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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:46 AM
mc_alpinie mc_alpinie is offline
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Mein Auto: 1986-325es/5, 2000 540i/6
Decoding Dead Pixels Mileage

I would like to know how many miles I have on my 2000 (7/99) 540I.



My best guess would be:

First Digit = 1 Duh
Second Digit = 1, 2? or 7
Third Digit = 2
Forth Digit = 5
Fifth Digit = 2?
Sixth Digit = 0

So my Mileage could be 112520, 122520, or 172520

Can anybody help me nail down the mileage?


I used this picture for a reference.

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  #2  
Old 02-17-2013, 10:54 AM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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Fix the pixels. It's definately worth it! With INPA or BMW scanner 1.4 you could check the mileage. FYI 7/99 means it's 99 model not 2000.
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2013, 11:55 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Your reference is not exactly correct. It has a similar pattern (7V x 5H) but some numbers are defined differently on the e39. 1 uses a 3 pixel triangle pattern at the top. The inside of the 3 angles one more pixel and has a flat top (five pixels across). The top tail on 6 angles up from the circle and ends with 2 horizontal pixels. 7 angles one more pixel before dropping down 3 vertical pixels, instead of 4 pixels. The tail on 9 angles from the circle and ends with 2 horizontal pixel in the lowest left pixel, opposite of 6.

That said:

Your second digit is a 1 or a 2. Impossible to tell which. It cannot be a 7.
Your fifth digit could be a 2 or a 9. Impossible to tell which.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2013, 05:39 PM
mc_alpinie mc_alpinie is offline
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I got the 7/99 from realoem and the 2000 from the window sticker as well as from the state title. Thanks for letting me know, I got the car on the 14th and am going through the problems it has. Fixing the pixels is on the top of my list and I plan to give BMWNA a call. If they canít help then I will send it off to vdorepair or any suggested online repair sites.


Thanks for the information about the lcd digits. I used my best guess to determine my mileage with the assumption BMW used standard character on the screen. I feel better knowing my car doesnít have 50k extra miles on it.

I appreciate the activity on the forum.

Thanks for the answers.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2013, 06:14 PM
ninetyseven ninetyseven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc_alpinie View Post
I got the 7/99 from realoem and the 2000 from the window sticker as well as from the state title. Thanks for letting me know, I got the car on the 14th and am going through the problems it has. Fixing the pixels is on the top of my list and I plan to give BMWNA a call. If they canít help then I will send it off to vdorepair or any suggested online repair sites.


Thanks for the information about the lcd digits. I used my best guess to determine my mileage with the assumption BMW used standard character on the screen. I feel better knowing my car doesnít have 50k extra miles on it.

I appreciate the activity on the forum.

Thanks for the answers.
Mileage is also stored in the LCM(light control module) It will be in Km. Scan the car with carsoft or INPA.
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2013, 06:20 PM
rdl rdl is offline
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At least for the diamond head key, the milage is stored every 100 miles or so. The service writers at the dealers have a reader that will read the VIN & milage.

If you have the diamond head key, you could take the car's key to a dealer and ask a favour. Or request some service, give them the key which they will use to set up the service order, then decide whether you want to follow through after seeing the milage.

The earlier style key may store the same information too - I simply don't know. Perhaps someone else will post the answer.
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2013, 06:24 PM
Runner303 Runner303 is offline
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Using forensic reconstruction techniques with the most state of the art tools, I have determined it's 122xxx.

Pixels nearly always disappear in columns, and between the two amputee digits, we've got all columns but 1. This reminds me of those forwarded emails from elderly people with all the words spelled wrong but you can still read it, etc.
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  #8  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:31 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Doesn't BMW fix this stuff anymore for free?

I realize the story from BMWNA changes over time, so I refer the OP to here, found by typing /pixel F3 in the bestlinks:
- What are 'all' options when your instrument cluster or MID pixels slowly die due to a press-fit pink electrical-connection tape lifting off its contacts over time (1) & how to remove the E39 instrument cluster (1) (2) & a summary of the BMW NA cluster-repair goodwill policy (1) & how to fix the MID pixels yourself (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & how to remove the MID (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & how to test the MID (1) & how to read the mileage from the key if you can't read the cluster display (1)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #9  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:25 PM
mc_alpinie mc_alpinie is offline
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I will be contacting BMW NA to find out the current status of the goodwill service. I have only owned my e39 for 3 days but I am curious to find out what BMW can do for me.

I would ask more questions but I prefer to do some more searching about the DSC/brake/abs and camshaft sensor. I got myself a Bentley manual, now I just need a garage to do my work.

