Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog Tech Info Tech Forums
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 
Get FREE Ground Shipping with the purchase of $75 in qualifying parts!
 


Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Service Indicator Board Batteries on the E30 BMW 3 Series
Jared Fenton
Wayne R. Dempsey

Difficulty Level: 4
Difficulty scale: Adding air to your tires is level one
Rebuilding a BMW Motor is level ten

     Did your tach suddenly stop working? Have all your gauges suddenly gone dead for no reason? Are the service indicator lights dead? Chances are that the batteries on the service indicator board have gone dead. This is pretty common problem on the E30 BMW models. In this tech article we will discuss replacing the batteries and get that service indicator working again.

     The E30 3 Series as well as other BMW models have a neat little feature that illuminates a row of lights over a certain amount of miles and informs you of when routine service needs to be performed on these cars. Normally, simply running the car re-charges the batteries and keeps the service indicator lights operating. Sometimes, however, the batteries can fail, causing the lights to go dead. It can also cause the tachometer and other gauges to stop working as well. In the case of my car, the lights stopped working as well as my coolant temperature gauge. The tachometer also started jumping erratically and then finally stopped moving.

     As the batteries are located in the instrument cluster, it is necessary to remove the cluster. The first step is to remove the steering wheel. Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry out the steering wheel emblem, underneath; you will see a 19mm nut holding the wheel to the steering column. Make a scribe mark or paint mark to align the steering wheel in the right position when you re-install it. Now, remove this nut. Next, rotate the key to the on position, but do not start the car. Turning the key will disengage the steering wheel lock and allow you to remove the wheel. Now pull the steering wheel off.

     The next step is to remove the lower panel under the dash, remove the three plastic screws in the front of the panel and the other three screws holding the panel on at the bottom. Now remove the panel. Next, we will need to remove the lower dashboard fascia panel in order to provide clearance to remove the instrument cluster. Reach up under the dash on either side of the fascia piece and feel for a knurled round nut on either end. Loosen and remove these nuts. You can now remove the fascia piece.

     Next, look at the bottom of the instrument cluster; you will see four screws holding the mounting frame to the cluster. Remove these. Next look at the top of the cluster. You will see two screws holding the frame into the dash. Remove these as well, and pull the mounting frame free of the car. Use caution as you do this. The frame is very fragile and can break off the upper mounting flanges very easily.

     Now, with the frame off, you can now remove the instrument cluster. This may take a little time, as you will have to rotate the cluster around so you can disconnect the various electrical connections in the rear. Take a look at the back and mark each connection. Now disconnect them all. You should be able to remove the cluster from the dash now.

     With the cluster out, take a look at the backside. I should take this time to point out that not all gauge clusters look the same, BMW had a few different manufacturers for the clusters, but for the most part they look the same. You should see some Phillips head screws around the perimeter of the cluster. Remove all these, and you should be able to lift the backside of the cluster off.

     Look at the center of the cluster. You will see a single Phillips head screw holding this plate on. You must remove this screw to access the S.I. board. Now remove the plate, and grabbing the board by each side, pull it directly out, using care not to break or damage the board.

     Now, with the board out, look for the two Ni-Cad batteries, they wont be hard to miss. This is what we are replacing. Be sure to get a hold of two NiCad “AA” batteries that are 3-volts (not the regular ones you find in the store, they might have to be found at a specialty retailer like Radio Shack). You should be able to pick these up at Radio Shack or Frey’s Electronics. Note the service indicator LEDs on top. Simply pull up on the light board and it will pull off.

     Next, get your soldering iron out and let it warm up. You will want to use a low-wattage soldering iron to remove the batteries; otherwise you risk frying the board. 10-15 watts should be the max. Also, familiarize yourself with the battery polarity and make sure you understand which way to solder these batteries into the board. Once the soldering iron is ready, unsolder the old batteries. They should pop right out of the connectors when the solder is removed. Before you install the new batteries, make sure they have had time to charge. Now, making sure that the polarity is correct, place the batteries in the connector, and then solder the connections. Keep in mind that we re working around sensitive electrical components, so it’s a good idea to use an anti-static wrist strap.

