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BMW E46 Coding list — What you can code

August 17, 2020

Like Having Your Own Mechanic

Here a BMW E46 coding list of what you can code in your BMW E46. We know of 20 different areas with well over 50 possible codes.
There is more to your BMW E46 than you think. Did you know, for example, that you can code your sunroof to be closed with a keyfob?

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Alarm system

Brake lights

Cleaning (rain sensors, windscreen wipers etc…)

Comfort functions

Coming home


Daytime running light

Easy entry

Flash to pass

Headlamp cleaning

High beam

Interior lights

Locking doors


Opening (doors/sunroof)

Power windows

Side marker 

Tailgate/rear door

Turn signals

Voltage monitoring

Key programming

BMW E46 Coding list
BMW E46 Coding list
[lwptoc title=”Table of Content”]

The Carly app helps you do this coding yourself without any mechanical knowledge. This saves you not only money but also time, since you don’t have to make a trip to the workshop.

Let’s take a closer look at the most popular codings for your BMW E46.

BMW E46 Turn Signal Coding

One design element of cars that has changed over the years is the indicator. Competitors in the German market introduced the “recharging” turn signal a few years ago. But the BMW E46 has long been able to keep up. In fact, it trumps its competitors. And with a little help from the instructions below, your E46 will have even more opportunities to stand out from the crowd. 

For example, when unlocking, a visual signal is emitted to show the driver that the vehicle has actually been unlocked. But if you don’t like this or if you just don’t need it, you can set the “Anti Theft Alarm System” to deactivated. However, if you would like to receive a visual confirmation when you lock the car, you must leave the “Anti Theft Alarm System” item activated and therefore the confirmation when you unlock stays on. 

You can also get a final confirmation when you close up the car completely. This means that as soon as all doors and the trunk are closed, the car will give a visual signal via the turn signals, so that you are sure that all doors are properly closed. The car is not locked and can still be opened from the outside, but is ready to be locked. 

On your BMW E46, this “One-Touch Turn Signal” can be easily adjusted. This coding was introduced in the 3-series at the end of 2004, but may be possible with a software update in the workshop for earlier models as well. You can choose between 1-time and the usual 3-time flashing. The function is activated by lightly pulling (up or down) the turn signal lever once. Hence the name “One-Touch Turn Signal”

The hazard warning flasher is a very interesting feature of the E46. It can blink once (the standard) or twice by adjustment. This function can be selected in the light switching center, (usually abbreviated as LSZ, based on the German spelling). If you change this, your BMW is then most likely the only one in the vicinity that can do this.

The last point ties in with the previous one. In case of an accident, you can choose between single and double hazard lights. Unsurprisingly, the double hazard warning flasher makes you stand out and this attracts the attention of other vehicles much faster, which makes it the safer choice.

BMW E46 High Beam Coding

Some people have problems seeing enough of the road and surrounding terrain when driving at night. Maybe you are one of them!. Did you know that there are high beam lights of different intensities that make driving at night much easier?

The car manufacturers try to make driving as easy as possible by using new technologies and tricks. One way for the driver to take back a little control is to switch additional light levels on or off. For example, it is common practice to switch the fog light to the low beam in order to achieve better illumination in case of impaired visibility. 

Unfortunately, many cars do not have the possibility to switch on the fog light in addition to the high beam. It is automatically switched off by the LSZ control module when the high beam is active.

Here the coding of Carly comes into play. You have the possibility to let the fog light stay on when the high beam is activated. If you prefer to drive with the high beams, the Carly app helps you make it happen. Both options can be found in the light switching center (LSZ) and can be changed quickly.

BMW E46 Side Marker Coding

“Side Markers” can be coded on your BMW E46, although they are only legally required in Germany for vehicles over 6 meters long. The only country that requires side markers on every car by law is the United States of America.

If the rear lights are too far away from the edge of the rear, additional side markers must be fitted. Side markers are usually electronically connected to the parking light. They shine and reflect in orange, while the rearmost side marker lights shine in red if they are part of the rear lights. 

Your side markers can be made permanently active, making them a striking feature of your BMW E46. Since the lights are usually only available on the American market, there is no guarantee that your car has them.

If you do have them, then just set the “Side marker (US)” option to active. And in case of turn signal warning lights appearing on your dashboard you should deactivate the voltage monitoring of the turn signals (also available with Carly).This problem occurs mainly with non-US models. 

The side markers can also be paired up with the turn signal. Then they function as dimmed turn signals along the car in the usual US style. This is a really cool looking feature, which you don’t see much outside of the US. This coding can be found in the light control center. The function must be activated in addition to the item ” Side marker (US)”. 

