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Old 05-03-2006, 11:36 AM   #1
bitcore's Avatar

Name: bitcore
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Fun With E36 Gauge Cluster Test Functions

If anyone is willing to try this on other models sugh as the E46, or the E90, please post back your findings.

ignition switch position #1 = accessory power, IE: your radio turns on but not your climate control.
ignition switch position #2 = the position where you leave the engine running
ignition switch position #3 = engine start

This works on all instrument clusters 1992-1999 E36 - 4 door/coupe/convertible/M3.
Step 1. Press and hold the mileage reset button.
Step 2. Put key into ignition switch and turn to position #1

Your LCD display will show something like this "tESt 01"

Step 3. Once "tESt 01" is shown, let go of reset button and the IC (Instrument Cluster) will go through some test cycles. Numbers will be shown and here's what they mean:
1st display: BMW PART NUMBER (6 digits)
2nd display: CODE NUMBER (5 digits) Internal Coding Plug #
3rd display: K NUMBER (4 digits)
4th display: CHASSIS NUMBER (5 digits) this is part of your VIN
5th display: SOFTWARE VERSION (3 digits)
6th display: REVISION INDEX (2 digits) Hardware #

After all 6 displays are finished, an analog gauge test will be performed.

The self-test is canceled by switching the ignition off or to KL-15 (ignition switch position 2)

IC (instrument cluster) tests 1-15 - Known to work on:
1995 - 1998 (99) 318ti
1996 - 2000? Z3
1997 - 1999 E36 4dr/coupe/convertible/M3

*Test functions 1-4 are unlocked tests and can be called up at any time for display.
*Test functions 5-14 are locked and require unlocking the test mode before they can be displayed.
*Test functions 2-14 can be selected at any time when the cluster is unlocked, even when vehicle is moving. (please don't do this!)
*Test function 15 is the lock/unlock function.

Step 1: Press and hold the mileage reset button.
Step 2: Put key into ignition switch and turn to KLR (Ignition switch position #1) Your LCD display will show something like this "tESt 01"
Step 3: You will need to unlock the test function first so when the LCD Display shows "tESt 01," press the reset button till you get to "tESt 15." Once you're on test 15 press, and hold the reset button for a few seconds until it displays "off." Now you can cycle through the test features. Here they are as they follow:

Test 1: Instrument self test

Test 2: Engine Data - This display is an "engine factor" value that is stored in the coding plug. The instrument cluster processor uses this factor in addition to the "TD" signal from the DME control module to process and display tachometer RPM based on the engine installed. For EXAMPLE:

Test 3: SI elapsed distance - the total mileage in kilometer since the last reset. Which service is due at the next inspection (OIL SERVICE or INSPECTION)

Test 4: SI elapsed days - no value for US vehicles. Relates to Euro annual inspections.

Test 5: SI evaluation factor - for engine speed and temp. thresholds being passed.
Display: n = 0 or 1. Engine speed (over-rev)
t = 0 or 1. Engine temp.
NOTE: "n0" means that you hit the maximum threshold for engine speed and "t1" means you overheated the engine. Apparently this test 5 is false due to software related problems.... so it's useless

Test 6: Fuel Level and coolant temp. - Display of hexadecimal codes in relation to gauge position.
Fuel gauge ----> Hex value
A (empty)---------> 0d
End of reserve---> 37
B-------------------> 54
C-------------------> 90
D------------------> c4
E (full)-----------> f0

Engine temp. ----- Hex Value
A----------------------> ce
B----------------------> 6d
C----------------------> 5c
D (center)----------> 4f-23
E-----------------------> 1e
F-----------------------> 18

Test 7: Engine speed (Digital Tach)- display of current engine speed

Test 8: Road speed - display of current road speed in km/h

Test 9 Distance reading - this allows the total stored mileage to be updated if one of the storage components has to be replaced. This test step will be used if the manipulation dot is illuminated in the cluster display. This display will show the component with the lower mileage. For example:
Display of 012654 l indicates that the mileage in the internal EEPROM is lower than the mileage stored in the coding plug.
Display of 000325 E indicates that the mileage in external coding plug is lower then the total mileage stored in the internal EEPROM.
Pressing the reset button for 4 seconds will over write the lower mileage with the higher mileage and cancel the manipulation dot. The SI data will also be transferred at the same time.

