BMW Radio Cleaning Tips

You can have your radio professionally cleaned to vastly improve it’s performance. I’ve come across another way to get rid of the screeches and static (that would wake the dead) that you may get when turning on your radio. For me, it also solved the problem of not all speakers playing all the time.

While not as thorough as professional cleaning, this method is much less expensive. All it takes is a can of Tuner/Control Cleaner & Lubricant (Cat. No. 64 3150) from Radio Shack for about $5.First, remove your radio. If you have a late model anti-theft radio, you can buy or borrow a special five-sided “Allen” wrench, but you may be able to make do with a regular Allen wrench or small screwdriver. Flip open the plastic doors on each side of the front panel of the radio to access the screws.

Once they are loosened, the radio will slide out. You won’t have to disconnect any wires if you work in the car. Carefully slide the volume control off it’s shaft. Spray some cleaner all around the base of the shaft and move the shaft rapidly from low to high to clean the contacts and distribute the fluid. After a dozen rapid “min to max” cycles, try the radio and see if the static clears up. If not, repeat the process.

To reinstall, put the wires into the dash, then slide the radio back in. Tighten the screws and you’re done. The job takes about five minutes. While you’re at it, you should clean the heads on the cassette deck with the kit supplied when you purchased your car.

(Note: spray can label warns you to not over spray and to disconnect power before using. While I just turned off the radio, you should follow the instructions on the can exactly.)

Author: Brett Schiftner
Lone Star Chapter


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