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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-06-2010, 03:45 PM
droopyzda1 droopyzda1 is offline
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Speedometer not reading and fuel gauge not working problem

Hello. I am one of the new guys here. I recently had a problem with my 1995 325IS in that the mileage was very dim. I went ahead and found a post in this forum to fix the problem. I removed the cluster and switched the bulbs around. I can now see the mileage but unfortunately now my odometer is not counting the miles, the speedo does not work and my fuel gauge says empty and is lit while there is half a tank of gas left. The tach is working and the temp gauge and all the warning lights are good. Can anyone point me in the direction?
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2010, 05:00 PM
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crisscross crisscross is offline
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Try this, sometimes it just needs to run through test mode first:

Instrument Panel Tests

Withthe engine off, press and hold the trip mileage reset button, and then turn thekey to accessory position 2 (OBC and radio come on). The LED display on theinstrument panel (which normally is the odometer) will change to tESt01 and then will begin to cycle through several displays. Releasethe button.

Google e36 instrument cluster tests, there is a bunch of useful info out there.

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  #3  
Old 03-07-2010, 07:09 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
Try this, sometimes it just needs to run through test mode first:

Instrument Panel Tests

Withthe engine off, press and hold the trip mileage reset button, and then turn thekey to accessory position 2 (OBC and radio come on). The LED display on theinstrument panel (which normally is the odometer) will change to tESt01 and then will begin to cycle through several displays. Releasethe button.

Google e36 instrument cluster tests, there is a bunch of useful info out there.

I didn't know about this. Thanks for sharing.
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2010, 09:00 AM
oEVEo oEVEo is offline
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Have the same issue with cluster as droopyzda1. Ran cluster test as suggested and it runs well with all gauges going up and down normally. Any suggestions what else it can be?
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2010, 11:52 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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My cluster went all wonky after I replaced a few bulbs in it a month or so ago. Luckily I didn't put everything back together before checking to see if it was working properly, and I removed the connectors again and reinserted them. Then it was working as it should again. So in my case, the connectors just needed to be re-seated. I'd try removing and reinstalling the cluster before moving on to more in-depth/expensive repairs.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 03-27-2010 at 11:54 AM.
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2010, 03:41 PM
oEVEo oEVEo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
My cluster went all wonky after I replaced a few bulbs in it a month or so ago. Luckily I didn't put everything back together before checking to see if it was working properly, and I removed the connectors again and reinserted them. Then it was working as it should again. So in my case, the connectors just needed to be re-seated. I'd try removing and reinstalling the cluster before moving on to more in-depth/expensive repairs.
Thanks turned out that is all it was was connectors. I have a feeling the dash was for another car as the it says it has a oil temperature gauge but when driving it looks like it acts like a mpg gauge. Is there a link to a sketch of all the lights and gauges so I can make sure all of it is working. Is there a way to tell if you have a "real" M class or just normal dressed up. I bought the car recently and love it but feel somebody has been busy on it.
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  #7  
Old 03-27-2010, 04:57 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oEVEo View Post
Thanks turned out that is all it was was connectors.
Glad it was an easy fix!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oEVEo View Post
I have a feeling the dash was for another car as the it says it has a oil temperature gauge but when driving it looks like it acts like a mpg gauge.
Who says what now? I'm confused by this sentence. There is no oil temp gauge on the E36 cluster - only water temperature. If you want a description of the various symbols on your instrument cluster, I'd look at the owner's manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oEVEo View Post
Is there a link to a sketch of all the lights and gauges so I can make sure all of it is working.
Here is a photo of the back of your instrument cluster.
Photobucket
1: Temperature warning.
2: Right turn signal.
3: Left turn signal.
4: Oil pressure warning.
5: High-beam indicator.
6: Battery-charging indicator.
7: Low-fuel-level warning.
8/9/10: Gauge cluster illumination.
11: AST warning.
12/13: LCD/odometer illumination.
14: Air bag warning.
15: Catalytic converter warning.
16: Parking brake indicator.
17: Brake fluid warning.
18: Brake pad wear warning.
19: ABS warning.
20: Seatbelt warning.
21: System check control.
22: Automatic transmission warning.
23: Not enabled.
24: Check-engine warning.
25: Convertible anti-roll warning.
26: Not enabled.
27: Rear fog lamp.
28: Front fog lamp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oEVEo View Post
Is there a way to tell if you have a "real" M class or just normal dressed up. I bought the car recently and love it but feel somebody has been busy on it.
I'm not sure I follow. You said before your car is a 325is, so it isn't an ///M.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 03-27-2010 at 05:06 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2010, 07:56 PM
oEVEo oEVEo is offline
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Thanks for the dash. Will check it out. On my cluster there is clearly a gauge with what looks like an oil can and a temperature gauge. It goes from 50-150. It is right under the rpm gauge. Is that not oil temp? Beside it on its own is a standard temperature gauge which I assume is the engine temp (water)? Would love an explanation if I am wrong.... if it is a water temp than why would it fluctuate so much dependant on how much acceleration is being applied? I have a 328i convertible... did these not come in M class? The whole car has M everywhere on its components but not sure if just look?! Thanks for your help.
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2010, 08:11 PM
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crisscross crisscross is offline
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^ We need pics man!
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-I do the things today that others won't do, so I will have the things tomorrow that other won't have....
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2010, 08:21 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Sorry, I thought you were the OP before.