Test 10: Status bits (input signals) - the status of digital inputs to the cluster are displayed as 0 or 1.
Display: 0 = input low, 1 = input high.
_ _ _ _ _ _ <--- Mileage display...6 digits left to right
1st - belt contact, seat belt fastened = 0
2nd - ignition lock contact, key inserted = 0
3rd - door contact, door open = 0
4th - clock button pressed = 0
5th - SI reset = 0, for reset = 0
6th - EGS transmission failure = 0

Test 11: Status Bits (output signals) - the status of digital outputs is displayed.
Display: 0 = output inactive, 1 = output active
_ _ _ _ _ _ <--- Mileage display...6 digits left to right
1st - Gong output
2nd - Brake warning lamp
3rd - Low fuel warning lamp
4th - EGA lamp
5th - seat belt lamp
6th - manipulation dot

Test 12: not used

Test 13: Country code of cluster - the display indicates the country version of the cluster. This cannot be changed in the workshop. Display: USA 02

Test 14: Software Reset - The reset must be carried out if any faults are present that are not plausible before any components are replaced. After the reset, the system will exit the TEST mode and the lock will be reactived.

Test 15: lock/unlock

Enjoy, and don't go driving around town looking at your gauge cluster, it's EASY to get into wrecks when you don't watch where the hell you are gonig.
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:08 PM   #2
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Name: doughboyea
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Your Ride: 2007 Acura TSX
I was going to post up my readings from my E46, but, my DME is f'ed up.

Here's what my book has to say on the subject:
1.0 Vechicle Identification Number (last few digits)
1.1 Body Number
6_1.2 Part number of cluster
1.3 Coding/diagnosis/bus index
1.4 Manufacturing date (calandar week/year)
1.5 Hardware/software version of cluster
3_1.6 Injection status, number of cylinders, engine factor
1.7 (blank)

TEST 2: Cluster system test - activates gauge drivers, indicators and LEDs to confirm function

3.0 Liters
3.1 Periodic inspection days (euro)

4.0 Current Fuel Consumption Liters/100km
4.1 Current Fuel Consumption Liters/Hr

5.0 Fuel Consumed Liters/100km
5.1 Distance to go

6.0 Fuel Level Average
6.1 Total Tank averaged
1_6.2 Indicated value and tank phase (1=both ok, 2=one faulty, 3=implausible input)

7.0 Coolant temperature input in C
7.1 Outside temperature input in C
7.2 Engine Speed in RPM
7.3 Vehicle Speed in km/hr

TEST 8: Hex Code, instrument cluster inputs

TEST 9: Battery Voltage in volts

TEST 10: Country coding (02=US)

TEST 11: Cluster Code

TEST 12: (not used)

TEST 13: Gong Test, activate by pressing button

TEST 14: Fault memory (not for diagnosis)

TEST 15 - 18: (not used)

TEST 19: Lock and unlock tests 3 - 21. To unlock, press cluster button immediately when it chages to L-OFF.

TEST 20:
20.0 Fuel consumption data correction in the 1s position
20.1 Fuel consumption data correction in the 10s position
20.2 Fuel consumption data correction in the 100s position

TEST 21: Software reset

When I ran this test on my E46, the data I got was the following:


So according to ^, line 1.4, my 1999 328i was made in the 7th week of 2001. Oh, and according to line 1.6 it came with no engine. . Guess that's just another link to the gremlins in my circuits.

And I cannot access any other test. I can only scroll through TEST 1.

I think I may need a new DME (or whatever it's called). Just can't afford that now.

Current Ride
2007 Acura TSX w/Navi

Past rides:
1999 BMW 328i E46 Dinan Stg. 1
1989 Mercedes 190E 2.6
1980 Mercedes 240D

Last edited by doughboyea; 05-04-2006 at 04:12 PM..
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