What Are The Warning Symbols On My BMW Dashboard?

Driving on the road with your BMW can be fun and, ultimately, make your day-to-day more enjoyable. But it’s inevitable that your dash indicator lights will come on. BMW has constructed the dashboard in its full range of models to indicate a number of conditions through illuminated symbols. While some of these symbols are fairly self-explanatory, some indicators are vague, leaving you unsure what exactly about your BMW needs service.

Here’s our guide to BMW dashboard lights.

The Basics

Turn Signals

Of course, we’re all familiar with the turn signals, which are two arrows that are found on all dashboards, whether you drive a BMW, Mercedes, Audi or Porsche.

Parking Brake

Particularly used for manual transmissions but still used across the board, a parking brake provides extra stability when you park. In BMWs, your parking brake indicator light illuminates when it is activated and appears as a ‘P’ within a circle with two brackets on each side of the circle.

Automatic Hold

Automatic hold is another system associated with breaking in a BMW vehicle. This indicator light, similar to the parking brake light, is typically shown as an ‘A’ within a circle with two brackets on each side.

Front Fog Lamps

Fog lights assist drivers when the visibility is low due to fog or similar weather conditions. On most vehicles, fog lights are available as an alternative to typical headlights that can be switched on. These lights are lower to the ground and reach further. When these lights are turned on, the indicator light appears as a lamp-like shape with beams coming out of it and vertical wavy ‘fog-like’ lines.

High Beams

High beams, similarly to fog lights, are an alternative to headlights, providing different visibility with lights angles more horizontally or even slightly upwards in comparison to regular headlights. When turned on, the indicator light will illuminate, which looks like a lamp-like shape with beams coming out of it.


High-Beam Assistant

Sometimes it can be difficult to know when to turn on your high-beams or, in other cases, you are focusing on the road too much to remember to turn them on and off when appropriate. Cue the high-beam assistant, which automatically switches the high beams on and off. The “A” stands for Automatic in the indicator light when this is active. The systems detect light from oncoming traffic and lower high beams so other drivers’ visibility is not affected.

Vehicle Detection

How many times have you almost changed lanes before realizing that a vehicle was in your blind spot? Luckily new technology installed in BMWs will alert you if there is another vehicle closeby so you can avoid unnecessary collisions.

Lane Departure Warning

In modern BMWs, technology was installed in order to assist in promoting safety on the road. The result is an indicator that warns the driver that the vehicle has veered outside of the current lane. This ensures that if the driver is aware of their movement and discourages distraction on the road. The indicator lights for the lane departure warning looks like two dotted lines with arrows pointing inwards.

Temperature Warning

When a BMW senses lower temperature – below 37 degrees – a temperature warning indicator light will illuminate to warn the driver that road conditions are likely to be less than optimal. This light presents itself as a snowflake.

Engine Overheating

When a vehicle’s engine is becoming too hot, which can be the result of a variety of factors, a light that appears as a thermometer over two wavy lines will illuminate. At this point, it’s important to carefully slow and then stop your vehicle, turning your engine off to let it cool down. If this issue persists, it’s important to seek professional service from a mechanic.

Tire Pressure Monitor

Tire pressure is essential to fuel economy and the longevity of your tires. In more extreme cases, other elements of your vehicle can also be affected. When your vehicle experiences a rapid change (decrease) in tire pressure, the indicator light will appear.. This indicator looks like an exclamation point within a half-circle.

Check Engine Light

This notorious light can, unfortunately, mean a wide range of things. The light itself looks like an unsymmetrical block that resembles an engine. This light indicates, generally, that there is misfiring or malfunction in your engine. This is a serious indicator and should be taken to a mechanic as soon as possible.

High-Quality Service for BMWs

Now that you know what indicator lights on your BMW dashboard mean, you can more confidently understand when it’s important to seek out a mechanic for service issues.

AutoScope delivers high-quality service for luxury vehicle owners in the Dallas, Plano, Frisco, Flower Mound, and Irving areas. Our experienced mechanics use years of expertise specifically working with BMW,  Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes vehicles to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.

Schedule your appointment at AutoScope today! Contact us online here.



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