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Old 16th April 2016, 09:43   #31
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Default Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

Have you thought about bringing a brand new OEM cluster down from abroad? If i t works out to be cheaper than forking out the 60K, it may well be worth it.

Very few people in India would be willing to take out your dead cluster and have a look inside. But if the root cause can be identified and a replacement component sourced, it could probably be repaired.

Far fetched, yes. Then again, we do have some really wild ideas floating around here.

Every manufacturer and their dealers would only recommend replacement in such scenarios, that's just the way it is. Once the car is out of warranty, the percentage of goodwill support provided is entirely dependent on the manufacturer's policy. I'd recommend that you ask for additional support from the dealer end, since you have full service history with them.
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Old 16th April 2016, 11:05   #32
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Default Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

Seems a lot of people are confusing a car with the space shuttle. ;-)

Without going into technical details, let me ask some of you this - have you seen the mechanics who actually work on the German cars in their dealerships?
Are we not more educated than them and capable of clearer and logical thinking?
I am not trying to persuade anyone to DIY anything here, just hoping to remove the aura that these German Cars seem to have in some minds.
For the record, my E class hasn't seen the inside of the dealership since the warranty got over.
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Old 16th April 2016, 11:19   #33
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Default Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I have seen similar responses but you don't need to have a doctorate in physics and computer science to take a cluster out. Taking connectors apart is similar, you don't mess anything up. Statements along who knows what will conk off are not encouraging, but more importantly have no foundation but show total lack of understanding of the matter at hand.


For any electronic part.... the following is worth trying.

1) Checking and cleaning the connectors
2) Checking / Removing moisture
3) Checking for loose / corroded soldering
4) Re flowing the board

All the above steps will not cause further damage to the electronic, as long as its already dead!
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Old 16th April 2016, 12:59   #34
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Arrow Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Statements along who knows what will conk off are not encouraging,
Neither are these statements “encouraging”:

“Then I suggest that you consult a brain doctor as well.”
“when I can show them a middle finger”
“since we are dumb enough to not even do that”
“and give the instrument cluster to BMW to stick it up the walls of their A.S.S.”
“Chances are, if you remove the engine cover, they will think that the engine is broken and they need a new engine”
“you don't need to have a doctorate in physics and computer science to take a cluster out.”

Quote:
but more importantly have no foundation but show total lack of understanding of the matter at hand.
Given that “total lack of understanding”,
it is for the Owner to decide which of the options best suits him/her
viz. to entrust the car to an authorised dealer, FNG or to a DIY aficionado,
for better or worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coloneljasi View Post
Every manufacturer and their dealers would only recommend replacement in such scenarios, that's just the way it is. Once the car is out of warranty, the percentage of goodwill support provided is entirely dependent on the manufacturer's policy. I'd recommend that you ask for additional support from the dealer end, since you have full service history with them.
touché

Quote:
Originally Posted by john doe View Post
- have you seen the mechanics who actually work on the German cars in their dealerships? Are we not more educated than them and capable of clearer and logical thinking?


Yes, unfortunately the mechanics did not have equal opportunity to education like us (ovarian lottery-Warren Buffet).

Education doesn’t guarantee:
- “clearer and logical thinking”
- Character and competence

Quote:
just hoping to remove the aura that these German Cars seem to have in some minds
Whatever for ?
It was the aura and drive capability of the car that influenced my buy decision.
Curious - what was yours ?

Cheers
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Old 16th April 2016, 13:35   #35
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Default Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

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Originally Posted by RSUDARSANAN View Post
It was the aura and drive capability of the car that influenced my buy decision.
Curious - what was yours ?

Cheers
Just the car's comfort, size and prestigious appearance. At no point did I elevate it to anything more than a car, though. It's just a tool to be used when appropriate, like travelling long distance, or to a 5 star restaurant with business associates.

My usual car is a 1st lot Nano and at least 3 times a week I ride to my office on my Enfield.

Thursday, my factory driver didn't show up due to Ambedkar Jayanti. Guess who was parking our Tata 909!

Use the right tool at the appropriate time, is the way I see it.

