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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:34 AM
mrsean mrsean is offline
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Question BMW 328i 1996 the colord lights under the miles on car? help!

Okay so when i bought my BMW the light were full no i think i only have like 2 green ones what's this mean?

Last edited by mrsean; 02-01-2013 at 10:35 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:40 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Did you look in the owner's manual? If not, look and it will tell you that's the service indicator. When you get an oil change at the dealer they reset the mileage counter and you have all green bars.
As the mileage totals up the number of green bars goes down until you get yellow bars then red.
If you need an owners manual, look at the Useful Links sticky and there are links there to sites where you can get the Bentley Repair manual and copies of the original owners manual.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:43 AM
mrsean mrsean is offline
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Well i change my own oil so how would i get the lights back? id have to go to BMW and have them do it? What do they charge for a oil change?
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:46 AM
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bimmerbarbie bimmerbarbie is offline
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No, you can reset the oil service light with a bent paper clip. Run a search on the DIY; if we don't have it over here I feel certain bimmerforums has it.

Also, don't go by the oil service indicator to determine when to change your oil. Do it the old fashioned way.
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Last edited by bimmerbarbie; 02-02-2013 at 10:04 AM. Reason: a stray t ruining my point
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2013, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mrsean View Post
Well i change my own oil so how would i get the lights back? id have to go to BMW and have them do it? What do they charge for a oil change?
You need a code reader like this to reset the oil service light. Coincidentally that little gadget will also tell what your check engine lights mean, and the code associated with it.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2013, 12:54 PM
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Its a 96... Isn't it the same as my 95 with the little round thingy you can use the paper clip trick on? I don't see any reason to waste perfectly good mod money on a code reader.

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... We all kinda just ignore Amber (barbie) anyway. She's sort of our attitude and eye candy here, that's why we keep her around...
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bimmerbarbie View Post
No, you can't reset the oil service light with a bent paper clip. Run a search on the DIY; if we don't have it over here I feel certain bimmerforums has it.

Also, don't go by the oil service indicator to determine when to change your oil. Do it the old fashioned way.
Misread this. You meant he could do this with the clip, if I assume correctly?
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:05 PM
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Yes, its extremely easy. If y'all haven't found it later tonight I'll find the link.

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... We all kinda just ignore Amber (barbie) anyway. She's sort of our attitude and eye candy here, that's why we keep her around...
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2013, 01:56 PM
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http://www.bmwe36blog.com/reset-bmw-...ice-light.html

It takes a bit of doing to get it right; the timing on holding the paper clip in place mainly.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2013, 02:13 PM
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That's how I reset my indicator.
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this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2013, 06:52 PM
mrsean mrsean is offline
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Thank you all you were a big help im gonna try the paper clip thing! i thought i car was about to break or something haha
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2013, 09:22 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Yeah, the paperclip method works just fine.

Also, do NOT actually use those colored bars as reference for your oil change intervals. If you were to only change your oil according to when they said to, your oil change intervals would be super long. If you're using synthetic oil, your oil change intervals should be 5-6k miles if you have a healthy engine. I change at 4k miles, but I hardly drive that amount in a year, and even then I often only have one green bar missing, which makes me wonder when all the greens would be gone. 10k miles? 15k?? Just disregard them and change oil according to your own records.
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2013, 03:29 PM
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I used two bars in 4500 miles. So I think it goes to 8k. I have a Peake reader so I just use that to reset. Never even knew a paper clip was possible. I also change at 4k miles, using full synthetic oil. And I use my own records as well, I'd never depend upon the bars as it has no indication of your driving style or the time your car is running while idle, like in traffic.
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Last edited by SCJon; 02-02-2013 at 03:31 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2013, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SCJon View Post
I used two bars in 4500 miles. So I think it goes to 8k.
It isn't a set number of miles. They go down at a variable rate which is determined by driving style and conditions. So, if you hammer on your car often, they will go down faster than if you drive Ms. Daisey (like me).
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  #15  
Old 02-02-2013, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
It isn't a set number of miles. They go down at a variable rate which is determined by driving style and conditions. So, if you hammer on your car often, they will go down faster than if you drive Ms. Daisey (like me).
I drive Ms. Daisy too, much to the chagrin of everyone who thinks I should race them. Like every fox body Mustang I've ever been next to. I didn't know it was set for variables. Learning every day on here.

Source of my confusion...

Last edited by bimmerbarbie: Reason: a stray t ruining my point

Thanks Amber thought I had been confused by that one.
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Last edited by SCJon; 02-04-2013 at 04:56 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-07-2013, 09:47 AM
mrsean mrsean is offline
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Okay i havent found this place were i put the paper clip to reset it do you have links to were it is?
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2013, 09:49 AM
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http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=360503

or

http://www.bmwe36blog.com/reset-bmw-...ice-light.html
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  #18  
Old 02-07-2013, 10:09 AM
mrsean mrsean is offline
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THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOOOOO MUCH! it worked so easy now i don't feel like my cars a dime again!
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  #19  
Old 02-07-2013, 10:22 AM
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You're welcome! Just remember to change your oil about every 5k miles (if using synthetic oil), and not when all the green lights have disappeared. The service indicator lights are pretty much useless. The only reason I reset mine is simply for the sake of having all green lights, but nothing else.
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