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      11-26-2011, 09:15 PM   #1
TuffLittleUnit
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RDS not working? [UK]

Is anyone having problems with the frequency changing features of RDS on the FM radio? Mine doesn't seem to work.

Most weeks I travel from Leeds to Slough and back therefore passing through various regions. On all my previous cars (well for at least the last 15 years or so) RDS has tuned to the strongest signal for the station I'm listening to (usually BBC Radio 4 these days ... it's an age thang) and it updates to show the local stations. This doesn't work on my X3.

My station listing seems to be permanently stuck to the stations in the London area. No local radio stations show as I pass through the Midlands or even when I've come back to West Yorkshire. For large chunks of the journey most national radio stations just become static.

Traffic alerts DO work. If I try switching RDS and REG off then I just get a screen of frequencies rather than station names.

There doesn't seem to be any feature to rescan the local stations either. Am I being stupid and missing something obvious?
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      11-27-2011, 05:32 AM   #2
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Tuff, the sounds almost like you're listening to DAB rather than FM - have you managed to accidentally switch it on without paying for it?! Unfortunately I never use FM because DAB works almost everywhere for me so I have no experience with FM in my X3 but RDS used to work as you have described in my previous cars
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      11-27-2011, 09:04 AM   #3
TuffLittleUnit
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Definitely FM although I do wish I'd got DAB (but not at BMW prices!)

Went out to the car today to have a tinker and found the radio HAS refreshed to show all the local stations ... odd.
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      11-27-2011, 04:36 PM   #4
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I believe with RDS each station broadcasts the channels that it is available on so as you move around it knows where to retune. It is a bit like the ephemeris data that GPS uses to fix on the moving constellation of satellites. So maybe your car was thankful for being in one place long enough and in a good signal area to capture the channel info.
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      11-28-2011, 05:21 PM   #5
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In some car radios you can enable/disable the 'TA' function of RDS. TA must be enabled to have any chance of traffic reports interupting Radio 4. I believe the BCC is the best radio network for the 'EON' field. I think this also needs to be enabled, if configurable, to use the 2nd tuner to search for local stations offering 'TA'. I have not looked on iDrive for the BMW options though.
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      05-18-2016, 12:32 PM   #6
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Hi Tuff,

Found your thread whilst googling problems with my X3 radio.

I am experiencing exactly the same problems as you reported - driving many miles from home but still showing local radio stations from the start point of my journey and no local stations found during or on arrival. Throughout the journey, national radio stations fade in and out as though the RDS is not working (both RDS and REG selected), often just static. Then, next morning, all the local stations are listed!

Did BMW come up with a solution and did you ever get the problem resolved?
BMW being unhelpful at the moment, reluctant to acknowledge there is a fault. In the meantime, I have a useless radio that only works within 25 miles of where I start my journey.

Anyone else experiencing similar problems?

Many thanks.
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