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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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  #26  
Old 03-31-2011, 10:45 PM
xgmranti xgmranti is offline
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Just to follow up it came back fully repaired, ran the test no.2 from the cluster menu to verify.

The reason I went with speedo was because they were closer and no borders to ship across.

Even if CBSA mistakenly tacks duties to your shipment, it takes over a month to fight it, and then however long for them to reimburse you.

So if by some miracle reason both USPS and CBSA both tag duties there's $50 in extra customs fees plus whatever extra it takes to ship there and back.

Then factor in the time it takes to get across the border, depending on what it is, up to a week one way.

Toronto is 5 hours away from me. I mailed out with Xpresspost on Friday and he received fixed and shipped it back on Monday via Next AM. For some strange reason Xpresspost was faster even though its a step down from Next AM so not really worth the extra $10 in shipping but anyways.

If your on the other side of the border, VDORepair seems like the way to go.

Otherwise I'd stick with domestic to avoid long wait times and potential customs fees.
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  #27  
Old 04-05-2011, 04:59 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Just for the cross-link record, this was posted just now regarding MID-pixel repair warranties:
- Vendor Warning! GermanAudioTech on Ebay for Mid repairs
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  #28  
Old 08-02-2011, 09:28 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the cross linked record, Brett posted cluster pixel repair hints today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Help. Stuck in the middle of cluster pixel repair

His hints are meant to fill in the holes in the existing DIYs on unintuitive steps.


Here, for the record, are the bestlinks references for the cluster & MID pixel repairs:

Quote:
- 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) and how to test the MID (1).

Last edited by bluebee; 08-02-2011 at 09:30 PM.
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  #29  
Old 08-07-2011, 06:32 PM
aimtimes100 aimtimes100 is offline
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any idea if the e39 MIDs are the same(when it comes to the wiring harness) to the X5?if so if you bought another one, wouldn't you need the radio code?or is the code for the business CD?
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  #30  
Old 11-28-2011, 11:37 AM
Dogwood7 Dogwood7 is offline
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Instrument cluster missing pixels

I just had my local dealer replace the instrument cluster. They charged me $245 for labor, BMW NA provided a new cluster at no cost to me. My original quote for the job was $945. After reading the information provided in this forum, I called BMW NA and described the problem. After two days, a rep called back and asked me a few questions, such as year of car, how long I have owned it, etc. After a few days he called back and said BMW NA would provide a replacement at no charge, except for labor. This forum was very helpful. The car is a 2002 530i with 80,000 miles. It has been amazingly reliable, just routine maintenance all these years.
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  #31  
Old 11-28-2011, 01:01 PM
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kbnn_ kbnn_ is offline
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I have bought display matrix for 15$, and my electronic indy installed it for 44$.
59$ in total. Great result!
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1995 BMW 525i Aktissilber Japan spec
2003 BMW e39 530dA Individual & Sport (Special Series "ka152 Deutschland")
1995 BMW 740i Flat Black
2000 BMW 528i Titanium silver
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  #32  
Old 11-28-2011, 02:14 PM
Brett San Diego Brett San Diego is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogwood7 View Post
I just had my local dealer replace the instrument cluster. They charged me $245 for labor, BMW NA provided a new cluster at no cost to me. My original quote for the job was $945. After reading the information provided in this forum, I called BMW NA and described the problem. After two days, a rep called back and asked me a few questions, such as year of car, how long I have owned it, etc. After a few days he called back and said BMW NA would provide a replacement at no charge, except for labor. This forum was very helpful. The car is a 2002 530i with 80,000 miles. It has been amazingly reliable, just routine maintenance all these years.
OK. So why are you holding back on us? How long have you owned the car? Have you had all your service perfomed at BMW dealerships? What all did the BMW rep want to know before making a decision to give you a cluster? If I had owned the car for 2 weeks would he give me a replacement?

Brett
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  #33  
Old 11-28-2011, 02:15 PM
Brett San Diego Brett San Diego is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbnn_ View Post
I have bought display matrix for 15$, and my electronic indy installed it for 44$.
59$ in total. Great result!
That's helpful. Not!

Brett
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  #34  
Old 11-29-2011, 07:03 AM
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kbnn_ kbnn_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett San Diego View Post
That's helpful. Not!
Brett
It was installed in Kyrgyzstan, about 11000km far from U.S. I'm just telling about fair price
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2008 BMW X5 3.0si Space Gray
2005 BMW 320CD Silbergrau
1995 BMW 525i Aktissilber Japan spec
2003 BMW e39 530dA Individual & Sport (Special Series "ka152 Deutschland")
1995 BMW 740i Flat Black
2000 BMW 528i Titanium silver
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  #35  
Old 11-29-2011, 09:14 AM
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Albo Albo is offline
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This is how I went about it in 2007:

Have the following information ready when you call BMWNA (details for that follow), which you'll also fax or email to them, as well.