It’s a pity that the side markers are not installed in a standardized way in Germany. But they attract attention when they are installed on a car. In addition to the already mentioned turn signals, the brake light can also be amplified.

Again the side markers, in this special case the rearmost ones, light up in dimmed light. But now in red, as they are considered part of the rear lights. They are activated in the same way as the point above, via the “Side marker (US)” option.

The dimmed brake lights on the sides make the BMW E46 a particularly impressive sight for the vehicle driving behind you, especially at night.

It’s important to note that US markers do not comply with the law of most of the countries outside the US and their use may be subject to fines. So make sure to check what is allowed in your country first. 

BMW E46 Key programming

Locking the doors represents the end of any accident-free journey. It is always nice to arrive safely at your destination. But the pleasure of driving your BMW E46 should not stop with the push of a button 🙂 

You can program things to happen after your journey ends. Be it the flashing indicators, the supporting acoustic signal, or simply the confirmation that the car is completely closed. 

The turn signals are a versatile piece of a car. In case of an accident they warn following drivers of the danger. In normal driving conditions, they can also indicate a lane change to the cars behind you. They also play a role when entering or exiting the road. And if you want your car to say “goodbye” when locking up, you can program this visual send off. To do this, the “Anti Theft Alarm System” must be set to active. 

Furthermore, a visual confirmation can be given when all the doors are closed. Completely closed means that all doors and the tailgate have been closed. Access to the vehicle is still possible, however. This function is linked to the one above and will always be active if the visual confirmation is also activated when the vehicle is locked. 

If the visual confirmation is not enough for you, you have the option of having the BMW E46 give you an acoustic signal. Just like the visual confirmation, this will be done after pressing the close button on the remote control. By honking the horn, your car confirms that it is locked up. This acoustic confirmation can be activated or deactivated. You can do this under the section “Anti Theft Alarm System”. And if you or your neighbor start getting annoyed with this kind of notification, it’s easy to turn off again. 

Now let’s get to the functions of the key. The comfort key has become an indispensable gadget in mid-range cars and is therefore often used. The car manufacturers select what these keys can do by default. Sometimes a few useful functions fall by the wayside and aren’t programmed automatically. But with Carly you access all possible customizations for your BMW E46 key. 

Usually only the doors and the tailgate are locked when the key is used to close up. But the codes give you more control over the parts that lock. Especially in summer it often happens that a window is left open, particularly by younger passengers.

Then you have to sit in the car again, turn the ignition on and roll up the windows, which is a bit annoying. The comfort key allows you to have the windows raised automatically when you lock them, as long as it is done with the remote control.

By default, this only happens with front windows, but with the coding it can be activated for the rear windows as well. To execute the command, you have to press the close button on your comfort key for a longer time. Then you can watch your car magically close its windows.  

If your BMW E46 is equipped with a sunroof, the automatic closing function can also be coded for it. The sunroof in particular takes what feels like an eternity until it is completely closed. Honestly, nobody wants to wait in the car until it is finally locked. 

All locking functions can be carried out together with a simple push of a button. But if you prefer to close the windows and sunroof manually, you can also close individual items selectively. For example, if you never open the sunroof, you don’t have to select this function. In this case, only the rear windows are closed when the comfort key is used. 

Your comfort key has a number of other useful features you can enable. For example, if you are just about to pick up your children from the daycare center, you can easily forget about your valuables in the car. When you come back, you unlock the car from a distance and then you run into the parents of another child. Honestly, who thinks about locking the car again? Your BMW E46 has an automatic locking function that you can code for such cases. This function comes into effect if 2 minutes after unlocking the car no one has opened a door. This means that after two minutes of chatting your valuables are safely stored again. 

Speaking of locking — with Carly, you have the ability to set the speed at which the car will lock. This starts with the activation of the ignition and goes from 4 km/h in increments of 4 up to 28 km/h. If you gain access to the car with the comfort key, the set speed will be taken into consideration. The BMW E46 can additionally adapt to up to 4 different keys. Here is a simple example: 

Let’s say you have one key and your partner has a second key. You have no problem rolling along at walking speed without the car being locked. But your partner prefers that the car locks once they get going. With the comfort key, your car recognizes who is in the car and will lock at the speed that you have programmed it to each time. 

Last but not least we come to the tailgate. This can either be unlocked by you or made only accessible when the whole car is unlocked. Depending on what you prefer, you can choose your preferred option in Carly’s control unit. 

