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new owner w/ aftermarket sound system help required. (searched first)

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Sup guys! I have been a honda/acura owner for the past ten years. I had an account over at honda tech and recently moved up to BMW.

I have done lots of researching and things about it and love the car and the new family and the respect that goes along with it but I have a question about my sound system im having problems with it.

I have a 2010 323i 4 door BMW white on black. it is the BASE model. No Nav and No rear door speaker grills. ( i have 2 speakers under the seats) so in total i believe i got 6 speakers? (assuming theres speakers in the back but their not in the doors)

I searched the internet before I did my system install since the factory head unit is TERRIBLE beyond words..

I searched the car for the oem amp and I cannot find it anywhere. it is not in the trunk under the floor boards, or under the compartments. it is not under the front seats nor anywhere inside the car to be found. (i have not checked under rear seats and or behind any panneling in the trunk but im positive i do not have an oem amp)

So i proceeded with my install, i put two 12 inch hiphonics subs in the trunk and mounted an alpine mono block amp to it. I wired the positive wire for the amp to the battery directy in the trunk, and grounded my ground to the battery negative terminal as well ( couldnt find any other good grounding locations).

I ran my rcas to the front along with my remote wire(amp turn on lead).

I bought the harness for the alpine cda head unit im using and wired the colors accordingly and the remote wire, and i also purchased the am/fm cable and connected that to the deck and also connected my rcas...

I did not run a constant lead for the ignition wire to the battery like most people done here in my research because i just twisted the red and yellow (ignition and constant) from my alpine harness together and wired them to the yellow(battery) lead on the oem harness and it powers my headu nit and everything.

it seems to me that Everything is hooked up correctly (except for the three brown wires from the oem harness, because there is nowhere to put them) [and my illumination orange wire and pink wire from the alpine harness].

The sound system works amzingly awesome and loud and everything is beautiful, no distortion, no static nothing but im having a problem with the settings on my head unit saving long term after i shut off the car. ( although the car shuts off the head unit doesnt because of the constant power cables but i just turn off the cda and take off the faceplate anyway so thats not a big deal.

The problem im having is my base settings, my trebble settings, my clock and all my other settings on the head unit does not save long term (if i go in for the night and come out again the next day and turn it on its all reset to default settings and the am/fm radio is on instead of my disc, etc..)

I'm wondering if anybody here could help me fix this save problem and help me determin if i do in fact need to run the ignition wire to the battery because the oem harness doesn't have a ignition wire, well ti does, but it just doesn't hook up to anything on the back of it.

Also if anybody can chime in here and tell me if i in fact do have an oem amp hidden somewhere i missed?

Also if anybody knows if there is a module or anything i need to buy to keep my door chimes and fuel chimes, etc etc.

thanks all !
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The base stereo with 6 speaker did not come with a secondary amp - everything was driven by the head unit's amp. If you did have one, it would be under the trunk floor between the wheel wells.

The OEM head unit is fine; the absence of door tweeters and enough power to run the subs under the seats is not fine. The cheapest and IMO the best way to upgrade that system (which I did) is to buy the European upgrade package, say from Schmiedmann.

Because the OEM head unit is integral to the car's wiring and programming, you are stuck with what you have. You may even have to re-install the OEM head unit to get the ECU re-programmed the next time it needs it.
S...
I have a 2010 323i 4 door BMW white on black. it is the BASE model. No Nav and No rear door speaker grills. ( i have 2 speakers under the seats) so in total i believe i got 6 speakers? (assuming theres speakers in the back but their not in the doors)

I searched the internet before I did my system install since the factory head unit is TERRIBLE beyond words..
...
Also if anybody can chime in here and tell me if i in fact do have an oem amp hidden somewhere i missed?
i understand about the upgrade package but im not interested in that though. i have my system hooked up and its exactly how i want it to sound, everything works fine, it just doesnt save the settings on the deck[the bass and trebble, clock and radio settings] when i turn off the deck overnight.. but if i turn it off short term [for example: an hour or two] everything saves.

