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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 03-29-2013, 01:46 PM
z4frustration z4frustration is offline
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Location: oregon
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2003 Z4
Red face stereo sound

For the last several months my stereo sound would just quit. The stereo is on but no sound. Now it is off 98% of the time. It will come on for 10 seconds after I push on the brakes hard, turn on the heater or sometimes the blinkers. I know it sounds bazaar but I have been paying attention to what will make it come on. But the sound will only come on for a couple of seconds. Or when I keep my foot on the brake at the stop light, it stays on until I push on the throttle. Very random but it will never come back on until I do one of these things. So driving 3 hours to Seattle with no stereo is no fun. Any thoughts? Could there be some sort of a loose wire that connects to all of these? I would love to eliminate a few possiblilities before spending hundreds at the dealership to figure it out! And no, I'm not even remotely a mechanic...but a frustrated female owner that is willing to try and pull fuses or something. Thank you in advance for any advise.
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2013, 10:33 PM
rudyrov rudyrov is offline
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Location: Bothell, WA.
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 128
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW Z3
I don't have a Z4, I have a Z3. I assume that you have a stock factory radio? I would say that you need to check the fundamentals before proceeding. I would start by checking the integrity of the factory fuses, A Google search says that the fuse b ox is behind the glove box. The radio will have 2 fuses feeding it, one that is always hot and one that gets power only when the ignition is on. Another item you will need to check is the integrity of the system ground, without it, the system will not power up.

If this sounds like things you could do, then you are on your way to checking the cause of the issue. I think you can at least check the fuses, then go from there.
If your car is not under warranty, you could drive to a reputable stereo shop, just be careful they dont sell you another radio !!
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:38 AM
brock5ga brock5ga is offline
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Location: Monroe, GA
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 96
Mein Auto: Z4
Does the radio display stay on when the sound goes off. If so, power and ground to the head unit are most likely ok. Strange issues with other seemingly unrelated things are typically caused by a bad ground, as stated above. If the radio display stays on, check in the trunk battery compartment for water intrusion. The amplifier mounts behind the battery. Several sources of leak possibilities and pretty common. Been there with the radio working when it wants to. If water in battery compartment, possible torn convertible top (usually bottom side where it meets the body - hidden), clogged convertible top drain, or from what I have read, possibly a cracked 3rd brake light lens. Check the common causes first.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:56 AM
z4frustration z4frustration is offline
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Location: oregon
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2003 Z4
stereo sound

Thank you both for your suggestions. I will start with fuses and look at the amplifier. I appreciate the help! And yes, the stereo is a stock stereo and it does stay on the display but without sound. Thanks for the advise!
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:07 AM
rudyrov rudyrov is offline
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Location: Bothell, WA.
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 128
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW Z3
If the radio display stays on then the cause might be the rear amp, its wiring, fuses, connectors or the unit.
Take a look at it, make sure everything is plugged in, trace the wires back if you can, look for the amplifier ground and make sure it is solid and not rusted.
Might try looking for a wiring diagram so you can identify what you are looking at.

Good luck!
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2013, 02:30 PM
z4frustration z4frustration is offline
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Location: oregon
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Mein Auto: 2003 Z4
Thank you so much!!! I'll post what I find...
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