Last edited by GTO : 19th April 2016 at 10:20. Reason: As requested
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Old 17th April 2016, 06:44   #36
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Default Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

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Originally Posted by RSUDARSANAN View Post
Neither are these statements “encouraging”:

“Then I suggest that you consult a brain doctor as well.”
“when I can show them a middle finger”
“since we are dumb enough to not even do that”
“and give the instrument cluster to BMW to stick it up the walls of their A.S.S.”
“Chances are, if you remove the engine cover, they will think that the engine is broken and they need a new engine”
“you don't need to have a doctorate in physics and computer science to take a cluster out.”
I sincerely apologize for rude behaviour to all. My emotions are in a non-angry way summarized as fellow bhpian said "Car is not a space shuttle and so don't hype about it". Only Joeren, the merc guy and I were supporting this point of view whereas all the others were speaking felt to me like this, "it is blasphemy to own such an expensive car and even think of doing cheap hacks/repairs". In fact, when I suggested OBD scanner and OBD HUD which I have personally seen to work as a replacement for dashboard which is cheap/er than all the other solutions, all the other replies are "are you serious".

And when I suggested opening up the instrument cluster to have a look for broken wires, they all said what felt to me like, "yeah. Go and tell others who own cheap and less complicated cars. Your methods do not work here". I am sorry but even BMW has "wires" and "connectors" which can go wrong and need mending. The other component is the "chips" and probably a "capacitor" or a "L7812" might have gone wrong. The "wires and connectors" can be mended by us and the "capacitors and L7812" or other small electronic components can be mended by local electronics guy. And in 99% of the cases, these are the only things that go wrong. I have left 1% of cases because lets say if you have a car whose fuel injector wire is spliced open, then the voltage across might cause some circuit board to burn away. And I am confident from seeing a good service history that problems in other components has not caused instrument cluster to conk out. Apart from the wires and the chips, what else is there in a dashboard?

And it was not one but many posts discouraging him from having a peek into the intstrument cluster. It reminded me the story of a guy who was taking his sheep to the market for sale and in the way, five people asked him why he was taking his dog for sale. Bewildered man thought that he was the fool for thinking it was a sheep and so left his sheep in the wilderness and went home while these five guys feasted on the sheep. In the most unbiased and informative automotive community, repeated posts asking him to not go beyond service center boundaries is deeply biased and discouraging. What is the worse that could happen if the instrument cluster is opened. It will be found out that the instrument cluster is really broken due to some reason and so he will get the new cluster anyways. No harm done.

Quote:
Given that “total lack of understanding”,
it is for the Owner to decide which of the options best suits him/her
viz. to entrust the car to an authorised dealer, FNG or to a DIY aficionado,
for better or worse.
Yes, that is true. In the end, it is his decision. And so, here is my suggestion to the owner. Pursue goodwill if he wants to. It will take time but if he has patience, let him go ahead. Point to note is that, if he wants to pursue goodwill, he should not touch the instrument cluster at all. He should mail the higher authorities about his premature failure and wait for reply. It might takes month or more but patience is the key here.

If not, try opening and have a keen eye to see any broken or disconnected wires. It might happen that heat from parking in the sun or vibrations might have toll on the connectors or wires to have come undone. If nothing, take it to an electronics guy to check the basic capacitors and resistors to see if anything is burnt away. Hardly takes 100rs and half a day of effort and if you get lucky, problem fixed.

If nothing shows up, the worst case scenario, get a replacement dashboard for 60k that you were getting anyway. OR get an OBD scanner for 1k, connect it to the car, pair it with the phone, fire up torque pro app and see if it works to his liking. You already have a lot of youtube videos showing how it works on various cars.
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Old 17th April 2016, 12:54   #37
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Default Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

I think this thread has gone way too

There will be only a few owners that too in so early years of ownership willing to risk opening up their Dashboard/ Instrument cluster for checking if some contact or wire is lose or any capacitors and what not. Most of the guys ( including me ) will be too discomforted for such an adventure. And mind you I used to get oversized rings file by hand to match cylinder bore instead of going for a rebore on my old Maruti 800 a decade back .

For most of us, such cars would have come after Years of hard work and many will be still on EMI's , even if this is not a spaceship , certain times ( most) without proper tools and hands-on experience of such a job in past we will surely end up damaging lot of other stuff. I have seen a lot of DIY's and appreciate but doing something on this expensive stuff with zilch previous experience - NO.

And I am not suggesting that workshop guys are super smart or intelligent - just that they have right tools & training , a hierarchy to escalate / take support within dealership / manufacturer besides they keep on doing these things repeatedly.

If BMW has offered 50 % goodwill warranty , I think you should appreciate this , tell me how many other manufacturers will even offer this, your best bet will be to try to get Labour charges waived. Also explore if it's possible to get extended warranty on payment .

Last edited by Turbanator : 17th April 2016 at 12:57.
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Old 17th April 2016, 15:57   #38
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Default Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

There are two aspects to this whole discussion about DIY work on the cluster.