Year and model of vehicle
Vehicle mileage
VIN number
Name, address and phone number of the registered owner
Name of your nearest/preferred dealer
Description of the defective unit (e.g., "Instrument cluster pixels" and/or "MID pixels", etc.)

Then contact BMWNA at:

Leonora Vlaovich
Customer Relations and Services
BMW of North America, LLC
P: 201-263-8222
F: 201-930-8484
leonora.vlaovich@bmwna.com

Leonora is the coordinator for this program. A rep will be assigned to your case who will work with your local dealer to get this fixed. I sent an email to initiate "negotiations", but in the end I paid approximately $100 in labor with no charge for the cluster.

Here is the email I wrote:

Hello Ms. Vlaovich,

I am writing to you in regards to the instrument cluster in our 1999 BMW 740il. The pixel display in the center of the instument cluster has numerous pixels that have died out. In fact the odometer and trip meter are both nearly unreadable.

Please find below all pertinent information regarding our vehicle:

Model Information: 1999 BMW 740il
Mileage: 79,998
Vehicle Identification Number: WBAGH8334XDP05671

Our nearest dealer (BMW of Riverside) has been very courteous and efficient in the past...hopefully they can be helpful in this matter as well. Please let me know if BMW of North America can do anything for us about this matter.

It seems a bit unreasonable that the instrument cluster's display should malfunction in only 7 years (although this seems to be a common problemwith the E38 7-Series and the E39 5-Series), however I am glad BMWNA has done much to provide assistance to owners affected by this problem. I look forward to many years of BMW ownership and an expeditious resolution to this issue.

Thank You in Advance,

A.L.



Don't know if she is still the coordinator of the program.
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  #36  
Old 11-29-2011, 07:33 PM
HaveTwoWagons HaveTwoWagons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogwood7 View Post
I just had my local dealer replace the instrument cluster...
I'm considering trying that plan myself. First though do you or anyone else know if the cluster has been updated so the pixel (ribbon cable) problem doesn't happen again?
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  #37  
Old 01-10-2012, 11:21 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Sometimes I wonder if these unsolicited 'testimonials' are tricks by the advertisers themselves or not ... but in the hopes that this one is real, I simply cross link to this posted today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Repaired MID from German Audio Tech (Ebay)
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  #38  
Old 01-14-2012, 08:16 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For cross reference, pixel fixing came up again over here today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Pixelfix.net
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #39  
Old 01-29-2012, 11:46 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the cross-linked record, Canadian owners may find this thread posted today of interest:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Gauge Cluster Pixels!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fortunateson View Post
I thought I might like a little masochistic love the other night so I went searching for pixel remedies. Came across a thread which was mainly through 2008. Saw one fellow who bought a car out of CA and complained the BMWNA re: the problem. He got a new cluster but had to drive to Michigan from Toronto for install. Cost about $300. I had complained the same way back in 2008 with a definite "good luck buddy " from BMWNA and a resolute "bugger off" from BMWCA. I contacted BMWNA today and mentioned how they treated the car from CA/Toronto but again a rather curt response. Those buggers seem to think they rule a fiefdom and use no rhyme nor reason in their decision making. Then I thought.... pay about $300 for install for a cluster that WILL go bad?!! I have now decided it's actually cheaper to have it repaired properly and for good by one of the reputable (start debate) services mentioned on this form.
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #40  
Old 02-08-2012, 09:05 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For cross reference, this thread discussed pixel repair options today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Recommend a good MID pixel repair specialist
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #41  
Old 02-08-2012, 09:43 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this thread today has some good cluster repair information from QSilver7 and others:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Cluster Question?
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #42  
Old 03-27-2012, 02:05 PM
bimmeronly.com bimmeronly.com is offline
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Cluster and pixel issues;

