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Old 09-16-2011, 04:57 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Location: Sudbury, MA
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,823
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Originally Posted by Vin M View Post
I would start by checking the fuses first, the fuses for the instrument cluster should be located in the front fuse panel inside and above the glove compartment.

Also, try the famous passenger side sun visor light test and see if anything may have a bad ignition switch.

Although, the dead battery suggests either a charging issue, or the battery itself isn't holding sufficient charge anymore. How old is the battery?

If you can't check the voltage by unlocking the cluster, try the old fashioned way...with a volt meter at the terminals.

At idle it should read 13.5 volts.

Above idle it should be charging at 14.3 volts

If it drops below 14.2 volts (above idle) it might be an indication that there's a problem with the alternator keeping a consistent charge (maybe a bad regulator)...also, check the belt for the alternator as well.

The battery should hold a 12.6 volt charge when the car is off, however, that may drop considerably while cranking the engine over if it's weak.
+1, on checking both the fuses and battery. The fuse should have protected the cluster. And if this is your original BMW battery, you are overdue for replacement. If I remember correctly, you posted pictures of your battery (w/ a wrench) and it was white, which indicated it was a BMW abttery. I also recall your FSU thread. If your battery has died multiple times, it may have been weakened by your FSU experience. Look at these two things first. Good luck!
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