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Old 12-21-2016, 05:07 PM   #1
Filipg92
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Speedometer not working (NO warning lights on dash) Cluster issue?

I know some of you might think this is a redundant question but I've been through all the e46 forums and have not been able to find a definitive answer. I rarely post because most of my questions have been solved with a few searched, but this speedo not working is really getting to me. So here it is:

2001 325ci 150K miles, 5 speed

No abs/brake light or traction lights are on the dash.
Speedometer and avg mpg readings don't work.

Every search I've done leads me to bad abs/wheel speed sensor but the symptoms for that are all 3 of the lights on.

Additional info:

-The car has the diff swaped to one from an automatic.

-The BC button on the turn signal does nothing, and the 2 cluster buttons also do nothing. (Stems are fine, not broken and they actually engage) so I can't set the time or switch through the cluster info.

I'm at a point where I think the cluster itself may be bad? Maybe partially bad wiring? Any help is appreciated.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:54 PM   #2
scottjoh
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Of the 5 gauges only the speed and MPG are not working? Fuel level, coolant temp, RPM all work fine. Sounds like the DSC module is going bad.


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Old 12-21-2016, 08:11 PM   #3
AlexC28
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Check you fuses
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:23 AM   #4
Filipg92
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Originally Posted by AlexC28 View Post
Check you fuses
I went through the fuses in the glove box and they all were good. Are there any other fuse boxes? I've heard of there being one in the trunk but didn't find anything.
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:29 AM   #5
Filipg92
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[QUOTE=scottjoh;17142649]Of the 5 gauges only the speed and MPG are not working? Fuel level, coolant temp, RPM all work fine. Sounds like the DSC module is going bad.


Only those 2 gauges are not working.. Fuel gauge acts up sometimes and gets "stuck" at the same fuel level but after turning the car off and back on it adjusts. I think that's the floater on the fuel pump causing that though.

Not sure its the DSC because I can turn my traction control on and off with the button. Also no ABS or brake light are on the dash.
Is there any way to test it? Just unplug it?

I think that the issues with the gauges relate to the BC button and clock not working also because it all ties in to the cluster.
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Old 12-22-2016, 01:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottjoh View Post
Of the 5 gauges only the speed and MPG are not working? Fuel level, coolant temp, RPM all work fine. Sounds like the DSC module is going bad.
I wouldn't think so -- isn't the MPH is taken off of the transmission, not the DSC?

Which would explain why the MPG gauge doesn't work... it actually does, but the car computes MPG based off of a number of things, including MPH.

OP, does your odometer work (is it counting up?).
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Old 12-22-2016, 02:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filipg92 View Post
Only those 2 gauges are not working.. Fuel gauge acts up sometimes and gets "stuck" at the same fuel level but after turning the car off and back on it adjusts. I think that's the floater on the fuel pump causing that though.
Since only those 2 gauges are not working I am not suspecting anything in the cluster although the fuel gauge getting stuck is interesting. Maybe a bad stepper motor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filipg92 View Post
Not sure its the DSC because I can turn my traction control on and off with the button. Also no ABS or brake light are on the dash.
Is there any way to test it? Just unplug it?.
That doesn't mean anything, at least for what I'm thinking is wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filipg92 View Post
I think that the issues with the gauges relate to the BC button and clock not working also because it all ties in to the cluster.
No, that has nothing to do with it. Clock button not working is probably because of little pieces of plastic breaking. This is a well known problem in the E46. The BC button not working is usually a problem with the button on the stalk itself or a problem.

What I think is happening is that Processed Wheel Speed sensor from the rear left wheel is not coming out of the DSC module reliably. The Bosch DSC 5.7 module has a high failure rate due to broken wire bonds from the I/O connector to the ceramic substrate circuit board. The DSC will not flag a fault because this is an output which is not checked beyond the wire bonding pad. You can check this signal with an oscilloscope by probing X11175 pin 19 at the back of the cluster. This signal comes from the DSC module on X18303 pin 10, but, that's a bitch to get to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicily1918 View Post
I wouldn't think so -- isn't the MPH is taken off of the transmission, not the DSC?

Which would explain why the MPG gauge doesn't work... it actually does, but the car computes MPG based off of a number of things, including MPH.
No. There are too many things that would affect speed when taken off the transmission. Which transmission, getrag manual, general motors automatic, ZF automatic, general motors automatic w/steptronic and then the different ratios of differential. Getting wheel rotation speed from the DSC module is easy since it gets wheel speed from all the wheels anyway and all cars have the same module except for the early E46's like mine that got ASC before DSC came out, but, ASC still got wheel speed information. Of course there is always the problem of vehicle speed variation due to wheel diameter/circumference.

