Roadfly.com         Roadfly Home | Features | Car Review Videos | Car Reviews | Cars For Sale | Used Car Parts Classifieds | Forum | Car Review Archives | Forum Archives Index



PDA



Bill
01-20-1999, 12:37 AM
I have been looking at used five series between 89 and 93. I have found an 89 with 48000 miles in apparently excellent condition. I haven't had it checked by a mechanic yet. Can I rely on the digital readout on the odometer. There is evidence that the dash has been tampered with. Any thoughts on the potential for turning back digital odometers?

Bill
01-20-1999, 12:40 AM
<i>: I have been looking at used five series between 89 and 93. I have found an 89 with 48000 miles in apparently excellent condition. I haven't had it checked by a mechanic yet. Can I rely on the digital readout on the odometer. There is evidence that the dash has been tampered with. Any thoughts on the potential for turning back digital odometers?<p></i>CORRECTION TO MY POSTING:There is No evidence that the dash has been tampered with.

Steve
01-20-1999, 03:41 AM
The digital display can apparently be changed using a laptop but the DME apparently keeps a copy which cannot. You can always change the DME though.<br>Anyone else now how the access the DME-stored reading or is that one for the dealer?<p><i>: I have been looking at used five series between 89 and 93. I have found an 89 with 48000 miles in apparently excellent condition. I haven't had it checked by a mechanic yet. Can I rely on the digital readout on the odometer. There is evidence that the dash has been tampered with. Any thoughts on the potential for turning back digital odometers?<p></i>

Shawn Anderson
01-20-1999, 10:56 AM
There are instruments that can be purchased for several thousands of dollars that can change the odometer. You see them on the internet every so often. If you want to check the mileage, get the VIN# and call some dealers. They might be able to tell you if it's been serviced.<p>I have not heard that the mileage is also kept in the DME like the previous poster mentioned. I am suspicious of that claim since people change DMEs all the time with no effect to the odometer.<p>****However, here is why you should be suspicious of that odometer reading. 1989 5 series BMWs have a big (I mean BIG) problem with the instrument cluster. They simply go bad all the time. It is VERY likely that someone had to replace that instrument panel. They may have bought a new one (for about $1000) or they may have got one from a wrecking yard. It is much more likely that someone had to replace a broken instrument panel than actually tried to turn back the mileage. <p>Shawn Anderson<br>1990 535, 160K miles<br><i>: : I have been looking at used five series between 89 and 93. I have found an 89 with 48000 miles in apparently excellent condition. I haven't had it checked by a mechanic yet. Can I rely on the digital readout on the odometer. There is evidence that the dash has been tampered with. Any thoughts on the potential for turning back digital odometers?<p>: CORRECTION TO MY POSTING:There is No evidence that the dash has been tampered with. <p></i>

David Grant
01-20-1999, 11:29 AM
I was a victim of this very process. I bought my 89 535i with 62K on it. Imagine my shock when I pulled the instrument cluster out and found not an instrument cluster from an 89 535i but an instrument cluster from a 91 735i! The lesson I learned was this: Always check the maintainance records! It's the best way to verify the milage. Records always have milage on them and if you see any unusual "gaps" in milage you can quiz the owner. 48K miles seems way low. On 89s manufactured before 2/89, the milage is held in a coding plug found in one of the wiring harnesses that attaches to the cluster. If it is tampered with you can always tell because you can't get it out without breaking the harness. After 2/89 they changed the design to a more reliable cluster and the coding plug goes right into the cluster itself. The VIN is on the coding plug for each car. Obviously the VIN should match. In my case it was obvious that somebody tampered with the cluster because the old coding plug had been ripped out and "91 735i" was written on the back of the cluster.<p><br><i>: There are instruments that can be purchased for several thousands of dollars that can change the odometer. You see them on the internet every so often. If you want to check the mileage, get the VIN# and call some dealers. They might be able to tell you if it's been serviced.<p>: I have not heard that the mileage is also kept in the DME like the previous poster mentioned. I am suspicious of that claim since people change DMEs all the time with no effect to the odometer.<p>: ****However, here is why you should be suspicious of that odometer reading. 1989 5 series BMWs have a big (I mean BIG) problem with the instrument cluster. They simply go bad all the time. It is VERY likely that someone had to replace that instrument panel. They may have bought a new one (for about $1000) or they may have got one from a wrecking yard. It is much more likely that someone had to replace a broken instrument panel than actually tried to turn back the mileage. <p>: Shawn Anderson<br>: 1990 535, 160K miles<br>: : : I have been looking at used five series between 89 and 93. I have found an 89 with 48000 miles in apparently excellent condition. I haven't had it checked by a mechanic yet. Can I rely on the digital readout on the odometer. There is evidence that the dash has been tampered with. Any thoughts on the potential for turning back digital odometers?<p>: : CORRECTION TO MY POSTING:There is No evidence that the dash has been tampered with. <p></i>

