Guide to BMW Warning Lights: What Do They Mean?

December 10th, 2018 by

Example of Dashboard Warning LightsBMW is a German car company with a great reputation for high-quality luxury vehicles, but even your 3 Series or X5 might need an unexpected visit to a service center. If you see a warning light pop up on the dash of your BMW, you may need to bring your vehicle in. Read on to find out what your BMW dashboard warning lights mean.

Serious BMW Dash Warning Lights: Meaning

With an assortment of advanced systems, there are a variety of BMW warning light symbols you might see on your vehicle. Some of these signal that your BMW needs immediate service, including:

  • Empty or Low Fuel: When this symbol illuminates you have approximately 30 miles before you completely run out. Stop by you Decatur gas station for a fill-up and driving too long with this light on could damage your fuel system.
  • Tire Pressure Monitor: If this light is triggered it means that one or more of your tires is under-inflated. A yellow light means the tire pressure is down by about 10%, while a red light means the tire has deflated rapidly. This may be the result of tread wear that hasn’t been dealt with.
  • Oil Can: This symbol means your vehicle is low on oil. While it will also mean you’re likely due for an oil change, there could be more serious problems. When you choose BMW of Bloomington for your oil change, we’ll ensure your vehicle’s oil and lubrication system is in top shape in addition to replacing the oil and filter.
  • Thermometer: Your engine is getting too hot and potentially overheating; this can be both dangerous and damaging to your engine. If you aren’t near a BMW service center, we recommend stopping your vehicle to let your engine cool down and then visiting us as soon as possible.
  • Engine: When this warning light flashes or stays on, you will want to have your vehicle serviced immediately as it means there is an issue with your engine or its components.
  • Battery: This little rectangle with a + and – on it identifies trouble with your battery, and whatever that trouble may be, you’ll want it inspected by a professional.
  • Exclamation Mark in Circle: If this light shows up on your dash, it can indicate either that your brake fluid is low (red) or that your hill assist feature isn’t working (yellow). Either one warrants an inspection to fix.

If you see any of these on your BMW X5, remember that dashboard warning symbols are no joke and to have your vehicle promptly looked at.

Maintenance BMW Dash Warning Lights: Explained

While the BMW dash warning lights above warrant an immediate trip to the service center, some indicate simple fixes you should do soon (and might even do yourself), including:

  • Service Vehicle: If this light is yellow, it means your BMW will be due for service soon. If you BMW becomes overdue for service the light will turn red.
  • Dynamic Stability Control: This light isn’t one to worry about as it simply means the traction control system has been engaged. You can read more about it in your owner’s manual.
  • Light Bulb: If this symbol is lit then one or more external lights are out or experiencing an issue. If, after changing your bulbs, the light is still on, we suggest a visit to a service center.
  • Letter P in a Circle: This indicates that your parking brake is engaged. If you’ve disengaged your parking brake and the light is still lit up, you should visit a service center. This light sometimes is just the word BRAKE.
  • Circle with Dotted Lines: This BMW warning light indicates that your brake pads are worn and need replacing. As with the Service Vehicle light, it’s better if this is done sooner rather than later.

Complete Your Service Needs at BMW of Bloomington

If you need assistance addressing your BMW warning light, schedule service with the certified technicians at BMW of Bloomington. Remember to always check your owner’s manual if you’re unsure of a warning light — after all, the BMW X5 dashboard warning lights may not be exactly the same as the X7 or the 5 Series.

If you have any additional questions about your BMW warning lights, contact us today! If you are shopping for a new model, compare your options like the BMW X1 vs. Lexus NX to learn more! Is there a new driver joining the family? Find out how to program their BMW key fob.

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