For the record I am blown away by the activity on this forum. The questions I ask on the e30 forums never get answered and I appreciate the attention my post here has received.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2013, 09:38 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc_alpinie View Post
I will be contacting BMW NA
Whatever you find out from BMW NA please DOCUMENT and report it back (we love names and numbers!) to the aforementioned thread cited above.

The goal is that every problem (and solution) encountered by every user is documented in the PROPER place so that the NEXT person starts where the others left off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mc_alpinie View Post
DSC/brake/abs and camshaft sensor
Quickest way to search (after you set your control panel to the maximum number of posts per page) is simply to type /keyword F3 when you open the bestlinks sticky thread.

For example, /abs F3 nets me the following in about 1 second:
- How to diagnose the BMW amber ABS BRAKE DSC/ASC trifecta or bifecta (1) & what are all known options when your ABS control module is bad (1) & Quick99Si's explanation of why the 10-minute wheel speed sensor diode-action quick test doesn't always work, especially on brand new non-OEM wheel speed sensors (1) (2) & explanations by 540iman as to why the fancy diagnostic tools very often (extremely often, like almost all the time) fail to properly diagnose the trifecta or bifecta (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & where to get the fancy schmancy diagnostic tools for free once you're aware of these limitations (1) & an ABS BRAKE DSC trifecta brake pressure sensor diagnostic DIY (1) & how to test and replace the steering angle sensor (1)

And, /camshaft F3 nets me this:
- How to replace your camshaft position sensor (CPS) in the E39 (02 530i) (98 540i) (M62 98 540i) (98 528i) (530i) & E46 (1) & ('99 740iL)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2013, 11:36 AM
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Studawg Studawg is offline
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Second digit could be a 4 too, couldnt it?
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2013, 06:06 PM
mc_alpinie mc_alpinie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
Fix the pixels. It's definately worth it! With INPA or BMW scanner 1.4 you could check the mileage. FYI 7/99 means it's 99 model not 2000.
I spoke with BMWNA and they confirmed it in fact is a 2000. I now need to fax my vehicle registration to continue the process for fixing my pixels.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2013, 07:36 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studawg View Post
Second digit could be a 4 too, couldnt it?
You are correct!
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2013, 04:11 PM
mc_alpinie mc_alpinie is offline
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I finally received my offer from bmwna after 2 weeks of waiting. Initially I spoke with Kara from BMWNA and she asked me to fax information to the office. If I can remember correctly she said the discount would be 50% to 75% off. I was actually impressed because the fix would cost between 187.98 - 375.96. However today I got a call from BMWNA and spoke with Donna [(201) 263-8219] and she told me I would receive a 25% discount on labor and (parts? I need clarification on parts).

The dealer requires a purchase of a re-manufactured instrument cluster that is un-programmed. The cost of a new cluster is $594.93 and I got a quote from BMW Silver Springs for labor and it was $220. My local dealer in Okemos MI quoted the labor for $157 which surprised me but the overall cost without tax would be $563.95 after applying the discount.

I have 2 weeks to think about the offer and at the moment I would decline it because I can find a better deal from vendors online.

If I gather anymore information I will post it.
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  #15  
Old 03-05-2013, 04:29 PM
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Studawg Studawg is offline
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They told me just last week they would pay 75% of the part and I would have to pay all the labor.
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  #16  
Old 03-05-2013, 05:03 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Thanks for the names and phone numbers and questions asked (so others know where to stand their ground).

I crossposted your information to the canonical thread so that others will find this information in the future. Let us know how it works out for you, when all is said & done.
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #17  
Old 03-05-2013, 05:27 PM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc_alpinie View Post
I spoke with BMWNA and they confirmed it in fact is a 2000. I now need to fax my vehicle registration to continue the process for fixing my pixels.
Hmm what does your door jam sticker say? I'm just asking because the model year changes at September for BMW and it's good to know which model year the car is when buying parts. Part catalogs having wrong manufacturing year could make buying parts based on VIN a bit more interesting (altough there no big changes for 2000)
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  #18  
Old 03-07-2013, 04:16 PM
mc_alpinie mc_alpinie is offline
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I received a call today from BMWNA because they read my post and thought I was confused with there offer. Apparently they do read forums because I had posted my confusion and they reached out to clear my offer up. I appreciate the effort to correct my misunderstanding.

I was offered 25% on parts only. Just to clear my previous post up.

I declined the offer and will be attempting to fix the problem through another source.

I know the offer is case by case but I would have accepted an offer of 40% on parts i.e. I would have been happy paying $400 for the dealer to fix my cluster, a price I had budgeted.

I don't know what Studawg's situation was but a difference of 50% between offers is extreme.

