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I would need to know if its the factory radio or an aftermarket system . If it factory, did you have it apart for any reason? Did you make sure the plug-in is all the way on?
If its aftermarket, does it have an amp? Did you verify all ground connections? Are all the speakers hooked up the same, or do you have some speaker wired backwards?
Its tuff to answer this type of question without knowing all these things, or having it right in front of you. Some places get LOTS of money tracking odd electrical problems, and I have found these above questions can usually get you close to finding the problem.
Carefully lift front of cover in rear window, it is attached by velcro. Slide it towards you without lifting too much as this will break the fingers that hold the rear of the cover. Now you have access to light bulbs. Install is reverse.
I have not done this model, but the hardest part on these cars is usually getting the trunk lining off the shock towers so you can access the bolts at the tops of the shocks. On a '98 three series, you have to remove the rear speakers to get the trunk lining out intact. To remove the rear speakers, you have to snap up the speaker covers in the rear deck, and snapping up those covers without breaking them when they are 13 years old and brittle is just about impossible.
I don't know if your rear speakers will have to come out to get to the shock towers. For your sake, I hope not. It would be tempting (and much quicker) to cut the trunk lining off the shock towers and glue it back when you are done. If you do it neatly, only another BMW owner would notice what you had done.
If the rear seat does not fold down, it needs to come out prior to removing the rear deck lid cover over your speakers.
You can remove the rear seat by wrestling with the seat. You will have to work with it to get it out. Don't force to hard, but give it plenty of muscle and attempt not to break the clips that hold it in place.
things to consider: Does it have a factory amplifier? Is the factory harness still present? Does it still have the speakers present?
You are going to only have a certain amount of wires... If the factory harness is still there you can simply purchase an aftermarket or just look at one in a local store on what wires are what.
you would have your: gray and gray w/ black purple and purple w/ black green and green w/ black white and white w/ black these are normally used as an after market clip on harness for that factory wiring. (left front, right front, left rear, right rear)
Obviously your going to have the constant (yellow), ignition (red) and the ground (Black); so the others would be either a remote (amp or power antenna) usually white with blue strip and dimmer normally orange for the after market harness, and the others will be the speakers.
What you COULD try is using a 9v battery and picking up the wires that are solid and striped and touching them to the 9v battery.
When you find the two that make that speaker make a popping sound you have found that speaker. Once you have found the speaker that pops, you should be able to take it out and look at the color of the wires to make sure you will have the pos and neg for each speaker correctly set.
You dont want some speakers being in phase while other are out of phase. if so the sound wont be right.
Open the trunk, the reset switch is behind the drivers side tail light, or inside the rear fender area, behind the interior trunk liner. There should be a small place to put your finger through the trunk liner to reset it, without taking anything apart.