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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I'm about to purchase a second hand 2000 BMW e46 320D European version. I found a good car and I was so ready to buy it, when I saw that the tamper dot right next to the mileage.
From what I read about it, it means that there's been an odometer rollback since the dot is on. However, it also means that the mileage recorded in the ECU is different to the one I can see on the instrumental cluster. I was wondering, is there anyway that I can read the real mileage of the car - the one in the ECU?
Can I do that with one of these:
bmw e46 code reader

Thanks in advance
 

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Not sure if that code reader will do it. If you bring it to a BMW shop they can check, otherwise if you want you can lookup the software called NCSExpert/INPA - Easiest way is to bring it to a shop.

You'll already want to bring it to a shop to get a PPI done to it anyway. (Prepurchase inspection)
 

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The tamper dots means that the vin number and/or mileage does not match what is stored in the dme, cluster, and lcm.

sent from HTC EVO
 

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The cluster, LCM, DME, EWS, and key all store the car's mileage. Here's the thing though, that light only shows up if the VIN doesn't match between the odometer recording modules. If someone changes the mileage and ensures all the VINs match (which is ridiculously easy on the early e46s) then the dot doesn't illuminate.

Chances are if the dot is illuminated, the previous owner changed the cluster or LCM with a used module, because he didn't want to pay BMW the ridiculous prices they charge.
 

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The cluster, LCM, DME, EWS, and key all store the car's mileage. Here's the thing though, that light only shows up if the VIN doesn't match between the odometer recording modules. If someone changes the mileage and ensures all the VINs match (which is ridiculously easy on the early e46s) then the dot doesn't illuminate.

Chances are if the dot is illuminated, the previous owner changed the cluster or LCM with a used module, because he didn't want to pay BMW the ridiculous prices they charge.
^ This. He probably had a faulty cluster and went ahead and put in a used one. There are people here who et the tamper dot on their cars doing the same thing. I don't think he's trying to scam you. Just ask for the ending mileage on the other one and the starting mileage on the current.
 

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which is ridiculously easy on the early e46s
Why do you say it's easy to change on the early models? Is there a way to change it with software? Not gonna do it I'm just curious as to how you'd change a digital odo

Btw thanks for coding my car at bimmerfest! You were 1/2 members I actually met there so that was cool
 

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Why do you say it's easy to change on the early models? Is there a way to change it with software? Not gonna do it I'm just curious as to how you'd change a digital odo

Btw thanks for coding my car at bimmerfest! You were 1/2 members I actually met there so that was cool
Yea, the older clusters don't have any write protection for their EEPROMs, so with the right software you can input any mileage and VIN you want. I've actually done in the past (helped someone recode a used cluster with the mileage stored on the lcm). Almost scary how easy it was - I could've set it to any value I wanted and there was no tamper dot. I think in 2001 or 2002 they added some write protections, so you need to desolder the chip and use an external programmer. Not impossible, but does stop a lot of people.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to everyone for the quick and useful responses...
From what I learned, it's most probably a cluster change right?
@TerraPhantm, you said it's very easy to change the mileage on the cluster, but how easy it is to change it in the ECU? Can the BMW guys read the true mileage from the ECU for me?
My goal is to find out how many miles has that car passed already. And what's with the VIN mismatch? Can it be a stolen car?

Thanks again
 

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I had the DOT after I changed the LCM as it is mandatory as I did OEM facelift tail light R/C/R upgrade.

How do I get rid of the DOT?
 
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