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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know how this could happen. I have a 2000 M5 with the original black faced cluster. I called my local bmw dealer and they said they can't verify the mileage via the on board computer. I believe the mileage is stored in the computer as well as the cluster right? I don't have the red dot lit that indicates the mileage is incorrect. I think this is a mistake at the DMV...I have the service history from the previous owner as well as from BMW. My car shows 18k on the clock and it matches its pristine original condition.

This sucks as far as resale goes (not planning on selling it anytime soon). I've never had much confidence in carfax...that seems about as accurate as the lousy credit reporting systems...
 

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e39m5nut said:
I don't know how this could happen. I have a 2000 M5 with the original black faced cluster. I called my local bmw dealer and they said they can't verify the mileage via the on board computer. I believe the mileage is stored in the computer as well as the cluster right? I don't have the red dot lit that indicates the mileage is incorrect. I think this is a mistake at the DMV...I have the service history from the previous owner as well as from BMW. My car shows 18k on the clock and it matches its pristine original condition.

This sucks as far as resale goes (not planning on selling it anytime soon). I've never had much confidence in carfax...that seems about as accurate as the lousy credit reporting systems...
Let me know exactly what you need info on if you are in Calif. I worked for Calif DMV for about 3 years doing car registration (all aspects of) in my earlier trying to find myself days.

Did you just purchase this car used? And the title to your knowledge is showing incorrect mileage as not actual which is an error? You need to explain your situation in more detail.

Hopefully i can give you pointers on what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First of all, I don't have a lot of faith in Carfax...with that said...

I purchased my beast back in June it had clear title definately not showing any "not actual mileage" statements on it. The title I was issued in my name is also free of any not actual mileage statements.

My best guess is the previous owner sold the car with the pixel display problem, couldn't read the odometer display and reported that the current mileage was unknown. I took my car to the local bmw dealer who stated my car is in fact showing actual mileage...there is nothing inaccurate about the current mileage display...so case closed, however, when I decide to sell the car someome might get upset about my carfax report showing a history of a mileage unknown condition...I'll get with carfax and see if that comment can be removed from my cars history, however, if not, it's no big deal since my dealer can verify for any potential buyer that the mileage is accurate.

I initially was pi$$ed off about this but I got over it quickly.

Thanks...
 

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My friend wrecked his brand new SS Camaro a few years back...it was 10K in damage. We recently checked carfax and it said...GOOD NEWS....There is no damage history! Carfax isnt reliable.
 

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e39m5nut said:
First of all, I don't have a lot of faith in Carfax...with that said...

I purchased my beast back in June it had clear title definately not showing any "not actual mileage" statements on it. The title I was issued in my name is also free of any not actual mileage statements.

My best guess is the previous owner sold the car with the pixel display problem, couldn't read the odometer display and reported that the current mileage was unknown. I took my car to the local bmw dealer who stated my car is in fact showing actual mileage...there is nothing inaccurate about the current mileage display...so case closed, however, when I decide to sell the car someome might get upset about my carfax report showing a history of a mileage unknown condition...I'll get with carfax and see if that comment can be removed from my cars history, however, if not, it's no big deal since my dealer can verify for any potential buyer that the mileage is accurate.

I initially was pi$$ed off about this but I got over it quickly.

Thanks...
As long as your title is correct and the you have documentation showing service history and maybe keep a statement of facts from the dealer you should have no problems selling your car to anyone or trading it in.

This is just a minor hiccup w/ carfax. I thought you had a real title DMV issue. Whew now that is a headache and a half majority of the time.
 

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The mileage memory isn't in the display.No, wait, I'm am mistaken about this, see Lcsman's replies below..

My blackface cluster was replaced - it didn't affect the mileage. But it is rememered SOMEWHERE, in the data for one of the car's many computers. It is conceivable that if that computer (or its memory) were replaced the mileage would be lost. It is also conceivable if not likely that there is some form of backup where the info is stored in more than one place specifically for this reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
greg said:
The mileage memory isn't in the display. My blackface cluster was replaced - it didn't affect the mileage. But it is rememered SOMEWHERE, in the data for one of the car's many computers. It is conceivable that if that computer (or its memory) were replaced the mileage would be lost. It is also conceivable if not likely that there is some form of backup where the info is stored in more than one place specifically for this reason.
Thanks Greg...btw, we appear to have identical cars...I don't see too many Anthracite M5's on the road...
 

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greg said:
The mileage memory isn't in the speedo cluster. My blackface cluster was replaced - it didn't affect the mileage. But it is rememered SOMEWHERE, in the data for one of the car's many computers. It is conceivable that if that computer (or its memory) were replaced the mileage would be lost. It is also conceivable if not likely that there is some form of backup where the info is stored in more than one place specifically for this reason.
Here's what I've heard.......

The odometer and VIN are both stored in the speedo cluster. BMW tech retrieves & uploads this info into the new speedo assembly when they replace it. Anybody who tries to install a new unprogrammed BMW cluster or used ebay or salvage cluster will learn this the hard way. I researched this subject thoroughly when my pixels failed before deciding to use the BMWNA warranty route (dealer repair). I avoid dealers & Techs whenever possible, so I tried to find a plan B at reasonable cost.

The odometer reading is also stored in the light module, DME and key remote. Software runs across the common data buss that compares the odometer values in each storage area. If they are not synchronized within a certain # of miles (counts), the red antitamper LED illuminates nest to the odometer reading that can not be "easily" reset. Re-synchonization may be possible with legal tools, but the dealer may not agree to assist you in this effort. A bunch or 5er owners who installed new speedos themselves found this out the hard way. Their cars displayed 0 miles & they now have tamper lights lit and resale value is affected. A new speedo assy will not "learn" the existing odometer reading unless programmed.

This strategy thwarts odometer tamper efforts & it also thwarts honest folks trying to troubleshoot electonics problems by swapping out modules.

Unfortunately a dishonest used car salesman can alter odometer readings of any car using hand-held universal reprogramming tools sold (& legal) in many areas of Eurpoe and Canada. This basically means the antitamper scheme really only penalizes the honest owner who wants to troubleshoot lighting, speedo and engine controls using salvage yard spares.
 

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There seems to be two or three ways to fix pixel issues without triggering anti-tamper sensors:

1) Get a new speedo assembly reprogrammed for your car from BMW. Normally they will require your car in the shop for downloading. I think their downloading tool only works if the original speedo is still installed in the car and pwered up. They do not have a test fixture that allows them to clone a speedo assembly without it being attached & powered up in the car.

2) I understand a few major speedo shops have a programming tool that allows them to program a new speedo assembly by cloning fyour old one. They may not require your car to do this...I don't know.

3) Speedo rebuilders can successfully repair pixel problems in old speedos for about $350. In this case, you send them your broken cluster for repair via UPS. The VIN & odometer info is not changed and the anti-tamper circuitry will never know the repair has been made. This is one way to retain a gray OEM cluster.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks go to BMW NA for replacing my cluster in good faith (I paid for an hour of labor to replace the cluster; BMW supplied the part for free ((I am out of the factory warranty)).

I like the grey guages. I feel like I got a new car!

--Mike
 

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I agree replacing that instrument cluster when then pixels go out on the old one is very refreshing. However I wouldnt bash carfaxx too much because how can they know about people who get into accidents and dont report it to their insurance, have private parties make the repairs?
I backed into a pole at a smoothie king two weeks after I got my car and had it fixed privately and there is no history on that. muhahah (nah just kidding, not selling EVARRRRRRR!!!!!! muhahahaahah)
 
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