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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 10-23-2010, 06:29 PM
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How does an E39 determine miles (specific question based on red tamper dot avoidance)

This thread is opened to determine exactly how the E39 determines miles driven, and specifically related to avoidance of the red tamper dot under unusual (but legal) circumstances.

In another thread, an inoperative ABS was found where the vehicle had the SES/ABS/BRAKE/DSC LEDs removed by the OP so that nobody would know.
- Can our cars be driven without ABS module in place?

The new owner sent out both his instrument cluster & ABS control module to ATE for repairs ... and was cautioned to drive no more than 200 miles.

QUESTION:
- Where are the # of miles stored?
- How does the E39 determine the number of miles driven?
- If the red-tamper-dot appears when the cluster is re-inserted after repair; how do you remove the tamper dot?
- What does a red tamper dot look like anyway (see verbal descriptions that it's a dot to the LEFT of the mileage, but no images yet for the E39)

Notes:
- This thread says PA Soft can remove the tamper dot.
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2010, 05:49 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mileage is stored in the IKE & LCM...and if you have the new style "diamond shaped" key...it also stores mileage. The caution to NOT drive over 120 miles (or 200 km) can be seen in data point #5 in the Redundant Data Storage info below. Also, the tamper dot only appears if the VIN coded into the LCM & IKE do NOT match.


The odometer tamper dot can be seen in these images below...it is directly to the left of the trip odometer...and just below the miles or to the right of km:



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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
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; 10-24-2010 at 05:54 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2010, 09:23 AM
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So if the speedometer/odometer are both inop when the ABS module is out of the car, is the car recording mileage? If so, how? It's my understanding that the Rear Left wheel speed sensor is responsible for this data. If that sensor talks to the car through the ABS module, then what other part/system/method is being used to record mileage?

Has anyone driven their car more than 120 miles with the ABS module removed and NOT had the manipulation dot appear?

Has anyone successfully removed the manipulation dot using GT1, DIS or some other software?
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For me, the e39 is the ... best balance of luxury ... performance ... good looks and class. Sort of the Catherine Deneuve of cars, if you get my drift.
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2010, 01:52 PM
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The odometer manipulation dot only appears when the IKE & LCM have a different VIN numbers encoded to them. If you've only removed the ABS module...and one of the wheel sensors is responsible for capturing mileage...then the tamper dot WON'T illuminate since the IKE & LCM still have the same VIN. If there's a difference of 120 miles/200km between them...then a "data transfer fault" is registered (it says nothing about the tamper DOT illuminating). See the SIX data points in the Redundant Data Storage info in my post above.

FWIW...I think odometer mileage is captured by one of the sensors on the transmission...but since I don't have the empirical data right now to prove that...I will only offer it up as speculation.
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
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; 10-24-2010 at 01:56 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2010, 02:07 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
I think odometer mileage is captured by one of the sensors on the transmission...
It's all very confusing to me, but, when I removed just my ABS module, for a week, no odometer miles were recorded on the cluster.

Of course, that doesn't mean the transmission sensor wasn't comparing the difference, but it intimates (without proving) that the ABS is required for odometer mileage to accrue.
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2010, 04:07 PM
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Thanks for the info QSilver7. I still believe odometer data comes from the Left Rear speed sensor; odometer/speedometer data does indeed originate at the diff on my E30.

Bluebee, or anyone, did you drive your car more than 120 miles while your ABS module was removed?
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Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
For me, the e39 is the ... best balance of luxury ... performance ... good looks and class. Sort of the Catherine Deneuve of cars, if you get my drift.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2010, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
...
FWIW...I think odometer mileage is captured by one of the sensors on the transmission...but since I don't have the empirical data right now to prove that...I will only offer it up as speculation.
Okay, y'all...I'm feeling like I've been "Juan Williamsed"...don't forget to add the rest of my quote where I state that I have no emperical data...and I''m only SPECULATING.
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
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
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2010, 05:07 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Some people seem to have different behaviour when removing the module; I don't have any specific links but it may be possible that different cars/transmissions/years get their data from different points on the car. My grandfather's 540 does not have reliable cruise control (it tends to floor the accelerator for a few seconds occasionally) but the speedometer works very reliably. All four sensors are new; the module is fried. I do find it surprising that the wheel speed sensor provides the only speed information on many cars as reported here.
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2010, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent15 View Post
Bluebee, or anyone, did you drive your car more than 120 miles while your ABS module was removed?
Nope. I removed the ABS control module, covered the remainder with aluminum foil, drove from San Jose to San Francisco, flew out on a trip, came back about a week later, drove back to San Jose from San Francisco, and put the module back (which was waiting for me back at home). It was all very efficient. I'm sure there's someone out there who drove more than 120 miles with the ABS module out though.

