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Instrument Cluster Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Instrument Cluster Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$300

Talent:

**

Tools:

T20 and T09 Torx bit and ratchet

Applicable Models:

X3 E83 (2004-06)
X3 E83 facelift (2007-10)

Parts Required:

Instrument cluster

Hot Tip:

Work in good light and on clean surface. Clean cluster plastic before reinstalling.

Performance Gain:

Working instrument cluster

Complementary Modification:

Replace radio

The instrument cluster on BMW X3 models incorporates multiple information gauges that display engine operation information. For example the fuel gauge, engine RPM and vehicle speed. As vehicles mature and computer controls become more advanced, less information is relayed to the driver. This is evident with the minimalist gauge set in BMW X3 models.

The instrument cluster on BMW X3 models is serviced as a whole unit. The illumination and warning lights in the cluster are soldered LED bulbs. When a bulb or gauge fails in the cluster you have two options, remove the instrument and replace it with a new one, or send it out to a repair service. I feel like option two, sending it out for repair is best. You save money on the part and do not have to worry about coding it. If you decide to replace the instrument cluster with a new one, you will need to have it coded and programmed using an advanced BMW scan tool. The instrument cluster is one of three locations that vehicle data (odometer reading, service needs and other data) is redundantly stored, the other locations being the light module and DME module. This means that a new cluster has to be synched to the other two modules.

Remember your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The instrument cluster (red arrow) on BMW X3 models incorporates multiple information gauges that display engine operation information.
Figure 1

The instrument cluster (red arrow) on BMW X3 models incorporates multiple information gauges that display engine operation information. For example the fuel gauge, engine RPM and vehicle speed. As vehicles mature and computer controls become more advanced, less information is relayed to the driver. This is evident with the minimalist gauge set in BMW X3 models. Move the steering wheel as far down and away from the dashboard as it will go.

Working at the top of the instrument cluster, remove the T10 Torx fastener (red arrow).
Figure 2

Working at the top of the instrument cluster, remove the T10 Torx fastener (red arrow). I prefer using a T10 Torx bit in a small ratchet (inset). This allows more than enough working space and keeps me from coming in contact with the plastic cover on the instrument cluster.

Next, pull the top of the instrument cluster straight out of the dashboard.
Figure 3

Next, pull the top of the instrument cluster straight out of the dashboard. Use a plastic prying tool to separate the cluster (red arrow) from the instrument panel.

Position the instrument panel so the gauges face down on the top of the steering wheel.
Figure 4

Position the instrument panel so the gauges face down on the top of the steering wheel. Feed the top of instrument cluster through steering wheel (red arrow), let is rest.

Then working at the back of the instrument cluster, detach the wiring harness from the back of the cluster.
Figure 5

Then working at the back of the instrument cluster, detach the wiring harness from the back of the cluster. Unlock the electrical connector by pressing the button (red arrow) opening the latch 90° (blue arrow).

Slide the instrument cluster back into the instrument panel, then feed the top of the instrument cluster out and over the top of steering wheel (red arrow).
Figure 6

Slide the instrument cluster back into the instrument panel, then feed the top of the instrument cluster out and over the top of steering wheel (red arrow). Next, feed it out of the dashboard toward the left side of the vehicle (blue arrow). Then install a new or repaired instrument cluster into the dashboard in the reverse order of removal. Code and program as needed. Check the operation of the replaced instrument cluster to confirm that everything is working as it is supposed to.

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Page last updated: Mon 10/23/2017 03:20:49 AM