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Thread: My message board stopped working!

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up My message board stopped working!

    Can someone point me in the right direction to figure out why this happened. The backlight still lights up but no letters or numbers show up. When i push the stalk on the column nothing happens or when I push the right side button the message board goes dark for about three seconds then lights back up. I've tried unplugging several things attempting to reset something but still nothing. I've tried searching first but nothing comes up under ccd or message board that is relevent. You guys in this forum have been very helpful in the past so I hope someone here can help me with this also, even a link or search phrase would be very much appreciated. Attack Eagle or Bin any ideas or suggestions, anything, Thanks everyone
    Last edited by M5ish; 08-11-2010 at 08:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    no idea slim, but I'd start wit the easy things. Fuses and then pulling out the cluster to check for busted capacitors or a loose connection.
    it's an 89 so...

  3. #3
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    I've already pulled out the cluster several times but everything seems secure. I read something about replacing batteries back there but there's no where to put any. I think that was for an older model. I also went into the fuse box and pulled every fuse and relay out and put them back thinking that would spark something but nada. Today I will pull the fuses and relays in the box on the right side of the engine compartment to try to reset something there too, then move on to the back seat area. Also I've noticed that my mileage range indicator under the tach, goes from one side(left side) when the igntion is on, when i crank the engine it goes all the way to the right side quickly where you cant see it anymore. So could all this be related to a fuse or relay. Also AE would a bad capacitor be discolored the let me know if it's burnt out ? Thanks

  4. #4
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    Here is another thing to check if all fuses/relays look fine.

    Pull the carpet in the driver side rear seat footwell, ahead of the metal bulkhead. There are wire bundles there and if your sunroof drain is clogged, you can end up with standing water under the carpet. But you may not be able to feel the moisture through the carpet. In my old 535 my wire ends were completely green to the point where I stripped and re-tied them all.

    Look at that, I did try to contribute something after all...

  5. #5
    AquilaBMW's Avatar
    AquilaBMW is offline Mad Bimmerist BMW CCA Member
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    M5 - Do you have HID's in your car? The dash displays on these cars can sometimes go bad, but usually it would show up in the form of gibberish on the display.

    There are no batteries in any cluster that I know of. The mileage indicator should not swing from Right to Left till you start forward motion if I am correct. I don't think anything is wrong with that, unless I am reading wrong here.

    Check the fusible links as suggested. By the way, where is the fusible link in the Engine Bay? I might be doing what KB suggested as I am having Cluster issues at the moment.



  6. #6
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    Smile Capacitor...

    so OP, can you see the check control messages while shining a light on the screen, or while looking at it at an angle.

    Mine has the same symptoms.
    -the display seems blank but the backlight is still on
    -if looked at from an angle, (like looking down on the screen or looking from the side) the messages can be seen but they are extremely dim.
    -Same for service indicator lights, backlight on but lights dont show
    -also for odo., trip odo., and shift selector indicator

    If it is a hot day and the messages can be seen a little bit more clearly, that would point to a bad capacitor i guess since they work better in warmer temps.
    Mine is still pretty dim even in hotter weather.

    see this: http://bmw-stuff.blogspot.com/2007/1...apacitors.html

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Yes Paperplane I CAN barely see the numbers and messages on the dash when held at a slight angle! Just barely you have to squint very hard to see them but i do. I took the dash apart like in the tutorial and i see the five capacitors they were talking about. I'll probably take it to someone to solder them because I know i'll mess it up! lol How can you test them to see which one is bad or is it just easier to replace all of them anyway? Where can I get the capacitors from? The only place I can think of is Radioshack and does anyone have a ballpark figure on how much they cost?

    AE, I looked and didnt see any fluid anywhere so i guess they just went bad internally. Thanks for the link also!

    Aquila, no I dont have HID's and I'm hoping it's just the capacitors making the dash act funky(mileage indicator swing left to right immediately and disappearing right after cranking)

    KB, no moisture problems. my baby stays in the garage mostly!! lol Like I said earlier ANY suggestions and advice is greatly appreciated no matter how small or trivial it may seem!




