Sound System Problem '96 328i, - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 12:12 AM
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I have a stock C33 Radio/cassette in my '96 328i, which controls the CD changer in the trunk. Recently, when I selected "CD", the display suddenly read "no magazine". Although the trunk changer had the magazine inserted & loaded with CDs, for some reason the radio stopped "sensing" it, so I couldn't play or listen to CDs. About a week later, while listening to the radio, the sound started cutting out, it came on & and off intermittently. Now, there is no sound at all. Today I inserted a cassette tape in the radio unit, hoping at least that would work.. no sound.
As an experiment, I was able to borrow another C33 radio from someone who also has one, and plugged it into mine (of course entering the security code).. but still no sound, on any function. And like mine, it also displayed the "no magazine" message when "CD" was selected. This clearly showed the problem is NOT the radio units. I then looked at my wiring harness, and did notice the wire/cable at the bottom (the radio's manual shows it as for the CD changer) looked frayed & loose. Also, the harness has been removed & reinserted several times recently, (each time it's a bit of a struggle getting it off, as I'm sure everyone has experienced).. might the harness be bad, and causing all these problems?
My local car stereo installer (who wants to sell me & install a Blaupunkt Montreal unit) said he tended to doubt the wiring harness was bad, and said the wires all "looked" connected. But what else could it be, then? If it's NOT the harness, wouldn't a new unit installed (his Blaupunkt) with it's new harness, also not get any sound either?
This problem's been frustrating, and I'm tired of not having sounds. I guess what I'm getting at is, should I try finding a replacement harness for this unit & pay him the labor charge, betting that's the problem & the existing units will then work fine like they did a couple of weeks ago, without any of these problems? Or should I have him install the new Blaupunkt unit? (The new unit's display lights & their colors, like all new car stereo units, don't exactly match or complement my 96's existing amber lighting and the look of the buttons, like the stock C33 does, but maybe that shouldn't be an issue). Any advice/opinion/experience with this appreciated!
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 12:52 AM
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OK, there have been a bunch of similar posts as far as getting a new unit.

First off the cd changer is probably your problem. My dads m3 changer went out and the same thing happened although he still gets radio.

Second - personally i would buy a new head unit. I would look around and find a unit with the features and style that you want. You will find that some of the highest recommended units on here are by Clarion, Alpine, and Nakamichi. All of these should be able to change the color or the buttons and such. The Nakamichi is probably the most expensive but can definately look factory.

I bought a Clarion head unit and love it. It has great sound quality and is all black, no flashy silver(non factory looking stuff). It also has the lights that can match the amber color almost perfectly. Plus it plays mp3 and wma so i fit around 22 cds(albums) on one physical cd.

Do a search and read around in the audio forum and you will find a wealth of information, plus some pics of units installed. As for the units I recieved great customer service from crutchfield.com and that is a place to start to look. I do not trust Bestbuy or Circuit city and those places with installing in my car. There are some other things you will need to install but decide if you want that or not.

Man now my hands are tired from typing.

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#3 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jshearer@Feb 21 2005, 10:52 PM
OK, there have been a bunch of similar posts as far as getting a new unit.

First off the cd changer is probably your problem. My dads m3 changer went out and the same thing happened although he still gets radio.

Second - personally i would buy a new head unit. I would look around and find a unit with the features and style that you want. You will find that some of the highest recommended units on here are by Clarion, Alpine, and Nakamichi. All of these should be able to change the color or the buttons and such. The Nakamichi is probably the most expensive but can definately look factory.

I bought a Clarion head unit and love it. It has great sound quality and is all black, no flashy silver(non factory looking stuff). It also has the lights that can match the amber color almost perfectly. Plus it plays mp3 and wma so i fit around 22 cds(albums) on one physical cd.

Do a search and read around in the audio forum and you will find a wealth of information, plus some pics of units installed. As for the units I recieved great customer service from crutchfield.com and that is a place to start to look. I do not trust Bestbuy or Circuit city and those places with installing in my car. There are some other things you will need to install but decide if you want that or not.

Man now my hands are tired from typing.
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Thanks! I'm new to this board & was unaware of the audio forum. Appreciate your insights, I think they're steering me in the right direction.
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