My 2006 325xi occasionally going into transmission limp mode, then fixed by dealer, but RAD2 crashed and I was told I needed to replace a RAD2 for $830, then I post my issue on the BMW forum, finally I got the advised solution options. I think it can help others, so I would like to share here.
BMW car model and year:
Used 2006 325xi, 37,000 miles
After having the car for a week, and having taken two successful road trips, it started occasionally going into transmission limp mode.
Transmission issue fixed, but RAD2 crashed:
I put it into the local BMW dealer shop; the dealer diagnosed the issue to be a faulty mechanical. And I agree to pay $3500 of the $5000 tag. Later, the transmission issue was fixed, however, I was told the RAD2 crashed and I needed to replace that pay additional $830, which controls the radio.
To explain more specifically on how exactly did RAD2 fail
Everything was working perfectly other than the car occasionally activating the tranny failsafe mode, aka limp mode. There was no problem with the radio. The dealership says that the RAD2 failed when they were reprogramming or linking everything along the bus, and that they have tried everything they can to restore it to no avail. The next step is to replace the RAD2 module.
More questions and answers in order to find out solution
After I post my issue in the forum and wish some experienced technician can help me, they ask me some more detailed questions and I answer after them, I paste as follows, wish it can help others.
Damage to the RAD2 electronics should not a possible, but software SNAFU sure is. I note there are at least 2 versions of the module, and if programming for the wrong type, can see how the thing might ‘brick.’
Gotta wonder….did dealer restore previous condition? Or just keep trying to program? Seems like a reboot’s in order here, and a tech who tries to program maybe twice might throw up his hands, recommend an expensive R&R; move on.
The thing is, dealerships are limited in how they can program a car.
The software they use will read the car, modules, etc and determine if updates are available and push them to the car if so. They cannot program modules individually without permissions from corporate. Even if they could, I don’t think they have NFS or something similar to try and force flash or recover a bricked module.
Cheapest route would be to find a used RAD2 off eBay or junkyard, etc and swap it in. Depending on how the donor car was optioned, the radio may not need coding.
Coding is DIFFERENT than programming. Don’t risk updating the module at the dealer via programming. Find someone local and have them default the coding. Takes less than 5 minutes.
Look in the coding section on this website or the regional section on bmwcoding.com
Alternatively, you can have a local coder try and force software onto the RAD2 module via NFS. The dealership does not have this capability. The coder will need a BMW ICOM unit. Don’t even bother if he tries over DCAN.
Recently, ICOM A3 is verified working more stable than A2, and available at:
$329 +shipping, receive more powerful processor and more storage capacity, running the software that A2 run.
with a robust aluminum case, does not come with BMW 20Pin cable, so does not support old vehicle with 20Pin connector.