BMW E46 Brake Light Coding

With new types of cars, car manufacturers like BMW have come up with something new to warn vehicles behind you in case of an emergency stop, without you having to do anything.

This is the case with your BMW E46. In the past, it was common for the hazard warning lights to light up a few times. Nowadays it’s flickering brake lights that tell the following vehicle that an emergency stop is in progress. 

The so-called “Brake Force Display” allows you to adjust the brake lights individually in case of an emergency stop. At Carly there are 5 of these displays. It’s up to you which of these settings you want to have. To make them work you have to use them in combination with the “Brake Force Display 1/5″. This gives you a choice between the settings and you can customize your brake lights. You can also turn off the flashing rear lights completely. This coding is possible in the light switching center (LSZ).  

Furthermore you can turn the inner rear lights into warning brake lights. You can choose between two different options. The same applies to the outer rear lights. So it is safe to say that you as a driver will attract enough attention to make the driver behind you aware of the potentially dangerous situation.

BMW E46 Daytime Running Light Coding

For a long time now, two groups of motorists have been engaged in a heated debate. Should the lights be turned on during the day or not? Even older vehicles like the BMW E46 have integrated daytime running lights, which normally turn on when the engine is started.

Opponents of daytime running lights argue that there is an unnecessary burden on the car’s lighting system because the bulbs do not necessarily offer better visibility for the driver or make a car more noticeable when they are turned on during the day. 

With the Carly control unit you decide whether to drive with or without automatic daytime running lights. You have to go to the light switching center in the Carly app to activate the daytime running light. There are two points you need to activate in the app — daytime running light 1/2 and 2/2.After the coding is completed, f you move the light switch in your car to position 0, your daytime running light will be on or off, depending on the code. 

Now it becomes interesting for all daytime running light drivers. With your BMW E46 you can code the luminosity of the daytime running light. Again, this function can be found in the light switching center.

It goes from a very weak light, to a moderately bright daytime running light, all the way to very bright light. The choice is up to you. If you choose a lower level, it increases the bulb lifespan of the daytime running lights. In order to activate this feature, you must also select the item “Daytime running lights customization”. 

For those of you who are still worried about the lifetime of the bulb, there is an alternative option. For example, the high beam can function as daytime running light when dimmed.

Since the lights are automatically dimmed by the software, an oncoming vehicle will not be dazzled by your lights, and no one will wonder why you turned your high beam on during the day. To dim the lights, simply select “on” in the control unit under “Daytime running lights – dimmed high beam”. 

The same option applies to the indicators. Yes, that’s right, also the turn signals can be used as daytime running light. Logically, your front indicators on your BMW E46 are coded as daytime running light. After all, the daytime running light is more about being more visible to others, than allowing you to see better.

So the turn signals are a good choice, because they immediately catch the eye. The procedure for activation is again the same as before. Go to your light switching center and set the item “Daytime running light – front indicators” to “on”.

In addition to the options already mentioned, the parking light offers another alternative to conventional daytime running light.

Since the parking light is usually used less frequently, it is a good alternative to the already mentioned methods. Furthermore, it has a medium luminosity, which is perfect for being clearly visible in traffic.

In the light switch center, you will find the item “Daytime running light – parking light”. If you activate this function, your parking light will become daytime running light at the next start.

Last but not least, the rear lights provide better all-round visibility for your car. The rear lights will be switched to the daytime running lights you have selected. Again, you can find the point in the light switching center under the sub-item “daytime running lights – rear lights”. This gives your BMW E46 an additional recognition feature from the rear.

BMW E46 mirror coding

Drivers, especially city ones, experience things every day where their BMW E46 mirrors run the risk of being damaged. And even after parking the vehicle, the danger is often not over.

In narrow parking spaces, or perhaps you park your car next to a cycling path, there is always some risk. It happens faster than you think, that a mirror gets torn off or somebody breaks it. To prevent this from happening to you, your BMW E46 can fold in its mirrors.

But folding is not the same as collapsing. As mentioned several times in other points, your comfort key makes your life much easier. This also applies to the mirrors. As already mentioned, you can close the windows of your car afterward.

You can also use the key to fold the mirrors to the car by holding the locking button pressed for a long time. For this purpose, you will find the item “Comfort folding in and out for mirrors” in your Carly control unit.

There are 3 sub-items in total, which all need to be activated (set to “on”). Now the mirrors should fold up on their own next time if you keep the button for locking pressed long enough.

We hope that this overview of popular codings for your E46 gives you the confidence to personalize your car!