DIY Repair Instruction Guide for BMW E36 3-Series M3 11 Button On Board Computer (OBC)


March 4, 2018

1992 - 1999 BMW 3-Series & M3 all have the very common pixel failure on the On Board Computer (OBC). Luckily, we have a fix for you that is quick and painless.

BMW 11 button obc

If you have the following failures on your LCD, you are probably facing the same issue:

  • Digits or complete lines of pixels have disappeared or flicker.
  • On Board Computer (OBC) displays are difficult or impossible to read.
  • Dark Spots on LCD screen
  • High or low temperatures effect display readout.

The pixel problem lies with the ribbon cable that connects the LCD display to the circuit board of the OBC. Dead and fading LCD pixels can be restored DIY simply replacing the faulty ribbon cable.

LCD pixel failure repair kits, ribbon cable light bulb, background light lamps are now available for DIY repairs (sold on pictures above show the SID LCD display before and after the ribbon cable replacement. This LCD pixel failure is due to the ribbon cable, which can be done DIY. 

Tools Required:

  • T9 Torx Screwdriver
  • 3/32 x 1-1/2 Flathead screwdriver
  • Pixel Strip
  • Special Soldering Iron w/ T-Tip 
  • Teflon Applicator for Iron
  • Acetone or Isopropyl Alcohol

Step 1: 

Unclip back from front, gently pull rear plastic casing off. Put aside.

Step 2:

Use flathead screwdriver to gently wedge and release white plastic light-board clips from inside faceplate to separate from housing. 

Step 3:

Unclip black plastic frame from around LCD. 

Step 4: 

Remove (2) T9 torx screws from bottom of PCB. These screws secure the light board onto the PCB.

Step 5:

Separate light board from PCB by simply unclipping them apart.

Step 6:

Remove old pixel cable by pulling it off LCD and PCB.

Step 7: 

Use flat head screwdriver to gently scrub off adhesive left over from old cable pulled off LCD. Use acetone on LCD to gently remove Only the contact area where the new cable will be installed onto the LCD. Use acetone to remove ALL residue left over from old cable on circuit board traces. 

Step 8:

Place teflon applicator onto soldering iron T head, turn on iron and let warm up fully. Should take about 2-3 minutes. The teflon may come off, unplug the iron allowing it to cool down, then putting the piece back on should fix this. Line up cable on traces of LCD, use heat to bond the cable to the glass. 

Once cable is bonded to LCD, now line up traces of cable and bond to PCB contacts.

Step 8: 

Reassemble device.

Here are before / after pictures of the repaired On Board Computer:

 BMW OBC Before After Pixel Repair

Here is a video we posted on our German Audio Tech Instagram page.


Today we would like to share with you a short video 🎥. This is our repair of a BMW e36 3-Series 11 button on board Computer (#OBC). This part was sent to us by Russell all the way from Saskatchewan, Canada 🇨🇦 . This short video outlines the parts needed to repair this dysfunctional module and includes before and after pictures. . . A few issues that needed to be addressed: • Original pixel strip failed and needed to be replaced • Lamps required replacement as well • pixel display is illegible, clean and repair . . After this service the device now functions 💯 We were the first company to manufacture the heat seal cable required to properly repair this module. Thousands of these modules have been repaired by us over the last 10 year and we are so confident in our work we provide you with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. 👍 Do you have this issue or know someone who does? We can help! . Pixel Repair Kit Repair Service . 📬 🖥

A post shared by German Audio Tech, LLC. • (@germanaudiotech) on