BMW Cars 1999-06

Maintenance Reminder Lights

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The maintenance indicators are used to remind the operator of needed service. Typically service interval indicators are usually triggered by mileage, and the owner should also factor in the seasons and the type of use the vehicle is subjected to.

The following is a list of what most manufacturers consider severe use. If the vehicle meets any one of these conditions, even if not indicated by the service indicator, maintenance should be performed more frequently. The following is a general list of severe operation conditions.



Vehicles operated in extreme cold or driven in extremely hot (over 90°F or 32°C) conditions
 
Vehicles operated in long periods of stop and go driving or conditions requiring extensive idling
 
Vehicles driven less than 5 miles (8 km) per trip or, in freezing temperatures, driven less than 10 miles (16 km) per trip
 
Vehicles driven with car top carriers, used for towing, driven in mountainous areas or on dusty, muddy, or de-iced roadways
 

One category not mentioned in severe operating conditions is vehicles used for competition or high performance driving. It goes without saying that a machine used at its limits should be maintained more frequently, both in the interest of reliability and safety. BMW's are very competent for operation in a high speed closed course environment and will provide many hours of trouble free operation if properly maintained.

The BMW maintenance indicators are unique in that they are not triggered strictly by odometer mileage. The early versions tracked a number of parameters to deduce the type of use the vehicle has been subjected to. Later versions simply monitor the vehicle's fuel economy as an indication of how the vehicle has been operated. The Engine Control Module (ECM) uses the information to determine when the Oil Service and Maintenance Indicator warning lights should be turned on. Therefore the service indicator is activated much sooner for vehicles driven in severe use situations.



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Fig. The service indicator displays the type of service needed. The urgency is denoted by the color of the lights. The yellow and red lights are on, suggesting this service be done soon

Resetting



The service indicator should be reset using a suitable scan or reset tool. These tools are readily available and designed specifically for the vehicle to avoid damaging any of the components. Some enthusiasts have found methods using home made tools to reset the service indicators, however in doing so there is also risk in doing irreparable damage to other very expensive components, including the Engine Control Module (ECM), also referred to as the Digital Motor Electronic (DME) control module. For the cost savings in performing your own maintenance, these reset tools will pay for themselves over the long run. And, if you are ever willing to part with your BMW, it's a nice token of added value.

When resetting the service indicator, follow the directions for the specific tool as supplied by the tool manufacturer.



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Fig. The service indicator connector is located in the engine compartment. The protective cap is removed to access the connectors



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Fig. We used a reset tool supplied by Peake Research®. The tool is easy to use and worked flawlessly



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Fig. Place the ignition switch in the ON position, but don't start the engine. Align the tool with the connector, then . . .



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Fig. . . . press down on the tool carefully until it is fully seated



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Fig. The supplied user's guide is easy to follow



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Fig. The select button is used to choose the desired mode of operation. The OL indicates the tool is ready to reset the Oil Service light



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Fig. After the Go button was pressed, the tool acknowledges that the reset procedure is complete by clearing its display



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Fig. After the service indicator has been successfully reset, it now displays five green bars and the Oil Service light is turned off



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Fig. Baum Tools offers several scan tools. This one will reset the Service Indicator and Check Engine lights and access Engine Control Module, Transmission Control Module, and Air Bag codes

 
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