Can Aftermarket BMW E46 Navigation Support 6 CD Changer?

Sometimes during installation of an aftermarket BMW E46 navigation, you may don't know how to make the CD changer working, even doubt if the unit supports factory 6 CD changer?

BMW E46 usually comes with a factory Alpine 6 CD changer, for those who want to upgrade the factory BMW E46 radio, they may have a doubt that if the aftermarket BMW E46 navigation can support the factory 6 CDC, the answer is yes. If your new BMW E46 navigation is the same as this:

 bmw e46 navigation
Then you are able to use the factory Alpine 6 CD changer. However, please make sure your CDC is original Alpine, other brands or not original Alpine can not be supported! Besides, you should make sure your original Alpine 6 CD changer works well before the installation.

For BMW E46 after year 2002, the car should be with 40 pins flat plug, and before year 2002, it's with round 17 pins  plug. If there's a wide screen in the dashboard, the 17 pins or 40 pins plug is in the trunk, then you will need a long cable which runs from the front dash to the back in the trunk. By the way, this BMW E46 head unit also supports steering wheel control.

No matter which cable you use, the short or long one, you will always need to connect a CDC plug or CDC wires with your factory CDC wires. 

  • For BMW E46 after 2002 year, there's a small 4 pins black plug to connect, below is a pic for your reference: 

You just need to connect the above 2 plugs together, so that you can use the original Alpine 6 CD changer. If not, CDC will not work after installation of a BMW E46 navigation head unit. 

  • For BMW E46 before year 2002, the car is most probably comes with 17pins round plug, the aftermarket 17pins cable does not have the CDC plugs as 40pins cable. But there are 3 loose CDC wires including CDC-L, CDC-R, CDC-GND. If you want to use the Alpine 6 CDC, then you will need to connect these 3 wires with your car's CDC wires. You can check the wiring diagram from the factory unit, so that you can find out the factory CDC wires: CDC-L, CDC-R, and CDC-GND. CDC-L means left audio for CDC, CDC-R means right audio for CDC, and CDC-GND is the ground wire.


The aftermarket BMW E46 navigation unit can support original Alpine 6 CD changer, as long as you have done the right things as above. If you use the flat 40 pins plug cable, then you just need to connect the CDC plugs, if you use the round 17 pins plug cable, then you will also need to connect CDC wires(CDC-L, CDC-R, CDC-GND) directly with the factory ones.

Check this post to learn more about installation of BMW E46 navigation.