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Radio & IHKA Panel Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Radio & IHKA Panel Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

****

Tools:

Phillips screwdriver, trim panel tool

Applicable Models:

BMW X3 Sport Utility (2004-10)

Parts Required:

Radio, IHKA panel

Hot Tip:

Disconnect battery before removing radio

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty amplifier

Complementary Modification:

Install aftermarket radio

Most electrical components on BMW X3 models require programming using an advanced BMW scan tool when replacing. With that said, don't feel you can't replace these items yourself. You also have the option of swapping out used items, which will at times work with programming. I don't have experience with this method, due to my access to a BMW scan tool, but it is something to consider. I have been told programming of used items isn't always required, so this may be an option, but I cannot vouch for it working 100% of the time. If you have experience with used part installation, please share your experience as it will help the Pelican Parts community.

BMW Z4 models can come equipped with two types of radio systems, depending on options. HiFi amplifier and Top HiFi amplifier. The sound frequency output sent to the amplifier from the radio is dependent on the speaker configuration. Only the frequency range that can be effectively reproduced by the connected speaker system is transmitted. For example if high, mid and low-range speakers / woofers are connected to the amplifier, the frequencies for those components are sent. Both HiFi and Top HiFi have a central woofer for bass. The Top HiFi amplifier is equipped with a fuse for circuit protection.

HiFi amplifier

HiFi amplifiers are amplifiers with active frequency gates. Active frequency gates achieve better acoustic results than passive frequency gates. The HiFi audio system features a 6 channel amplifier that is connected directly to the 4 speaker outputs of the radio. The speakers are connected to the 6 HiFi amplifier out channels. All sound controlling functions such as volume, bass, treble and channel fader are performed in the radio.

Top HiFi amplifier

The digital Top HiFi amplifier corresponds to the previous digital signal processor (DSP) amplifier as already used in other BMW models. The special features on the X3 are 10 output channels all connected directly to the amplifier. Depending on the radio, sound controlling functions such as volume, bass, treble and channel fader are performed in the radio. The 7-band equalizer is available with the CID radio. Top HiFi also comes equipped with special Carver woofers to an increased base end level of 8 . impedance.

The digital connection between the Top HiFi amplifier and the CD changer is the Sony Philips Digital Interface (SPDIF) connection. SPDIF is a data transfer standard for digital audio data.

The data can be transferred via fibre-optic cables or via coaxial cables depending on the unit.

Audio System Controller (radio / business radio CD)

The Audio System Controller is integrated in the radio / business CD control unit. The radio manages all audio signals. The differences between the systems are in the control of the amplifiers. The HiFi and Top-HiFi amplifiers do not feature direct control functions.

Amplifiers

The amplifier has a separate power supply. The amplifier is switched on by the RAD_ON signal from the radio (> 8 V = ON / < 6 V = OFF).

The HiFi amplifier is controlled via the radio. The required settings are selected in the radio and output via 4 radio outputs to the amplifier. The amplifier amplifies the settings and distributes them over 10 channels. No variable matching takes place in the HiFi amplifier. Vehicle-specific equalizing is integrated in the HiFi amplifier.

The Top-HiFi amplifier is also controlled via the radio. The Top-HiFi amplifier receives a constant audio signal for the left and right (via the two audio inputs) from the radio. The required settings are transferred via the K-bus and formed in the amplifier.

The IHKA or climate control panel is located in the center dashboard. This is the control for your heating and ventilation system. The most common portion of this control to fail is the blower motor control. It may seem as if the blower resistor is faulty, but replacing it doesn't remedy the issue. This may be a faulty blower control. You will want to check the signal to the blower resistor at this point and confirm the signal is faulty. Other functions of this control can also fail over time, however they are not as common.

Remember your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please include your vehicle information.

My subject vehicle X3 has the Business CD radio CD option (blue arrow) along with the IHKA system (red arrow).
Figure 1

My subject vehicle X3 has the Business CD radio CD option (blue arrow) along with the IHKA system (red arrow). Start by removing the center vent grille. See our tech article on hazard / lock switch replacing.

Working at the top of the radio, remove the two Phillips head screws (red arrows).
Figure 2

Working at the top of the radio, remove the two Phillips head screws (red arrows).

Pull the IHKA panel out with the radio trim panel toward the rear of the vehicle, far enough to access the electrical connectors at the rear of the IHKA panel.
Figure 3

Pull the IHKA panel out with the radio trim panel toward the rear of the vehicle, far enough to access the electrical connectors at the rear of the IHKA panel.

Working at the rear of the IHKA panel, press the release tabs (red arrows) and pull the electrical connectors straight out.
Figure 4

Working at the rear of the IHKA panel, press the release tabs (red arrows) and pull the electrical connectors straight out. Then pull the small black electrical connector straight out (blue arrow). To remove the main electrical connector, press the button and open the lever 90 degrees to remove (inset).

The panel is integrated into the trim piece (blue arrow).
Figure 5

The panel is integrated into the trim piece (blue arrow). You will have to replace the entire unit. To install new IHKA or IHKR panel, reverse steps. If you are having erratic temp control function with an IHKA unit. Be sure the temp sensor inlet (inset) and fan outlet (red arrow) are clear of dust and debris. I have seen these plug up and cause incorrect temp control.

To remove the radio, remove the two Phillips head screws (red arrow).
Figure 6

To remove the radio, remove the two Phillips head screws (red arrow).

Slide the radio out toward the rear of the vehicle far enough to access the electrical connectors.
Figure 7

Slide the radio out toward the rear of the vehicle far enough to access the electrical connectors.

Disconnect the coaxial cable (red arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight off.
Figure 8

Disconnect the coaxial cable (red arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight off.

Disconnect the main connector by squeezing the clip and pulling the lever (red arrow) out the connector is out of the radio.
Figure 9

Disconnect the main connector by squeezing the clip and pulling the lever (red arrow) out the connector is out of the radio.

Remove the radio from the vehicle.
Figure 10

Remove the radio from the vehicle. You now have access to the 10 amp fuse (red arrow) at the back of the radio. Check that it is in good shape before replacing the radio. This fuse could be your only issue if the radio does not function. If the new radio does not come with a plastic bushing (blue arrow), be sure to unscrew and transfer it over. When installing, slide the radio in while guiding the wiring harness in to avoid a snag or pinching, be sure the bushing aligns and fits into the plastic bracket bore. Reverse remaining steps to install.

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Page last updated: Wed 3/22/2017 03:10:54 AM