  9. #9
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    It's kinda hard to test capacitors with something like a multimeter and be sure its working. Better replace em all and see what happens. Radioshack should have them, just be sure to match the ratings on the side of the thing (just like the instructions), they are electrolytic I think.

    I have yet to replace mine too so I was thinking about doing it myself but since my solder gun is too large I might take it somewhere too.
    M5, just curious as to where you would take something like that to get it soldered (electronics store maybe??)

    Oh, and I looked at the Rshack website a few days back, each capacitor should cost something less than a dollar.

    Oh and BTW, M5 and I both have the old style cluster for 1989 (I cant remember the exact month) so this does not apply to every e34 out there. The old cluster style has a gray back to it with the coding plug in the connector, not in the cluster.
    Last edited by paperplane94; 08-22-2010 at 01:55 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up

    Are you talking about the five black capacitors in the upper right hand of the cluster? Is it better to just replace all of them instead of trying to test each one?

  11. #11
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    Yes



    THose 5 with the red arrow pointing towards them, and the little black smudge on top. Replace them all to be sure. Check polarity and such, it should all say in the tutorials above.

    And sorry that it took long to respond.
    I should be doing mine in a week or two, if you want to wait for me to change mine you can and I will report back to this thread after i do it.

    Yes, it is better to replace them all.
    Last edited by paperplane94; 09-16-2010 at 01:57 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  12. #12
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    One too many....
    These are ultra common and easy to find. Try www.digikey.com they have them but you'll pay shipping. They can be tested with a ESR meter but since they are so cheap it just makes better sense to replace them all. Besides, ESR meters are not easy to find.
    Four things you need to consider when ordering new caps.
    - The value of the cap should match or exceed the original. For example a 220uF cap should be replaced with a 220uF cap or a 470uF would work too if you couldn't find a 220uF. What I'm saying, it's ok to go greater value, not less.
    - The voltage rating of the replacement capacitor must be equal to or greater than the original. For automotive use, a 25v or 35v capacitor will be fine.
    - Capacitors have a temperture rating of either 85 or 105 degrees C. Obviously, the 105 deg caps are better suited for service where there are high temperatures and will last longer than the 85 deg caps. They cost a bit more.
    - The physical size. They must be the same size or smaller to fit the board.
    Mine: 1988 635CSi Euro in Diamantschwarz Metallic, 1989 ALPINA B10 3.5 in Alpineweiss II, 1981 528i in Kastanienrot-Metallic, 1958 Isetta 300 currently in rust repair
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  13. #13
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    Done!

    Well I finally got around to replacing them, despite a few loose connectors the message board is now starting to display the messages again. will post pics later.

    Here they are:


    One thing they dont say in the tutorial is that you need to use caution when unhinging the gray part of the cluster from the white part. The plastic breaks easily.


    Here are the old capacitors, I marked the ones that I thought needed replacing with red paint. You can tell if they need replacing by checking for signs of bulging and leaking electrolytes. One of mine were leaking a yellowish substance that became crusty. The other was broken from its lead.


    I purchased 2 caps at Radio shack. Call them first to check for availability. One was a 35v 220 uf, and the other a 35v 100 uf.


    THe ones in light blue are the new soldered caps. It takes no more than a minute to solder. Just dont leave it on too long or the board may burn (dont ask me how I know).


    So, If it is only your Check Control Module display thats not working, replace the capacitor that I boxed. I believe that this is the capacitor that controls the display screen.


    And here are the results. I am sorry I do not have any photos of the screen not working, but believe me when I say this, It hasn't been working for the past 15 years (see my service indicator). Oh and I saw your other renamed post with the photo of the display not working, thats exactly how mine looked so i am pretty sure this is the culprit.



    And If you need more photos just holler.
    Last edited by paperplane94; 10-18-2010 at 02:51 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  14. #14
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    Question hey yall

    hey. got kinda the same prob and was wondering if anyone had any clues?????

    i have an 89 525i and my dash display is all jibberish and i cant read it. it all lights up ( except for the shift select indicator) but other than that, it works ok, my lights come on and the board is bright. just jibberish

    any clues?

