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Wondering if anyone here has used vdorepair.com for fixing the pixel problem on the instrument display panel? My 2000 M5 has only about 1/3 of the pixels still lit on the display. As I have a titanium/black interior, I prefer to keep the black background instrument panel. BMW's fix is to replace the instrument panel and the replacement is gray background - I also understand the design flaw has not been fixed so the replacement is susceptible to the same pixel failure. Can't see spending the $1000 the local service dept. has quoted me for a bad color that still has the original design flaw. VDO on the other hand runs about $300 or so to fix the original and claim they fix the design flaw. If anyone has used VDO, how hard was it to remove the panel, replace the fixed panel, and how has it worked out?

Steve
 

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I just called BMW NA to get a good faith replacement of my cluster. As I've read in other posts they initially offer a 50/50 replacement but if you insist they'll agree to give you the part for free and I'm responsible for labor which should be no more than 1 hour. I too wanted to keep the black faced guages but decided to take a new cluster since it is the cheaper option.

The rep at BMW NA said that the clusters fail due to dealers jump starting the vehicle due to a dead battery. That's the first time I've heard that explaination. My display is intermittent and much worse when it is cold. hmmm

Hopefully the new cluster will last a lot longer.
 

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e39m5nut said:
I just called BMW NA to get a good faith replacement of my cluster. As I've read in other posts they initially offer a 50/50 replacement but if you insist they'll agree to give you the part for free and I'm responsible for labor which should be no more than 1 hour.
Hey Nut-

How did you go about seeking a 'good faith replacement'?

I already got a warranty replacement in my '00, so I lost the more functional black faced gauges in that deal. However, I'm now losing pixels in the grey-faced replacement (go figure!). But it was installed before BMWNA instituted their two-year warranty on all replacement parts.

I'd like to try the good faith route. Anything you could share would be appreciated.

-Dave
 

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Teutonaddict said:
Hey Nut-

How did you go about seeking a 'good faith replacement'?

I already got a warranty replacement in my '00, so I lost the more functional black faced gauges in that deal. However, I'm now losing pixels in the grey-faced replacement (go figure!). But it was installed before BMWNA instituted their two-year warranty on all replacement parts.

I'd like to try the good faith route. Anything you could share would be appreciated.

-Dave
Dave, I emailed Leonora (contact info below) who promptly replied saying she'd assign a rep to contact me. Provide her with your contact info, short description of the problem, the name of the BMW dealer you prefer to use and the VIN # of your car.

I was contacted by a BMW rep who initially said they'd go 50/50...I didn't have to apply much pressure to get them to agree to provide the part to me at no cost and I'll pay one hour of labor. I went on a bit about the number of BMW's I've owned over the years and that's all it took to get the better deal. You'll have to live with the grey faced guages as the black ones are no longer available.

The rep called my BMW dealer service manager informing him of the replacement agreement and I'll have it swapped out once the part arrives. I don't know if the new cluster will not eventually have the same problem but time will tell.

Good luck...Mike

Leonora Vlaovich
Customer Relations Coordinator
BMW of North America, LLC
201-573-7742 (phone)
201-930-8362 (fax)
[email protected]
 

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Yes. Very efficient and fixed everything I needed on my just sold 1999 540 sport. Make sure you overnight on Monday so downtime is minimised.

:biggrin:
 

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e39m5nut said:
Dave, I emailed Leonora (contact info below)...

Good luck...Mike
Thanks, Mike!

I sent of a message to NA today. I called my former SA in Atlanta for the particulars on the instrument cluster that I'd had replaced under warranty. He seemed to think that a goodwill gesture was not out of order.

Thanks for your help.
-Dave
 

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Yes, I used VDORepair for my E38 740i and the results are very good.

The first time it took me 3 minutes to take out the instrument cluster. Subsequently it took me less than 1 minute. Just remove 2-3 screws (screwing upward) from the cluster just behind the steering wheel and unplug the plugs. That's it.

Make sure you package it with lots of cushions. My cluster lens was damaged during shipping, and Andy at VDO replaced it without questions, even though it was not his fault.

:cheers:
 

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The rep at BMW NA said that the clusters fail due to dealers jump starting the vehicle due to a dead battery. :confused: :confused3


Boy, BMW must be getting desperate for excuses on this recurring problem!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
s62fan said:
The rep at BMW NA said that the clusters fail due to dealers jump starting the vehicle due to a dead battery. :confused: :confused3


Boy, BMW must be getting desperate for excuses on this recurring problem!
According to vdorepair.com the pixels fail because of the materials used in the display panel which don't fare well in cold weather in particular. Since BMW has yet to change the materials used in the replacement clusters, there are a number of folks out there with replacement clusters whose pixels are failing again. I'm not paying $600-1000 for a bad color replacement and the same flawed product.
 

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skdankle said:
According to vdorepair.com the pixels fail because of the materials used in the display panel which don't fare well in cold weather in particular. Since BMW has yet to change the materials used in the replacement clusters, there are a number of folks out there with replacement clusters whose pixels are failing again. I'm not paying $600-1000 for a bad color replacement and the same flawed product.
I definately agree with your comments. My display works almost flawlessly in warm weather or once the interior warms up. At first I can barely read the dang thing then over time it's legible. I do think my cluster replacement won't fix the problem permanently.

I wanted to laugh out loud when the bmw na rep told me that jump starting the car is what burns out the pixels...yea right. What I am impressed with is their willingness to take care of the problem with minimal cost to me. Thanks BMW!
 

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e39m5nut said:
I definately agree with your comments. My display works almost flawlessly in warm weather or once the interior warms up. At first I can barely read the dang thing then over time it's legible. I do think my cluster replacement won't fix the problem permanently.

I wanted to laugh out loud when the bmw na rep told me that jump starting the car is what burns out the pixels...yea right. What I am impressed with is their willingness to take care of the problem with minimal cost to me. Thanks BMW!
Nothing to do with cold weather, my car has probably never been in outside temps less than 23deg celcius and up to 56 celc here in the middle east. So that theory is out the window, a replacement has the 2 year guarantee, I will be watching it very carefully in 2 years time.
I hate the gray dials hard to see properly in the sun, I have to put my sidelights on to see them properly sometimes.
WillM5AD
 

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Yes. They are great. In on a Monday and had it by Friday. They make a custom gauge cluster for my 540. Ask for Tim I think.
 
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