Instructions on Using a 7 Button OBC on a BMW E36

Updated February 28, 2017

The BMW E36s comes equipped with an On-Board Computer (OBC). This feature helps the driver determine such things as outside temperature, travel range, average speed, fuel consumption, and travel distance You can also set speed limit warnings and a timer with the OBC. The features are quite handy, unless you do not know how to access and use the features. Once you get the hang of using these features, you should be able to use them with ease. The owner's manual for your E36 will also have these directions.

Check the outside temperature by hitting the "TEMP" button. This is found below the digital clock in your E36. As a safety feature, if the outside temperature drops below 3.06 degrees Celsius, the clock will automatically display and flash the temperature for eight seconds. This helps to indicate the possibility of ice on the roads.

Use the "RANGE" button if you want to know the estimated travel range. This feature takes the amount of remaining fuel and estimates how much farther you can travel with that amount. To access this calculation, press the "RANGE" button. If you see a "+" and a number, it is telling you the range is still being calculated. If you see three flashing segments in the screen, it is telling you that you have less than nine miles (15km), so you should refuel as soon as you can. Your OBC will register the new fuel amount when you add more than 1.2 gallons (4 litres) and restart the car.

Determine average speed by first parking your car and setting the speed calculation in this stationary position. Press the "SPEED" button and then press the "SET/RES" button on the bottom right corner. When you want to know the average speed at any given time, just press the "SPEED" button.

Calculate your average fuel consumption by entering the following sequence. Press the "CONSUM" button, followed by "SET/RES" button. To view the consumption, hit the "CONSUM" button. You can program two different settings at the same time by pressing the same button sequence twice. Toggle between the two consumption rates by hitting the "CONSUM" button repeatedly.

Find out the remaining distance of your trip by using the "DIST" button. This function will only work if you entered the start of your trip. Hit the "DIST" button, followed by pressing the middle of the four bottom left numerical buttons and then the "SET/RES" button. To see the current status of this calculation, press the "DIST" button.

Receive a speed limit warning with the speed limit warning feature. You enter a speed limit into the system by pressing "LIMIT" when you reach your desired speed, then the middle of the four bottom left numerical buttons, and followed by the "SET/RES" button. A signal will sound and the light on the screen will flash when you exceed this limit. You must drop the speed at least 3mph (5km/h) to reset it. You can also cancel or restart this warning by pressing the "LIMIT" button.

Hit the "TIMER" button followed by the bottom right button to set the timer. The timer will run in the display screen. Stop the timer by hitting the "SET/RES" button. If you want to check the intermittent time, just press "TIMER" button.

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