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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 03-13-2008, 10:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Instrument cluster for e39

My brother's car (1999 523i) has the instrument cluster damaged. Tach, speed, temp and fuel gauges are working fine but the odometer, trip odometer and indications from the trip computer don't show well. Seems like the LEDs conforming the kilometers and mesages from the computer don't work correctly, at some moments they are O.K but most of the time they don't light completely.
Seems like this is a common problem among this cars, can this be repaired or should the part be replaced?
Where can this part be found?

Thanks
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Very common problem

Hey guy,
This is a reoccuring problem with this model (E39). BMW recognizes the problem and have offered many a repair solution. It is a design flaw. There are several ways to fix. Try BMW first to see if they will repair. If not, you can google search the internet for a VDO display repair shop. There is also a self fix (DIY) which requires partial disassembly. I tried the later and screwed up. Fortunatley, I was able to find a used instrument cluster. All the pixels worked on the replacement.
Good luck
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Twin Que, I have a brand new replacement cluster I got a while back on ebay for cheap but I'm worried about putting it in if that would screw up the odometer, was there an issue for you about that? Also, what model do you have, because at least here in the states the 540 is a different cluster from the 528 - the 540 has the same one as the 7er.

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Old 03-30-2008, 04:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If the cluster truely is a new part then the mileage should be blank. Regardless of what you do the only proper way to replace the cluster is to have it coded by the dealership or someplace with dealer quality software. this way the mileage can be transferred fromt he LCM which stores the mileage redundantly with the Cluster. What is also very important is that the ZCS (central coding key) which houses the list of all options installed on your vehicle is also transferred to the new cluster which can only be done during coding. if the cluster truely is new then this shouldnt be a problem.
Also there are 2 different clusters available for the e39 regardless of the model (528 540 whatever) there is a high version and a low version. High version will have a matrix display and will give you check control messages in text format. The low cluster has a pictogram of a car on the left side and gives you check control warnings by displaying a symbol on the pictogram of the car.
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dirty_Tool View Post
If the cluster truely is a new part then the mileage should be blank. Regardless of what you do the only proper way to replace the cluster is to have it coded by the dealership or someplace with dealer quality software. this way the mileage can be transferred fromt he LCM which stores the mileage redundantly with the Cluster. What is also very important is that the ZCS (central coding key) which houses the list of all options installed on your vehicle is also transferred to the new cluster which can only be done during coding. if the cluster truely is new then this shouldnt be a problem.
Also there are 2 different clusters available for the e39 regardless of the model (528 540 whatever) there is a high version and a low version. High version will have a matrix display and will give you check control messages in text format. The low cluster has a pictogram of a car on the left side and gives you check control warnings by displaying a symbol on the pictogram of the car.

Yes, I need the "high Version" one.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have the same problem on the 540 I just bought and it will not get through Maryland Inspection.

Where can I find this on the net. I am having a tough time finding one.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You are replacing the cluster unit???
Try BMW Parts used and rebuilt bmw auto parts or dealer...
Good luck

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Old 05-09-2008, 03:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have an extra for sale. The cluster shows 140K miles but all the pixels work. As long as the replacement has more miles than the original one, it will work no problem. Less miles will show the cluster tamper light, not cureable.... If you want, email me and let's make a deal....
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Old 05-09-2008, 04:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The car I'm talking about is in Km, are they switchable between km and miles?
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin Que View Post
I have an extra for sale. The cluster shows 140K miles but all the pixels work. As long as the replacement has more miles than the original one, it will work no problem. Less miles will show the cluster tamper light, not cureable.... If you want, email me and let's make a deal....
the vehicle's VIN # is stored in the cluster and if you put a used cluster in your car the vin # will not match yours and you will absolutely get a manipulation dot regardless of whether the miles are less or more.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by solanog View Post
The car I'm talking about is in Km, are they switchable between km and miles?
this can be changed via coding.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The instrument cluster can fail on certain gauges- loss of rev counter, speedo, fuel gauge, 3 (E36) and 5 (E39) series BMW instrument cluster.
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Old 10-04-2008, 03:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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how much does it costs the used high cluster , average ???
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Hi, heres a fix for the pixels etc, its for a 7 series but they are the same and it does work!
I take no responsibility if you damage your cluster, you undertake to do this at your own risk.

PIXEL FIX DIY write up, about a 2 hour job and some patience (Long pic warning)

To remove the cluster,there are 2 screws underneath at the top.

Good luck

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