It is a very common issue with all the e38, e39 and x5 BMWs. 90% of people think it is the ribbon cable that goes bad and replacing it will make the problem go away. It is true up to a point. Ribbon cables connect the main board to the LCD (liquid crystal display) and due to age, temperature and maybe even moist, they loose connectivity and that how the problem starts. It is a very precise repair and a small mistake can cost a lot of headaches and money. Main board itself is not really so fragile and hard to deal with, however, the LCD can be bad as well. Once you remove the ribbon off cluster's LCD, you can see on the edge where LCD was connected to ribbon, has approximately 130 lines that a new ribbon needs to be connected on top of those lines directly. These lines look like water mark on the edge of LCD and during removing ribbon they get lifted with ribbon itself. You'd be able to see these lines at a certain angle and you'll see there is a break in some areas (lines) that makes it harder (or in some cases impossible) to re-connect a new ribbon to. If LCD is not repairable (40% of the time), then you would need a new LCD also. (see attached picture)
It is a very precise repair and a small mistake can cost a lot of headaches and money.
First off, removing the needles is almost as bad as shooting your cluster with a 45 magnum, unless you have the right tools (from Germany or ?) to remove needles. A very small movement in the needles can destroy the accuracy of needles and in some cases not even repairable. They are spring loaded and have to be at a certain tension. Springs are attached to the bottom of the needle and not accessible.
The safest way to do repair on cluster pixels is to make 4 holes at exact locations (they won’t be visible after words) and remove 4 # 8 torx screws. Replace the ribbon and LCD if necessary and put your cluster back together. I know it is very short with not much detail, but at least you know what you're up against. I will go ahead and post a detailed repair process with pictures later on.
As far as prices go, ribbons can be anywhere from $20-$40 (depending on their quality) and LCDs from $80 to $140, some already have ribbons attached to them.
Tools: 2 flatheads, torx #8 and #10, T iron with silicon tip, long nose pliers, drill and drill bit (1/8") and some cleaning materials.
I hope I could help and send me a reply for specifics
Good luck
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  #43  
Old 03-27-2012, 06:59 PM
colombianoe39 colombianoe39 is offline
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BlackPearlX5 : can you tell us how and where you spray the cleaner?
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  #44  
Old 03-31-2012, 07:39 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is online now
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I did my instrument cluster today. I would never do it again. Pay for a new or rebuilt one instead. The agrevation, old crumbling plastic inside, etc was not worth the effort for reward. While I initially got 100% pixels back, by the time I got everything together, I was at about 90%. I already had to take it apart a few times to get that far, and the parts inside were getting more and more crumbling, so left as is. I would recommend ordering a spare bulb or two before beginning. While they weren't dead before I started, I've noticed on several threads, vids that by the time the job is done, one ore more get blown. I had one. Nothing local so ordred one. Anyway, it's done and I didn't have to ship/wait for it. But don't want to go thru it ever again. :-) I'd replace a CCV before the cluster anyday. :-)
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  #45  
Old 04-08-2012, 06:51 PM
bmwho bmwho is offline
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Bimmeronly has repair listed for $229, but on ebay it is listed for $169. Free shipping and 1 day service. I have never used them but they are in Fremont,CA
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  #46  
Old 04-09-2012, 10:52 AM
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Trebbia Trebbia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwho View Post
Bimmeronly has repair listed for $229, but on ebay it is listed for $169. Free shipping and 1 day service. I have never used them but they are in Fremont,CA
Is this for the cluster or for the MID?
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  #47  
Old 09-04-2012, 12:23 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For cross reference, yet another mid pixel thread was opened today (this time by a first-time poster who probably didn't search first):
-> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Multiinformational Display (MID) needed for E39

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaNutter View Post
I'm looking for a MID for my E39. I've seen them on EBay but they tend to cost a lot, even when they aren't in working condition. There are only a couple pixels out on mine so it's not major. I can still read it.
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #48  
Old 09-04-2012, 12:50 AM
Dackelone Dackelone is offline
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I had the pixels unreadable for my instrument panel. Since I live in Germany I wanted to use someone local. I found this company ( www.tachopix.de ) I am very happy with their repair. They repaired my pixels for 155 euros and it only took them one day! In total with one day POST my car was down working days. Not bad. Plus they also replaced my instrument light bulbs and tested everything to make sure the kombi cluster is in full working order. They speak English there too!

They also repair MID's and other electronic parts of BMW's like ABS/DSC units and NAVI units. I would give them a shot, I'm very happy with their work. http://www.tachopix.de/
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  #49  
Old 09-13-2012, 05:44 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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A new thread with the latest information was posted today:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex29 View Post
I called BMW NA (800 831 1117) to ask them if they will help paying to fix the usual "cluster Display malfunction/Dead pixel problem on my 2001 540ia (150k miles). I had seen on many BMW forums that BMW NA, may pay for the part and I will pay for 1 hr of of labor.

But, the customer relation rep (Ricardo) told me that I have to go to the BMW dealership First and get an official estimate/diagnosis and then BMWNA may or may not pay for it.

My question is based on your experience is this correct, why would I go to the dealership and pay ($100 or so) to get a diagnosis of the obvious dead pixel and BMW NA may not pay for it. and if they did agree to pay for the part , I still have to pay at least another $100 or so to have it installed.
If you have any experience about this please let me know (it does not sound right). In addition the dealership here in Orlando is very inefficient and one the worst I have dealt with. Is there a path of escalation, so no official initial inspection (waste of time and money) is needed. Also what are the chance of BMW NA paying for this fix. Does anyone have a recent experience with this? Btw ,I am the original owner.

Thanks,
Alex
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #50  
Old 02-26-2013, 09:28 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this was posted today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennt771 View Post
I was trying to put a new ribbon on the unit and I pulled off contacts on the display (hard Tape).
So now what. Is there a place to get these ? Model 65828384929.
No DSP and it has BC. Can i use a different model?
Can i use a different head unit all together. 2000 540i
I would like so stay stock, but if another is plug and play.....OK
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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