December 7, 2022

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Did you know that your car has a secret menu in the on-board computer? Here’s how to find hidden data

Every modern car with an on-board computer also has a secret menu, did you know that? Here’s how to access the hidden submenu and what you can find inside.

in today’s carselectronics It has an increasingly mainstream function, which is why vehicle control units are becoming increasingly sophisticated. In the latest models, there is a real on-board computer, with which the driver can interact from the steering wheel, dashboard or touchpad. The primary functions of these computers are to analyze and protect the vehicle and its components. Not only do they check that everything inside the vehicle is working properly and so there is no need for intervention to avoid wear and tear or lack of maintenance, they also process external information transmitted by video cameras and sensors, to warn the driver of impending dangers.

Car secret menu (

in carsexcellentThe technology is so advanced that it allows for an extension 360 degree analysis of the external environment Even while moving and moving hundreds of meters ahead. The vehicle’s on-board computers, in concert with the vehicle’s other technological tools, are able to instantly calculate static and moving obstacles and warn the driver hundreds of meters in advance to prepare him for danger. But there are also functions that enable automatic braking in the event of an approaching obstacle and sensors that alert the driver audibly if they deviate from the lane.

In short, on-board computers are becoming increasingly important to cars and certainly improve the driving experience as well as road safety. Obviously, these also have the basic functions, ie those related to passenger compartment information, timekeeping, radio stations, partial kilometers, navigator and driver’s phone. Functions that were optional until recently are now part of the basic models.

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Cars have a secret menu, did you know that? What is hidden in your vehicle’s computer

onboard computer
Trip computer (web source)

The information we told you about is within the reach of anyone who gets into the car, but did you know that every car with an on-board computer also has a secret menu? In fact, it is not about hidden information, and therefore nothing secret, but in any case this is information that usually only the manufacturer or the electrician can see with the appropriate tools. This secret menu is displayed in workshops via WDS and is used to verify that everything is working correctly and that there are no operating errors in the on-board computer.

The menu can also be accessed outside of the workshops and each car has its own way of making it visible. for example BMW 3 Series E46 It allows access with a simple trick. First, you have to set the ignition, then press and hold the button to reset the trip odometer. At a certain point the screen will show “instrument lights on” and you will have to press the same button until you get to 19. When you get there the words “L On” and “L Off” will flash alternately and you will have to set it to “L Off”. At this point, you will find yourself in front of the secret menu.

What is the hidden on-board computer?

But what will you find there? what is it? This menu contains basic information such as the chassis number, year of manufacture and the exact kilometer traveled. But inside you will find the test to verify the correct functioning of all warning lights, information on maintenance and assistance, tank capacity and consumption, actual vehicle speed, coolant temperature, information on ADC and vehicle voltage. So what’s the point of accessing this secret list?

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The reason for accessing the hidden part of the information is because you are buying a used car. With the on-board computer, in fact, you can find out if maintenance has been carried out, whether the kilometers indicated on the display are those actually traveled, whether there are problems with the instruments and whether the year of manufacture and chassis number correspond with those they referred to you.