I am glad I did pursue offer from BMWNA I am just disappointed I couldn't get my cluster repaired by a local dealer at a price in my budget.
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  #19  
Old 03-07-2013, 04:21 PM
mc_alpinie mc_alpinie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
Hmm what does your door jam sticker say? I'm just asking because the model year changes at September for BMW and it's good to know which model year the car is when buying parts. Part catalogs having wrong manufacturing year could make buying parts based on VIN a bit more interesting (altough there no big changes for 2000)
7/99 is on my door jam. Thanks for the concern.
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  #20  
Old 03-07-2013, 08:04 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc_alpinie View Post
I received a call today from BMWNA because they read my post and thought I was confused with there offer. Apparently they do read forums because I had posted my confusion and they reached out to clear my offer up. I appreciate the effort to correct my misunderstanding.

I was offered 25% on parts only. Just to clear my previous post up.

I declined the offer and will be attempting to fix the problem through another source.

I know the offer is case by case but I would have accepted an offer of 40% on parts i.e. I would have been happy paying $400 for the dealer to fix my cluster, a price I had budgeted.

I don't know what Studawg's situation was but a difference of 50% between offers is extreme.

I am glad I did pursue offer from BMWNA I am just disappointed I couldn't get my cluster repaired by a local dealer at a price in my budget.

That's too bad. From what I understand, the repair pricing is based on numerous factors such as age of car, history of BMW ownership, etc. I have been considering this repair for years but can't pull the trigger as the issue is more of an irritant rather than a problem.
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  #21  
Old 03-07-2013, 09:17 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
...FYI 7/99 means it's 99 model not 2000.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
...the model year changes at September for BMW ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mc_alpinie View Post
7/99 is on my door jam. Thanks for the concern.
Just an FYI for those that may be wondering about this exchange...the 1999 & 2000 model years (in the USA) don't run the usual course from September to September. As far as the e39 5 series...the 2000 model year started with a 6/99 build date (3 months earlier than usual)...and the 2000 e38 model year started around April or May of 1999.

And there was a significant change in the 2000 model year for the e39 here in the States, too. The first months 6/99-8/99...the 528i/iT came with a 4 speed automatic transmission or 5 spd manual transmission....then from 9/99-up the 528i/iT got a 5 speed STEPTRONIC auto tranny or a 5 spd manual tranny.

Also, in the USA...the 10th digit of the VIN reveals the "official" model year regardless of when the car was built.
  • T - 1996 (no e39 imported to the USA by BMW NA has a "T" even those built in 1996 because these early roll out e39s were officially "early 1997" models)
  • V - 1997
  • W - 1998
  • X - 1999
  • Y - 2000
  • 1 - 2001
  • 2 - 2002
  • 3 - 2003

In the USA, the 10th digit of the VIN will be either an alpha or numeric value...the numeric digits are 1-9, which are followed by 21 alpha characters starting with A. The alpha characters I, O, Q, U, Z aren't normally used since they can be confused with other characters (1,0,V, 2). These rules may not apply to countries outside the USA.
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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 03-07-2013 at 09:26 PM.
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  #22  
Old 03-08-2013, 04:24 PM
HTK12 HTK12 is offline
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I had totally forgot the BMW made 2-stage upgrade for the e39 2000 model year. In any case since OP has 540i there were just few minor upgrades for it in the 2000 model year like xenon and rain sensing wipers as standard (as of 6/99), 2-stage airbags (as of 6/99), diamond shaped key(as of 9/99) etc.
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  #23  
Old 08-06-2013, 01:07 AM
K927A K927A is online now
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Came across this trying to figure out how to decode the odometer on a recent acquisition. If I'm not mistaken the pixels are drawn in vertical columns and when they fail, those columns disappear. The way I was able to figure it out was to draw out 5x7 grid boxes and color in the grids to form each number. Then to determine what the partial pixels indicate, determine which columns are missing and erase the missing columns from each number (I did this using paint). Even with pixels missing, each number shape is still unique (in most cases) and can be determined. For instance for the OP I'd say it's 122520 without a doubt using my method.

Of course I also found out that a dealer can verify your mileage with just your key usually for free

All that said, I'm also going to try BMWNA for a fix, and if that's unsuccessful I'll probably dish out for aftermarket repair.
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  #24  
Old 08-06-2013, 03:29 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is online now
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  #25  
Old 08-07-2013, 10:10 PM
John in VA John in VA is offline
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If you go to http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39...z8-discussion/, then go to the first subforum listed, you'll find the offer for $75 cluster OR MID pixel repair from "Doctor Bimmer."
Excellent results, and quick turnaround.
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