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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 06-02-2006, 02:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Service Indicator won't come on.

I'm having trouble with the service indicator on my 1997 328iC. Under normal operation when you start the car, the service indicator comes on, then times out. What I'm seeing 95% of the time is the SI tries to come on (looks like a dim backlight for the whole LCD) at this time half of my odometer digits (or bars) are out. Once the SI times out, the odometer returns to normal operation.

I've done some reading about lamps being burnt out, so I replaced the 2 lamps for the LCD on the back of the cluster. I also tested all other lamps. This did not help.

I've also read about SI batteries but was only able to find information on E30 SI batteries.

Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks,
-Greg

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Old 06-02-2006, 03:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is probably hard to explain.

What I am seeing is the service indicator TRIES to come on but doesn't. You can see the SI portion of the LCD but it's not completly visible or readable. In other words it's very dimly lit. During this time the odometer is jacked. Once the SI times out, the odo works.
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Old 06-02-2006, 04:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Unfortunatly it was the E30 that had the batteries...from what it sounds like the cluster is toast, could be wrong but in most cases when the cluster acts up like that we replace em. Good Luck!
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Old 06-02-2006, 04:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm thinking maybe it's a short somewhere. Last night I took the cluster out to check all the bulbs. After I re-installed the cluster the SI worked for a while, about 20 times of turning the key on and off.
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Old 06-02-2006, 04:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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then deffinatly check for loose pins, shorts, the obvious stuff
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Old 06-05-2006, 12:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i have the same thing with mine. the cluster is bad. the odometer is half lit up. i never wanted to replaced the cluster because i found a trick to get all the digits to light up. with mine, if you press the odometer reset button in all the way all of the digits light up. i know that sounds cheap but what the hell if it works right?
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Old 06-05-2006, 08:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah - I've seen the same results with mine. I'm thinking maybe there's a bad connection somewhere in the and around the LCD. My plan is the tear the cluster apart and poke around the LCd area.

Thanks for the confirmation.
-Greg
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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polaris448,
Does your SI work properly?
-greg
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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most of the time normally and all of time if i press the odometer reset button in to see it, if it is dim or all goofy looking.
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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BINGO!! Found it last night! Must have been a short somewhere. I pulled the cluster out so that I could reach the connectors in the back. While pressing on the blue connector the odometer would "flicker". So I took the cluster out and cleaned/checked all the pins for that connector. I also checked all the wires going into the back of the plug. Hooked it back up and now it works!
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