TIMM'S BMW E38
INSTRUMENT CLUSTER BULB REPLACEMENT

My E38 has never had the mileage, trip and outside temp displayed on the instrument cluster although the Check Control messages were there. There are five bulbs for this part of the display. I guessed that the upper pair had fizzled out so.......

The part number for the cluster bulbs is 62111391260 and they are available from BMW for 1.45 each.

You will need these tools:



Wide, thin-bladed screwdriver
T9 Torx driver
Small, flat-bladed screwdriver
Small cloth to reduce the possibility of damage from levering the cluster out

Plus....you need a cloth to put over the steering wheel to protect the instrument cluster as it comes out.

Adjust the steering wheel so that it is furthest out and as low as it will go, then remove the two Torx T9 screws from the top of the cluster:



Once the screws are out use the wide, flat-bladed screwdriver to lever the top of the display out, use the small cloth to protect the cluster and the housing:



Put a cloth on the steering assembly and lower the top of the cluster, it can now be pulled out onto the cloth:



I am only interested in replacing two of the five bulbs that are accessible without disassembling the cluster so I am going to replace the bulbs without fully removing the cluster. I also don't need to disconnect the battery or disconnect the plugs from the cluster so this is pretty straightforward. There are other bulbs under the instrument cluster for the dials but these are fine on mine. If you need to replace the dial illumination then the cluster will have to be fully removed.

So, for this simple repair I have rotated the cluster so that I can get to the five bulbs for the lower part of the display:



Each bulb is removed with the small, flat-bladed screwdriver by turning anti-clockwise one-quarter of a turn.....they are a bit fiddly to get out but not too bad:



Once the bulbs are replaced reassembly is very easy, just push the lower part of the cluster fully in and then lift the top back into place and replace the two T9 Torx screws......result....I can now read the mileage, trip and outside temp!



You can test all the lamps and dials by using TEST No 2 from the hidden parts of the OBC:



All done, time for a cup of tea.........

 

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