I think certain E36 models, in some markets, came with oil temp gauges in this location. That said, if it moves according to your throttle input, it is not actually an oil temp gauge. It sounds like you have a non-original instrument cluster, and the previous owner did not convert what was originally the fuel economy gauge to be an oil temp gauge.

My US-spec 328is has a MPG (miles per gallon) gauge in this location that moves according to how hard I'm on the throttle.

Can you post a photo of your instrument cluster so we can see it? I'm curious now.
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  #11  
Old 03-27-2010, 10:08 PM
oEVEo oEVEo is offline
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Here is some pics. Thanks for help on this matter. Just found this site and solving some of my issues I had for awhile.http://lh3.ggpht.com/_CcQgJ7AZzPs/S67kLN5sqVI/AAAAAAAAAF4/svlyOqbA0JY/s800/DSC02987.jpg
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2010, 10:09 PM
oEVEo oEVEo is offline
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The dash...
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2010, 08:52 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Yep, that's definitely what should be an oil temp gauge, but like I mentioned before, the previous owner apparently did not actually convert it to serve oil temp duty (it's still functioning as your fuel economy gauge). You can thank the previous owner for not thinking it through ahead of time...
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  #14  
Old 03-28-2010, 09:07 AM
Daddyt06 Daddyt06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oEVEo View Post
The dash...
lol
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  #15  
Old 03-28-2010, 09:40 AM
oEVEo oEVEo is offline
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Thanks any thoughts on if it is a M or how to tell...
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  #16  
Old 03-28-2010, 10:31 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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If what is an ///M? Your car is definitely not an ///M car. Check the data sticker in the driver side door jam.

Your car is nice looking though. I love silver E36 'verts. E36s look so good in convertible form.
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1998 BMW 328is
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View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback

Last edited by ZeGerman; 03-28-2010 at 10:41 AM.
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  #17  
Old 03-29-2010, 09:26 PM
ManDownUnder ManDownUnder is offline
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Must be the month for it... I just came across the exact same problem in a '96 328i

The instrument cluster was developing a tendency to die/quit/fail every now and then - but nothing a few healthy whacks on top of the dash didn't generally fix. I like to think of them as a "technical tap" although I think there's also a bit of therapy for me in there too.

So I took the cluster out, unplugger and replugged everything and it all goes except the fuel gauge, speedo and trip/odometer. Interestingly the trip meter and odometer were lit up - they just didn't record distance being travelled...!

I found this thread which inspired me to do another unplug/replug of the three cable in the back and presto - all going again.

Happy camper is me!
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  #18  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:08 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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i think there is a fuse that is with some other thing that will make these gauges not work? i read it somewhere maybe?
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  #19  
Old 03-30-2010, 07:46 AM
oEVEo oEVEo is offline
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After my experience, the plug furthest to the left (behind the fuel gauge) on the back of the instrument cluster works the fuel gauge, speedometer, odometer as well on my car the fuel consumption gauge. The self-test still showed all the gauges moving even though they weren't working when running. Once I put that plug back in as it was loose in the back it all worked.

For me if it happens to you I would do the following;
1) run the self test
2) take your cluster out and check the three connections
3) still nothing look at fuses
4) still nothing look at sensors

Just my two cents after whacking my brain on it.
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  #20  
Old 03-30-2010, 08:31 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Yep, that's pretty much the proper order of operations. Easiest to hardest. I'm glad everyone seems to be having luck with the old unplug and replug fix. It's always nice when it works out that easy.
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  #21  
Old 03-30-2010, 05:42 PM
ManDownUnder ManDownUnder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
I'm glad everyone seems to be having luck with the old unplug and replug fix. It's always nice when it works out that easy.
Agreed - make me wonder why the problem seems so prevalent though, you'd think good quality plugs on the instrument cluster wouldn't wear out too quick - it's not like they get unplugged everyday.

That said - I could hardly complain about how easy it is to get at them. 2 torx screws, steering wheel locked in the low position, bit of a jiggle and presto - there's the plugs.
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  #22  
Old 04-04-2010, 11:43 AM
droopyzda1 droopyzda1 is offline
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Hey guys me again, I am the one the originally place this post and have a few other questions. I have tried to unplug and replug the instrument cluster, unplugged the fuses for the cluster by pulling them out, turn the ignition switch to the first click then shutting it off and putting the fuses back and still the fuel gauge or speedometer aren't working. Do you think that the computer has to be reprogrammed to work with the cluster again ?? Thank for all the replies, they have been very helpful.
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  #23  
Old 03-31-2014, 04:16 PM
hollowmorthis hollowmorthis is offline
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I have also the same problem with the cluster...

Attempted the self test, still the same
Attempted the fuse check, still the same

Even replaced with an old cluster

Attempted the self test, still the same
Attempted the fuse check, still the same

anyone that can point me to where to find the location of the specific sensors?
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  #24  
Old 03-31-2014, 04:47 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Replacing the cluster didn't help, therefore it's going to be something else. ECU or the wiring to the cluster.

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