Scott Taylor
01-20-1999, 11:34 AM
<br><i>: : I have been looking at used five series between 89 and 93. I have found an 89 with 48000 miles in apparently excellent condition. I haven't had it checked by a mechanic yet. Can I rely on the digital readout on the odometer. There is evidence that the dash has been tampered with. Any thoughts on the potential for turning back digital odometers?<p>: CORRECTION TO MY POSTING:There is No evidence that the dash has been tampered with. <p></i>Bill;<br> I have read somewhere (cant remember where) that they can be manipulated.Personally ,and not being<br>paranoid...I would assume that ANY car could have <br>had that done to it.One of the nice things about<br>BMWs is the owners tend to maintain them better and keep better records/documentation,also It's<br>my understanding that most/all? dealer records are<br>on a central computer and using the VIN # of any<br>bimmer you ought to be able to search any dealer<br>records of work performed carefully checking the<br>mileages stated at the time of service.(same with<br>paper receipts/books). That's alot harder to fudge. Then, obviously... look for signs of wear<br>around seat edges,gas and brake pedals(new pedals<br>on a car with 40k? red flag) worn arm rests,sagging seats..etc...also a car with higher mileage is almost certainly going to have signs<br>on the front end,where road grit will have made its impression on paint,lenses grill,etc..<br> If that car only has 40k on it,it ought to look pristine in and out (you lucky dog). Also,be aware<br>low mileage is not ALWAYS a GOOD thing-...if the<br>car has been sitting for long periods(like years)<br>without being run...that can create more problems than the benefit of the low mileage; seals go bad,<br>varnishes accumulate in the engine, deposits settle and harden, tires/batteries/hoses go bad...etc..etc..you may endlessly be trying to find and fix all sorts of niggly problems.Gramps<br>was a Master mechanic/machinist and had to deal with those problems on some cars that INITIALLY<br>looked like great-finds ! (he had to pry my sweaty<br>fingers off a "treasure" I found forgotten in a garage once-saved me alot of headaches I reckon) <br>Scott

Speedy
01-20-1999, 02:38 PM
Yes I can also agree, the milage counter is inside the instrument cluster.<p>I have been through the process of changing parts in my instrument cluster. This summer everything in the instrument cluster went to zero (like you turn of the car) execpt the odometer were I could read code. The error were both in the "instrument circuit" and what is called the code contact. I had it repired at BMW here in Sweden, BMW was not able to set the odometer (suprised me) correct afterword so I ended up with a odometer reading zero (before it was 150000 km). The counter is fitted in the code contact. I got a stamp in my service book saying that you should add 150000km to the odometer. BMW in europe keeps track of every service and what milage the car has at that point so it is possible to check with them (if you live over here). I guess the same goes for BMW in the US.<p>/Speedy<br>520i -93

dennis jeong
01-21-1999, 04:12 AM
<i>: I have been looking at used <snip> <br>Any thoughts on the potential for turning back digital odometers?<p></i><br>I heard (not verified) that if you use one of those electronic gizmos to reset the odo, a warning indicator next to the odo gets lit and stays lit. Also check for the VIN number displayed in the diagnostics (check control in while ignition on). I think that it's called the "F.G number"<p>No substitute for a inspection by a knowledgeable shop.<p>Dennis Jeong<br>95 540

Chris Trittenbass
01-22-1999, 03:40 PM
<br>The odometer on the e-34 can be unreliable. I purchased an 89 525i with 134km on it. I thought that this was reasonably low and purchased the car. After driving it for several months, I noticed that the odometer actually added and subtracted km's at will. The odometer would at 3km's for every 1 and then when it hit 135,000km it would subtract back to 132,000km!. This was a nightmare. I had to buy a new board costing about $800 Canadian. My reading on the odometer at this point was zero. So weary about readings on the odometer. If the car does not have records, then simply don't buy it!!!<p><i>: Yes I can also agree, the milage counter is inside the instrument cluster.<p>: I have been through the process of changing parts in my instrument cluster. This summer everything in the instrument cluster went to zero (like you turn of the car) execpt the odometer were I could read code. The error were both in the "instrument circuit" and what is called the code contact. I had it repired at BMW here in Sweden, BMW was not able to set the odometer (suprised me) correct afterword so I ended up with a odometer reading zero (before it was 150000 km). The counter is fitted in the code contact. I got a stamp in my service book saying that you should add 150000km to the odometer. BMW in europe keeps track of every service and what milage the car has at that point so it is possible to check with them (if you live over here). I guess the same goes for BMW in the US.<p>: /Speedy<br>: 520i -93<p></i>

Daniel
01-23-1999, 07:26 PM
<i>: I have been looking at used five series between 89 and 93. I have found an 89 with 48000 miles in apparently excellent condition. I haven't had it checked by a mechanic yet. Can I rely on the digital readout on the odometer. There is evidence that the dash has been tampered with. Any thoughts on the potential for turning back digital odometers?<p>I think that you have gotten carried away by the odometer readings, check the car over look at it carefully, have a mechanic check the trans fluid, look at the brake rotors and pads, drive the car for an hour or two...let the car tell you. I don't care about the mileage, some 100,000 mile cars are better than some 40,000 milke ones....


Roadfly Home | Car Reviews | Forum Archives Index