Your CCC iDrive is malfunctioning? The CCC iDrive is prone to a few common failures. In this article we discuss how to correctly diagnose a faulty CCC (Car Communication Computer) iDrive avoiding unnecessary costs and what is the best option to have it repaired.
The information in this article is meant for:
- Regular BMW owners who need to diagnose a faulty CCC unit
- DYI-ers who want to try some tricks to get their CCC to work
- BMW owners who want to send us their faulty CCC for an iDrive repair
Do you need a CCC iDrive repair?
Your unit appears to be malfunctioning and you’re thinking of an iDrive repair? Before you proceed, we recommend to make sure you really have a CCC failure. With the right guiding, it can be a quick and painless process.
In situations where the CCC iDrive needs a repair, BMW owners usually drive the car to a repair service, but some try to personally identify the cause based on information they find online. The large amount of data on blogs and forums encourages owners to personally try to diagnose a CCC failure, but naturally, not all the information is reliable and it doesn’t always lead to a successful iDrive repair.
The CCC iDrive navigation is found on the following BMW models:
BMW Series 1 (E81, E82, E87, E88), BMW Series 3 (E90, E91, E92, E93), BMW Series 5 (E60, E61), BMW Series 6 (E63, E64), BMW X5 E70, BMW X6 E71
Symptoms indicating the need for a CCC iDrive repair
Here is our compiled list of symptoms that are normally caused by a CCC failure:
- CCC resets continuously
- The head unit is stuck on BMW logo
- The screen remains blank (or white)
- The iDrive is fully functional on particular days only, most likely when the weather is colder
- The CCC head unit might work when the car is cold, but fails to work when the car is warm
- No iDrive functions
- The CCC fan remains on and it drains the car battery
- The CCC iDrive console buttons lights remain always on
Symptoms common to some other faulty modules
In the previous section we listed symptoms that are indicative of CCC malfunctions. Next is a list of symptoms that may have other causes, not necessarily a CCC navigation failure:
- Slow navigation through the menu
- When you use the iDrive controller to go through the menu, you notice there’s a lag between when turn or press the joystick versus when the head unit actually executes your commands. Just like a website that loads slowly on a poor internet connection, the same way your navigation responds slower than before to your commands.
- Intermittent sound
- You’re listening to music and suddenly there’s a pause. The music comes back on, by itself, only to suffer from a similar interruption later on.
- The CCC head unit randomly freezes and the iDrive controller (joystick) spins freely
- You’re navigating through the menu using the iDrive controller. Suddenly, each turn or press on the controller has no effect on the information you see on the screen. It’s like the iDrive joystick gets completely disconnected from the navigation screen. A few moments later, everything works like new.
- The CCC iDrive resets a few times, but then starts and works properly
- The navigation turns on, you see the BMW logo on screen, and then goes black again. After this happens for a couple of times, finally the CCC succeeds in starting properly, gets past the BMW logo, into the menu and everything works fine.
Fixing a faulty CCC iDrive
Let us review now various steps recommended in the online world for dealing with a faulty CCC iDrive. The purpose of the next section is to go through various methods prescribed online and to see if you should try them or avoid them.
Mind that a dead battery or hard reset of the CCC unit tends to lead to a memory corruption even in the absence of a hardware fault. Therefore: only try the hard reset when your CCC unit is already acting up. Don’t risk corrupting the memory of a functional CCC unit. By holding the DVD eject button, the CD eject button and the Volume button at the same time for a couple of seconds, the unit will reboot.
Look for blown fuses. Fuses are placed along electrical circuits to prevent possible damage due to overheating or overloading. The fact that a fuse is blown can be seen very easily: the metal wire inside the transparent coloured glass that’s part of the fuse is interrupted. Replacement fuses are easy to source and you can change them yourself, of course.
The fuses are located behind the glove box. Open the glove compartment and you’ll notice the wall lining at the back has two knobs on the sides. Rotate the knobs and you’ll be able to pull open the back compartment wall. Check the fuse card located inside and identify which diagram and number corresponds with the CCC fuse. Here is a website that might help you identify BMW fuse box locations.
