How to change a BMW stereo amp

Written by jule pamplin
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BMW offers quite an array of options for the stereo systems in their line of cars, trucks and SUVs. There may arise an occasion when BMW owners need to replace their stereo's amplifier, either for upgrade or because of malfunction. The amplifier is a critical component of a quality system and is responsible for driving sonic fidelity through BMW's prodigious multiple speaker audio systems. You can choose to have the amplifier replacement performed by a professional technician, or you can swap the amps yourself and save the cost of labour.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 10 millimetre wrench
  • Amplifer wiring kit
  • Trim panel removal tool
  • Speaker wire
  • Rubber grommet
  • Phillips head screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the grounding cable from the BMW battery. The grounding cable connects the negative lead to the chassis of the vehicle. Use a 10 millimetre wrench to loosen the cable's clamp. Remove the cable from the lead and rest it away from the negative lead post.

  2. 2

    Replace the ring terminal (included in the amplifier wiring kit) on the positive lead of the battery and route the new power supply wire into the cabin. Replace the rubber grommet in the opening of the firewall to protect the wiring. Remove the fuse from the ring terminal.

  3. 3

    Remove the upper dash trim at the centre of the dashboard. Pry the panel free at the bottom edge using a trim panel tool. Grab the panel and pull it free. Disconnect the power supply wire connected to the hazard button on the panel.

  4. 4

    Remove the two screws at the top of the lower trim panel with a Phillips head screwdriver. Pull the lower panel free from the dash. Remove the screws on either side of the stereo deck and pull the stereo from the dash far enough to reach the wire connections in the rear.

  5. 5

    Pull out the signal cable and turn-on lead from the stereo. Connect the new cables (from the amplifier wiring kit) to the stereo and route them from the deck to the location of the new amp.

  6. 6

    Remove the old amplifier from the vehicle. Place the new amp into the previous amp's location. Connect the power supply cable, the signal cable, the turn-on lead and speaker wires to the new amplifier.

  7. 7

    Replace the BMW stereo deck into the dash. Screw the two screws into the stereo mounting bracket. Replace the lower trim panel and replace the two screws at the top. Connect the hazard power wire to the upper trim panel and replace it on the dash.

  8. 8

    Place the negative battery cable onto the negative battery lead. Tighten the clamp with a 10 millimetre wrench. Place the fuse into the fuse holder on the ring terminal.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use the old wires and cables for the new amplifier. It is best to replace the connecting wires when you replace the amp to avoid having to replace degraded wires at a later time.

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