     With the new batteries in place, now is a good time to test the various light bulbs in the cluster and replace any burned out bulbs as needed. I found a couple that needed replacement. Place the LED board back onto the S.I. board. Now, place the board back into the cluster and slowly push it into place, making sure that the pins line up correctly at the bottom. Re-install the access cover and the single Phillips head screw holding it in place.

     Next, re-install the rear cover of the cluster and tighten the Phillips head screws. This done, we are now ready to re-install the cluster back into the dash. Reconnect the electrical connections on the back of the cluster, and rotate the cluster so it is oriented facing towards you.

     Now, re-install the plastic frame around the instrument cluster and screw it down in place. Once tight, install the two screws through the mounting flanges and up into the dash. Take care when doing this that the cluster is properly aligned. If not, loosen the screws, re-align, and re-tighten.

     Now, reinstall the lower dash fascia plate and reaching from under the dash, install the two knurled round knobs. This will pull the fascia plate tight against the cluster.

     Now re-install the lower dash panel and tighten the three plastic screws in the front and the three screws in the bottom. With the lower dash panel on, use the scribe or paint mark from earlier and re-install the steering wheel. Once in place and when it is correctly oriented, put the 19mm nut back on and torque it to 50 ft/lbs. Place the steering wheel emblem back in place making sure it is lined up correctly.      

     Well, there you have it - it's really not too difficult at all.  If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs.  If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one.  Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one.  As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.

Comments and Suggestions:
tahnl Comments: 1986 325i cabrio - suddenly, my fuel economy gauge quit working. One quick swing to max on acceleration, then nothing. Second, the temperature gauge started reading very low. Ideas? Last summer it was an erratic fuel gauge and the fuel economy gauge quit - tightening the various nuts on the back of the instrument cluster solved that as in a bad ground connection
October 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like an issue with the instrument cluster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
roukiee Comments: Hi i've got a 91 325i and i was driving along and my stereo turned which was weird so i turned it back on then when i needed to indicate it doesnt flash at all. My hazards work fine but no indicator flashes and hi beam sometimes work. I have tried replacing the relay and indicator stalk but still no sign of life. any ideas ?
September 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The only link between them, is the power distribution box in the trunk. I would check there for corrosion or burned terminals. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
gertvt Comments: 1992 320i r/h drive: RSA - Indicators and emergency flasher went dead ± 2 months ago. Now r/h door lock refuse to unlock with remote / only with key turned to right. Accidentilly found when remote pressed several times indicators start working and e-flasher until remote pressed again. Is this a programming issue with the alarm?
September 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, but it could be an issue with a body module. I don't have the wiring for your vehicle, so I can't be more specific.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Eddie Comments: I have a 1984 323i e30, the odometer doesn't work along with the trip metre but I know that it's the cogs that are broken, my main problem is my coolant temp gauge which intermittently works along with the fuel economy gauge, what could be causing this ? The cluster is a vdo cluster with a white back if that helps, thanks in advance
June 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It sounds to me like the cluster is failing. I would run a system test using a BMW scan tool. This will help to identify if the cluster has an internal fault. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Marc Comments: Hi: I have a 1986 BMW 635 csi. The spedometer stopped working. What is the cause or causes for this problem? I appreciate your help. I changed the sensor on the differential but it did not fix the problem.
Marc
June 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The fault could be in the cluster. I wold check for fault codes and run a cluster test using a BMW scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
scottE30n00b Comments: This may be unrelated to the batteries, but....
OBC no lights, tach not working, odo not working and fuel eco gauge not working.
Is there a common denominator amongst these issues?
May 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: An internal fault with the cluster. I would start by checking the vehicle for fault codes. If multiple systems are not working properly, fault codes will be set. This will be your best bet when diagnosing.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
markster725 Comments: Before changing the SI Board what fuzes should I check first?? Also is there someone out there that makes a replacement board that doesnt need batteries??
April 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Fuses 6, 8, 10 and 21 all go to the cluster.

