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Understanding BMW’s “Service Engine Soon” Light

What to Do

There is nothing quite as stressful as driving down the road and hearing an unfamiliar “ding,” only to realize it’s your BMW’s check engine light. If you’re not used to the light (and hopefully, you aren’t), you may be unsure of how to handle the situation. Use this small guide from the pros at Central Import in Toronto, ON to help you determine what to do next.

Deciding Whether to Pull Over

Whether or not you pull over depends on what else is going on. If the light comes on but the car is driving well and there is no indication that the engine is overheating, it’s likely safe to keep driving until you get home. Most of the time, a “check engine” light coming on doesn’t mean the car is having an imminent problem but that one could be on the horizon. You should still schedule service as soon as possible.

Signs of Imminent Danger

Sometimes, there is a serious and immediate danger when the light comes on. When this happens, your BMW may limit how well your engine or transmission are performing and then emit other warning messages. You might even receive instructions to stop driving until you can contact a BMW service center. When your car goes into “limp mode,” it will stay this way until it is serviced and the automotive technician resets your system.

Amber vs. Red Check Engine Lights

BMW check engine lights come on in two different colors. If your light is amber, it means that the system has a problem, but it could be as simple as a loose fuel cap. You likely won’t notice any change in how your car drives, but it is still important to find out why the light is coming on and fix the problem soon. If the light is red, consider it a red alert. There is something more serious going on, and driving could be more damaging or even dangerous.

If your BMW check engine light is on, it’s a good idea to ask a professional automotive technician to service your vehicle. Contact Central Import in Toronto, ON to schedule a consultation and get your car back on the road.