Bimmerfest - BMW Forums - View Single Post - Get missing dash pixels repaired by BMWNA (E39)
View Single Post
Old 07-27-2011, 10:28 AM
bimmerZ5 bimmerZ5 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Diego, California
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 213
Mein Auto: Z3 3.0i Rdstr, E39 530i
Originally Posted by markg540i View Post
Can this be done DIY? If I have the tape.
yes, it can be DIY, but it's not necessarily easy. There are two methods to taking apart the gauge cluster, one has a risk of damaging the motors that control the needles and the other method requires drilling holes. I helped a friend with his X5 that had the same pixel issue and we were able to fix about 95% of the problem... for some reason, 3 lines of pixels still didn't come back. We might try again, but we did not use a new ribbon cable.

Based on what I saw taking apart the gauge cluster, the problem is the adhesive used to hold the ribbon tape to the PCB board; it melts over time and smears over the electrical contacts. that's why some people have reported some success with contact cleaner and not even bothering to take it apart (it must dissolve some of the adhesive). i even have a theory that cars in cold climates probably are less likely to develop this issue than cars in hot climates, where the adhesive is getting melted a lot more.

If you do try to DIY, you'll need a T9 *AND* T10 torx long shaft screw driver. You'll read a lot of things online saying you only need T10, but I think that's a mistake. The 4 screws you'll need to reach at the end are T9.
Reply With Quote