1.) Is it difficult, are you likely to cause any harm etc. etc
2.) The actual fault with the cluster and the cost fixing it

With respect to this first part, how difficult is it, do you need special tools, special skills etc. The answer is, it is very easy, you don’t need special tool and just a bit of common sense.

When in doubt always check YouTube. Not sure if this is your exact cluster, but it will be similarly easy:



Here more of the same, but with some more simple diagnostics:



If you check around 07.00 minute you will see him take a connector pin out. these pins might come loose by themselves, visual inspection will pick that up easily.

The second part is around the cost. As I was trying to point out, it is unlikely an electronic problem BMW procedure is to just replace the cluster. If there was some dust in the connectors, that will get solved by replace the cluster.

But you might be able to safe yourself an awful lot of money, by applying some common sense and just a very thorough visual inspection of everything.

You don’t want to go that way, that’s fine. But is not difficult, you won’t make anything any worse, who knows, you might find the problem which is always immensely satisfying!

Jeroen
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Old 17th April 2016, 18:08   #39
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Default Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

I have no experience with the luxury cars but work for a company that has BMW and MB as clients along with most car manufacturers. While they are more complicated wrt to electronics than the "usual" cars, it is usually due to more functions and superior parts.
I would agree with others who recommend to open the instrument cluster and check. Your warranty is already gone and the SVC is going to remove the cluster and put in a new one. So what harm can there be if you remove it first to see whats wrong?
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Old 17th April 2016, 19:43   #40
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Default Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

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Originally Posted by timuseravan View Post
I have no experience with the luxury cars but work for a company that has BMW and MB as clients along with most car manufacturers. While they are more complicated wrt to electronics than the "usual" cars, it is usually due to more functions and superior parts.
I would agree with others who recommend to open the instrument cluster and check. Your warranty is already gone and the SVC is going to remove the cluster and put in a new one. So what harm can there be if you remove it first to see whats wrong?

Agree.
I would say if you are going to open up a cluster it better be one on a high end car. Why? Because they tend to put their dashboard together with precision and high end materials.

Especially German cars. Only when you start to take a car apart does the engineering effort they have put in, really come apparent. German cars tend to be designed by engineers who also think about how to take things apart. At the other end of the spectrum there are Italian cars and their engineers. You’re lucky if they get everything to fit together and work when brand new. Taking bits and pieces of can be a bit of an experience. But again, nothing common sense can’t solve.

But on a German car it will be a five minute job. And when you put it back, everything will fit, and once done, no rattles, no squeaks.

Jeroen
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Old 17th April 2016, 23:17   #41
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Default Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by john doe View Post
Without going into technical details, let me ask some of you this - have you seen the mechanics who actually work on the German cars in their dealerships?
Are we not more educated than them and capable of clearer and logical thinking?
I am not trying to persuade anyone to DIY anything here, just hoping to remove the aura that these German Cars seem to have in some minds.
For the record, my E class hasn't seen the inside of the dealership since the warranty got over.
Have you seen any mechanics who work in a BMW or Mercedes dealership? Each and every technician there is thoroughly trained, and is fairly knowledgeable with their work.

Thinking clearly and logically does not only come with education. And they do have more education on the machines they work on than most of us.

Lets give some credit where it is due.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coloneljasi View Post
Have you thought about bringing a brand new OEM cluster down from abroad? If i t works out to be cheaper than forking out the 60K, it may well be worth it.
It's not just plug and play, it requires coding too. The dealership will not code a cluster which has been bought from outside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post

But on a German car it will be a five minute job. And when you put it back, everything will fit, and once done, no rattles, no squeaks.
I agree completely. On these German vehicles parts fit back perfectly and don't make any noises, unless some clips are broken.


BTW guys, don't you think the BMW dealership would have removed the cluster to check the connections? I really doubt they would have just hooked up to the OBD and declared it dead. In whatever time I've spent a BMW dealerships they do follow a protocol in diagnosing failures, and do not do things on their on whims.

In any case, what should be done here is to push BMW for a full replacement, since this is obviously a rare failure. I'm sure they will agree to replace it FOC. But the dealing must be with BMW India directly, and not through the dealer.
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Old 18th April 2016, 01:17   #42
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Smile Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by john doe View Post
Just the car's comfort, size and prestigious appearance....or to a 5 star restaurant.


aura
NOUN
the distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing [E class], or place [5 star restaurant].

