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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-29-2012, 12:07 PM
MTL E36 MTL E36 is offline
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Location: Montreal,Quebec Canada
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: E36 328is
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.

Thanks,
Nick
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2012, 07:00 PM
IndianBob IndianBob is offline
BMW=Expensive VW Bug
Location: Sacramento,CA
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 81
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 328i
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!
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2012, 07:35 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,517
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
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.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 11-13-2012 at 07:37 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2012, 08:17 PM
IndianBob IndianBob is offline
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Location: Sacramento,CA
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 81
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 328i
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.
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2012, 10:19 AM
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veteran011 veteran011 is offline
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Location: Westchester Co, NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 612
Mein Auto: 97 328is
MTL,
Does your display look like this?


Or is the display simply dim?
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Project List:
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Last edited by veteran011; 11-14-2012 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:21 AM
IndianBob IndianBob is offline
BMW=Expensive VW Bug
Location: Sacramento,CA
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 81
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 328i
Mine doesn't even display the FMMan reading, the whole display is blank.
BTW, you set your temp to 90F ?
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2012, 04:14 AM
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veteran011 veteran011 is offline
WARNING: Has Dumb Ideas
Location: Westchester Co, NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 612
Mein Auto: 97 328is
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!

Sent from my DROID4 using Bimmer App
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dab of oppo anyone?



Project List:
Replace coolant temp sensor
Replace starter
Brake and Power Steering Fluid Flush
Front Control Arms, Bushings, and Tie Rods
Replace Passenger Lock Actuator
Reglue Peeling Hedliner
Swirl removal

Last edited by veteran011; 11-21-2012 at 04:15 AM.
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