Keeping your BMW iDrive up-to-date is highly recommended, but updating the software when you encounter a navigation problem might be tricky if you haven’t yet correctly diagnosed the CCC. If the unit has an underlying hardware problem, the update will most likely fail. Sometimes a unit suffers from a software corruption in the absence of a hardware fault. In this case, a software update will correct the problem. But keep in mind that one can’t know if that’s the case until (s)he has tried it.
Sadly, the CCC repair capacitors kit is only a scam which has prevailed due to the high incidence of faulty capacitors in other types of electronic products (i.e. home appliances).
Throughout all our history with CCC repairs (more than 3000 units), we have never encountered a single CCC unit with faulty caps tough. Stay away from sellers offering repair capacitors kits.
Repairing the BMW CCC unit yourself by reheating the chips is not recommended. Very few DIYers succeed at actually repairing the BMW CCC themselves and, in most cases, more damage is done. Interventions by non-professionals often lead to extra damage: either short circuits (caused when reheating the chips and then the damage gets propagated through the mainboard when the unit is powered) or missing components (when heating the board, it’s easy to accidentally displace the tiny components placed around the big chips).
The problem with failed repair attempts from our view, as an in-car infotainment repair shop, is that it’s hard to tell exactly where extra damaged was caused by a third party. And it’s a pity because we know exactly what to check and where to look when a CCC has a particular fault and it’s pristine (no one attempted a repair). All CCC iDrive units can be repaired. But for a CCC that suffered a failed repair attempt, revival is not necessarily guaranteed and most often has to come at a premium cost.
If you decide to give it a go and try to fix your own CCC iDrive head unit, make a selection of tutorials first. We find that these tutorials are usually made by two types of authors:
- Private individuals who’ve only done this once. These are usually regular people who have some time on their hands and patience and curiosity to explore. They are well intended and their instructions are probably the real deal.
- Companies that deal with online publishing and which profit from traffic to their website. They usually have no connection with car infotainment repairs. Their job is to identify hot topics that will drive readers to their website. Proceed with care if you decide to try one of these.
Removal of CD/ DVD
In case the CCC has trouble reading the CD / DVD, remove all disks and test again. If a disk does not come out by itself, please do not force it out (as this may cause mechanical damage). This is usually a sign that the unit should be sent over to a repair shop. Once the hardware problem of the units gets fixed, the CCC will be naturally eject the disk as before.
Removal /repair of Bluetooth / sound amplifier
Another module connected to the fiber optics ring if faulty and prevents the proper functioning of the CCC iDrive. First, check whether your car comes with a Bluetooth module (MULF or MULF 2) or a sound amplifier (TOP-HIFI, also known as Logic 7) that are known to be prone to failure. Enter the last 7 characters of your VIN number here or here and see if the generated list includes:
- 644 Preparation f mobile phone w Bluetooth – this is the MULF or MULF 2
- 677 HIFI System Professional – the TOP HIFI (also known as Logic 7) sound amplifier
Next, remove the module identified on the previous step in one of the following two ways:
- replace the above with a known to be functional module (from a friend, a local service etcetera)
- remove the suspect unit and use a MOST bypass loop connector to close back the optical fiber loop. This is mandatory. If you simply unplug a module and do not close the optical fiber ring, unexpected results will follow.
The most cost effective option is to take your iDrive navigation to a specialised repair service (one that has experience repairing CCC units, not just any auto service) with high reputation (read online testimonials, Google or Facebook reviews etc). If a specialised shop performs the iDrive repair, you won’t have problems with your CCC again and you will be spending less than a third of the amount a BMW dealer would ask for. You can also ask for a software update and you should definitely get a warranty for the repair. The norm is a 12-month warranty certificate.
If you need our help with the iDrive repair or another module, please check out:
- our CCC repair page
- our MULF / MULF 2 bluetooth repair page
- our Logic 7 amplifier repair page
- our CIC iDrive repair page, if you have the CIC version of the iDrive navigation
Wrapping it up
To sum up, in this article we’ve learned why it is recommended to have a CCC iDrive repair performed by a professional repair service, but also what steps you can take on your own and what tricks do more harm than good for your CCC head unit. If you need our help, the best way is to use the contact forms sprinkled all over this website or just click here.
As always, we appreciate if you’d like to share your story with our readers in the comments sections below. Did you have a problem with your iDrive, what did the dealer recommend, how did you fix it ?