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      01-06-2013, 11:21 PM   #1
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Speedometer/Instrument Cluster going CRAZY!


New to the forum, recently bought a 2005 116i and knew there was some issues buying it, but thought it would be a side project to fix her up, but been kinda of a nightmare...

Anyways, got back from vacation and my speedometer/whole instrument cluster (i.e. RPM, warning lights, turn signals) doesn't work. I tried searching on the forum but found nothing that worked. I checked the fuse and nothing looks like it's blown.

Now here's the weird thing, I take the cluster out and jiggle the one wire connected to it and then all of a sudden it works now! Next day go to start the car and once again it doesn't work. As I'm driving all of a sudden it starts working for a split second. All the warning lights (i.e. e-brake, abs, etc) flash for a few seconds and then it stops working as I am driving. Then the red light warning light with the picture of the car being hoisted up appears (read manual and it says it's an indication that electronics has malfunctioned)...

Has anyone run into this issue? Want to try some alternatives before going into the dealership and getting raped by their outrageous labour charges....

TL;DR - speedometer/instrument cluster stops working, works after jiggling connector, but then stops working but while driving warning lights turn on and it works for few seconds before not working again.

Thanks in advance for any help!!
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      01-07-2013, 03:31 AM   #2

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Could be your Junction Box... Search for it there is a thread about it.
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      01-07-2013, 11:59 AM   #3

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Its obviously a loose wire or dirty connection somewhere. First I would hook up a new ground wire between the cluster and any good body ground. Second, I would look very carefully at all the male and female connection points in the connector for the cluster. Clean all the contacts with contact cleaner and a flat toothpick. Did the previous owner put in an aftermarket radio? If so, maybe he messed up some wires while in there. Cayman Islands-wow
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      01-08-2013, 01:19 PM   #4

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Could also be a bad battery, get that tested too.
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      01-09-2013, 07:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Could also be a bad battery, get that tested too.

Exactly what I was thinking.
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      05-09-2013, 11:43 AM   #6
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Thanks for the help guys! An update:

I finally ended up bringing it to the dealership a couple months ago and they said the instrument cluster is dead and needs to be replaced. I went to another shop and they said they may have one from a wrecked 1 series but after many weeks of trying to locate it, they found out the instrument cluster was fried too.

Now the dealership has quoted me $1,250USD for the instrument cluster and cost to re-program. Everything on the Cayman Islands is inflated so yes I know the price is ridiculous. I tried searching on Ebay for one, but I've only found a few and the few I found were all from Europe.

Anyone have any suggestions on a cheaper alternative or if a second hand one will work (I believe there will be a tampering warning on the dash - but other than that, will it need to be re-programmed? If it does I think only the dealership on island only has the capability to do it and don't think they will do it on a used cluster). I think I might just have to bite the bullet on this one...
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      05-09-2013, 11:54 AM   #7

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Maybe buy a new cluster(kombi) from and then have your dealer code and install it. ?

Or send out your Kombi to a pixel repair center. I know its not the pixels... but probably a bad circuit board solder joint inside the cluster(kombi).

I have used for my e39 kombi repair. They repaired it in one day and did a great job.
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