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      10-12-2014, 09:40 AM   #1
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Variable sliding tach stuck at 8000 RPMs?

I am seriously looking into buying this E90 M3 DCT in my area, and I went to look at it today. I am concerned that the variable sliding tach has had issues that the owner has not been able to work out. Basically he said that in the past the sliding tach would randomly slide down (i.e. redline would move to a lower RPM than normal).

The dealership had tried to reflash the computer, but it didn't fix it, and they wanted to rip apart the dash to replace the cluster thinking it was a mechanical issue with the tach. The owner opted not to, but took it to another dealership, who reflashed the computer again, and he said he hasn't noticed the issue since then, but admitted he doesn't think it is fixed.

I drove the car, and noticed the sliding tach was stuck at an 8000 rpm redline. The yellow stopped at 8k and then it was red after that point. Every other E90/92 M3 tach I have seen the yellow goes right up to 8300 and then red after that. As far as I know it still starts out lower on cold starts, but I didn't drive it when it was cold so I don't know. I would have to ask the owner.

What could be the issue here? I don't mind buying the car with this issue seeing as he was open and up front about it, but I just want to know potentially what this could be? Is it likely an easy/cheap DIY fix? Potentially a very costly repair? I searched, but found very little on this issue, so something tells me it's not common.
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      10-12-2014, 10:40 AM   #2
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Personal i'm thinking it's a coding issue , because with my tune my cold start cycle is set(reduced) to 4.5K rpm .
Same thing with coding the redline , redline can be raised or reduced .
Pic below shows how it should be .
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      10-12-2014, 11:35 AM   #3
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So is it possible this car has an aftermarket tune? What I don't get is the owner said that it used to drop down to like 6-7k RPMs when warm, and he had the ECU reflashed and hasn't noticed it since. Would a coding issue cause that, and if it was reflashed by the dealer to try and fix the car, wouldn't that have erased any aftermarket software changes? So it should have a normal redline when at operating temperature I would think..?

I know the variable tach position is based on the engine oil (or coolant?) temperature (could be wrong though), so could it maybe be a faulty oil or coolant temperature sensor? But then again, that should throw a code, no?

Just trying to get an idea of what this issue is. I really want this car, and I'm almost over the green side of the fence about buying it, this is my only hiccup. If it's an easy (couple hundred dollar at most) fix then I don't mind it. If it could potentially be a $1000+ fix then I need to renegotiate on price.

If I am way off on any of this, please let me know. I've owned an E46 M3 before, but this would be my first E9X so this is all greek to me.
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      10-12-2014, 11:37 AM   #4
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Did you check for codes?
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      10-12-2014, 11:47 AM   #5
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So is it possible this car has an aftermarket tune? What I don't get is the owner said that it used to drop down to like 6-7k RPMs when warm, and he had the ECU reflashed and hasn't noticed it since. Would a coding issue cause that, and if it was reflashed by the dealer to try and fix the car, wouldn't that have erased any aftermarket software changes? So it should have a normal redline when at operating temperature I would think..?

I know the variable tach position is based on the engine oil (or coolant?) temperature (could be wrong though), so could it maybe be a faulty oil or coolant temperature sensor? But then again, that should throw a code, no?

Just trying to get an idea of what this issue is. I really want this car, and I'm almost over the green side of the fence about buying it, this is my only hiccup. If it's an easy (couple hundred dollar at most) fix then I don't mind it. If it could potentially be a $1000+ fix then I need to renegotiate on price.

If I am way off on any of this, please let me know. I've owned an E46 M3 before, but this would be my first E9X so this is all greek to me.
If I was in this situation I would say (ask) to the owner ...First fix the problem with the redline and after I will buy the car !
Actualy it's up to him...
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      10-12-2014, 11:54 AM   #6
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Did you check for codes?
Negative. I think a PPI might be in order before I get this thing.
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      10-12-2014, 09:42 PM   #7
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Negative. I think a PPI might be in order before I get this thing.
PPI is always in order. It's hands down the best money spent prior to any purchase.
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      10-12-2014, 11:15 PM   #8
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Hey! I remember this post over at M3forum?
I understand that the car is still under warranty?! So i would just till the seller to take it in and get it fixed. It shouldn't be your problem and seeing that he is selling it (which it will no longer be in his care), he shouldn't have a problem with BMW fixing it since they offered too!
This seller looks to be lazy with a pep-peeve! And would rather have the next owner deal with it. To me! That is a clear sign to just walk away.
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      10-13-2014, 12:49 AM   #9
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Negative. I think a PPI might be in order before I get this thing.
Don't fall in love with it just yet. Get the PPI and be objective about your decision. There's plenty of decent cars out there. Get all the facts lined up and make a good educated decision.
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      10-13-2014, 01:41 AM   #10
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My thoughts on that would be that the oil temp, coolant temp, trans temp, or diff temp was reading higher than normal (or a malfunctioning sensor) causing the DME to restrict the redline. Could be a sensor issue or a temperature issue or something else. PM me the vin so I can look into it.
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      10-13-2014, 07:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracyis300 View Post
Hey! I remember this post over at M3forum?
I understand that the car is still under warranty?! So i would just till the seller to take it in and get it fixed. It shouldn't be your problem and seeing that he is selling it (which it will no longer be in his care), he shouldn't have a problem with BMW fixing it since they offered too!
This seller looks to be lazy with a pep-peeve! And would rather have the next owner deal with it. To me! That is a clear sign to just walk away.
I asked the owner about the warranty. I guess it is out of warranty, and since the car is in Europe (US Spec, but I am in Germany on US Military orders) European dealers won't do warranty work anyway.

