E36 Fault codes

How can i read the fault codes on my 1998 E36 318iSE without going to a dealer to get the codes read.
I have tried holding down the trip meter reset button whilst turning the
ignition key to position 1. This says test 1 and produces 6 sets of numbers.
Are these numbers the fault codes and if so how can i translate them into something meaningful?
Cheers,
JohnP.
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JohnP wrote:

AFAIR, that is just the test for the instrument cluster. To get the check engine codes you need to have an OBD2 tester pull the codes. Many auto parts places will do that for you for free as this allows them to sell you moire (often times un-needed) parts.
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Your 1998 is OBD II compliant, you can go to the auto parts store and they will let you use the code reader for free. The code reader will tell you what the codes mean, it should give a code and the text equivelent. You can also use the reader to reset any codes.
The data port is near the bottom edge of the instrument panel, in the area where your left leg rests while you drive.

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