Last edited by scottjoh; 12-22-2016 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 12-22-2016, 02:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sicily1918 View Post
I wouldn't think so -- isn't the MPH is taken off of the transmission, not the DSC?

Which would explain why the MPG gauge doesn't work... it actually does, but the car computes MPG based off of a number of things, including MPH.

OP, does your odometer work (is it counting up?).
Yes the odometer/trip meter both work and count.
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Old 12-22-2016, 02:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by scottjoh View Post
Since only those 2 gauges are not working I am not suspecting anything in the cluster although the fuel gauge getting stuck is interesting. Maybe a bad stepper motor.


That doesn't mean anything, at least for what I'm thinking is wrong.


No, that has nothing to do with it. Clock button not working is probably because of little pieces of plastic breaking. This is a well known problem in the E46. The BC button not working is usually a problem with the button on the stalk itself or a problem.

What I think is happening is that Processed Wheel Speed sensor from the rear left wheel is not coming out of the DSC module reliably. The Bosch DSC 5.7 module has a high failure rate due to broken wire bonds from the I/O connector to the ceramic substrate circuit board. The DSC will not flag a fault because this is an output which is not checked beyond the wire bonding pad. You can check this signal with an oscilloscope by probing X11175 pin 19 at the back of the cluster. This signal comes from the DSC module on X18303 pin 10, but, that's a bitch to get to.


No. There are too many things that would affect speed when taken off the transmission. Which transmission, getrag manual, general motors automatic, ZF automatic, general motors automatic w/steptronic and then the different ratios of differential. Getting wheel rotation speed from the DSC module is easy since it gets wheel speed from all the wheels anyway and all cars have the same module except for the early E46's like mine that got ASC before DSC came out, but, ASC still got wheel speed information. Of course there is always the problem of vehicle speed variation due to wheel diameter/circumference.
Ok so DSC could be probable since all the wheel sensors plug in there if there so possibly bad connection. Would the DSC need replacing or is this repairable?

Is there a DIY or maybe even just some pictures of which pin on the cluster plug I need to probe? I dont have an oscilloscope but I have a good multi meter?

As for the clock/BC buttons I have heard of these two common issues. I've taken the cluster apart a couple of times and both of my stalks are good, not broken and make contact and even click when you press it.
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Old 12-22-2016, 03:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Filipg92 View Post
Ok so DSC could be probable since all the wheel sensors plug in there if there so possibly bad connection. Would the DSC need replacing or is this repairable?
If it is the DSC it is repairable by a few companies. Here is a video from one company that shows what's involved to do the repair the right way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Filipg92 View Post
Is there a DIY or maybe even just some pictures of which pin on the cluster plug I need to probe? I dont have an oscilloscope but I have a good multi meter?
There are no DIYs that I am aware of, but, I do have this web page https://www.bmwgm5.com/bmwgm5/E46_IKE_Connections.htm Just find pin 19. If you look carefully the corner pins of the connector are numbered, the rest of the pins you can figure out. I do not believe you can troubleshoot this with a multimeter. I really think an oscilloscope is the only way. Even this little scope kit for $25 will work http://www.gearbest.com/kits/pp_587862.html?wid=21
(some assembly required). I recently bought and assembled one of these http://www.gearbest.com/development-...67.html?wid=21 $21 scopes and it's great. I have a $2300 oscilloscope, but, for some things the little kit scope works better especially when you need to monitor the signal while driving. The little scope can be a air vent mounted and powered from the cigarette lights socket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filipg92 View Post
As for the clock/BC buttons I have heard of these two common issues. I've taken the cluster apart a couple of times and both of my stalks are good, not broken and make contact and even click when you press it.
I see that you are in Los Angeles. I'm in Torrance. If you come by I can check out your car and cluster.

Last edited by scottjoh; 12-22-2016 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 12-22-2016, 03:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by scottjoh View Post
If it is the DSC it is repairable by a few companies. Here is a video from one company that shows what's involved to do the repair the right way.


No, there is no DIY, but, I do have this web page https://www.bmwgm5.com/bmwgm5/E46_IKE_Connections.htm Just find pin 19. If you look carefully the corner pins of the connector are numbered, the rest of the pins you can figure out. I do not believe you can troubleshoot this with a multimeter. I really think an oscilloscope is the only way. Even this little scope kit for $25 will work http://www.gearbest.com/kits/pp_587862.html?wid=21
(some assembly required). I recently bought and assembled one of these http://www.gearbest.com/development-...67.html?wid=21 $21 scopes and it's great. I have a $2300 oscilloscope, but, for some things the little kit scope works better especially when you need to monitor the signal while driving. The little scope can be a air vent mounted and powered from the cigarette lights socket.