;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by coloneljasi View Post
Every manufacturer and their dealers would only recommend replacement in such scenarios, that's just the way it is. Once the car is out of warranty, the percentage of goodwill support provided is entirely dependent on the manufacturer's policy. I'd recommend that you ask for additional support from the dealer end, since you have full service history with them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
In any case, what should be done here is to push BMW for a full replacement, since this is obviously a rare failure. I'm sure they will agree to replace it FOC. But the dealing must be with BMW India directly, and not through the dealer.
I concur with coloneljasi quoted above.

My experience is that dealer support is a sine qua non in a claim with BMW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by norcruiser View Post
Thanks Jaggu, I did check with independent garage, but prefer to stick to authorized service centre. Thanks, am still pursuing them to do it under goodwill warranty, hope they agree.
Hey norcruiser:
Your predicament opened up a barrage of suggestions; notwithstanding the differences, all of them were well meant .
Since then no further post from you.
Any updates for us ?

Cheers

Last edited by RSUDARSANAN : 18th April 2016 at 01:40.
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Old 18th April 2016, 08:16   #43
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Default BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
BTW guys, don't you think the BMW dealership would have removed the cluster to check the connections? I really doubt they would have just hooked up to the OBD and declared it dead. In whatever time I've spent a BMW dealerships they do follow a protocol in diagnosing failures, and do not do things on their on whims.
.

I can't really comment on Indian BMW technicians but in the west they are really well educated and trained as most car mechanics would be.

The problem lies in the way BMW trouble shoot procedures are written and how they charge for it. Labour is very expensive and a few hours trouble shooting could cost you hundreds of Euro's in labour alone. Add to that the use of analytical tools and you begin to see why they have a rip and replace policy. Also, very often they work with fixed prices so they can only afford to follow procedure.

My experience is you rarely find really good electronic and electrical guru's at main stream dealers in Europe or the USA. They don't fit in the system. There is no need for that kind of expertise.

Most people just want their cars fixed. Even if it means shelling out a large pot of money for a new ECU. What would you say if they told you we spend two hours trouble shooting and we are absolutely convinced it's the ECU. So far the bill has come to Euro 350. Replacing the ECU will cost another Euro 2500.
Also a lot of the German cars are typically under full operational lease. The German trio is heavily represented in the sales rep segment. Lease company doesn't care as it is factored into the price anyway, sales rep just wants to get his Beemer 5 series back on the road as soon as possible.

You will find electrical and electronic guru's in the regular workshops though, but you have to look for them. They are the guys with a bench full of measuring equipment, hundreds of test leads, alligator clips and test probes sticking from their breast pocket.

I found one in Kansas City, he was outstanding. Learned a lot from him. and I still have a couple like that near my home town in the Netherlands.

And of course on all European and USA Internet forums and clubs there is a phenomenal knowledge on this stuff. Usually it lags a few years behind in the newest cars. In my Jaguar club in the Netherlands we owe an original Jaguar OBD analyser that you can rent by the day for just a few Euro's. Same with some specialist tools.

But again popping an instrument cluster is easy peasy.

I can't help being under the impression that for some, car electrics let alone car electronics is something akin to black magic. It isn't! Time to brush up on one's knowledge. You can't really call yourself a petrol head these days without some insights into what electronics do.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 18th April 2016 at 08:20.
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Old 18th April 2016, 11:56   #44
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Exclamation Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I can't really comment on Indian BMW technicians but in the west they are really well educated and trained as most car mechanics would be.
They may not be "well educated", but AFAIK they are factory trained.

Quote:
Most people just want their cars fixed. Even if it means shelling out a large pot of money...
ALL want their cars fixed !
It's an individual prerogative how one goes about it.

Quote:
I can't help being under the impression that for some, car electrics let alone car electronics is something akin to black magic. It isn't! Time to brush up on one's knowledge.
Abracadabra !
Too late for an old dog (read me, ) to learn new tricks.
Love my car, live my car -
need my car back on road with "minimum" (wishful thinking) downtime.

My time tested protocol: maintenance @ dealership equipped with prescribed tools & devices, factory trained personnel and oem spares.

Excuse me, nobody is "learning" on my car.

Cheers

Last edited by RSUDARSANAN : 18th April 2016 at 12:18.
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Old 19th April 2016, 10:53   #45
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Default Re: BMW 320d: Instrument cluster failure

Mod Note: Good discussion, but it's gone way too off-topic. Going forward, lets discuss only solutions for the OP's problem. Any other posts will be deleted.

Thanks!
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