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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this and forgive me if it's not but I have just purchased myself a 1998 e46 318 privately and have discovered it has some rather annoying issues. firstly the fuel gauge does not seem to work, sometimes when turning the ignition on i can hear it whirring away behind the cluster, and the fuel light is on and the gauge will go from empty to full and back and repeat many many times and then sometimes it will not, all the time never displaying an actual correct amount, another issue is occasionally while driving 3 lights will light up briefly then turn off, I believe these are the; handbrake, abs, and traction control light. My first assumption was the speedo cluster is bad so I went to pull it out and hello it had no screws even holding it in (great start) then once removing it I realised the black rear case had all bar 2 screws missing (someones definately fiddled with this many times I thought to myself) upon closer inspection I noticed; a blown bulb (seatbelt) and that one of the little reset type buttons was missing bits to make it work, and I know the kms on this speedo are not the actual kms so Im assuming its either been hacked, or replaced. So ive tried searching for someone who has shared similar issues and found none (perhaps I didnt look in the right places/keywords) so here I am asking if anyone knows whether or not all my issues are to do with a bad speedo unit or whether I need to pay an auto electrician to fix things, I cant afford to do the later and have him turn around and tell me I must buy another speedo unit from the wreckers for $300 and add his charges on top. Also my car looks lowered particulary at the back and the front seems standard, I had a quick look at the springs and I think they are factory, can anyone tell me what stock height is front and back from the centre caps please? Sorry for the long post, but if anyone could help me I would be much appreciated!
 

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The rear springs have been known to break causing low ride height. Check the spring carefully.

Regarding the cluster....no one can tell you what's wrong since you have given no clues as to what the previous owner might have done inside the thing. Who knows it might have gone bad and he tried to see what was wrong or maybe it was taken apart to change the needles to red or change the backlight color and in the process he screwed it up. Who know! The only suggestion I can give is try a used cluster. If it works better, then the original cluster is bad and you need to take it in to have a brand new cluster fitted and programmed to the car with the correct mileage so it doesn't give you a mileage tamper dot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply, however i did not "given no clues as to what the previous owner might have done inside the thing" because, it seems fairly obvious that I have no idea what he may/may not have done, I provided all the infrormation I could in regards to it. It has silver rings around the gauges, Im not sure if these are standard or not and the needles are white, beyond that I have no idea other than its been into and played with, all i was asking was for some constructive help from anyone who may have had similar issues before I have to go ahead and get a new cluster, I hardly have $300 lying around that I can spend on a whimsy for another cluster to try. DO YOU? If so flick it my way and ill make use of it.
 

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Thanks for the reply, however i did not "given no clues as to what the previous owner might have done inside the thing" because, it seems fairly obvious that I have no idea what he may/may not have done, I provided all the infrormation I could in regards to it. It has silver rings around the gauges, Im not sure if these are standard or not and the needles are white, beyond that I have no idea other than its been into and played with, all i was asking was for some constructive help from anyone who may have had similar issues before I have to go ahead and get a new cluster, I hardly have $300 lying around that I can spend on a whimsy for another cluster to try. DO YOU? If so flick it my way and ill make use of it.
I got my spare cluster for far less than $300. I think I paid about $80 shipped.

Once you noted that the cluster had been opened nobody is going to be able to provide constructive advice for you. Which is why no one replied for over two days. You need to some how remove that big unknown from the equation in order to be properly helped. One way is to pop in another cluster. Maybe the local BMW independant shop has one that they use for testing and will test it your car for a reasonable fee. Maybe the local auto salvage yard will sell you one cheap. Maybe you have a good friend with an E46 and will allow you test your cluster in his car and vice versa. There was a thread the other day where the poster final determined that his cluster was dead after swapping clusters with a friends E46.

I don't appreciate your attitude in your reply. I am trying to help, not bag on you for being an idiot or something. If I was my post would have been way different.
 
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