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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:

T10 Torx driver, 6mm socket

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Instrument cluster

Hot Tip:

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

Performance Gain:

Working instrument cluster and bulbs

Complementary Modification:

Replace radio

The instrument cluster on BMW E53 models incorporates multiple information gauges that display engine operation information, examples include 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 E53 models.

The instrument cluster on BMW E53 models is serviced as a whole unit. The illumination and warning lights in the cluster are soldered LED bulbs with a handful of serviceable 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. This means that a new cluster has to be synched to the other two modules.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had 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 you're 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. Do you have 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 E53 models is serviced as a whole unit.
Figure 1

The instrument cluster (red arrow) on BMW E53 models is serviced as a whole unit. The illumination and warning lights in the cluster are soldered LED bulbs with a handful of serviceable bulbs (green arrows).

Move the steering wheel as far down and away from the dashboard as it will go.
Figure 2

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 two T10 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Next, pull the top of the instrument cluster out of the dashboard, tilting it down as you remove it (red arrow).
Figure 3

Next, pull the top of the instrument cluster out of the dashboard, tilting it down as you remove it (red arrow).

Pull the cluster out and to the left, just enough to access the electrical connectors (red arrows).
Figure 4

Pull the cluster out and to the left, just enough to access the electrical connectors (red arrows). Then disconnect the electrical connectors by opening the latch 90 degrees (inset). Remove the cluster from the vehicle.

When replacing the cluster, be sure the part number matches your model numbers (red arrow).
Figure 5

When replacing the cluster, be sure the part number matches your model numbers (red arrow). Check for superseded parts and updates. There are five serviceable bulbs (green arrows). Each bulb illuminates the driver information display. I suggest replacing all of the bulbs when one goes out.

First, identify which bulb is out (green arrow).
Figure 6

First, identify which bulb is out (green arrow). Note the dark space on the cluster.

Then remove the corresponding bulb with socket (inset) using a 6mm socket (red arrow).
Figure 7

Then remove the corresponding bulb with socket (inset) using a 6mm socket (red arrow). Replace the bad bulb with a new one. Then install a new or repaired instrument cluster into the dashboard in the reverse order of removal. Code and program the new instrument cluster 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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Comments and Suggestions:
Pablo Comments: Thanks so much, that was very detailed and the pictures completed the message. I was able to change the light without any problems.
March 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback Pablo. Glad we could help! - Casey at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:47:17 AM