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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is a dumb question but I am new to BMW and am used to the asians :thumbdwn:.
Is "Service Engine Soon" as serious as check engine or just an annoying thing like maintenance required? The car runs great :thumbup: (much better than my previous Scion). The oil was changed 1k ago (synthetic) and all new air filters. Is this just some dumb function that has to be shut off or is it something more serious?
 

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I know this is a dumb question but I am new to BMW and am used to the asians :thumbdwn:.
Is "Service Engine Soon" as serious as check engine or just an annoying thing like maintenance required? The car runs great :thumbup: (much better than my previous Scion). The oil was changed 1k ago (synthetic) and all new air filters. Is this just some dumb function that has to be shut off or is it something more serious?
BMWs are designed at the factory to be serviced on a use basis rather than at set mileages. Once the required service is complete the service indicator is supposed to be reset by the tech. You can reset it yourself with the correct tool - search the archives.

CAUTION: you have a 540 - "service" takes on a whole new meaning. Not like Hondas and Toyotas; they are optimized for low maintenance. Your 540 is optimized to perform. Find a good BMW maintenance schedule and stick to it. Example: the cooling system needs to be replaced periodically, not just serviced. Or you risk cooking the engine when the radiator blows in the worst possible place (always) on some dark and stormy night (always). If your car is an automatic you need to research that service issue as well.

Here is one set of maintenance schedules you can use - there are others but this one takes a pro-active approach. The motors on these cars are stone-cold reliable IF proper maintenance is done. Many of the problems you see written up are preventable with proactive service. Think of the drivetrain like an airplane engine that needs going-over every so many hours and you will do fine. Ignore the factory maintenance schedules unless you have a short lease on a new car and don't give a damn about running it into the ground.

 

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The "Service Engine Soon" indicator is the CEL (or Check Engine Light) that indicates that some component that would increase emissions has failed. The "Service Engine Soon" indicator is not a maintenance reminder.

If the SES is illuminated, you should try to find the fault and repair it as soon as possible. In some cases, waiting too long to repair the fault might lead to further damage. For example, if an oxygen sensor fails, the ECU will use a fuel injection map that will be rich. The excess fuel will eventually lead to the early failure of the catalytic converter which are expensive.
 

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Steve's right, I answered teh wrong question. What I get for posting in the middle of the night.
 

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If the car runs fine, get the code and reset the light, if the light doesnt come back on it may be a false alarm...happens sometimes its worth a shot
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually, thanks to dvsgene :bow: I figured out how to turn off light. It was a false alarm after all, so now I can drive with no worries. :roundel:
 

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Is there a way to reset the SES light without a code reader?
 

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on a realted question, the SES light only comes on when the key is in ignition I or II but not when the engines has started and not when i'm driving. Do i have to worry?
 

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The SES light will turn itself off after say, 60 miles of driving if the problem is corrected.

I had an intermittent O2 sensor for awhile and until I replaced it the light would cycle on and off.
 

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Is there a way to reset the SES light without a code reader?
Turn the key to accesory (just before start), and leave it there for 30 seconds or so, then turn it off. This will reset all of the dash warning lights--though of course they'll just come right back if you haven't cleared the problem.

(Figured it out myself. :bigpimp:)
 
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