Corroded LVDS cables and connectors are the most likely source of complete or partial Side View camera failure. Water entering the LVDS data line is the most common source of this problem. In almost all cases you cannot see the corrosion from the outside, even on the connector pins.
This problem usually affects the left bumper camera because the line between the TRSVC control unit and the left bumper camera is the longest. You should always check this LVDS cable first!
Troubleshooting Side View Camera Fault
BMW’s procedure for bumper camera faults is quite time-consuming and requires some special equipment and tools, so I’ll tell you my own process of troubleshooting. As I said above, you should always start with the left bumper camera.
In most cases unplugging and connecting the bumper camera connector again will likely fix the fault, but only temporarily! You can count almost 100% that the fault will come back! Because the problem is not in the connector’s pins, but in the cable itself.
Assess the situation
In order to decide on diagnosis steps, you should first check the malfunction situation. For instance, if you have one working camera, the diagnostic process will be much easier. I’ll give you a few examples according to a malfunction condition.
One camera is working
If this is the case, when you activate the side view cameras, you’ll briefly see the image of the working camera. The other, failed camera will show a blue screen. Here we want to know do we need to replace the camera, the cable, or both. In this case, you can use your working side to diagnose the exact fault. For this example let’s say that the left camera is not working.
Remove the left bumper camera and plug it into the right-side camera connector. If the left camera is working on the right side, we know that the problem is not in the camera but in the cable.
Here’s how to do it.
To remove the bumper camera, you’ll need to remove the front section of the wheel arch cover.
Do the same on the other side.
Both cameras do not work
While this is a very rare case, it can also happen, especially when the owner does not repair the first failed camera, usually for years.
If this is the case, you’ll need at least one working LVDS cable.
Remove the left trim in the boot to get access to a TRSVC surround-view control module.
Connect the new camera cable into the desired slot at one end and to a camera on the other end. Test the system as described above. If you can see the image of the connected side, now you’ll need to install a new repair cable. Do the same for the other side.
You’ll find the guide on how to install the LVDS repair cable later in the article.
Bumper Camera Works But Fault is Displayed
A CVBS line and a local interconnect network bus make up the LVDS data line between the cameras and the TRSVC control unit.
Image data is transmitted through the CVBS channel. The local interconnect network bus is used to communicate between the TRSVC control unit and the cameras.
As a result, the image from the camera may be displayed even if communication between the TRSVC control unit and the camera is not working properly.
When this happens, it’s only a matter of time before the camera view will also fail.
Brief System Description
Connector colors on the TRSVC control unit
|WHITE||Bumper camera, front left|
|GREEN||Bumper camera, front right|
|BLUE||Backup camera (rear view camera)|
|RED||Mirror camera, right|
|BLACK||Mirror camera, left|
|Voltage (U)||Voltage supply for bumper camera and heating|
|LIN||Local interconnect network bus line|
|LVDS+||Camera signal line 1|
|LVDS-||Camera signal line 2|
How to Replace Side View Camera Cable
Remove front wheel arch cover
Remove sealing mount for engine compartment lid
Remove footwell trim panel
Access to the all-round vision camera control unit
Remove driver’s seat
Remove backrest side section on rear seat backrest
Remove bottom trim panel for door post
Remove expanding rivets (1) and remove the cover (2).
Unlock the lock (1) in the direction of the arrow with a suitable tool.
Unlock the lock (3) carefully with a suitable tool. Pull connector housing (4) of the line (2) in the direction of the arrow.
Pay attention to encoding (5)!
Connect repair cable (2) to Side View camera (1).
Lay repair cable (2) in direction of the arrow along with wiring harness (3) and secure at points marked with an arrow.
Loosen screws from the expansion tank (5) and set the expansion tank to one side.
Lay repair cable (1) in direction of the arrow along with wiring harness (4) and secure at points marked with an arrow.
Risk of damage to the wiring harness.
Carefully feed repair cable (1) through grommet (2).
After repair cable (1) has been fed through and secured, mask grommet (2) at point (3) with suitable adhesive tape.
Carefully lay carpet (4) to one side. Lay repair cable (2) from the entry point (1) in direction of the arrow along with the wiring harness (3) below carpet (4) and secure to wiring harness (3) at suitable distances.
Lay repair cable (2) in direction of the arrow along with the wiring harness up to the all-around vision camera control unit (1) secure to the wiring harness at suitable distances.
Assemble repair cable. Connect repair cable to slot (2) of all-around vision camera control unit (3).Note:
Lay and secure and overlength of repair cable below wheel arch trim panel in the left luggage compartment.
After successful completion of the function check, detach the start and end of the faulty cable at the first mounting point.
While writing this article I’ve done a bit of research online and found the aftermarket LVDS cables on eBay. Theoretically, they should work just like the genuine BMW parts. I’ve never tested it, but considering the pricey cable repair kit, I’ll try for sure with the next failed BMW side view camera. If the customer agrees, of course.
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