Not sure about the batteries. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
markster725 Comments: I have a 1988 BMW 325i. The tach doesn't work at all and the temp gage didn't until I pulled it out of its location to put in the after market temp gage and just left the original temp sensor laying against the top of the engine. The temp gage works now and reads what the after market one does. Tach still doesn't work and the lights on the oil change light bar stay on 24/7. The lights don't go out even when the car is off and the keys are out of the ignition. Any ideas? Batteries or whole SI board?
April 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a faulty board. I would replace the cluster if it tested faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
slfan Comments: Hello,

I disconnected the battery in my 1988 E30 M3 during two monhts while I found the time to have new fuel hoses and an engine starter installed. After installing the new starter and reconnecting the battery, the "yellow" SI light refuses to turn-off even with the ignition off and the key removed. The rest of the gauges in the cluster work perfectly. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
April 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may need to reset it using a service reset tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
kicktopush Comments: I've got a 1987 BMW 325i, and my cluster works just fine, except the only problem is that the tachometer and temp gauge side of the cluster does not illuminate red when i turn my lights on. The speedometer, fuel, indicators, and Si board all light up perfectly. I've check the fuses, even swapped out the instrument cluster circuit board.
March 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Assuming the bulbs are OK, there could be an internal wiring issue with the cluster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Buster Comments: Hi there guys, I have a 1987 BMW E30 325e, the right cluster tach and temp gauge does no work, I have replaced fuse #10 but this did not fix it, can anybody help
Thanks
February 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The cluster could be faulty. I would perform a function test using a BMW scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
hank Comments: I was driving my 1989 Bmw 320i and all of a sudden the car switched off and lost power.it does not want to start now. Now othering on the cluster works.the car has a button start. You have to put the key in the car and turn key on and and press the button to start it.I checked the power coming to the ignition and there is power.but when I turn the key on there is no power on the cluster showing.So when I press the button car swings but does not start
February 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is there power getting to the DME or underhood components?

I can't help without knowing what is missing from the system when you are trying to start it. When your engine doesn’t start you’ll want to check the basics. Check spark, fuel injector pulse and pressure fuel, volume and quality. Are there any fault codes? Once you figure out what is missing, it will be easier to diagnose.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
alndks Comments: My cluster working fine exept the tachometer.
When i start the car the tachometer and the consumption not working then i hit a little the glass in the cluster and all working fine. If i stop the car and start it after 1-2 minutes all working fine if i start the car after 10 minutes the tacho starts working after 1-2 sec suddenly but if i start the car after 1-2 hours i must hit again the glass of the cluster to start working the tacho. Any i deas? Thanks
January 3, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: SOunds like a faulty cluster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
roo Comments: I cant figure out why my cluster doesn't work in my 325ix. I put 3 different clusters in and not change. The si board batteries read just about 3 volts.The speedometer works but the temp, fuel and tach don't. when starting my car the tach will work for a sec and suddenly go dead. Any ideas. Beside the fuse.
December 4, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Have you checked the grounds to the cluster? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
cobbra23 Comments: Thank you all, this has been very good knowing about those batts.
December 1, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tjokker Comments: I have a 1996 e36 323i. The speedo and fuel gauge works, but the right side of the cluster is dead. Is this also related to battery problems?
November 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Usually when the batteries are exhausted, the entire cluster malfunctions. You may have another issue. Start by checking the fuses and the vehicle for fault codes.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bean325is Comments: Symptoms shortly after storing my 1988 325is for a year were dead tachometer, erratic temp guage, and radio static. The battery was also draining from an unidentified short. After replacing the SI board batteries, my tach was still dead. Check fuses. I had pulled #21 to avoid a drain on my battery which must have been the old NiCad batteries shorted out. Tach now works but temp guage is still erratic and radio static is still present. Note: my board had the 2 AA size 1.2V batteries in series some have two 3V AA in parallel.
October 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jerry Comments: 1986 325e. In last two weeks, on cold start temperature in area has dropped since it is fall the tach moves to about 8000 and freezes there. If I rev the engine, the tach will "jump" to a new position and hold there. Also, the mpg guage does not move. After about 3-4 minutes, everything works fine. I read somewhere that I cannot find anymore that this can be due to moistuer in the coil? rather than a failing SI board or bad batteries. Looks like a pain to remove the SI board and replace batteries, so I want to determine that nothing else could be causing the problem before I go to that effort. It also seems weird to me that if the batteries have failed that warming up the engine for a few minutes would solve the problem. Please advise if there are other things that could cause the symptoms I describe. I did not notice any usual lights on while the tach and mpg guages were acting funky. Thanks
October 10, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check the power and ground supply to the cluster and if they are ok, I would replace the batteries.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
dovlash Comments: E30 320i '89.
upon startup few secs odometer working fine as gas pedal is touched it fails, next: odo needle jumps on turn indicator as it flashes or if lights are on it raises a bit still jumping
sounds and goes fine
July 22, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Do you mean odometer or tachometer. The odometer will increase the mileage only while the car is moving. The Tach will go up as down as you rev the engine. Sounds to me like you have an electrical problem with the instrument cluster. - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
rd38668 Comments: I have a 1993 BMW 325i. All of the service indicator lights work, but none of my gauges are working. Fuel, tach, speedo, temp. I have taken the instrument cluuster out but cannot find the batteries when I take it apart. I can't see any other area that can come apart. Any ideas?
May 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This part of the tech article describes theb attery location:

