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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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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Old 03-20-2009, 09:33 PM
seano523i seano523i is offline
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Location: Canberra - Australia
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: BMW E39 523i
E39 Dashboard Indicator lights and click

Hello there,

OK so this is the first time I've posted on here. I have often looked at the various posts and have been able to save a fortune in repair costs thanks to the users on here and the way the knowledge is shared.

I have a problem that I was hoping someone could answer for me. I have a 98 E39 523i. The indicators work, however, not inside the vehicle if that makes sense? The outside bulbs flash but the dashboard direction indicator lamps do not work (Little green direction arrows) Oh and niether does the audible clicking. Sometimes I forget to cancel it and because I can't see or hear the indicators I end up driving for ages with my blinkers on, I must look rather silly.

Does anyone know if there is a relay or something that controls those two functions? Oh I also believe other things such as lights on warning etc do not work.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:33 AM
slowtype slowtype is offline
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Location: Portland, ME
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 540i
Any update on this?

I'm looking at a vehicle with the same problem and want to know whats involved with getting this fixed.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:07 AM
ChristiaanN ChristiaanN is offline
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Location: South Africa
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: E39 528
Please would somebody help. I have exactly the same problem on mine
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:05 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
Freude am Fahren
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,374
Mein Auto: 99 528iA
I'd suspect a loose wire or a bad LCM or cluster, in that order.
'99 528i ('98/12 build). 282,000km BY29428/Royalrot
Breaking My Wallet since 2009
Mods: Stoptech SS brake hose, 280piece toolkit resting on trunk floor, Beisan VANOS seals, increasing amounts of duct tape and glue
'99 540i (grandfather's)

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Old 01-01-2012, 01:15 AM
ruskiromka ruskiromka is offline
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Location: melbourne
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: E39 523i
Did anyone get any resolution on this?

I've got exactly the same problem as described on my 1998.. sigh
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:38 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Northeast Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 9,039
Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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Old 01-01-2012, 05:52 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Location: Sundance Mesa, NM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,319
Mein Auto: 540/6, '16 Highlander XLE
Try disconnecting the battery to drain out all of the stored charges in the modules.
It's probably not that, but at least this won't cost you anything.
When that doesn't work you will probably need to bring it in for the big $$$$ fix.
Hopefully it will help some of you.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:27 PM
Gee_115 Gee_115 is offline
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Location: Dayton, OH
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 44
Mein Auto: 550i
Any solution?
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:07 AM
Bob Barnes Bob Barnes is offline
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Location: San Jose
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 1998 528I

Did you find a solution? I have the same problem with my 1998 E39. All lights work but no dash indicators flashing with signal or Emergency switch.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:04 AM
Gee_115 Gee_115 is offline
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Location: Dayton, OH
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 44
Mein Auto: 550i
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Did you find a solution? I have the same problem with my 1998 E39. All lights work but no dash indicators flashing with signal or Emergency switch.
I do not know if these guys resolved this issue. I was just curious. My issue was no indicators, wipers or anything on the steering. My fix was to replace the steering column switch(SZL module). However, my car is an 07 E60. This problem sounds more like the instrument cluster.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:46 AM
nero2173 nero2173 is offline
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Location: uk
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: BMW E39 530D
Indictors not working on dash

Hello, this an old blog but i had the same issues , indicators working outside but not inside, pdc not working, wipers going haywire, central locking not working.
i found that the leads for the CD multi changer were getting damp. when i dry them the electrics all worked,
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:43 PM
keversroperson keversroperson is offline
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Location: Ipswich, UK
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: BMW 530d E39 Touring

I've just spent 2000 getting the E39 wobble sorted out... and now I've developed this problem. It happened Friday, high beams work, indicators work however there's no indication on the dash or audibly and couldn't lock the car using remote. Woke up Saturday, went out the car and everything worked fine. Took the car out and 20 minutes into the journey the same thing happened again.

I removed my cd changer years ago but will check the lead for that as I left that in place. Oddly.. I noticed that the clock on my after market stereo randomly changed to 1000? (i could understand a short etc changing it to midnight but 1000?).

I'm also going to change the ignition. that's been mooted as possible cause of some weird electrical problems. I will return to this post if (when) I find the solution. I'm not giving up on this car ever...
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:45 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,236
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I realize this is an old thread, so, I'll just note that lots of information on the cluster (including the bulbs) is to be found by typing /cluster f3 in the bestlinks, e.g.,
- How to remove and replace the incandescent bulbs and LEDs in the instrument cluster (1)

See also:

- Quickie telephone verbal instructions for unlocking the high instrument cluster on the E39 (1) & how to tell whether you have the high or low on board computer cluster (1) & a video showing how to unlock the low OBC (1) or the high OBC cluster for diagnostics (1) & how to retrofit an E39 from the low obc to the high obc (pdf) & a list of all possible BMW E39 instrument cluster 20-digit alphanumeric display warning/information messages (1) & how to identify all BMW computer-specific OBDII DTC diagnostic fault codes (1) & how to remove and replace the five incandescent bulbs in the instrument cluster (1) & how to diagnose a disabled cluster CEL check engine light LED removed by the PO or SES service engine soon light covered by black tape on the instrument cluster circuit board (1) & what does a blinking SES light mean and is it safe to drive the car with the CEL flashing (1) & what to tell newbies who ask why their SES/CEL light is on but who don't have DTC scan codes or why they have a misfire or stumbling, hesitation, rough idle, etc., but who don't post codes from an OBD scanner with their question (1) & how to better understand the key EPA federal test procedure (FTP) concept of the BMW SES "drive cycle" (1) & where to get the cheapest reasonable OBDII scanner & a template of what to tell people from the Republik of Kalifornia who need to do an OBC diagnostic scan (1) & how to read the KTMP cooling system temperature on the cluster (1) & how to change the OBC MID IHKA KTMP temperature from degrees Celcius to Fahrenheit & vice versa (1) & how to change the cluster odometer to display in miles or kilometers and to change the MID digital fuel consumption readout to display in L/KM liters/kilometer or MPG miles/gallon (1) & how the fuel economy mpg gauge works (1) & one user's experience debugging a half-dead instrument cluster (1) & 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) & why would a MID clock battery reset display zero dashes overnight (1) & how to remove the E39 instrument cluster (1) & a summary of the BMW NA cluster-repair goodwill policy (1) & how to fix the MID pixels yourself (1) & how to test (1) and remove the MID (1) & how to read the mileage from the key if you can't read the cluster display (1)
Please read the suggested threads and add value, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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