BMW Warning Lights

Your Complete Guide

Not sure what that yellow flashing symbol on your BMW dashboard means? Read our guide to find out what each warning light means and what you should do if they light up. 

Modern BMW cars are filled with lots of sensors that monitor how each system in the car is behaving. The lights on the dashboard display which systems are in use and highlight when one of those systems is not working as it should.

BMW warning lights on the dashboard follow a traffic light colour system:

  • Green: the system is working correctly or is currently in use

  • Yellow: something is not working correctly - take extra care and check it out as soon as possible

  • Red: there is a serious, and potentially dangerous problem - stop driving as soon as it is safe to do so

But what do all those different symbols mean? We’ve put together this guide to help you understand what the different warning lights on your BMW dashboard mean.


Even though some BMW dashboard warning lights indicate simple fixes, other BMW warning light symbols are trying to let you know your vehicle needs to be serviced immediately. You’ll want to be familiar with car dashboard symbols and meanings. Explore the red BMW warning light meanings here:

  • Front Safety Belt: When this BMW dashboard warning light appears, it means the front passenger or driver needs to put on their seat belt.

  • Braking System: This indicates a serious problem with the braking system. You need to visit a BMW service centre immediately.

  • Parking Brake: This BMW dashboard warning light means your parking brake is on. If you release the parking brake and it’s still on, visit a service centre. Also, sometimes this is simply the word ‘BRAKE’.

  • Airbag/Seat Belt Tensioner: This BMW warning light is telling you there’s a problem with your airbag or seatbelt tensioner. Have a service professional inspect these basic safety features as soon as possible.

  • Rear Safety Belt Off: A rear passenger is not wearing their seatbelt.

  • Engine Coolant Temperature: This light will come on when the engine is overheating. This could mean that coolant levels are running low, or it could be a sign of a larger problem.

  • Battery Charging System: If this light comes on when you’re driving, it indicates that the battery is not charging. This could be due to a problem with your car’s electrical system and it could have several causes, such as a faulty alternator, faulty battery, bad electrical connection or damaged cabling.



Some BMW warning light symbols will turn up in yellow. While these issues aren’t usually as serious as red-coded indicators, they still require your attention as any BMW service light would:

  • Antilock Braking System: The BMW warning light meaning of this light indicates your Brake Assist feature may not be functioning. However, it may also come on briefly when Brake Assist automatically applies your brakes.

  • Engine: Have your engine serviced as soon as possible when this BMW warning light comes on, as it indicates an issue with your engine, emissions, or components.

  • Steering System: Your BMW vehicle’s steering system is either not working properly, or power steering may be unavailable.

  • Tire Pressure Monitor: This BMW service light is triggered when one or more of your tires is under-inflated. A yellow light means the tire pressure is down by about 10% and a red light means the tire has deflated rapidly. This may be the result of ignored tread wear.

  • Dynamic Stability Control Off: This BMW warning light meaning is that Dynamic Stability Control has been deactivated.

  • Dynamic Stability Control: If this light is on constantly, you should have your vehicle serviced, as it could indicate a problem with Dynamic Stability Control. It should come on whenever DSC is engaged, as well. You can read more about it in your owner’s manual.



Green warning lights are usually just trying to tell you that a particular feature is in use! Here’s what to look for on your dash:

  • Auto Hold: This light indicates that the BMW Auto Hold system is engaged, automatically setting and releasing the brake in stop and go traffic.

  • High Beam Assistant: This BMW service light indicates that you have High Beam Assistant engaged, regulating the headlight beam for optimum illumination.

  • Fog Lights: This light signifies that you have your front fog lights on.

  • Lane Departure Warning: When this light is on, it indicates your Lane Departure Warning safety feature is engaged.

  • Low Beams: This light indicates that you have your headlights (low beams) on.

  • Parking Lights: When this light is lit up on your dash, it means you have your parking lights on (rather than your low beams or high beams).

  • Turn Signals: These are your BMW’s turn signal indicators. They’ll start flashing faster than usual if your turn signal bulb needs replacing.

  • Rear Safety Belt: This light indicates that a rear passenger has their safety belt on.

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