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11BMW’s have always had advanced electronics so it should go as no surprise that our vehicle utilizes a series of dashboard warning lights and symbols to communicate with you. Based on you BMW year and model, these lights below may differ in appearance.

A common rule associates the color of the illuminated symbol with the severity of the issue. It is good to make note of Red and Orange as those are immediate or need service soon indicators.

Red: Red means there is an urgent issue with your vehicle, you should take your vehicle to your repair facility and have it diagnosed for repair

Orange: Orange is a warning light letting you know there is an issue with your vehicle. Not an immediate need but you should take your vehicle in a diagnostic.

Blue or Green: Blue and green symbols provide information such as indicators and lights. will typically indicate a less urgent issue, for example a vehicle service required.

NOTE: if you have flashing lights, this indicates and urgent issue.

Dashboard warning lights on BMW’s should not be overlooked. These are built specifically to alert you to issues with your vehicle. If you have any warning lights, contact us for a BMW diagnostic at our Brooklyn facility.


BMW Headlight Warning Lights

  1. Indicates your front fog light is on.
  2. Indicates your rear fog light is on.
  3. Turn signal indicators
  4. High beams are turned on.
  5. Your low beams are on.
  6. You have a burned light bulb. Could be parking, rear fog, signal, interior, license plate or brake light.
  7. Brake light is burned out.
  8. There is an issue with your headlights.
  9. Adaptive light system issue.
  10. Your headlights are on.
  11. There is an issue with your battery, low charge, unable to charge or issue with your alternator.
  12. There is a problem with an exterior light.
  13. The overdrive has been turned off. There is an overdrive switch to turn on and off.
  14. This is a service light. There is an issue with your engine, transmission or electrical system. Take to a repair facility for a diagnostic.

BMW Engine Warning Lights

  1. Press the brake and start the engine.
  2. Your Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). Your filter is clogged and needs to be cleaned.
  3. There is an issue with your Catalytic Convertor.
  4. This motor warning light indicates that there is water in the fuel system.
  5. The engine air filter is dirty, time to change.
  6. Your engine is overheating. Turn off immediately, wait for cool down and check coolant level. Do Not Drive when this light is on or flashing.
  7. Your engine fuel filter is dirty, needs to be changed.
  8. You are low on fuel.
  9. Oil Pressure Warning light, turn off car and check oil level, add oil as needed.
  10. Check Engine Light. Take your vehicle to the shop for a diagnostic.
  11. Limited Power light, the computer has limited power to engine. Need a diagnostic.
  12. Oil Change reminder, it’s time to change your oil and filter.
  13. The Gas cap is not tight, pull of and retighten.
  14. DPF Light (Diesel particulate filter regeneration has failed.
  15. Add DEF Fluid Light (for diesel vehicles).

BMW Warning Lights for Mechanical Components

  1. Worn Brake Pads, time to replace. If you just replaced the pads, you need to reset the brake pad service reminder.
  2. You must press the brake before starting or moving the vehicle.
  3. Air suspension warning light.
  4. There is a problem with your suspension, something has failed.
  5. Transmission failure, there is something wrong with your automatic transmission. It may stay in limp mode and not shift gears.
  6. Transmission is overheating. Stop vehicle and let it cool down. Check fluid level and fill as needed.

BMW Warning Lights about Weather Conditions

  1. Outside temperature is below freezing.
  2. If this light stays on, there is an issue with the light and rain sensor on the windshield.
  3. The defrost window button is on.
  4. Your rear window defrost button is on.
  5. Your sensor for auto wipers is on.
  6. Your automatic wipers are being adjusted automatically.
  7. Your glow plug warning light. If it stays on, take vehicle to the shop for a diagnostic.
  8. It is freezing outside, drive with caution.

BMW Warning Lights For Safety Driving

  1. This vehicle warning symbol, Track distance warning sign.
  2. Warning that the speed limit has been exceeded
  3. Cruise control is activated.
  4. This warning symbol appears if you’re changing lanes without using your signal
  5. Door is open on the vehicle.
  6. Door, Hood or Trunk open. Will drain the battery if not closed properly.
  7. Seat belt is not secure
  8. Low tire pressure, fill as required.
  9. No Key. The vehicle can not detect a key in the car or your key chip is faulty.
  10. Park. Your vehicle is in the park position.
  11. Parking assistance system is activated.
  12. Steering lock warning. If it is yellow, you should bring it to the service, but if it is red, you should not use it.
  13. Airbag warning SRS, airbag many not deploy
  14. ECO indicator showing your economy mode is active.
  15. Parking Brake Warning. It is either engaged or you need to add brake fluid.
  16. This warning symbol appears if the airbag system is off.
  17. ABS warning light. There is a problem with your anti-lock brake system, have vehicle looked at.
  18. Cruise Control is on.
  19. The hood is open
  20. The trunk is open
  21. The security system has a fault
  22. The windshield wiper fluid is low
  23. Key not recognized. There may be an issue with your key, car battery or security system.
  24. Stability control light, you may be driving on slippery conditions or there is a problem with your traction control.
  25. Traction Control or ESP: there is a problem with your traction control

BMW has an extensive list of warning and indicator lights to help protect you and the vehicle. It’s important that you familiarize yourself with these lights so you know how to react when one shows up. You can always refer to your owners manual in the time of need.

With any warning lights, always give us a call at Bay Diagnostic to diagnose your vehicle. Remember, small repairs now save thousands on major repairs in the future.

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