Last edited by bluebee; 10-24-2010 at 05:21 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2010, 02:12 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Left rear wheel speed sensor it is (see DISTANCE SIGNAL in info below taken from BMW info about the BUS system). Apparently the signal goes from the wheel sensor to the ABS/ASC+T/DSC control module, which then relays distance info to the IKE...so removing the ABS/ASC+T/DSC control module interrupts that info from reaching the IKE if it is removed.


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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
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; 10-25-2010 at 02:20 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2010, 04:54 AM
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Thanks again QSilver7.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
For me, the e39 is the ... best balance of luxury ... performance ... good looks and class. Sort of the Catherine Deneuve of cars, if you get my drift.
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2010, 08:26 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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I've driven well over 250 while my module is at module masters. No red tamper dot. The only time I got it was when I put in an LCM from a 99 540i because I thought I had an LCM issue. Once I plugged my original LCM back, the tamper dot went away. I didn't drive the car at all with the other LCM installed, just started it and tested all the lights.
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2010, 08:50 AM
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On my 540i the cluster had 100% dead pixels. I got my hands on the M5 cluster for cheap. I used PA soft to put my VIN in the IKE module, and used INPA (thru carsoft cables) to code the module properly. This removed the tamper dot as well as got the temperature correct. The oil temp still doesn't work nor does the active tach. The red line is correct however. I recoded the EEProm (with EPROM programmer) on the tach to match correct mileage from the LCM. The tamper dot is just VIN related as this went away as soon as I put my VIN in the IKE, even though the mileage was wrong at first.
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2011, 04:46 PM
BMW4RE BMW4RE is offline
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While my car was not driven more than 200 km with the controller removed, it was driven what Iíd estimate to be 1,000-2,000 miles with a bad controller. This caused the speedometer and odometer to be non-operational for 80% of the time. Since I wasnít concerned about traction control or the lack of ABS (I live in So. Cal. and donít drive in congestion much.), I put off the significant cash outlay for the new controller. Plus, I hardly ever drove the car.
The bottom line is that Iím sure that the odometer is showing mileage that is short by 1,000-2,000 miles. The controller has been bad for that number of miles but failed 6 years ago. (Some guy at the smog check place remarked at how clean my 528i is. I guess thatís, again, because I hardly ever drive it.) There is no tamper dot showing on my odometer. I suppose in a perfect world, there would be. Perhaps that would have been different if I had put the controller from another car in instead of a new one? That said, if anyone tampered with the odometer it will have been, indirectly at least, BMW. They're the ones who designed the car and placed that sensitive ABS controller so close to the exhaust manifold, and made it responsible for too many things. To think that I used to hate the idea of a multi-function SWITCH.....
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2011, 06:34 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Sort of related question.....
So if I stick a DME from another 540 that has a VIN of 20 numbers higher than my car will it start?
I'm guessing no because the VIN won't match the VIN stored in the EWS.
Will anything else happen that I won't like?
The reason I ask it because many years ago I bought one for $20, figured it was worth having for some of the parts inside, fuel injector driver transistors, etc.
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  #16  
Old 02-11-2012, 12:14 PM
aktansrt aktansrt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BentValve View Post
I've driven well over 250 while my module is at module masters. No red tamper dot. The only time I got it was when I put in an LCM from a 99 540i because I thought I had an LCM issue. Once I plugged my original LCM back, the tamper dot went away. I didn't drive the car at all with the other LCM installed, just started it and tested all the lights.
It can be driven more than 120 miles without the risk of a temper dot. I know an E39 that had been driven close to 500 miles without the ABS control module (which was being rebuilt), and upon arrival of a rebuilt unit, no temper mark. No mileage information is transmitted to IKE, nor to LCM. The executive functions of the vehicle do not receive the speed signal, and as far as mileage tracking, your vehicle does not have a clue on how many miles it had been driven, be it 120 or 1200.