My theory is because theres no ignition lead on the oem harness, so i have to run a constant power lead to the ignition lead on the alpine harness, mean while the battery/memory lead wires up like it should from harnes to harness yellow to yellow.

because right now i got BOTH my yellow and my red [constant/memory and my ignition] wired to the battery/memory lead on the oem harness.

i also understand about the factory deck driving the sounds/chimes etc, but come service time i can plug it back in and insert it it like normal and nothing will ever look out of place, also there is a module i ordered that will wire to the harness thats already existing to give me the sounds and everything back, so as far as that goes its fine. even if it doesnt work, the sounds are not needed anyway and only annoy me anyway tbh lol

in terms of a secondary amp from the factory i know there isnt one, but iwas talking about the one for the head unit, i cant find that anywhere so i can't have one? cause it isnt under the floor between the wells, or anywhere else for that matter.
The base stereo with 6 speaker did not come with a secondary amp - everything was driven by the head unit's amp. If you did have one, it would be under the trunk floor between the wheel wells.

The OEM head unit is fine; the absence of door tweeters and enough power to run the subs under the seats is not fine. The cheapest and IMO the best way to upgrade that system (which I did) is to buy the European upgrade package, say from Schmiedmann.

Because the OEM head unit is integral to the car's wiring and programming, you are stuck with what you have. You may even have to re-install the OEM head unit to get the ECU re-programmed the next time it needs it.
Learn to read. I answered your two remaining questions in my 1st reply.
with all due respect, you did not even come close to answering my question.

in fact you went off on your own little rant and rave about upgrading to the HK system.

to be honest im not upgrading anything, i already have my own system from my other car i sold, i put it in i wired it all up and it works, better and louder then the HK system will ever be so no i am noT upgrading or changing it. you need to learn to read..

in terms of plugging in the factory head unit and having to reprogram my **** wtf r u talking bout there is nothing wrong with my system or car. when it comes to service time obviously ill plug the factory deck back in before i go so they can do everything accordingly.

my question is why isn't the base settings, trebble settings, clock and radio saves on the head unit not saving after being turned off for a couple of hours, but they save short term for a couple of hours....

your two cents did not answer that.
Learn to read. I answered your two remaining questions in my 1st reply.
Brown wires are ground, throughout the harness. Unused grounds may or may not be a problem, depending on what they were connected to in the OEM head unit. You may have open-loop circuits...don't know what they might be so can't say if will matter.

Not running a proper constant-power lead sounds very much like the cause of your problem. The yellow "battery" lead you chose in the OEM harness is probably losing power when the car goes to sleep. If you spliced the constant-power lead into the Alpine head unit to a supply that is not always hot, the capacitors in the settings memory will drain out in a few hours after the power cuts off and everything will reset.

Floyd was trying to help you. BMWs are notoriously sensitive to aftermarket electronics, especially replacing the stereo head unit, because the factory systems are so fiendishly interconnected. You say you thoroughly researched the job but you also clearly took shortcuts. For the sake of your car, your wallet and your sanity, you might want to revisit those decisions.

Sooner or later, BMWs reward inexpert service and modifications with failure...often expensive failure. Whenever you touch the car, spend the time and money to do it right. It's cheaper in the long run.
I did not run a constant lead for the ignition wire to the battery like most people done here in my research because i just twisted the red and yellow (ignition and constant) from my alpine harness together and wired them to the yellow(battery) lead on the oem harness and it powers my head unit and everything.

it seems to me that Everything is hooked up correctly (except for the three brown wires from the oem harness, because there is nowhere to put them) [and my illumination orange wire and pink wire from the alpine harness].
thanks, this is what i was looking for.

A few comments if i may though:

The brown wires coming from the aftermarket harness(connected to the oem harness) doesnt seem to be grounds, they seem to be connectors for the steering wheel buttons. the brow nr grounds in the oem harness, the brown oens in the aftermarket harness are not used. unless i get that module that lets me connect the steering wheel buttons and it will run the chimes too.

They are unused(not connected) because there is nothing to connect them to on the alpine harness.

i have the black wire from the alpine harness directed to the black wire on the aftermarket harness(which runs into the oem harness accordingly). this is the ground, well it is on every normal car. and aftermarket harneses are universal and made for this bmw so i cant see the wire colors mismatching in the harness.

I did not take any shortcuts(if u know of any i did then please tell me, so i can correct them). i bought the am/fm adapter, i bought the aftermarket harness, i bought the faceplate and dash kit.

I took the time and researched the head unit and its possible AMP and searched the car for it and it does not have one that i can find. ive spent the money and did everything correctly and my time to make sure its all tucked properly and heat shrink wrapped and all connectors done etc. ive been doing car audio for a while, its just the slight problem im having is i never worked on a bmw before and it just didnt make sense to me why the oem harness had no ignition lead connected to the pin for the aftermarket harness lead, thus i figured the best option would be to wire both ignition and constant to a constant power lead and the constant supply both wires with constant power, i mean that sounded reasonable right? but i took your advice and i ran a direct power lead for the missing link(ignition) and rewired the constant to be the constant standalone like it should.

What I had done was since there was no connection on the pin of the oem harness for the aftermarkets ignition lead (red wire[from the aftermarket harness]) i decided to twist the constant(yellow wire[from the alpine harnes{from the deck}]) together with the ignition lead(from the same alpine harness together) then just connected them both to the yellow wire (constant[to the aftermarket harness]) which in return goes direct to the oem harness.

Now unless the connections dont match up on the aftermarket harness and the oem harness (which would be really hard to understand why that would be) then i dont see a problem with the connections.

But after reading your comment and understanding that the car "Sleeps" maybe its sleeping both the ignition wire(red lead) and constant wire(constant supply[yellow lead]) thus draining the supply after a few hours which is why it would only work short term(the memory).

What i did now was

i ran a power wire from the alpines ignition lead(red) direct to the battery now since there was no ignition lead(red) connected on the oem harness slot{too the aftermarket pin slot}.

i also just connected the constant(yellow lead from aftermarket harness) to the constant (yellow lead on the alpine harness). Thus rendering both leads to have their own correct/direct wiring now.

all i can do now is wait till tomorrow morning and hope it saves now. if not then i as a car audio guy for years am lost.. cause none of this will make any sense at all if this doesn't work.
Brown wires are ground, throughout the harness. Unused grounds may or may not be a problem, depending on what they were connected to in the OEM head unit. You may have open-loop circuits...don't know what they might be so can't say if will matter.

Not running a proper constant-power lead sounds very much like the cause of your problem. The yellow "battery" lead you chose in the OEM harness is probably losing power when the car goes to sleep. If you spliced the constant-power lead into the Alpine head unit to a supply that is not always hot, the capacitors in the settings memory will drain out in a few hours after the power cuts off and everything will reset.

Floyd was trying to help you. BMWs are notoriously sensitive to aftermarket electronics, especially replacing the stereo head unit, because the factory systems are so fiendishly interconnected. You say you thoroughly researched the job but you also clearly took shortcuts. For the sake of your car, your wallet and your sanity, you might want to revisit those decisions.

Sooner or later, BMWs reward inexpert service and modifications with failure...often expensive failure. Whenever you touch the car, spend the time and money to do it right. It's cheaper in the long run.
hmm the constant to constant and ignition to battery direct didint work either, still resets my settings. so im still losing power upon sleep mode i guess.

anybody got a wiring diagram for the 2010 323i bmw? four door.

i need to start pulling wires and testing and re matching i guess. cause something is very bull**** about this.
yeah man thanks, that is awesome.

but everything is hooked up right it seems. it just doesnt save. heh. i dont understand it at all. it effects nothing at all, but it just annoys me having to set the settings, it takes 5 seconds to do it but the thing is i shouldnt have too heh

im gonna get those plugs and do the oem deck install as well.

but god damn why wont my alpine deck save my settings. zzzz this is annoying
Maybe the deck is defective

Maybe the deck is defective

Any way to run a seperate battery to it to test.
You might call alpine for some tech support.
you know what thaTS a great idea, i have a spare yellow top in perfect condition and charged fully, ill throw it in the trunk and run a constant to it over night n see if it works, if it does, the car is cutting it off somehow from the oem battery.

it cant be defective though, it worked in my integra type R before i took it out and sold the car. this was only 4 weeks ago.

tbut it might be though something might have happened, i dont know.

ill try the battery tmw cause right now

the aftermarket harness wires directly to the alpine harness, which plugs to the oem harness all perfectly, my rcas r ran fine, my remote lead is ran fine. i have the ignition lead ran constant to the oem battery, and i have the am fm adapter wired up n the power antenna.

it just doesnt make sense why the settings dont save long term... they do short term but not long term, this is telling me the car going to sleep is killing it.

(i had to run ignition lead from alpine harness direct to battery cause the oem harnss doesnt have an ignition lead. the aftermarket harness does but the pin it goes to on the oem harness doesnt have a wire connected to it.

with a test light there is only one constant which is corrrectly wire aswell.

i wonder also if i ru nthe igniton wire to the cars constant and the "alpines constant direct, maybe that might work since the ignition is suposed to be switched?(so maybe when car goes to sleep ittl only effect that lead and not the direct constant?)

worth a try though i guess.

ill do that today and leave it for few hours n see.

meanwhile if u come up with any theory, post up, we gotta figure this out! hehe
Maybe the deck is defective

Any way to run a seperate battery to it to test.
You might call alpine for some tech support.
Leave a voltmeter connected to it.

Leave a voltmeter connected to it.
Sneak up on it and read the voltage after setting for whatever period .
Sneak up without a keyfob in your pocket as that can wake the car up.
I think the OBD 2 Connector 12 Volt connection is constant.
There must be a constant 12 to the back of the radio because it has to remember stuff
or do they download it from some other module or your kefob.
alright dude i got it working now.

after trial and error every day i ran the ignition lead(red) from the alpine harness to the constant(yellow) lead on the oem harness. [i figured since the car is going to sleep then that will act as the switched lead anyway after 2 hours and turn it on and off.

and i ran the constant (yellow lead) from the alpine harness directly to the battery(not the distribution block, but the direct battery positive terminal) and it saved over night now.

i dunno if the distribution block goes to sleep as well but now atleast both has seperate constants and it seems i had to switch them around to get them to work but w/e it works now heh.

weirdest thing i ever seen.

im just wondering will the battery start draining over time because of the direct lead or am i good to go ? im gonna fuse the line today to be on the safe side of things aswell.



now im gonna move on to the next step and mount the oem deck in the trunk.

ive ran 4 16 guage wires to the trunk from the front area. just gotta buy the harnesses now and start wiring that up.
These cars are battery hogs

There never fully asleep . That's why a lot of people that don't drive a lot
or leave them for extended ended periods of time have battery's fail in as little as
a couple of years. If you fall in the above category its a good idea to get a battery
tender . If you read that e90 electrical PDF it documents the sleep mode and what
keeps the car awake. If you lock the car on leaving it will go into sleep mode faster.
There is suppose to be about a 2000 watt limit on add on stuff before you will start
having issues with the electrical system according to the experts.
so im good with this one wire attached then eh?

btw whats this thing about the key being in the pocket and being able to start teh car and unlock it?

i read it in the manual here and you mention it abit, how do i set that up to work like that? i think thats pretty sick, and yeah i lock the car everytime i leave it

cause i dont have auto lock on (because i fear when im at gas station it will lock my keys in (but the car would recognize that the keys r still in the vicinity eh?>)

can u elaborate on this for me?

thanks in advance


ps: i have a yellowtop battery, one of the GOOD ones, brand new, would it be better to use that then the oem one? or should i just shelf it incase anything goes down with my bmw battery (the oem batterys seem pretty good)
It depends on if you have comfort access

It depends on if you have comfort access
Comfort Acess allows you to unlock the front doors without using the keyfob
There are little ridges on the front door handle you touch to lock the car or unlock
it as long as the fob is in your pocket or in the vicinity . This also allows
you to start the car with the fob in your pocket .
If you don't have it you will have a normal key I believe but am not sure.
Comfort access won't allow you to lock the car when the keyfob is still in the car.
Well I guess you could if you had the keyfob in a metal box blocking the radio signals.
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