You can buy one from Ebay just make sure it's compatilble with NAV. You may want to compare models numbers with what you have.
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2012, 10:05 PM
superloud superloud is offline
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FYI,

Bought a replacement radio from the dealer, and just installed it by following the video above.
The physical installation was quite easy. However, there was/is some setup to do - it didn't simply plug and play.

When I turned it on, it threw me into the secret menu, where no "area" was selected, I believe it was the "2" button I pressed to select USA.
At that point, the AM/FM radio started working.
(for future reference, you can get back into the secret menu by turning the radio on, and holding the "SEL" button for 10 sec for people with NAV)

I had to go back into that secret menu and fiddle with stuff like the speed sensitive audio gain. There were some other options I couldn't
tell what they meant, but I fiddled with stuff till I think things mostly look like I remember.

One other piece of good news is the software version (found under Settings) is SW 4-1/00 which I believe is still the latest.

The one thing that I'm sure is going to annoy me is - now suddenly my auxiliary input is no longer working.
By that I mean, when I used to press the "MODE" button, it would cycle between Radio -> CD -> AUX. Now it just cycles between Radio -> CD.

Anyone know if there's another secret menu somewhere that's used to enable the AUX input??
thanks!
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2012, 07:21 AM
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legalfee legalfee is offline
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The radio should detect if you have a aux jack connected. Be sure it's connected to the correct pins. It's different with NAV. I had to rearrange the molex connectors according to the instructions with mine.
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2012, 08:05 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Yes, there is no secret menu in the radio to enable AUX.

Check out the FAQ and DIY Compilation sticky above, under Miscellaneous Documents, 7th. document down.

That might help, even though your 2007 had AUX pre-installed at the factory

Page 9 describes the 2 different radio harnesses for NAV and non-NAV I believe.
You have to look and see if your harness has a black connector in it.
For non-NAV the AUX connector goes directly into the radio, while for NAV the AUX connector requires pins to be rearranged and it plugs into the harness rather than directly into the radio.
(CD changer option also affects AUX hookup as well?)

I would have though that pin re-asignment was a one-time thing.
You may need to check and see if connections look exactly the same as with your old radio.

The other setup requirements you encountered for the new radio are to be expected.
It has to be adaptable for installation in any world market.
The speed sensitive programming is just one of the everyday user settings particular to the vehicle just like the fader, balance and tone.
At least there is no security code to complicate things.
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  #9  
Old 08-04-2012, 03:53 PM
superloud superloud is offline
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2012, 03:59 PM
superloud superloud is offline
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I'm not upgrading to nav. Just supposed to be a swap for an identical radio head unit. Everything was going into the harness before, and it plugged right into the back of the new head unit no problem. I also posted a pic of the back of both head units - they're identical.
BMW ordered this head unit based on my VIN, so it's not supposed to be missing anything. Besides, in 07 the aux input was standard so I can't imagine this head unit not supporting it.

I just opened the dash up again and swapped back and forth from old head unit to new and back again. AUX always comes back with the old and goes away with the new head unit. So it's not like I pulled on the wires and ruined the connection.

Hmm, not sure what else it could be. If there's no setup menu to enable it, then could this brand new head unit be defective...? Ugh
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2012, 04:44 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superloud View Post
.... could this brand new head unit be defective...?
Quite possible, but you'd think AUX functionality would be checked at the factory in the Czech Republic.

Are the part nos. identical?

Chance that your old part no. got discontinued and the new one uses a slightly different pin arrangement for AUX?

Something like 65 12 9 189 963 versus 65 12 9 205 279?

If you call ahead to the parts desk and tell them you are returning a defective unit, that might trigger their memory as to what the fix is.

Is s/w version on your old unit the same?

Maybe they will want to downgrade the version to see if that is the problem.
(If they have the capability to even do that through Bluetooth or something.)
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2012, 04:49 PM
superloud superloud is offline
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Talked to the dealership. According to the service advisor, there's some additional "programming" that needs to happen in order to get back the aux input after replacing a head unit. For a small fee of $297 that is. What a rip off...

I'll keep searching the forum. But if anyone has any additional insight it would be much appreciated. Thanks
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2012, 04:57 PM
superloud superloud is offline
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Thanks supercourse.
Yeah the part numbers seem to be ever so slightly different
Old: 6512 9146713-01
New: 6512 9205284-02

And the knobs are slightly different. Old ones were matte black while the new ones have a ring of metallic trim.

I suppose it's possible the pin outs are different on the new radio...though that would seem like a stretch to me. If I had to spin a new version of a radio, I'd want to change the least number of things as possible
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  #14  
Old 08-04-2012, 05:04 PM
superloud superloud is offline
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Also, I saw some sw version differences. There's the nav sw which is 4-1/00 on both. But when in that "secret" menu, it shows some sw version stuff that definitely didn't match (the new unit had what appeared to be a higher version).

Again, I'm a sw guy and it would seem wacky to change behavior that dramatically from one version to the next. My gut is telling me that indeed there probably is some "programming" that's needed. I'm hoping I can talk the dealer down on that outrageous price. Or else I'll just live without the aux input I guess
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  #15  
Old 08-07-2012, 01:29 PM
superloud superloud is offline
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In case anyone was wondering about the conclusion to this story...

As it turns out, there was indeed some additional "programming" that was needed in order to get the AUX input to work with the new head unit (that is, unless both BMW and Dinan were lying to me).

I ended up taking the X3 into Dinan, who did whatever it is they did for half of what BMW wanted (which still seems ridiculous, but I digress) and now the AUX input works again. Hopefully this knowledge benefits someone out there.

thanks
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  #16  
Old 08-07-2012, 02:34 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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That's interesting - still wonder why it's needed though, and if it applies to anyone with a 2007+ X3 that replaces their Business CD.

Or if it would have been necessary had the BMW parts guy been able to source you the same part no. as your original.

While AUX functionality was there from 2004, we know a few things changed over the years.
Such as:
- aux input level control through the tone switch
- ability to play recorded CDs (in some or any recorded file format?)
- ability to display recorded song info. (titles, artist, genre)
- chrome trim on the volume knob (can't see the usefulness of that)

Maybe the chrome vol. knob coincides with when the s/w reached a point where the complex support of the aux functions requires some sort of initialization.

If that means between $150 to $300 in programming, seems like a good argument for keeping things simple.
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  #17  
Old 08-07-2012, 08:15 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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I can't really be a tech expert on radio electronics, but last year I replaced the headunit on my X3 (original build was 01/04) with an identical headunit from a LCI model, the newer unit having a build date of 09/06. It was simply plug and play; the newer unit recognised the AUX input and had the added mp3 and Aux volume level functionality. No programming was needed.
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