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Hi – This is my first question here. Happy new owner of a clean 1996 BMW 328i. I just bought this girl 4 days ago from a friend (they only had it 3 weeks and got scared about maintenance costs when the fuel pump gave out, so sold it me me. I'm more "mechanical").

I was coming home after the first real drive of the car - 5o miles each way - doing some speed and acceleration testing in traffic, going from 80 towards a 100, and just after this limit testing I noticed the instrument cluster dials were all at zero, and no indicator lights at bottom (and top I think). This was at night. The cluster lights were on though.

But when I came home, parked, turned it off (still dead), moved to a new location, turned it off, sat for a few minutes, and turned back on, it came back to life.

I did the self-test for the cluster and it tested OK.

This hasn't happened since – went on a 130 mile drive to the mountains yesterday with various stops and the cluster was fine.

I was going to take the cluster out and clean the contacts but looked in the Haynes manual and it involves first removing the steering wheel, which means first removing the air bag and my god what a tricky lot of hassle that looks like. I just don't have time for that kind of thing.

I don't want to lose the ability to see the temp gage and fuel meter for any significant amount of time, so I'm thinking of buying a used cluster off eBay and keep it on hand in case this goes out.

Any advice is appreciated.
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