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General E46 Forum
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:14 AM   #1
1badbimmerlv
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2006 325Ci Instrument Cluster Not Working

Hello,

I have a 2006 325Ci coupe. A while back while on the freeway I had the luck of someone in front of me losing a sheet of sheet rock and landing it front of my vehicle. And no, didn't get a plate number for them to pay for it... Causing minor damage including losing the lower driver side front inner fender panel and knocking outside temp sensor out of place.

Recently I was driving, made a turn and went I went to accelerate, noticed all my instrument panel lights were out and MPH was stuck at 20 and RPMS at about 1K. I stopped turned the car off and turn it back on and only lights that initially turned on were the ABS light and seat belt/airbag light, MPH and RPMS remained in previously stated places.

I returned home to take a look at my vehicle and noticed the wiring from my outside temp sensor had been ripped from wiring harness, I'm assuming it came ajar and rotation of tire ripped it out. I was able to pull apart wiring harness and splice wires back into proper location and put on a new outside temp sensor (as bmw tech suggested). Along with fixing the wiring problem, I checked all the fuses in the glove box area and in the engine area closest to the driver side of windshield and even pulled out instrument cluster and disconnected two wiring harness to reset it. After all this, instrument cluster still doesn't work. BMW tech suggested disconnecting battery and connecting + and - cable together for about 30 minutes. With the help of the some locking pliers, I also did this with negative results. At this point I think I've exhausted all options, but don't want to spend the $1100 the BMW tech said it would cost for a new instrument cluster?

Any other ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

BMW tech also said buying a used cluster wouldn't work because it would need to be recoded, is this true, and if so, is it difficult to find someone to do it because I heard BMW themselves will not do it. What years are compatitable with an 06 325Ci automatic with steptronic? When I was pricing them out online it showed 01-06 were all the same, anyone know if this is right?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:19 AM   #2
1badbimmerlv
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Forgot to mention, AC is on an set to 59 degrees but still still blowing 108 degree air into the vehicle, gotta love vegas heat. I heard this is a common problem tho because AC is on same wiring as instrument cluster...
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:02 AM   #3
Zell
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$1100 the BMW tech said it would cost for a new instrument cluster?
It never ceases to amaze me how much they charge for these things. A new instrument cluster is probably a fraction of that cost by itself. You can go to the parts department of the dealership and ask them to order you one. My dealership seems to be happy to order whatever part I want if I ask them. Two T-15 torx screws and undoing two wires takes it out. Literally - 3 minutes work.

The coding, however, is a different story. I do not know how that works. That might be a $150 charge that you'll have to do, but maybe while they're in there they can code other things too if you ask
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:24 AM   #4
Darkoz
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The BMW tech is correct, only a new cluster can be programmed, a used cluster cannot be re-programmed.
You can still install a used cluster but the milage will be incorrect and you'll have a tamper dot show up next to the milage readout.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:54 AM   #5
1badbimmerlv
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News...

Went into today and they test drove vehicle. Due to cluster being out, vehicle was not calculating mileage, even tho I only put about 10 miles on vehilce since cluster went out, they said vehicle was TMU (true mileage unknown). When all was said and done, traded in E46 for an 08 335i. Got a little over what i owed on E46 on trade in which was good considering the mechanical issues. 335i 300hp/300 ft/tq twin turbo, night and day differnce to e46....
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:00 AM   #6
Darkoz
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That was a bit drastic, didn't want to pay for a new cluster so you bought a new car instead
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:32 AM   #7
1badbimmerlv
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Darkoz....

Before all these problems happened, within the next few months, i planned on getting rid of the e46 for a 335i.

I see where you may assume that buying a new vehicle may be over kill... but here is that details... I owed 13000 on e45 plus roughly another 2k to fix cluster, front inner liner, fog lamp trip and some paint to possilby sell for 16k personally. when all is said and done, I would have about 15K with fixes and sell for 16k for a 1k profit.

My have forgot to mention, the dealer was unable to determine TMU (true mile unkown, due to instrument cluster going nuts) and that would hold over to any dealership i attempted to trade it into even if i were to get if fixed, only giving me a 10k trade in value. Dealer manager was a friend of a friend and agreed to give a me 13k for trade in, which included paying off e46. So new loan is solely for the 08 335i. He gave a me the 335i for about 5k less than he was gonna originally gonna place in on the lot for (dealer trade in today and still had to be processed) discount on bc i was a return customer/friend of the business so to say. There was an exact replica of the car i got, minus blue tooth, sports package, and comfort package, with same mileage on lot and I got it for cheaper (3k)... hard to explain, but i got a good deal considering it was a dealer....
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