Constant display message “Activating OFF ROAD”?


New member
First Post hope this is correct forum.

Hey all,

I've got a 2018 sprinter Diesel 4-wheel drive that yesterday started displaying a constant message on the dashboard display (between Spedo and RPM gages) that reads:



I've spaced it out like it appears on the display. My dealer Keys' European of Van Nuys has no idea what that means as they've never heard of or seen that one before, Ha!
They'er good guys over there so I'm trying to help diagnosis with some online research.

So, does anyone know what this constant message means? Nothing I do or have tried gets the message to go away.

Thanks in advance for any help or insight on this one.



2017 144WB 4x4
Sounds like a good time is about to commence.

Beyond that, I've never seen that message on my 2017 or have seen someone post about it.


'14 170 4cyl Crew
I've had that message come up for 4-5 months now... have no idea what it means. It only comes on at start up, so I usually click past it and it does not reappear again until next start. Next time I have the van into the dealer for service, I'll ask about it and report.
4 cyl 2014 crew


New member
Thanks man. mine miraculously disappeared. I have no idea why it even went away. If you learn anything let me know. Really appreciate the reply!


'14 170 4cyl Crew
I learned that the "activating off road" message refers to the fact that the navigation module (in the glove box) is either not plugged in all the way, or is not working properly. It can't pick up a signal to tell where it is, so the message means that "we are traveling over unmapped ground." Dealer said he would reset the module, and that I should drive around for a few days until it "finds itself".

So far, it hasn't worked. Maybe I need to pay for a map update from the folks at Becker Map Pilot... except that the roads haven't changed much since I bought the van.


Well-known member
I have seen the "off Road" notification come up several times, when using the Becker
Map Pilot in my 2014 and also using the onboard GPS in my 2019 with the full
The significance (at least in my cases) has always been that I was not on any approved
route or road, and often off in a parking area somewhere the GPS does not give
satellite information for.
Hope this helps,


New member
Thanks for replying and the great info. My dealer did do a software update that preceded the “activating OFF ROAD” message disappearing.
Also, Fyi just got back from 66 day 11’000 mi cross-country road trip in the sprinter and the message never once reappeared.


Well-known member
Kind of funny. Its saying Activating.....Off Road, not "activating offroad"...which would be cool.

Sometimes something in my glove box will nudge the module and it does this to me. I have a high power flashlight wired into my glove box but, shamefully, not mounted in there. Sometimes I get this message. I find if you cycle the key off, push the module where it wants to be, and cycle the key on while holding the module (dont start the van, just ignition on and wait for all the start up lights to go out), it will boot properly and then be fine until something else dislodges/disturbs/irritates the module.

EDIT : looks like jjols already solved it for you. +1 for his root cause.

Tiny Travels

2017 170"ext, 4x4, 2500
That appears when you're in the Navigation screen and the GPS doesn't have a lock on your location.

I think it's trying say that it's "activating" the navigation unit, and that it currently shows the vehicle's position as not currently on a recognized road.

Mine usually goes away after a few minutes, once the GPS finds me. Then the screen changes back to saying the name of the road and my current heading. "NORTH. Main Street"

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