Look at the center of the cluster. You will see a single Phillips head screw holding this plate on. You must remove this screw to access the S.I. board. Now remove the plate, and grabbing the board by each side, pull it directly out, using care not to break or damage the board.

Now, with the board out, look for the two Ni-Cad batteries, they wont be hard to miss. This is what we are replacing. Be sure to get a hold of two NiCad “AA” batteries that are 3-volts (not the regular ones you find in the store, they might have to be found at a specialty retailer like Radio Shack). You should be able to pick these up at Radio Shack or Frey’s Electronics. Note the service indicator LEDs on top. Simply pull up on the light board and it will pull off.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
cecilworx Comments: hi wayne,I need some clarity on where to plug in on green connector on back of my instrument cluster.one is blue with yellow and the other is black with red.the car is a 1984 BMW 318i before 11/1984 production
April 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The connector female ends in the cluster should be color coded. Plug the color connector into the color female end in cluster.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
johnbonham1980 Comments: Took my cluster out the other day and managed to break the remaining upper mounting bracket Previous owner took care of the other for me ... any ideas on fabricating new ones was considering aluminum shims or somesuch? I may just put it all back together without the upper mounting brackets as it seems to sit pretty normally in the dashboard without even the lower screws in place.
April 16, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry to hear that. Have you considered plastic welding it back on? You can also try using a think steel bracket, attach it to the cluster, then to the interior. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Steve Comments: My 1984 733i Service Indicator Light, and Oil inspection light stays on no matter how many times I attempt to reset them with the BMW reset tool and counting the LED flashes very carefully.
They will go off, for one to three times, and then come on again the next time I start the car. Resetting them again with the reset tool fail.
All other items on the instrument panel work correctly.
I changed the two NiCad AA batteries about a year ago, 1-25-2012,
and made sure they were fully charged before installing them.
I find it very difficult for me to remove the cluster, no fun at all!
I'm open to your suggestions, PLEASE.
Thanks,
Steve
April 1, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like you're in the right place with the power issue. Have yo checked to see if the cluster is losing terminal 30+ when the vehicle is turned OFF? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hector Comments: I have an 87 325e yesterday my tachometer stopped working and today my speedo is off by a lot. Can someone tell me what thu think I should do? It's not so much fun guessing how fast I'm going through construction and playground zones.
March 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like an electrical problem. Check the fuses and ground connections at your instrument cluster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
CRB Comments: Bernadette,

Check your fuses. I believe it's fuse 12 that controls the speedometer. Just a thought.
March 1, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the help on this one CRB. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bernedette Riley Comments: I have a 1987 BMW 325is. The instrument panel is not working, but it's only the tac and the odometer. The fuel gauge and the temperature gauge work just fine as well as the backlight. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to what to be testing first. Also The battery in the panel I'm sure is dead as my car sat for at least 2 years while I was in school. I hope this is not too remedial for this audience.
February 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would start by checking your fuses. Fuses, 1, 10, 12, 21, 29 all send battery positive to the cluster.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
jayare215 Comments: I replace the batteries it was easy .
Taking the batteries was the hardest.
It still not working the tach did go down and stop jumping good sighn
Hope fully the batt dead and thell recharge.
December 8, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may just have a bad board and need a new one - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andrew Comments: Re: Daniel's post. Have you figured it out yet? I am having the same issue as you. Someone suggested it was the ignition sensor switch wire, but I have yet to figure that out. Let me know if you find anything. Thanks
April 19, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have posted this in one of our forums. Hopefully someone can help you. - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
icibuy Comments: Part 3 Last Lithium Battery info

