BMW E36 Blog

BMW E36 Digital Climate Control . . . Secret Test Functions

27th June 2008

BMW E36 Digital Climate Control . . . Secret Test Functions

posted in Cooling System, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized |

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The BMW E36 digital climate control unit has a feature that allows different sensor values to be displayed on the control panel. The display mode is called up by pressing the "AUTO" and "REAR DEFOGGER" buttons simultaneously. 12 displays are available and you can toggle through them by pressing the fan rocker switch.

Test number


Test 1

Interior Temp Sensor

Test 2

Exterior Temp sensor

Test 3

Left Heater Core Sensor

Test 4

Right Heater Core Sensor

Test 5

Evaporator Temp Sensor

Test 6

Engine Speed Input

Test 7

Road Speed Input

Test 8

"Y" Factor Value . . . Anyone knows what is this?

Test 9

Fresh Air Flap Position in % (99.5% Max.)

Test 10

AUC Sensor Voltage (if equipped)

Test 11

Battery Voltage

Test 12

Software Version

The sensor display functions are exited by pressing "RECIRC" and "AUTO" buttons simultaneously and also by turning the ignition off. The decimal point is not shown therefore 66.5% would show as 665 All temp displays are in degrees centigrade. Negative values are indicated with minus sign

Unfortunately, I have the rotary climate control unit (analog unit), so I can’t test them. If anyone can shoot a video for these tests, it would be great. 

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There are currently 7 responses to “BMW E36 Digital Climate Control . . . Secret Test Functions”

Why not let us know what you think by adding your own comment! Your opinion is as valid as anyone elses, so come on... let us know what you think.

  1. 1 On June 27th, 2008, Tim said:

    WOW, i didnt know this!, ill test it tomoz, might even shoot a vid too if i have time.

  2. 2 On July 14th, 2008, Chris said:

    Cool, didn’t know about this! I’m guessing the “Y” Value is for the lambda/oxygen sensor. Must’ve used the letter Y because the unit can’t display greek letters. I’m suprised it displays any engine information at all, do you know if the e36 has an i-bus connecting all the systems in the car like the later models do?

  3. 3 On July 15th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Chris: I hear it comes in the 96+ models. But I’m not 100% as I have a 1993 318is.

  4. 4 On August 10th, 2008, Rado1 said:


    I tried it but no result 🙁
    How long I need to keep AUTO and REAR DEFOGGER buttons? I tried just press them once, even keep them several tens of seconds.

  5. 5 On August 10th, 2008, Rado1 said:

    I forgot to add that I have 11/2006 e36…

  6. 6 On September 7th, 2008, Bernard Gutnick said:

    I cannot get mine to work either. I replaced my unit several years ago with a new one.
    Is it possible they turned off this capability?

    Can you reply back with the exact sequence? I’ve tried everything with the Auto and Rear Defogger.

    Thank you.

  7. 7 On September 7th, 2008, Rado1 said:

    Ops. My mistake.
    I have a 11/1996 e36 not 2006 :((

    I believe that such service mode exists. I had it on the Climatronics system from VW…