Wow thanks for all the quick replies scottjoh, definitely helpful.

I've been on that GM5 website, the guy posts a lot on here too. Honestly when I went on there and started reading I kinda got lost.. will have to go in and re read it.

Thanks for the links. I actually have had ABS units sent in to be rebuilt for a couple of Audi A4s/A6s (I believe those were also bosch units, seems like they all have issues) and it was a similar process.

Im gonna see what I can do about checking that pin 19 this weekend, if its numbered should be easy to figure out. Maybe I'll order one of those cheap oscilloscopes.
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Old 12-22-2016, 03:36 PM   #12
Filipg92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottjoh View Post
If it is the DSC it is repairable by a few companies. Here is a video from one company that shows what's involved to do the repair the right way.



There are no DIYs that I am aware of, but, I do have this web page https://www.bmwgm5.com/bmwgm5/E46_IKE_Connections.htm Just find pin 19. If you look carefully the corner pins of the connector are numbered, the rest of the pins you can figure out. I do not believe you can troubleshoot this with a multimeter. I really think an oscilloscope is the only way. Even this little scope kit for $25 will work http://www.gearbest.com/kits/pp_587862.html?wid=21
(some assembly required). I recently bought and assembled one of these http://www.gearbest.com/development-...67.html?wid=21 $21 scopes and it's great. I have a $2300 oscilloscope, but, for some things the little kit scope works better especially when you need to monitor the signal while driving. The little scope can be a air vent mounted and powered from the cigarette lights socket.


I see that you are in Los Angeles. I'm in Torrance. If you come by I can check out your car and cluster.

Totally didn't see the last part of your message.. I'm in Culver City, right off the 405 so I can make it to Torrence pretty quick. Maybe we can figure out sometime to meet up? would be good to get a second set of eyes on the issues
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Old 12-22-2016, 03:54 PM   #13
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One thing to add to this:

I was able to get a MPH reading through the OBD2 port while driving so the computer is able to read the speed, but is not able to send it to the cluster.
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Old 12-22-2016, 04:15 PM   #14
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When you connect an OBD2 reader it talks to the engine computer, not to the cluster computer. I believe the engine computer gets it's speed information from the DSC over the CAN bus, not from the cluster.
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:21 PM   #15
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Have you checked the instrument unit for error codes using INPA?
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:30 PM   #16
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Have you checked the instrument unit for error codes using INPA?
Never heard of INPA before honestly, but I googled it real quick and it looks like an OBD connector/software? Like a Vag-Com for VW/Audi

How is this any different from using an OBDII scanner? Will it allow me to do the cluster test? Because I have not been able to do that since my 2 cluster buttons also do not function. (Not broken though)
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:32 PM   #17
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Never heard of INPA before honestly, but I googled it real quick and it looks like an OBD connector/software? Like a Vag-Com for VW/Audi

How is this any different from using an OBDII scanner? Will it allow me to do the cluster test? Because I have not been able to do that since my 2 cluster buttons also do not function. (Not broken though)
So I didn't actually know this until the other day, but each module in your car has the ability to log errors.

INPA can grab the errors from your instrument cluster (and also the history of errors)

It will be in German, but if you can post that info somehow, it may help us figure out what's going on, since your sensors all seem fine and the fact that you can grab MPH from OBDII.

Hopefully by tonight I will post my uber-guide on all BMW software that can be used with OBD port.
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by scottjoh View Post
When you connect an OBD2 reader it talks to the engine computer, not to the cluster computer. I believe the engine computer gets it's speed information from the DSC over the CAN bus, not from the cluster.
So following the process of elimination it seems like my issue is between the wiring going from the DSC to the cluster
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:36 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cwithbmw View Post
So I didn't actually know this until the other day, but each module in your car has the ability to log errors.

INPA can grab the errors from your instrument cluster (and also the history of errors)

It will be in German, but if you can post that info somehow, it may help us figure out what's going on, since your sensors all seem fine and the fact that you can grab MPH from OBDII.

Hopefully by tonight I will post my uber-guide on all BMW software that can be used with OBD port.
Hmm interesting.. I know there is a lot of components you can check with OBDII but I didn't think the cluster would be one of them. Figured it just pulled it's info from the computer
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:16 PM   #20
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Pa soft does a pretty good job at interrogating ABS/DSC systems. It just isn't so good as INPA for repairing them. Full version of BMW Standard Tools including INPA in my sig. with the steering wheel sensor calibration routine for E46 abs/dsc swap. Xemodex does a great job at a fair price of abs/dsc repair via courier.

You need to get all codes read first tho to know what's up?
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