You're driving home in your BMW in Winter Park and you hear that awful "Ding!"
Not the nice kind of "Ding!" like from the stove when your hot meal is done or your phone when your best friend's text arrives, but the dreaded service light "Ding!"
A million thoughts and images probably race through your head.
You picture yourself in a 10-car pile-up or thousands of your hard-earned dollars drifting out of your wallet. Maybe you already see your BMW sitting in the junkyard - it's final resting place.
Slow down, chief.
There are a number of things to consider and do when your BMW service engine light comes on.
Take a deep breath, and let's take a look at a few scenarios before you worry yourself into a coma...
What Does a BMW Service Engine Light Look Like?
Your BMW likely has a lot of different lights, sensors, and indicators.
Keep in mind that not every indicator on your dashboard is an emergency.
The important lights usually have something to do with your engine, brakes, etc. What do the engine lights on a BMW look like, though?
It depends on your specific model.
You may see one of the following:
- An engine symbol
- "Service Engine Soon" text
- "Service Due Soon" text
- A symbol of a car with the "Service" text
There may even be others, but those are probably the most common.
We still encourage you not to panic, but these are the dashboard lights definitely require your attention.
What Do I Do If My BMW Service Engine Light Turns on?
We already covered the deep breaths and not panicking, but what if you're in the middle of driving?
A check engine light is serious but does not necessarily require you to immediately pull over in traffic.
Sometimes, a symptom of your check engine light may require you to immediately take action, though. For example, if your engine thermostat is reading hot or if you see steam coming out from your engine, pull over and turn the car off immediately.
Call a mechanic who specializes in maintenance for a BMW in Winter Park and consider getting a tow.
In order to protect yourself in the future, though, make sure to read your BMW Owner's Manual and follow the scheduled maintenance guide.
Don't have it anymore? Don't worry. BMW offers them for free online.
What Does My BMW Service Engine Light Mean?
Here's some of the best news you'll read in this whole blog: it may mean nothing at all!
For some people, a check engine light shows up just because they went through a car wash.
It's possible for the sensors that detect issues with your car to have issues themselves.
A sensor may be too sensitive or faulty and it may detect a problem when there is none. In a way, this is sort of a problem in and of itself, due to the sensors working improperly, but at least your engine's OK!
You still need to have it properly diagnosed, though. A good BMW Winter Park mechanic will have the tools necessary to read the specific service code from your service engine light.
While many tools you can purchase yourself can read the generic codes, a BMW specialist should have the tools to read BMW's specific codes.
But you may still ask be asking yourself, "What does the service light mean?"
It could mean a number of issues, and we'll take a look at some of them more specifically.
Coolant Level Low
Maybe your coolant level is low or your car is wrongly reading the coolant level as low. This could be an easy fix for you: buy the coolant, top it off, and see if it fixes the service engine light.
If not, you still may need to have a BMW Winter Park mechanic look it over.
This part reduces exhaust gases and it could be faulty or broken. Sadly, this can also be an expensive repair
Where the catalytic converter exhausts gas, the fuel injector brings gas inside the car correctly. This can also break, which sometimes is out of your control.
Missing or Loose Gas Cap
Here’s an easy one! It's possible you're missing the gas cap or that it's loose.
This may cause your BMW to mistakenly believe there is a leak or evaporation, and simply tightening or replacing the gas cap could fix the problem.
Your engine requires a perfectly balanced ratio of oxygen to fuel. Your BMW may be reading an incorrect ratio, or (again) may be mistakenly reading an incorrect ratio.
Either way, this is still an issue that a BMW Winter Park mechanic could diagnose further.
To put it simply: this one's not good news.
We saved the worst for last, but a broken head gasket can be a very serious and expensive repair.
You may notice some tell-tale signs of a problem with your head gasket:
- Engine overheating
- Coolant leaking with no obvious sign of leakage underneath
- White smoke coming from the exhaust pipe
Notice how earlier we strongly suggested that you take the service engine light seriously if your car was overheating? This is why.
Still, though, don't panic just yet! These symptoms could still be signs of other, less serious issues.
Make sure that you still have an experienced mechanic diagnose your vehicle properly before you jump to any conclusions.
Schedule an Appointment With a Specialist for BMW in Winter Park Today
At this point, hopefully, you have a good idea about why your service engine light might be coming on.
Don't panic or stress out until you have had the vehicle properly diagnosed.
At Europe Auto, we have a team of professional specialists who are ready to repair and maintain your vehicle all while keeping you safe, comfortable, and assured that your BMW is in good hands.
Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or need to have your service engine light diagnosed for your BMW in Winter Park.