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CD Changer Disc Error Fix
25-05-2014, 12:02 PM
Post: #1
CD Changer Disc Error Fix
Hi Guys,

So the 6 disc CD changer in my E36 had stopped reading discs. No matter how many times I've reloaded the magazine or banged on the unit, the "Disc Error" message never went away.

I was prepared to buy another unit - to keep things original, but I had one more trick up my sleeve before I did so.

All it takes is to crank up the laser diode's potentiometer. My understanding of this is that the laser diode loses its efficiency as time goes by, thus it becomes increasingly difficult for it to actually read anything on a disc (I stand to be corrected). By turning up the pot, you increase the voltage to the diode (or reduces the resistance?) which helps the diode read 'stronger'.

This is how to do it:

1. Get into your trunk and unplug the two cables from the rear of the changer. One should be power, and the other data.

2. Remove the four screws holding the unit to the mounting bracket.

3. Remove the six screws holding the upper casing. (two screws on each side, and two at the rear.)

4. This is what you should see:

[Image: 20140516_192049.jpg]

5. Plug the CD changers cables back in, insert the magazine with CDs in it, and power up your headunit. Select CD. You should see the DISC ERROR message on the screen. The you will need to select another cd and run to the back and turn this pot clockwise, A little at a time!!

[Image: 20140516_192032.jpg]

Keep an eye out on the headunits display. When it shows disc error, stop and change the cd again. The trick is to be turning the pot WHILE the cd changer is trying to read the disc.


You should find that the CD will be spinning in bursts (stop-go, stop-go) instead of a continuous spin, when it is struggling to read anything.
The moment you dialed in the pot to give the diode enough power, you should find that the cd will spin continuously.

Make sure to always turn the pot when the unit is trying to read (the few seconds before the disc error message shows up.)

I had turned the pot on my unit a little less than 90 degrees.

This trick may reduce the lifespan of the diode, so do this at your own risk!

- I would love to know the theory behind why this works, anybody know?

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25-05-2014, 12:04 PM
Post: #2
RE: CD Changer Disc Error Fix
Nice DiyThumbs

Current rides
1995 E36 325i [Unfinished Monalisa]
2004 E46 330D M-sport [167wkw 556nm]
2012 Yamaha FZ6R - Stock
Ex Ride
1998 160i Conquest Rs
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