The newer style SI board uses a MnhO2 Lithium battery by Sanyo CR1425OSE.
The board on my 1987 325is is dated 13.94, and numbered 992 647 196.
It clearly is a replacement, likely installed after only seven years.
The batteries on my board are dated 93-08, and measure 3.17V in 2004.
Nominal end-of-life voltage is 2.0V, but at 2.5V little capacity remains.
The two 3V cells are connected in parallel but isolated by diodes.
Either cell can fail individually and the board will still work.
The cells have an extra isolation film under the conformal coating,
presumably to protect the board from overheating or leakage.

More details about the battery:
Sanyo CR14250SE 3V 850mAh 14.5x25mm 1/2 AA size lithium cell.
The 14250 is a standard primary non-rechargeable Lithium type, available
from multiple sources.
sanyo.wslogic.com/pdf/pdfs/CR14250SE.pdf
The 'SE' variant was optimized for high capacity and long shelf life.
Other variants are optimized for high discharge rate or light weight.
The standard 'SE' discharge rate is 0.5 mA.
This is ten times less than the power needed to light a small LED.
At the standard rate the cells will discharge in 72 days.
At a 10uA rate the cells will last 10 years.
The temp range is -40C to +85C, rather than -20C+60C of other brands.
The cell may weigh up to 11g, rather than as little as 7g.
The Sanyo 'SET-FT' suffix indicates welded tabs for board mounting.
Modern cells are available in 950mAh versions, but long shelf life and
seal life are more important than capacity.
April 10, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
icibuy Comments: Part 2 The Lithium battery board fixed the design problem. It has two
non-rechargeable 3V lithium cells that are diode isolated from each other
and main battery power. Either cell can provide back-up power, with the
load normally shared to provide twice the life. Even if both cells
fail, the main battery can still power the circuitry.


So now that you know how the SI board batteries work and fail, how do we
fix the problem? I'll start with the NiCad board, since people with bad
lithium batteries might not even know that they have have dead batteries.

There are several web pages with excellent instructions and pictures on
removing the SI board. I won't repeat them here, instead only covering
the battery information that isn't obvious from physical disassembly.

The original NiCad batteries are standard size AA cells Varta 500 RST
with board-mount tabs welded on the ends. Your options are to buy
replacements with the same board-tab connections from a specialty
battery supplier hobby shop or on-line, buy cells with solder tabs or
wires attached, or use wire a remote battery holder to the circuit
board.

Whatever mounting option you choose, use *only* standard capacity,
high-temp NiCad cells. "Better" battery chemistry types NiM-H,
Lithium or specialized cells rapid charge, high capacity cells are
not better for this application. Non-NiCad chemistries will have
different voltages, and high capacity or rapid recharge NiCad cells have
design compromises that reduce longevity. NiM-H batteries are reported to
work, but the continuous trickle charging will destroy them.

A good choice of battery is the Sanyo high-temp standard capacity cells.

If you can't find cells with solder tabs or want to remote-mount the
cells for easier replacement, put them in a holder. Radio Shack has a
nice dual AA cell battery holder, part #270-408. It's fully enclosed
with wire leads already attached, and typically stocked in-store for
about $1.49.

I don't recommend Radio Shack as a NiCad battery source. They will do
in a pinch, but the cells are overpriced and not the best type for this
application.


Now on to the lithium battery SI board. This is much more academic,
since these board generally don't have problems. However our cars are
getting old, so some of these boards may start needing battery
replacements at some point.
April 10, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
icibuy Comments: Found this written in 2008-seems to be a lot of great information-although I have no way at the moment to validate any of it:

Part 1-The Service Indicator SI board is a circuit board in the instrument
cluster. Its most obvious function is to monitor the engine usage in
order to count down the time until the next recommended oil change or
inspection, reporting using the bar graph on the cluster. A more subtle
function is to read the "code plug" at start up and use this information
to translate fuel injector and ignition pulses to drive the tachometer
and fuel economy meter.

