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sprinkles08
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 21585
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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Mini Cooper S: . I have a mini cooper S R52 (USA) and

Customer Question

Hello. I have a mini cooper S R52 (USA) and for no apparent reason the radio has a "Disable" on the screen and will not function. There was no brand on it. The car has the Harmon Kardon system in it. I took it to the dealer and they were unable to acquire a security code for the radio. I was wondering if someone could help. I also went as far as to buy another factory radio (Alpine) from ebay and when I plugged it in, it also had a "Disable" text on the screen.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 7 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

The security code is obtained using the radio's serial number. The serial number can be obtained by installing the radio, turning the key on and pressing the M button.

Were you or the dealer able to obtain the serial number?

If so, do you know why they were unable to obtain the security code?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
i dont know why the dealer was unable to resolve the problem. they made no mention getting a serial # ***** the radio screen. i will try this trick and get back to you on what to do next.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 7 months ago.

Once the serial number from the radio is obtained the code can be obtained either through a dealer or www.radio-codes.com.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
my serial # ***** with a VD and radio-codes.com does not seem to have that as an option for mini. i will try a third dealer to see if they can help me. the second radio i bought has a serial # ***** starts with AL but the model # ***** not match with there available options. is it true that the dealer has to program a new radio to the car?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 7 months ago.

It shouldn't require any programming.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
i got a code from online which was reported to be 1923. there is no 9 on the display. any thoughts on how to enter this code?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 months ago.

Pressing the 3 button twice should give you a 9.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
the display continues to read Disabled after trying to enter a code. is there a way to get it out of "DISABLE" mode and into "CODE" mode?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 months ago.

Is it actually responding when pressing the buttons to enter the code?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
no, the screne continues to say "Disabled" on it.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 months ago.

Is that the only thing it will show even initially after a battery connect on the radio currently installed?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
disabled' is all it shows. i did some more trouble shooting and found that there is no ibus signal arriving at the head unit on the white/red/yellow wire. i tried to jump the 12v power to the ibus line but was not able to trick the computer in seeing the ibus and saw no change. i hope i did not burn out a connection somewhere with this recent fix attempt. also i got a used radio head unit (alpine) which is a slightly different OEM model than my head unit but has all the same buttons. it too also indiced "disable" on it. is there another way i can troubleshoot the IBUS system? From what i understand, either the computer is malfunctioning and not looking for the radio, or the radio is busted and cannot talk to the computer. back to the dealer for round 2 or can we troubleshoot the ibus.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 months ago.

How did you determine there is no bus communication?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
i put a volt meter between the ibus line and ground. i got nothing on the line
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 months ago.

The key was on at the time? What was the meter set to?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
it was set to 20v to measure voltage. i tested it with the car off, key in start position, and engine running all this the stereo in the on position. no signal in any of those positions.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 months ago.

Do you have a scan tool capable of communication with all modules?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
i have a scan tool but not one that can get in-depth module info. the dealer reported that when they scanned it, ibus could not see the radio and their book told them to replace the radio. they did not pull out the head unit and test any points though. the reason i am suspect is when I plugged in the new radio, i got the same message immediately on the screen.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 months ago.

Do you know for sure that the radio was the only thing not communicating, or do you have the ability to check?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
i cant say if there is another problem. i put the scanner i do have on the car and got no codes. the car runs just fine
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
can i jump a signal wire or put a dc battery to the com line and see if we can trick the computer to get the radio working?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
i dont know where the ibus unit is in the car and would need instructions on how to check the pins/points.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 months ago.

A bus communication circuit should never be shorted to power or ground, that could instantly damage any module on the bus.

Are you using an actual scan tool or is it a generic OBDII code reader? A scan tool is a multi thousand dollar tool capable of communication with all modules.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
i used and obdii code reader only.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 months ago.

Can you locate the same wire at the CD changer and measure the voltage there?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
i will try that tomorrow.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 months ago.

Ok.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
there is power on the same line at the cd player connection in the trunk. voltage reads 11.49. battery is at 11.99. this is with the ignition off.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 6 months ago.

You're testing with the key on, which is when modules are awake and communicating.

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