  15. #15
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    jibberish?

    @89bimmer

    if it is jibberish like you can see digits and letters but cant comprehend this may or may not fix your problem.

    My problem was that the display was completely blank when looking directly at it.
    shown here:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1507087

    You may just have a loose connection or something else, but if you have the time and the know how then it wouldnt hurt to replace the capacitors.

  16. #16
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    ok, sounds good guys. thanks for the feedback.

    should it be a good idea for me to just replace the capacitors anyways. i am quite knowledgable in soldering.

    i dont have that much money and am looking for really easy fixes.

    P.S.
    the car was in a front-right accident w/ the previous owner and i dont know if that had any effect and i dont know if i have to buy a new ECM

  17. #17
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    Smile

    Go ahead and replace the capacitors, the hardest part was removing and taking apart the instrument cluster.
    The rest is plain and simple soldering, but dont forget polarities (I almost forgot) because we dont want any fried pcb's.

    Also check for any sign of loose connections in the board and replace bulbs.

    As for the accident its prob not related to the cluster problem and you prob wont need to replace the ecm unless it was physically damaged in the accident.

    Airbags (if equipped) may need some kind of new component and/or reset but thats a different story.

  18. #18
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    Talking

    alright. ... any clue as to what capacitors i need?

    and it doesnt have airbags ( shame ) and i got replacement bulbs but it also seems to me that i am missing one of the larger 3 watt bulbs and several of the smaller bulbs in the black cases. and i cant find any of the 3 watt bulb sockets in order for me to put in the missing one. any ideas where i might get one or two of these?

    thanks alot guys, you are really helping me here.

    also, i am going to go to radioshack soon and try to see what they have for the caps but some prior imput would be awsome.
    thanks

  19. #19
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    Smile

    Once you crack open the cluster you will see the 4-100uf capacitors and the 1-220uf capacitor off to the side(see photo).

    here is the RS website for the 100uf capacitors:
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2102510
    If your replacing all the caps you will need 4 of these.

    and

    220uf capacitors:
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2103623
    1 of these.

    Be sure to get the model number (272-1028 & 272-1029) on the above links and call your local radioshack for availability (just give them the model #).
    And thank you guys for the praise, i have been browsing around for quite some time and finally decided to pitch in to the forums.
    P.S. could this be towed to the DIY sticky by any chance
    Last edited by paperplane94; 12-23-2010 at 03:15 AM.

  20. #20
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    hey ya'll another quick question ....... does anyone know of any internet sites where i can get these said capacitors because my radio shack in my town doesnt go up to 40volt on the caps - only 35volt ? i dont understand. any suggestions for me? ive tried some other places around here and they either dont carry that big or that small. HELP.

  21. #21
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    Smile

    Who said you needed 40 volts ?
    did I say that?

    The car operates on a 12 volt system, 35 volt capacitors have more than enough of a voltage rating.

    As long as the voltage of the caps are rated greater than your cars voltage you will be fine.


    Unless, of course, you are running some kind of monster in there that is greater than 12 volts.

  22. #22
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    o......... wow..... i feel really dumb right now........ alright thanks thats it. the caps on the instrument panel are 40 volt though. does that really matter or no?

  23. #23
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    I never even realized that they were 40 volts...I just ripped em out

    No it does not matter, and dont beat yourself up electronics can be a PITA.

  24. #24
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    ok, well...... i replaced all but one and it has yet to change its appearance......i know that i could be just one, but its still kinda disappointing. any other clues if this doesnt do it?

  25. #25
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    Well, all I can say now is that if you replaced the capacitor that was for CCM (above post picture) then the capacitor is prob not your issue.

    I have never heard of any other definite fixes but its usually just a loose connection, cold or cracked solder joint, or similar problem.

    It would be easier to look for a new cluster.

    all in all, im sorry that didnt fix it, but at least you wont have to worry about capacitors for a long time



    and anyone else viewing this should know that this mostly fixes a blank screen :
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1507087
    (backlight on, text not visible or very dim)

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