Removing the radio from BMW vehicles may seem difficult due to the fact that the radio is not your typical double din head unit. In fact, removing and installing the BMW radio is very simple and can be completed in less than thirty minutes.
The pictures and video are from a BMW 5-Series. Owners of 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, X3, X5 series will also find these instructions helpful.
What you will need:
- Disconnect the battery negative terminal. On most BMWs, including 3-series and 5-series models, the battery is in the trunk.
- Remove the dashboard center trim. Use the dashboard removal tool to pry out the trim. In this case, there are no bolts that need to be removed.
- Unplug the wire from the back of the hazard light.
- Remove two screws that hold the climate control knob in place. Pull out the trim for the climate control. Be careful when pulling out the trim, and don't bend it, or it may crack.
- Remove the four screws on the front of the radio. This is your CCC or CIC unit.
- Slide out BMW radio to remove it.
- Unplug the antenna, optical cable, and the rest of the wire harnesses from the back of the BMW radio.
- Install in reverse order.
Don't forget to disconnect the battery when replacing the BMW radio. Otherwise, you will set fault codes on various modules if you turn on the ignition when the radio is removed.
If you are replacing your BMW radio with a used BMW radio (eBay link), it will require to be coded and to match the VIN in your car.
While a used BMW radio from another vehicle will work, some of the functions may not work.
For example, if your BMW has Bluetooth hands-free calling installed, but the car that the radio came from didn't have Bluetooth, your Bluetooth will not work until the installed radio has been coded to match your BMW options.
The radio on BMW vehicles has several functions, including the Navigation GPS, Bluetooth module, CD drive, and is the brains of the iDrive. If it fails, your BMW iDrive will not work and may keep restarting.