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Lee, BMW Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 366
Experience:  BMW STEP Custom Training, Cert. BMW Diag. Tech, ASE Master
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I have a 2001 740i BMW. The screen on the ...

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I have a 2001 740i BMW. The screen on the radio/navigation unit went out and than the radio no longer worked. What options do I have? The BMW dealer said I had to replace the entire computer at a cost of close to $3000.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Lee replied 9 years ago.


Did your BMW dealer say that you needed the radio/navigation screen (the info display / on board monitor) or the Navigation computer?

In most cases the Navigation computer installed in the trunk fails and causes the on board monitor to blank out or light up and be grey with lines. This looks like the screen failed however most of the time it is the computer.

You should have no problem installing a used one. Just remember to take into account that the used one does not have any warranty and may soon fail as well. Regardless, this is the option I would take because you can buy several used computers for the price of a new one.

You can usually find the navigation computer or info display screen (depending on which part failed) on ebay at a reasonable price. Installaton of the computer is really easy and you should have no problem installing it yourself. Here is a good website with install instructions and a breakdown of the different options of navigation for E38, 7 series. Find out which model unit you have. There is Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, and Mk4.

On you can search for "BMW Navigation Computer" or "BMW Navigation". Just make sure you get the right one because most auction sites dont allow refunds or returns.

Or if you live in the USA do a search on and narrow down your state/city. maybe you will get lucky and find someone near-by that has one for sale.

If you dont want to do either of those options I would suggest calling around to your local junk yards to see if they have any junk E38 7 series.

Here is a website for USA that lists junkyards that have the part you need.

Just select your year/make/model and select "Radio/CD" from the drop down list. Then press search The next screen will let you narrow down which item you want to search for. Select the part you want and press search. You will then get a list of junkyards that have the part you need in your area.

I hope this helps



Lee and other BMW Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Lee's Post: Lee

How do I find out the model I have?
Expert:  Lee replied 9 years ago.


The easiest way is to just ask your dealer.

If you want to figure it out on your own look at the production date on the VIN sticker located on the Drivers front b-pillar. It will say say the month and year (Example: 3/01). You may have a 01 vehicle but a 00 production date.

Mk1 was installed between 10/96-9/97 production date and had a male voice. This is a CD system.

Mk2 was installed between 9/97-9/00 production date and had a female voice. This is a CD system.

Mk3 was installed between 9/00-02 production date and had a female voice. This is a CD system.

Mk4 was installed between 02-present production date and had a female voice. This was a DVD system and it will clearly say "DVD" on the front of the unit.

If you have a widescreen on board monitor (This was installed in some vehicles from 9/00) then you should have Mk3.

Most likely you have a Mk2 or Mk3 system.

You can further narrom it down between the 2 systems by looking at the faceplate of the navigation computer. There are 1 or 2 led's in the lower left corner. Mk2 computers have a "ON" LED and a "CD-IN" LED. Mk3 computers only have a "Power" LED.