I have had this problem on my last car, an E36 323i Coupe, and also in an E39 520i prior to that, believe it or not it has reared it's head in my present E39 540i Sport. The problem is inherent in the majority of BMW's, except for convertibles. The antenna for the radio is located in the rear window and in some Tourings (estates) in the rear most side windows. What looks like a very complicated rear window demister element in the rear window glass also incorporates the radio antenna. All vehicles that I know of have a "Radio Signal Amplifier" mounted somewhere near the antenna, in an E39 Saloon it is behind the trim on the left hand rear "C" Pillar, this is the location on E36 & E46 also. I went to the trouble of getting a used amplifier for my E36, but found that after I had disconnected it, cleaned the connections and earths it worked perfectly. I have yet to tackle my present E39. It is a relatively simple job to do, just takes longer to get to the amplifier than the cleaning etc. just be patient with trim panels, removing can cause damage.
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