For mileage storage, it is similar to removing your rear left wheel sensor. No speed signal. Obviously, ABS module does a lot more than a speed sensor and driving without it is not recommended.
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  #17  
Old 03-01-2013, 11:58 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this was posted today:

Quote:
Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
This is on my E38, but I figure the setup is similar enough and this is where the action is...

I've had the car for over 6,000 miles and the tamper dot has never been illuminated in that entire period. This morning, I started the car and the tamper dot was ON!

It's daily driven, has absolutely no history of cluster issues, lighting issues, or drivability issues that would make me think there was any communication issue between the cluster and LCM or DME.

What the hell caused this and how can I fix it? Any help is appreciated!

Any errors in this post are purely Swype's fault, not mine.
I don't have a clue but typing /tamper dot F3 in the bestlinks netted these two threads:
  1. Redundant data storage for mileage tamper dot
  2. Tamper dot for mileage explained
In addition, I remember talk of the tamper dot in this coding thread:
- What happens if you don't code the VIN into a new ABS module

Perhaps most appropriate is the result from a title-only E39-only search for "tamper dot", which reveals this thread:
- How does an E39 determine miles (specific question based on red tamper dot avoidance)

BTW: Would you kindly post a picture of the tamper dot to this thread so we can better see what it looks like?
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need, in seconds!
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  #18  
Old 03-29-2013, 09:34 PM
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This was posted today, which I cross reference here, so that others find it more easily:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Quick question: Is it possible to drive an e39 without a cluster installed? Just wondering...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Concrete Donkey View Post
It is possible to drive an E39 without the cluster as long as you do not exceed 120 miles while it is out. Doing so will illuminate the tamper dot and require a trip to the dealership.
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  #19  
Old 05-15-2013, 01:40 PM
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For the crosslinked record, this was posted today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomilk View Post
Hi all,

I've recently decided to fox completely my car (change gearbox, renovating front and rear axles, ...). And therefore, i have to fix my old lcm (which has the current front right light problem). But i changed the lcm, waiting the old one to be changed. Thatīs why i've got a red dot for the mileage mistake.
When i'll put the old lcm back in the car, how can i delete that red dot? I had the idead to change the mileage once down, and once again to reach the original amount. But maybe there's an easyer way?
Can someone explain me, or does anyone has a diy for changing mileage or delete that red dot?

Thank you!
Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
Buy BMW scanner 1.4 and you can input the correct mileage.
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  #20  
Old 12-28-2013, 02:02 PM
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For a crosslink, here's a tamper dot thread today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Tamper dot with replacement (used) LCM. Should I code the dot out PRIOR to driving?


Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
The original 4/99 build LCM III in my car recently decided to go bananas after an unusually frigid cold spell here. I replaced it today with a used (10/99 build) LCM III that I purchased on ebay.

Now, everything seems to be back to normal, all lights work again as they should; the turn signal stalk operates the lights as designed. Only thing I knew I'd have to deal with is the tamper dot.

I have not driven the car out of the drive-way yet. What I would like to know is, should I learn how to code the replacement LCM and remove that dot PRIOR to driving the car, or whether it will matter?
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
First, if the VIN doesn't match in the IKE & LCM...the tamper dot illuminates and they DON'T exchange any info between each other (see data point #1).

Second, the LCM can only be overwritten with a HIGHER mileage...(see data point #4).

Third, if the mileage differs by MORE THAN 120 miles (this is when the VINs match)...then a data transfer fault will be stored in the IKE (see data point #5).

Everything you need to know or get done requires that the SIX data points in the info below are taken care of...and a BMW dealerships equipment CAN NOT overwrite a used cluster or LCM (see the 1st paragraph AFTER data point #6). They can only work with new or remanufactured components that have officially been "zeroed":

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
A new cluster/IKE (or a used cluster zeroed by aftermarket software/hardware) will be at zero miles, which then allows the VIN (ID) to be coded to it (see #3)...when the VINs match, then the LCM will share its data with the IKE (mileage & Serv Interval data) as mentioned in #2.
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Last edited by bluebee; 01-05-2014 at 10:07 PM.
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