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Don't fall in love with it just yet. Get the PPI and be objective about your decision. There's plenty of decent cars out there. Get all the facts lined up and make a good educated decision.
The issue is, as stated above, I am in Germany. In the US, I would say yeah, there are hundreds of these available, but there are 5 US Spec M3's for sale in Germany right now, this is one of them..my options are clearly limited

Tach issue aside, the car is very clean. I could tell by the way it drove and looked it has been well taken care of. He is the 2nd owner, and doesn't drive it in the winter. It's his second car, and is garaged from November to March. I am very interested in what the service records look like and what this tach issue really is, but all in all, the car appears to be a fantastic deal. It's just the tach issue that's bugging me.

I asked the owner if I could do a PPI before I bought it, he is totally fine with it. My guess, honestly on why the tach issue was never fixed, is because of money. Seeing as it wouldn't be covered under warranty, and the dealer wanted to rip the dash apart to replace the instrument cluster, he probably opted not to based on price the dealer wanted for the job. He has had the ECU reflashed twice to try and fix the issue, so at least it didn't go completely uninvestigated

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My thoughts on that would be that the oil temp, coolant temp, trans temp, or diff temp was reading higher than normal (or a malfunctioning sensor) causing the DME to restrict the redline. Could be a sensor issue or a temperature issue or something else. PM me the vin so I can look into it.
PM sent. Thanks for looking into it for me. Anything you can tell me would be great. I love this car, and will probably buy it, I just want to make sure this tach issue is a minor one and won't cost me a ton of money to fix. If it turns out to be a big $$$ issue, I am turning away. Hopefully the PPI will turn up whatever issue the car has that's causing the lower RPM limit. A bad sensor doesn't seem like a huge deal, and I can live with that.
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      10-13-2014, 09:01 AM   #12
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This is a big deal IMO, if my car randomly lowered the rpm limit after warming up I would lose it! I love redlining this engine, that's what it's made for.

The fact the dealer wants to take the dash apart makes me think it is just a gauge issue. Have you driven the car when the tach indicated it was limiting the revs? Did you try and raise the revs past the limit? Where I'm going with this is that if the revs are not actually being limited, it's just the gauge malfunctioning, then I don't think it's that big of a deal. If the revs are limited I would look elsewhere.
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      10-13-2014, 10:51 AM   #13
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Just wondering...why not buy a EU spec one if you are in Germany for awhile?
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      10-13-2014, 02:27 PM   #14
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Just wondering...why not buy a EU spec one if you are in Germany for awhile?
Buy an M3 knowing damn well I have to sell it in 4 years? I don't think I could do it. I would hate the day when I realized I couldn't take it with me back to the states.

Got a bit more info from the owner. He said that when the car is started cold, the redline is down around 5k-6k where it should be, but does not move up as the car warms up. It stays wherever it started until the car is turned off, then turned back on, then it will move to where it should be. If the engine is turned on when it is warm, it will move to around 8k RPMs. So does this sound more like a coding issue, mechanical issue with the tach, a bad sensor, or something else?

BMW wants 850,00 to replace the tach, and they wouldn't even guarantee that will fix the issue. If it's a matter of a bad instrument cluster, I will buy one used and put it in myself, but doesn't that mean my mileage would be off, or is that stored in the computer?
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      10-13-2014, 02:44 PM   #15
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Buy an M3 knowing damn well I have to sell it in 4 years? I don't think I could do it. I would hate the day when I realized I couldn't take it with me back to the states.

Got a bit more info from the owner. He said that when the car is started cold, the redline is down around 5k-6k where it should be, but does not move up as the car warms up. It stays wherever it started until the car is turned off, then turned back on, then it will move to where it should be. If the engine is turned on when it is warm, it will move to around 8k RPMs. So does this sound more like a coding issue, mechanical issue with the tach, a bad sensor, or something else?

