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

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  #1  
Old 10-29-2013, 09:00 PM
fastm3 fastm3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 X3
Radio Install and Coding

I was getting the typical bad smell from the AC, so I decided to clean them by spraying some Einszett Klima Cleaner in the central vents. Well, some of the spray must've spilled out underneath the vents, because the next day although the AC smell was completely gone, the electricals started acting weird. As soon as I started the car in the morning, the airbag light came on and wouldn't go out, the indicator lights wouldn't work, the heated seats wouldn't work, the hazards wouldn't work, and the radio was dead.

I had my mechanic look into this, and he diagnosed the issue as a radio fault. He said as soon as he took the radio out, everything started working. He gave me the radio and advised me to buy a replacement from eBay. Today, I sprayed come contact cleaner all over the exposed printed circuit boards of the radio, and re-installed it. To my surprise, all the electricals work fine, except for the radio. It's just dead, with nothing at all on its screen when I power it up.

So my question is whether the radio is actually dead, or whether I have to code it to make it work. Also, when I was installing the radio, there was this black 12 pin connector that didn't look like it was connected to anything. There's no receptacle for such a connector on the radio, but I wonder what it's for, and whether it's somehow used to deliver power to the radio. Here's a photo of it; it's the smaller one to the left with the white wires going to it.

The radio is the BMW Business CD radio, and the car is a 2005 X3 without Nav.

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  #2  
Old 10-29-2013, 10:42 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Definitely no coding required or even possible on the E83 radio.

I think that 12-pin connector looks like the CD changer harness. Plugs into the harness connector, not the radio itself, when a CD changer is present.

The BMW Business CD does not have robust build quality so some of the A/C cleaner fluid could have been terminal.

Can't see why a dead radio would cause those other malfunctions. But your mechanic knows more about auto-electrics than I do.

Maybe because of interactions on the CAN-bus the faulty radio initially was a deal-breaker but now after your contact cleaner treatment it lets things pass through but still is inoperable.

Might recover on its own after drying out over a few days, but I doubt it.
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2013, 11:33 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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If the radio lights up and says DISABLED, then the iBus is damaged or otherwise disconnected. The radio will unlock on the receipt of valid BMW iBus messages. Ibus is found on the primary 40 pin connector. Since yours doesn't light up, it sounds like liquid damage.

If the damaged radio shorted the iBus to GND and disabled it; then it would cause several malfunctions, including the indicators, dash illumination, steering wheel remote, seat memory, some gauges and more.

You have a second 12 pin aux audio connector for the SDARS (sirius) prewiring.
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  #4  
Old 10-30-2013, 10:47 AM
fastm3 fastm3 is offline
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Thanks gentlemen. So neither coding nor the other 12 pin connector are the issues here, which probably means that the radio itself is shot. By the way, there is no indication of "fault" or anything like that on the display - it's just blank, and nothing lights up at all.

Do you think I should send it out somewhere to repaired, or buy another one from eBay? Are there even any outfits that repair these things?
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Past BMWs:
1983 320i
1987 325
1996 M3 (ED)
1998 M3 Cabrio (ED)
2002 530i (ED)


Current Cars:
2005 X3 (ED)
2006 Mini Cooper Cabrio
2006 Porsche 911 Cabrio

Last edited by fastm3; 10-30-2013 at 10:48 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2013, 05:28 PM
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fhopper fhopper is offline
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As an aside, I really feel sorry for you. All this grief over a POS. Our radios suck bad and no aftermarket will look acceptable. That radio is one of the very few bummers about our cars.
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2013, 08:21 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastm3 View Post
Thanks gentlemen. So neither coding nor the other 12 pin connector are the issues here, which probably means that the radio itself is shot. By the way, there is no indication of "fault" or anything like that on the display - it's just blank, and nothing lights up at all.

Do you think I should send it out somewhere to repaired, or buy another one from eBay? Are there even any outfits that repair these things?
Check the fuse in the radioat the multiplug. Doubt anyone can repair it without schematics and layouts from Alpine. Later units got HD FM. www.realoem.com .
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2013, 09:06 PM
robnries robnries is offline
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Radio Install and Coding

Not that this helps you...my husband allowed my nephew to drink a Gatorade in my X3...of course a few drops splashed onto the radio face and within weeks it began to malfunction. I have an extended warranty on my 06 so I paid 100.00 for the dealer to replace it because I don't like the look of the aftermarket ones. Without the warranty, the new radio would have cost nearly 600.00 to purchase and install. Crazy.


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  #8  
Old 10-30-2013, 09:41 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joylove View Post
.... Doubt anyone can repair it without schematics and layouts from Alpine.
I thought up to 2007 or maybe later the standard Business CD in X3's was a Philips made in the Czech Republic.

If it were an Alpine the quality might be a bit better.

The list price at the dealer is way out of line for such a humble piece of electronics, and unfortunately autowreckers try and get a correspondingly inflated price for used ones.

But I think private sellers sometime ask a more reasonable $100 or so - which is the most it is worth.
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2013, 10:03 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
I thought up to 2007 or maybe later the standard Business CD in X3's was a Philips made in the Czech Republic.
You are right, the Alpines are made in Hungary. Often the Alpines have a side mounted heatsink, the Philips have them at the rear as a copper or aluminum heatsink.

I think the very last units (2007+) actually are Blaupunkt.
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2013, 04:07 PM
fastm3 fastm3 is offline
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The fuse was actually the first thing I checked, and it's OK.

The version I have in the car is the one made in the Czech Republic. Are the Alpine ones compatible with this one?

Some earlier 3 series have identical looking radios which are much cheaper used. Anyone know if they're compatible?
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Past BMWs:
1983 320i
1987 325
1996 M3 (ED)
1998 M3 Cabrio (ED)
2002 530i (ED)


Current Cars:
2005 X3 (ED)
2006 Mini Cooper Cabrio
2006 Porsche 911 Cabrio

Last edited by fastm3; 10-31-2013 at 05:30 PM.
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  #11  
Old 10-31-2013, 05:58 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastm3 View Post
Some earlier 3 series have identical looking radios which are much cheaper used. Anyone know if they're compatible?
Those earlier ones may not be MP3 or aux-in capable and I thought they had a different shape to the front - not as curved.
(Not a changeable face-plate unfortunately.)
There were subtle changes over the years for the X3 as to what sort of burned CDs it could handle, and maybe other differences which I don't think affected compatibility.

Lower used prices for early E46 radios may just be because of supply and demand, but I suspect lack of features like aux-in capability is a big part of it.
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  #12  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:11 PM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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Don't give up hope quite yet. I did the exact same thing on my E39 and two weeks later when I had found a used radio and was about to buy it, the radio began working again and has given 0 problems over the last 3 years. Maybe I was incredibly lucky, but at least give it a few days.
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2013, 09:35 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Only the E85 had the same radio, but it might be grey rather than black.
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