BMW Intermittent Or Missing Pixels On Digital Display – E39 E38 X5
This answer is applicable for many BMWs in addition to the one listed below.
car year: 2000
car model: 740iL
My dashboard display..time;distance;door ajar; etc. displays in broken format. Sometimes it displays where you can read the whole thing…miles and everything, but then most of the time you can barely make out what it is reading. Is this an electrical problem or a fuse or what? How can I fix this?
On the E39 5-series, E38 7-series and the X5, the intermittent or non-functional display pixels, in the instrument cluster display, are quite common. There is a ribbon cable (a multi-wire flat cable) that connects the display to the cluster’s circuit board. The contacts on the ends of the ribbon cable become oxidized and no longer make reliable contact. This causes the various pixels to go out. You can remove the cluster (as outlined in the Bentley repair manual) and disassemble it to access the ribbon cable. Apply DeoxIT to the contacts on the ends of the cable and in the receiver sockets. The DeoxIT will clean the oxidation and leave a protective barrier to prevent further trouble.