The SI board batteries provide back-up power to retain the service
counter when the main battery is dead or missing. Much like a UPS for
a desktop computer, they are intended to prevent data loss during a
brief power outage rather than to be a long-term power source. Since SI
board batteries are a pain to replace, you should not remove the battery
for storage and avoid leaving the car sit with a dead battery.

There are two major variations of the Service Indicator SI board in
the instrument cluster, the original type with NiCad batteries and the
redesigned retrofit board with long-life Lithium batteries.

NiCad boards have two 1.2V 'AA' cells in series. Fresh batteries will
power the SI board for about a month if the main battery is
disconnected, and will slowly recharge when main battery voltage is
restored. The NiCads typically to last for 5 to 15 years.

Lithium boards have two 3V lithium cells in parallel, which will last for
well over a decade of stand-by use. They should power the SI board for
several months if you remove the main battery, but this will permanently
consume part of their life.

The problem with NiCad board, and the reason for the SI board redesign,
is that NiCad cells don't fail gracefully. If you discharge an old cell
to zero volts really below 0.6V, metal whiskers start growing
internally. These will short out the cell, preventing it from
recharging at all. The original SI board had two design flaws based on
connecting the microprocessor directly to the batteries: it would
discharge the batteries completely trying to preserve the counter state,
and shorted batteries will prevent the microprocessor from working at
all when the power is restored. Even if you don't care about the oil
change suggestion, other functions that depends on the coding plug
e.g. the tach will not work.

