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Old 12-25-2016, 12:12 PM   #1
BayerischeMPower
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Any additional information regarding E46 cluster lights?

I have a 03' 325i and the backlights on the cluster don't work. Every other light works besides the backlights on the gauges. I posted my problem on the general E46 forum on this website a couple days back. Here: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1119236

I attempted a number of trouble shooting steps.

- Disconnected battery for at least 2 hours (both +/- connectors)

- Performed test within cluster. (Test 2.0)

- Disconnected Instrument cluster. Performed light test on fuses within cluster connecter. All are good.

- Light test on all fuses in fuse box (inside passenger glovebox area) All are good.

- Cluster doesn't have bulbs, it's on a circuit board.

- Removed trim by radio/climate control units.

- Checked heater control unit. Removed Mbus (intended to cut power from rear and have power focused in front of car) then re plugged.

- Checked radio center. Everything seems to be intact there.

- Checked fuse box in trunk (under trim). Seems okay, not dirty or corroded.

- Researched K-bus. But not sure where to start looking with the intentions on focusing on the wires for the instrument cluster/k-bus. I know the K-bus Slice is above fuse box which I have access to.

- Removed center console/armrest to see if anything was improperly grounded near chassis. These were unplugged, not sure why? https://imgur.com/a/Jk9kD https://imgur.com/a/e955Z

- As well as swapping LCM's and cluster with a 99' which removed the tamper dot. The backlight issue still persist though.

I'm aware that some model clusters has different wires in the cluster plugs since my cluster plug doesn't have a wire in slot # 7. This means my cluster runs off K-bus? If that's the case then ultimately finding a cluster for my specific car would be the best bet? If so how would I go about finding the correct cluster besides typically searching for a later Bosch cluster that fits in a 03' 325i automatic? Is there a way to search for the correct part number without BMW assistance or softwares?

Every reply is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by BayerischeMPower; 12-25-2016 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:55 AM   #2
sillieidiot
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Well I skimmed the other thread, and there's one thing that you didn't try yet. You need to grab a cluster from like mid-03+ and plug it in to see if it works. scottjoh is telling you that 03 and older clusters don't work with your car. Then you went and tested it with a 99 cluster which is a useless test. What I would do, is try to find a member near you with a newer sedan and take their cluster out and plug it into your car (don't drive around with it, because it'll cause a tamper dot for their car when they put it back in). See if it turns on, without having to buy the cluster to try it.

You can search for part numbers you need on realoem. Just enter the last 7 of your VIN so you can get parts for your car. Right now the site is kind of slow, at least it was when I tried it.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:49 AM   #3
BayerischeMPower
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Right. That makes sense about testing it with a later 03' model cluster. However when I did apply the search within realoem.com, the site presented me with a couple of options regarding the cluster for my vehicle. After searching other merchants online I cannot find the correct part number that was matched specifically from realoem.com from anywhere else on the web. My best bet is finding an 03 and later cluster. Or the latter of splicing a wire and placing a fuse inside spot 7 on the cluster harness.


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Old 01-09-2017, 01:40 PM   #4
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You could just enter the MY 04 sedan car in realoem and just use any of the clusters listed from that. Since what you really need is an 04+ cluster. That way you don't even have to bother figuring out what year the 03 changed that you need a cluster from.
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