BMW E36 Blog

BMW E36 on board computer . . . learn how to use it

20th February 2007

BMW E36 on board computer . . . learn how to use it

posted in Technical Info, Tips & Tricks |

post rating
PoorOkayGoodGreatExcellent (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Hey Guys,


I’ve been looking for information about how to use the on board computer (OBC) for sometime now and I finally found it 🙂 Yaay! Below I will list what you can accomplish using the on board computer, so read on and let me know what you think.


Disclaimer: Use this procedure at your own risk!!


Outside temperature


Displays the outside temperature after pressing the TEMP (A-TEMP) button. If it falls below +3�C, a gong signal is heard as a warning; the outside temperature is displayed and flashes for eight seconds.
The warning is repeated if the temperature rises to at least +6�C and then drops again to +3�C.



Probable range


This display indicates after pressing the RANGE (REICHW) button how far the car can probably be driven on the fuel remaining in the tank. The value takes into account the way in which the car has so far been driven. A plus sign (+) in front of the displayed value means that it is still undergoing a correction process (measuring tolerance).
If three horizontal display segments flash, the range is below 15km and the car should be refuelled as soon as possible.
The on-board computer registers fuel added to the tank only when the engine has been stopped and the quantity of fuel exceeds four litres.



Average speed


Shows the average speed since the last reset. To display press the SPEED (GESCHW) button.

To reset the calculation press SET/RES. The on-board computer doesn’t include the time the car is standing with the engine off in its calculation.



Average fuel consumption


Average fuel consumption can be computed for two distances in parallel. Each time the button CONSUM (VERBR) is pressed, the display alternates between the average consumptions for distances one and two. There is also an indication of whether distance one or two is being displayed.

To reset the calculation press SET/RES.



Distance from destination


After pressing the DIST (DISTANZ) button the display shows how far the car is from the destination, provided the total distance was input before the journey started.
The probable time of arrival, which is recalculated continually as driving conditions change, is also displayed.
If the car has already completed the full distance which was input, the distance value is preceded by a minus sign ().



Speed limit


If you exceed a speed limit which you have previously input, you will hear a warning gong. The corresponding LED flashes and the display shows the stored limit briefly. The warning is repeated if the speed limit is again exceeded after the car’s speed has in the meantime dropped by at least 5 km/h below the entered value.
To cancel the speed limit input press the LIMIT button again. The LED goes out but the stored value is not lost and can be re-activated with the Limit button.
To adopt the car’s actual speed as the limit value press the LIMIT and then the SET/RES button.



Display units changeover

Press the km/mls button to switch display units between km/h and mph or litres per 100km and mpg and back.



Immobilizing vehicle


A 4-digit number can be entered with the "CODE" key in ignition switch position 1. The engine hood and radio contact is monitored when the vehicle is parked with CODE armed. The engine cannot be started until the same code number is entered again in the BC to disarm the system. Depending on the selected function, the small display shows either the date or the time. Date and time can be displayed for 8 seconds by pressing the key in ignition lock position "0".



Check control faults


A display test is performed if there are no check-control faults and the "CHECK" key is pressed for at least 10 seconds. The test appears immediately after pressing the "CHECK" key in ignition switch position 1 or when no check-control is coded in the BC V.



Arbitrary reminder


An hour signal and/or any arbitrary reminder time can be programmed or checked with the "MEMO" key:


After pressing the "MEMO" for 3 seconds enter "MEMO" appears in the large display, ":00" appears in the small display.


After entering any time (minutes) with the digit keys "1" and "10" and acknowledging with the "SET/RES" key, the hour signal then sounds 15 seconds before each full hour plus the set time in minutes.


Gong time = Full hour plus input time in minutes minus 15 seconds.


Wait for more from . . . BMW E36 Blog


Best regards,

Tony Sticks.

Join the BMW E36 Forum

BMW E36 Forum

Want to receive exciting tips & information about BMW E36 cars? Enter your Email:-



Having A Problem With Your Bimmer?

Use JustAnswer Service to get help from a BMW expert now! You can also read my review of this service here.

There are currently 8 responses to “BMW E36 on board computer . . . learn how to use it”

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 February 26th, 2008, Tim said:

    Hey Guys,
    I put a set of LED clear tail lights in my 1998 M3. Because of the LED voltage, my check control reads a tail light failure. Any ideas on how to fix this?
    Thanks, Tim

  2. 2 On February 27th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Tim,

    Check this. I hope it will help you.

  3. 3 On March 1st, 2009, Josh said:

    hi tony, do you have a solution, for the licence plate lights?

    i put LED’s in there, and have the same problem, with the CC.

  4. 4 On March 2nd, 2009, Tony Sticks said:

    @Josh: Unfortunately, I can’t reproduce this problem in my car because my check control in inactive. Sorry

  5. 5 On March 26th, 2009, MParallel said:

    The km/mph button is also used to switch between a 24hour or 12hour clock when clock is set in edit mode.

  6. 6 On May 14th, 2009, medi damaj said:

    how to use the on board computer for bmw e36 328i 1996 model for changing the language
    thanks a lot

  7. 7 On August 15th, 2011, Oli said:

    Finally, thanks a lot for posting this. Ive been looking everywhere, looking to buy a 94 325i, recommend it? do you think the engine will still be able to get 1-100 in under 10? thanks

  8. 8 On September 30th, 2011, allen said:

    The onboard computer oil light is on and I just had the oil changed. How can I reset the computer to make the light go off. I have an 88 325i HELP……

  • Our Sponsors

  • Forum Posts

  • Calendar

  • May 2024
    M T W T F S S
    « Jun