April 10, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Daniel Comments: Good day smart Bmw people! My 1993 318i beemer instrument panel is allo of a sudden nt working, onley speedo and the red batt light is working...with that my fan for fresh air also stoped working!! When i turn the key to start, in that 2seconds that the car is being started in the fan works and also the service lights and also idle needle but as soon as the car is started everything dies again! Fan, petrol guage, ref needle, car temp guage.. Batt light stays on until i ref the car a bit... I also fitted a nother instrument panel to check wheter myne was broken but with that one also nothing worked... No fuses are blown or nothing... PLEASE ANY HELP?? MANY THANX
March 31, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the ignition switch might be faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Joe Comments: I have been trying to get my Tach up and running. I have replaced the old with a new. Check the fuses 10, 21. I did find there are two wires that are not attached to the center green circuit. One is blue with yellow stripe and the other a white wire that comes from the on board computer module above the radio. Can you talk me through where these wires go. My assumption I know, I know is that this should rectify the non working Tach. Other suggestions welcome on a fix. Thanks, Joe
March 30, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have. I'll need to look the wiring up for your specific vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
cunaco Comments: Hello: I have a BMW 735i, 1988. It uses E32 cluster board. I was told a battery drain of about 300 mA was because of a fault in this board. I changed the electrolytic caps, and now I don't have the bat. drain, BUT NOW NO GAGE WORKS, all dead ie. speed, fuel, etc.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
March 12, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Replace the cluster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
DonnyCPT RSA Comments: i have a 320I beauti 1991 model my service lights are all burning they plugged in the service light cancel thingy but it didnt work they say my batteries are flat could it be? why are they all burning?? anyone know what i can do?
March 12, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There could be a short in the cluster or a bad ground. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ozzfan101 Comments: ok so heres a dumb questions how many batteries are there? and also on my 1987 325i the speedometer and odometer and fuel gauge do not work but my rpms and temp gauge works could it be that its one battery and not the other? or could it be a fuse
December 14, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think there are two. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
edmund Comments: Hi all have 1986 325e have si board is out, it’s in mint conditions like new, has no batteries never solder in and no ic integrated circuit board no 62110152532 any advice? Thanks john.
November 22, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if it is faulty, you will have to have it repaired or replace the cluster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
marsgorski Comments: Regarding the batteries, is EACH battery supposed to be 3V so 6V total? Or are the two batteries together supposed to put out 3V? I went to Batteries plus and they only had 1.2V NiCd rechargeable batteries in the AA form. Thanks
November 12, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like 3 volt each battery. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ed Comments: how do i reset the thing?
November 9, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What type of vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
demonchild Comments: You do not have to pull the steering wheel. I just finished this job on and 85 BMW 325e, and the cluster comes out without any problems.
August 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
demonchild Comments: A couple of pictures would have saved a thousand words and made the whole thing a lot clearer. As they say, it was clear as mud, but it covered the ground.
August 1, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks, we will do our best to record the process if we get to do it again. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
advwilly Comments: I read an article that I should connect 3 wires from the SI board NiCd battery connector to the battery case. one for the +, one for the -, and the 3rd one between the 2 batteries. The articles says that the batteries not only supply 3V or 2.8V to the major components, it also supply 1.5 volts to other parts of the cluster.
Is this true? Could this be the cause of the erratic tachometer?
Appreciate your reply
July 7, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not 100% sure. I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
advwilly Comments: I followed sharpp and installed a battery pack with a long wire to make replacing batteries easy. After installing it, the temp gauge and tachometer seems to work fine. After a while, the temp gauge and the tachometer seems eratic. could this be caused by the long wire? Also, the speedometer and the odometer stopped working too. Are all these related? Where can I get a circuit diagram for the instrument cluster?
July 6, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not 100%. I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: OK, read all this and your blowing my mind with this 3volt stuff... a batt. cell is rated 1.2 volt granted a fresh single cell batt may test near 1.5 volts.. My question is do I try to replace with two units rated at 2.4 or 3.6 volts any one have the answer?? I still have not found a AA size batt rated at 3volt?? Help!!
July 1, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I believe these are 3 volt batteries. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dave Comments: How do you recondition 1994 E34 service indicator board. I can't see any batteries.
May 31, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can send it to a instrument cluster repair service. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dean Comments: hello, I have an 1989 325i AT, and am having a guage problem. The car was sitting for some time, and I was having trouble getting it to turn over. Pulled both sending units and bench tested. Check voltage on wires, eventually giving up and taking it to a shop. My problem now is the fuel guage either stays on empty or breifly moves to 3 quarter tank. usually reads empty though. Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
May 22, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I can't help without knowing what is missing from the system when you are trying to start it. When your engine doesn’t start you’ll want to check the basics. Check spark, fuel injector pulse and pressure fuel, volume and quality. Once you figure out what is missing, it will be easier to diagnose.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jeff Comments: I have a big orange sticker with an aarow pointing so some kind socket with german wrighting on it on the bourd with the batteries was wondering that it was pointing to or says
May 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Can you share a photo of it? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
MTpalm Comments: Could bad batteries lead to a fuel gauge that goes all the way full regardless of the actual level in tank?
April 12, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't think so. More likely your fuel sender level is stuck in the tank. You might want to take it out and replace it, or by simply removing it and reinstalling it, you may loosen it up a bit. Also, make sure the connection is tight and complete. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
buddymybuddy Comments: what would cause the airbag ligh to suddenly come and not go off on my 1996 328i bmw convertable? thanks.