BMW wants €850,00 to replace the tach, and they wouldn't even guarantee that will fix the issue. If it's a matter of a bad instrument cluster, I will buy one used and put it in myself, but doesn't that mean my mileage would be off, or is that stored in the computer?
Probably another tach needs to be coded with the computer of the car to set the mileage and with a used one you will get another problem,because it needs to be done by a BMW/Dealer !
So I'll repeat... actualy this problem is for the owner,just make a deal with him.
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      10-13-2014, 08:21 PM   #16
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Mann! That sucks to be almost perfect?!
And I understand that you tested the car out, and everything about it checks out!
Being told that they can change it out but with no guarantees of solving the problem? Is a risky gramble.
The ball is in your court, and you can ether negotiate with the seller on bringing the price down to get it fixed? (W/no guarantees)
Say "screw it" and get the car. drive It normally, and if a emissions code comes up? Then you will know what it could be?
Or just walk away from it? Cause the seller doesn't want to deal with it.
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      10-15-2014, 01:46 AM   #17
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Despite the issue with the car, I decided to go ahead and buy it. I did managed to negotiate another $500.00 off the price though, so that will hopefully help fix the tach issue.

I will pick it up on the 3rd of November. I will post pics when I get it
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      10-15-2014, 11:45 AM   #18
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The owner got the service history from the dealership. Despite it being 100% in German, I think I did a fairly decent job at translating it and making sense of what it says. It looks like the vehicle was in for service on 3 occasions, but the dealer couldn't tell what was performed.

1. 2/3/11 @ 5766 mi
2. 5/9/11 @ 10180 mi
3. 9/1/11 @ 12539 mi

Besides that, I have figured out that the following services were performed:

4. 10/1/12 @ 23397 mi
-Brake Fluid
-Cabin Filter
-New Tires installed

5. 3/11/13 @ 24587 mi
-Oil Service

6. 8/2/13 @ 30121 mi
-Vehicle Check
-Vehicle Test

7. 7/9/14 @ 38323 mi
-Oil Service
-"Service Intake Silencer"

Not included in this list is the brake fluid being changed a second time, which was just changed by the owner when he got these records a couple days ago.

Can anyone tell by this information what aspects of routine BMW maintenance may have been neglected, and what I should do to "catch up" when I get the car? Has anything been done pretty much on schedule? ie. brake fluid?

From this information, I have drawn the conclusion that the first owner drove a shitload of miles for about 10k miles and then cut that amount of driving in thirds. Also concluded that atleast for the most recent oil service, the typical BMW 15,000 mile interval was followed (not to say it wasn't changed by the previous owner outside a dealership in between).

Before 24,000 miles, there is no record of an oil change being performed. Can anyone draw any conclusions on what one of those three mystery services were? I sincerely hope at least one was an oil change?! No record of a 1200 mile service either.

Anyone have the ability to pull service records in Germany that can see something that maybe the other dealership couldn't?

I am still taking a chance and buying the vehicle. I will do an oil change in about 4000 miles (which will be about 7500 miles after it was last done at the dealer) then another 7500 miles later (on schedule) and continue with 7500 mile increments from then on. I will also send a sample into Blackstone. Just wanted to get a better service history if I could. Service history (atleast for oil changes) seems sketchy at best on this car.
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      10-15-2014, 11:56 AM   #19
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I wouldn't have bought the car. Especially now knowing there is the possibility the oil wasn't changed for 24K miles and no 1200 mile service was performed.

Back to the tach situation. Never buy a car with an unknown electrical issue. Yes it could be a simple coding issue or need a new cluster but it could also be anything and in the end extremely costly. You honestly don't know what has been looked into and what hasn't regarding the issue. You already stated contradictory statements from the seller. At one point you said it was flashed for the 2nd time and he hasn't noticed the issue returning and then later he describes the problem to be ongoing.
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      10-15-2014, 12:25 PM   #20
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I wouldn't have bought the car. Especially now knowing there is the possibility the oil wasn't changed for 24K miles and no 1200 mile service was performed.

Back to the tach situation. Never buy a car with an unknown electrical issue. Yes it could be a simple coding issue or need a new cluster but it could also be anything and in the end extremely costly. You honestly don't know what has been looked into and what hasn't regarding the issue. You already stated contradictory statements from the seller. At one point you said it was flashed for the 2nd time and he hasn't noticed the issue returning and then later he describes the problem to be ongoing.
Yeah it sort of sucks about the maintenance records. I have never bought a car with 100% accurate on time maintenance records. Is it fairly safe to assume that if it's not on a dealer printout that it wasn't performed? I find it hard to believe anyone can go 24,000 miles on a brand new car with original oil. Any idea why the dealer wouldn't be able to see what the first three services are?

I wish there was a way to track the original owner down and ask him what work he performed.
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      10-15-2014, 12:29 PM   #21
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If the services were at a BMW dealer then they would have performed whatever is called out in required maintenance by BMW. It does appear to have missed the 1200 miler, though.
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      10-15-2014, 12:45 PM   #22
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If anyone can read German, let me know and I will send you the PDF. Maybe you can see something that I can't. It's a little overwhelming looking at a dealer printout in a foreign language.
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