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BMW Instrument Cluster Dashboard Language Change Guide

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The language is stored in the Coding Plug. This is located in chocolate-brown harness connector on the back of the instrument cluster. After 2/89 this is a separate plug on the back of the cluster.When the cluster is first powered up the language is normally German by default.

How to Change the BMW Instrument Cluster Dashboard Language-1


To change the language:

1.Ignition switch in the OFF position.
2.Press and HOLD the right instrument cluster button.
3.Turn the ignition switch to the on position.
4.Wait about 10 seconds. The next language will be displayed.
5.Hold the button until the desired language appears.












If the language doesn’t hold one of the following has occurred:

a) Code Plug has bad connection. – Check wiring for breaks or shorts. Disconnect and thenreconnect the Coding Plug on the back of instrument cluster.

B) Coding Plug may be defective. Replace Coding Plug.


c) Instrument cluster motherboard is dead. When this is the case there are normally otherproblems present, such as : jumpy needles, tripometer resets itself to zero, gong keepssounding even after the brakes are depressed,…etc.


E36 OBC V The test function are accessed by pressing the “1000” and “10” buttons simultaneously. Test function(1,10,18,19,& 21) are unlocked and can be called up by inputting the number and pressing ” SET/RES” Number 10 is Language change.



The BC contains test data values that can be accessed for troubleshooting purposes. The following is a list of the test functions and numbers that are stored in the BC

1.Display test – test all of the LCD segments in the display matrix

2.Momentary consumption (L/100Km) – based on the current “ti”signal and road speed

3.Momentary consumption (L/h) – based on current “ti”signal only

4.Range consumption

5.Momentary range (Km) – range left on fuel in tank when reserve light is on

6.Not used

7.Fuel level from the instrument cluster – average value

8.Momentary speed (Km) – current speed averaged over 2 seconds

9.Operating voltage – available to BC from KL R

10.Language for display –

11.Units readout – for display of mileage/gallons – etc.

12.Average speed for arrival time function

13.Momentary arrival computed

14.ROM – date

15.Readout of fault memory – vendor use only

16.I/O port status – vendor use only

17.Encoding of vehicle specific data – vendor use only

18.Alarm mode – for BC code function – pulse or continuous tone

19.Lock/Unlock function

20.Fuel consumption correction factor

21.Software reset function


The test functions are accessed by pressing the “1000” and “10” buttons simultaneously.

Test functions #1, #10, #14, #19 and #21 are unlocked and can be called up by entering the number and pressing SET/RES.


The other test functions are locked out and test #19 must be used to release the test func-tions

for display. The unlock procedure is as follows

Call up test #19 – ” LOCK ON” is displayed in the matrix display.

Use the number input buttons to enter the sum of the day and month displayed on the clock.

Press SET/RES and the computer is now unlocked for display of all test functions

To relock the test functions when through with the testing, call up test #19 and press SET/RES twice.








OBC General






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Recommended Comments

I have this issue,  language doesn’t hold one of the any options, I don't know how to fix it. Holding the button does not display the language I need. Most likely the coding plug is defective and all test functions are blocked.

Although in college we went through this topic and dealt with all of this, if I learned all this as needed, I would not have problems now. At that time, my only tasks were to go to pickthewriter.com and select the service I need to complete the tasks.

And only now I understand the importance of gaining knowledge and the ability to do something yourself, and not just pay for everything.

Edited by LarryFeld7

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