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I spent a ton of time looking for a solution to this problem but couldn't find any besides buying a new cluster. I DID NOT want to do that. So here is my solution to the instrument cluster not working. CHEERS!!!

So last month I was driving my car and all of the sudden my instrument cluster stopped working. The car turned on and drove fine, the radio worked, all interior and exterior lights worked, but NO MAIN instrument cluster gauges or lights. The only light that turned on was the airbag light. For some odd reason the reverse feature on my passenger side mirror also failed to work.

First thing I did was unhook the battery and plug it back in, with no luck. I then proceeded to check the fuse box for the instrument cluster, if I recall its fuses 10, 34, and 43. I checked them all with a voltmeter and they were all getting power. None of the fuses were damaged either, and still no power.

Reference this forum for wiring diagram: https://www.bmwgm5.com/bmwgm5/E46_IKE_Connections.htm

I then suspected it may be a bad ground going to the cluster. First remove the cluster. The cluster only has one ground coming from the dual row black connector. I decided to splice into the oem ground to create a NEW ground wire. Sorry I didn't show the splice, but you get the idea.

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/32798414963/in/dateposted-public/" title="IMG_3978"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2865/32798414963_4fb6cac3e9_z.jpg" width="480" height="640" alt="IMG_3978"></a>

I found that the the metal bar behind the instrument cluster has a tab that was a perfect place to put my NEW ground. On the other end of my NEW ground wire I crimped on a ring terminal. I then used a small bolt, washer and nut to mount the new ring terminal to the tab. I then ziptied the new ground to the main wiring harness, and ziptied the main wiring harness back to the tab.

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/32798412783/in/dateposted-public/" title="IMG_3981"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3727/32798412783_6c862b2e00_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_3981"></a>

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/33455700922/in/dateposted-public/" title="IMG_3980"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3950/33455700922_2b6aa35741_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_3980"></a>

I then plugged everything back in a it WORKED! My instrument cluster is back to working and it has been good for the past two weeks! :thumbup:

<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/33229024930/in/dateposted-public/" title="IMG_3982"><img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3679/33229024930_d0e7c13494_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_3982"></a>

car is 2002 e46 sedan
 

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2004 330Ci 115k miles
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Glad you solved it. Were you curious why the original ground connection was bad? I would trace it on the WDS and see if anything else is affected.
 

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Pin 1 is ground. 4,5 and 6 pins are for power
Interesting, I’m having this same problem currently I tested everything and the ground was the only one that gave me no response. The ground wire along with lots of other ground wires if I’m correct go under the passenger seat I just found this out seconds ago in a video. Maybe I’ll try to make a new ground like you did and see what that does me
 
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