Gauges on BMW 318i


Recently while driving the gauge cluster will die then reset with all the idiot lights coming on like you’re starting the car. This is intermittent but is beginning to happen more often. This AM the cluster died altogether until it was recranked. A local shop that’s worked on BMW’s hasn’t seen this before but thought it may be tumbler related in ignition switch. Ideas?

You must post the year model. Do you know the “E” designation for you car?

1994 318i e36?

This car is prone to wearing out its ignition lock cylinder, but I don’t think that is your problem. e36s are also prone to quirky intermittent failures in their dash clusters. The part about all the idiot lights coming on is a new one on me. Is the car a stick shift? Any chance that the car died for a second and then restarted? That would light everything except the charge light.

I think the shop may be correct. I would suspect any switch or relay connection in the power circuit to the cluster.

It’s a 5 speed. It goes like this…The cluster will “die” with all the gauges going out. When it comes back on, the tach, speedo, temp and gas all go back to where they were. All the idiot lights come on on the row below even the oil service indicator under the odometer. Then after a few seconds all of these go out just like the starting sequence. Sometimes when it comes back on, the trip odometer resets to zero. At no time does the car quit running. It did knock off the cruise once, though.