September 7, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You need to pull the codes. Perhaps it's the belt buckle or the seat sensor, those tend to go out quite a bit. See the article on code reading here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticles/Mult-Air_Bag_Lamp/Mult-Air_Bag_Lamp.htm - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
buddymybuddy Comments: where are the brake and clutch switches located on a 1990 325i bmw? thanks.
September 7, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: These are located right near the pedals. Here's an article about the brake switch: http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticles/E36-Brake_Switch/E36-Brake_Switch.htm - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
buddymybuddy Comments: will bad cluster batteries cause the cruise control to suddenly stop working on a 1990 325i?
September 6, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Perhaps, but I don't think so. I would take a look at the brake pedal and clutch pedal switches, as these often wear out and can cause the cruise control to stop working as well. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Brandon Comments: Great write up. This helped immensely. Though, if anyone out there has their SI board out of their car, can you please measure the width of the battery contacts and post those two measurements here? There are two wide contacts and two narrow contacts. What are those measurements? Looking for SI board measurements from a 1991 318is to be more specific- which requires two 1/2 AA 3v Sanyo batteries if anyone was wondering.
August 9, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jj Comments: i swinish my bored and every thing works except my tack and theirs this weird wire cit behind the cluster
August 9, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That doesn't look normal, I would reconnect it. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Sharpp Comments: I just replaced my batteries on my SI Board. I took one step up and wired in a batery pack with a wire long enough to fit up under dash. Next time I have a problem I do not have to remove Ins. panel. I had spare hole where there was no ins. lamp, I used this hole to rough the battery cables out to the back of dash. I have a 1987 325e and did not have to remove anything on steering column.
July 9, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Clever idea, thanks for sharing it! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
btbiii Comments: Don't waste your time with first message, there are actually 2 blue wires with the yellow strip that appear to go into this green receptacle. Any idea which goes where?
June 20, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: My wiring diagram doesn't have that color combination. I'm not 100% sure. I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
btbiii Comments: Houston WE HAVE A PROBLEM-1988 325IX. ON backside of cluster-There is a small black connector-Blue Wire yellow stripe that goes into a Green receptacle. Unfortunately there are 3 sections to the receptacle it could plug into a inner, a center and an outer. Do you know which one it belongs in? I thought they were all gendered-STUPID ME-Thanks
June 20, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Ok, got it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
btbiii Comments: Thank you for outlining basic process. In my 325IX I had to remove the upper steering column cover to allow enough space to remove dashboard facia. This was the most time consuming part as the ignition switch makes it difficult to remove cover. There is also a WHITE electical connector at face side of cluster that must be pulled out prior to pulling S.I. board. Unfortunately my board is covered in battery acid from a leak and is probably history. Thanks again Pelican for your technical support.
June 6, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No sweat! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Minnesota Comments: I have read elsewhere that a cause for the Service Indicator Light to stay on regardless of attempts to reset it with the reset tool may be that these batteries are dead. Everything on my instrument panel works properly, but my oil inspection light stays on despite my attempts to reset it. Or it goes off for one start/run cycle, only to come on again the next time I start the car. The other odd thing about the oil light is that it only comes on once the car has been warmed up. It never comes on in the morning after the car has sat all night. Should I tear into the dash to replace these batteries or is there something else going on here?
March 9, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This could be your issue and is worth a shot. it isn;t that bad of a procedure to perform. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
vschlueter Comments: Just clarifying the Battery issue - so any 3v 2000mAh AA size should work - Ni-Cad or Ni-MH or Lithium ? let us know since the article specifics say Ni-Cad...thanks for the data ...
February 2, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, those should work. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
aurelius Comments: How does one go about charging these specialty batteries prior to installation?
February 1, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm pretty sure they will come charged. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
perry131313 Comments: no im running standard ignition.iv changed the batterys rev counter still not working!!!
August 24, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would suggest taking it then to an odometer shop, and they can put it on the bench and test it there. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
ivantcho Comments: In regard to the battery type, BMW factory inserts TWO types ;.
See what wrote "JP 91iS" at 09-07-2008, 09:54 PM - http://www.m42club.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-222.html
August 23, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would indeed recommend checking to see what's in there first prior to purchasing replacements. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
BMW-North Comments: In regard to the battery type, they are 3V batteries and not AA as stated in the article.

Often the instrument cluster in E30 and other BMW models stopps working or is erratic when a solder line is craked or broken. Reflowing the solder can fix this. Refer to other articles elsewhere Ie. fanatic boards etc on reflowing the instrument cluster circuit board
August 10, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mistagregory Comments: I've just taken my whole instrument cluster out and the batteries I see are not "AA". They're Sanyo 3v batteries.
So after reading the article I went out and bought pricey AA NiCads and took this whole thing apart only to find the article is incorrect.
Am I supposed to be looking for other batteries somewhere else?
August 8, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry about the lack of clarity here in the article. I believe that AA refers to the form factor of the battery, not the voltage. So, yes you can have 3V AA batteries. I will have the article amended to make that very clear. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
perry131313 Comments: iv tried this to no aval.i checked the 3 wires that plug into yhe back of the tach.and iv got 2 wires live and 1 ground earth but no pulsing when i rev.any ideas thanks
July 17, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Do you have an aftermarket ignition like MSD? Those often cause problems and require a tach adapter. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

Got more questions?  Join us in our BMW Technical Forum Message Board, and ask a question to one of our many automotive experts.
  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Privacy Statement]
 [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Map to our Location]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc.