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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-28-2004, 12:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I just purchased a 94 325i and the radio won't work...all it says is "CODE" in the little LCD screen.. Does anyone know how to get this working?
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Old 01-28-2004, 12:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I had the same problem. I just bought a 328i (used) yesterday. Anyway, on both sides of the radio are two little doors. Behind those doors are allen screws. Unscrew, pull out radio. There is a serial number on the bottom... write that down. Call a BMW dealer. Ask them what the 5 digit code is. Now, my local BMW dealer was very unhelpul. They wanted me to bring it in and pay 80 bucks to do it. Or you can call the original dealer and they might be able to help. I live in Texas and had to call Louisiana for assistance. But after they gave me the code, everything was a breeze.
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Old 01-28-2004, 01:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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haha thanks for the advice jennsydandrew...i called the dealer but they were also unhelpful...they told me to bring it in. do you know if the 5 digit code works for all 3-series, or is there a specific code for each car?

anyone know the 5-digit code for a 1994 325i?
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Old 01-28-2004, 01:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Each radio has a unique code. If you're lucky, the original owner may have kept the code somewhere in your owner's manual packet. Check there, including whether or not it may be hand-written in the owner's manual itself.

You usually need to reset the code when the power goes out in the car (dead battery, or someone unhooked the battery to do some work on the car). Someone mentioned a while ago about a site that you could go to to figure your code on your own...but never saw a follow up on that.
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Old 01-28-2004, 01:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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ok i had the same problem. The dealers will not give you the code over the phone. They want you to come in because they want to charge you 75$ to get the code. But this is when you lieeeeeeeeeeeee. Call a dealer and get the service department. Tell them about a year ago you had a similar problem and you paid 75$ for the service. Tell them you dont want to pay again and ask them if they have the code in their data base. In most cases they will look for it for 3 times and give up, at that point get a little angry and tell them that this is ridiculous and you are not going to pay for it again. In most cases the other person will eventually break down and ask for your vin number to get the code for you. It worked for me. Happy hunting.

ps. If you get a female receptionist it works well.
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Old 01-28-2004, 02:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The previous owner should have the code. Did you ask him?

I have a 1994 325, and i found the code on an old repair bill from the previous owner. I guess that the mechanic looked up the radio code at the same time he repaired the car.

I doubt very much that all 94 325 have the same code. That can't be.
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Old 01-28-2004, 02:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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other than trying to get the code, I might as well just get a new head unit..my 325i came with the stock cassette player, so i won't be needing this... thanks for the tips and advice.... JakeLongIsland, good tip, i might use this before i get a new head unit...thanks
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Old 01-28-2004, 02:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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my manual has no writing on or in it... does anyone know if there is extra costs in putting in a new head unit, or any special adapters or parts needed?
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Old 01-28-2004, 05:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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there should be alittle business type card in your manual with the code on it otherwise take it to dealer sometimes its free sometimes they charge you
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Old 01-28-2004, 05:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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you will need a wiring harness and an antenna harness (or so i've heard) you can get both parts from crutchfield, the wiring harness is Crutchfield part # 120709195 and costs $12.00, and the antenna adapter (noted by Crutchfield as the "Volkswagen Antenna Adapter") Crutchfield part # 097DIN2 costs = $3.00.

i read this in a DIY stereo upgrade for e36, so it should apply to you, when you do the "what fits my car?" from crutchfield and you add a head unit to your shoppying cart is asks if you would like hte wiring harness

hope that helps
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Old 01-28-2004, 06:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yeah, dealers just want to take your money for the radio code......
Or, could it be that the reason for the radio code is to prevent it from being stolen? How would a thief make use of a radio that required a code? Oh, by your logic, he could just call the dealer and lie, cry, and bitch until he gets it.
How is the dealer supposed to know if the caller is the owner or the thief?

I would wager that if you were a known customer that did business with your dealer, that you could get the code for free-that's what we do at our shop.
It may be on record in the dealer's computer if you've gotten it before, and a known good customer shouldn't have a problem getting the code over the phone.
What about a stranger? What about someone who calls and wants to know what's wrong with their car, but not want to bring it in?
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Old 01-28-2004, 11:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by TECH@Jan 28 2004, 07:18 PM

Or, could it be that the reason for the radio code is to prevent it from being stolen?
blah , who wants a stock radio anyways, its a cash grab, nearly all companies do this, charge for a radio code thing, my mom got charged by honda (bullshit)..

when my code came up the dealership couldnt fix it. it was the wrong code for my VIN, so i told them to stuff it and bought my aftermarket deck.

(good choice on my part)
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I must be lucky, my dealer never charged me for my code. Then again, a few of the parts people know me by name.
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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yeah i got my so called code for free too.
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