I've got a 1996 328is E36 and my radio has been acting strange the past couple weeks.
Sometimes the radio works fine, then the next time I start the car the radio will not turn on, no blinking red LED security light either with the key removed. I checked the fuses, and none were blown. I pulled the fuses anyway and replaced them with the spares.
After a few times of pulling and re-installing fuses ghead , the radio asked for the security code. I entered it and everything seemed to be fine. Until a few starts later when the same thing happened. No red LED, no power, no sound, until I play with the fuses and re-enter the code. And that only works temporarily.
Is it a lose wire connection in the back, or a bad head unit? Would replacing the head unit fix it, or do I need to have someone check the wiring all together?
Also my fuel gage will occasionally fall to the end of the needle travel (both full and empty sides), a simple tap usually restores it. Is this most likely a loose connection in the back that is easily fixed (I've replaced bulbs in the instrument cluster before)?
Intermitent problems suck. It is probably the oem deck dieing a slow death.
The only thing that makes me think that it is probably not the constant wire, is the fact that it (as well as all the other radio leads) are snapped securely into the back of the radio. It is possible but not likely that the entire harness has loosened and needs to be fitted more tightly. Have you done any work behind the dash recently that could have caused this?
BTW, I would be willing to bet a new aftermarket deck would fix this, as well as improve your sound quality.
Thanks for the info, no I have never pulled the radio HU, only the instrument cluster about a year and a half ago to replace a blown bulb. Will try pulling the HU to see if there are any obvious lose wire connections, then will decide about new(er) OEM or aftermarket. Any recommendations on aftermarket that will control the BMW/Apline CD changer in the trunk?
Also any thoughts on the fuel gage? It is definitely sensitive to tapping on the front and works most of the time. Just not looking forward to pulling the instrument cluster again as it was a VERY tight fit when I worked with the bulb.
We just completed a BIG install for a customer and just happened to have enough vinyl left over for me to play with. There is also a fair amount of black.
We did the embossed thing you speak of with that install. I may just do that. Lemme see if I can find some picks of that install. It's in a Dodge truck, and it's way teenager, but the work is pretty good for what we normally do around the store (we speciallize in home audio/video a lot more than +12volt).
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