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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 03-15-2008, 04:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a 1988 325I, and I just replaced the SI board because the tach,temp, and mpg gauge were not functioning. The new board solved two out of three issues. The mpg gauge is working, but not correctly. At idle the gauge goes all the way to the right and the only time it shows the most mpg is when you let off the accelerator at highway speeds. The gauge is mostly in the zero to five mpg position. Does anyone know what the problem may be.
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Old 03-15-2008, 06:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a 1988 325I, and I just replaced the SI board because the tach,temp, and mpg gauge were not functioning. The new board solved two out of three issues. The mpg gauge is working, but not correctly. At idle the gauge goes all the way to the right and the only time it shows the most mpg is when you let off the accelerator at highway speeds. The gauge is mostly in the zero to five mpg position. Does anyone know what the problem may be.
I don't know exactly how they function, but i believe the older ones work on vacuum. I could be wrong though. But to be honest, they aren't accurate if that is what you are concerned about. But if you do want it working and you can confirm that is does operate on vacuum, start with the line going to the gauge. My 87 VW GTi had a vacuum line running right to the back of the gauge. Haven't had my E30 cluster apart, so i don't know if it's the same. Not much help, sorry.
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Old 03-16-2008, 10:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you, but I don't recall a vacuum hose or connection for one on the back of the cluster.
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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actually the BMW one is very accurate, it works via ambient temperature, fuel flow rates and throttle position

Completely different than the crude VW system

did you replace the battery to the board? if its got a new board and still off then the batteries are bad or the actual instrument itself...have you swapped injectors or engines?
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Kyle, thanks for the reply. I put in a remanufactured board and I actually checked the batteries before I put the board in. They were almost completely charged. Do they recharge when the engine is running or whenever they're connected to a 12 volt battery? The board was rebuilt in September of 2007. There has not been any work done to the engine, it has less than 65,000 on it. The MPG gauge is basically doing the opposite of what it's supposed to do except when I'm at highway speed and take my foot of the gas. It's really weird.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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actually the BMW one is very accurate, it works via ambient temperature, fuel flow rates and throttle position
on the old ones? i thought that setup was only on newer cars.
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