German car manufacturer BMW first released the 2 series in 2013. All but the most basic of modern cars use onboard computers called the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that monitors various sensors located around the vehicle. The system that BMW use is called Check Control.
Sensors send data to the ECU and if a fault is detected, a dashboard warning light is triggered, possible along with an information message. Usually serious faults are red lights, sometimes flashing and may have an audible alarm. Warning lights and symbols should not be ignored, particularity those that are red. A potential risk to vehicle occupant safety and/or vehicle mechanical and electrical damage may occur.
BMW 2 Series Red Warning Symbols
The red warning symbols on the BMW 2 series represent the most urgent. Either individual or a combination of symbols and light colours may illuminate.
Name: Airbag Warning Light
Description: This symbol indicates that the BMW 2 Series airbag system and belt tensioner are defective.
Action: Belt tensioner is located under passenger seat. Check cabling to ensure it’s securely connected. Another common fault is with passenger occupancy sensor.
Name: Parking Brake Warning Light
Description: The red circle containing a red exclamation mark indicates the parking brake is applied. An alternative symbol is BRAKE in red letters.
Action: Slightly raise the lever and press the button. Now lower the lever until it stops. Corrosion can build up in the brakes. To prevent this, occasionally lightly apply the parking brake whilst coasting (slowing down without using brakes). Only do so by raising the lever slightly and only if traffic conditions permit.
Name: Front Collision
Description: This symbol illuminates (non-flashing) when there is impending danger of collision or the distance between yourself and the vehicle in front is too small. The symbol flashes when there’s a severe warning of imminent danger when your vehicle or another vehicle is approaching at high / differing speeds.
Action: In the event of a non-flashing light, increase your distance from the other vehicle. Flashing: take evasive action by braking or manoeuvering.
Name: Pedestrian Warning
Description: If there is a high probability of a pedestrian collision, this BMW 2 series symbol lights in red along with an alarm.
Action: Brake immediately.
Name: Seat Belt
Description: Symbol illuminates in red and will begin flashing if the seat belt has not been fastened. The reminder light may also become illuminated due to the seat occupancy sensors ans if an object has been placed on the passenger seat.
Action: Apply your seat belt.
Name: Brake Fluid
Description: Why does the brake fluid need changing? Over time, brake fluid can absorb moisture and as it ages, it loses its ability to remain stable at high temperatures. This light illuminates indicating that the brake system requires flushing and replaces with new brake fluid.
Action: Around every 2 years or 30,000 miles is how often brake fluid should be changed.
Name: Vehicle Check
Description: The BMW 2 Series car on ramp light indicates that the vehicle requires checking. This symbol may appear along with an information text message. This symbol can be an indication of may faults or defects.
Action: Have your vehicle checked.
Name: Front Brakes
Description: This symbol indicates that the front brake pads are worn close to their limit. Continuing to drive for long periods will reduce braking ability and may damage the front discs.
Action: Change front brake pads and check brake discs.
Name: Brake Pads
Description: This is an alternative symbol on the BMW 2 series that indicates that either the front or rear brake pads require replacing.
Action: Change front brake pads and check brake discs.
Name: Rear Brakes
Description: If equipped, the rear brake pad light will illuminate indicating that the rear brake pads require changing.
Action: Change rear brake pads and check brake discs.
Name: Coolant Temperature
Description: This symbol may illuminate on certain versions of the BMW 2 Series dash and indicates that the engine coolant temperature is too high.
Action: Immediately reduce speed to reduce engine load. Find a safe place to stop, turn off the engine to allow cooling. Check coolant levels after a period of cooling and top up if necessary.
BMW 2 Series Yellow / Amber Warning Symbols
Yellow or amber warning lights on the BMW 2 series are not as urgent as red lights. These lights usually represent a failure in a system that will not result in imminent danger or vehicle damage.
Description: The BMW 2 Series comes with ABS as standard. Anti Lock Braking System is a safety aid to help prevent wheels from locking under harsh braking. This allows the driver to continue to steer whilst braking hard.
Action: ABS is a separate system to normal brakes and as such, normal brakes remain unaffected if ABS malfunctions. Be cautious under heavy braking as wheel may lock until system is fixed.
Description: DSC or Dynamic Stability Control helps to prevent loss of tyre traction (wheel spin) and generally helps to stabilise the vehicle.
Action: If the light flashes, it means the system is operating and that you’re driving to the vehicle limits.
Description: The BMW 2 Series is equipped with a tyre / tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The system monitors inflation pressure in all fitted tyres and will alert the driver of an significant pressure loss in one or more tyres. The symbol will flash if a malfunction is detected.
Action: After the symbol has illuminated and tyre pressures have been adjusted, a TPMS reset must be performed. To reset tyre pressures, on the Control Display and on the vehicle:
- “Vehicle info”
- “Vehicle status”
- “Perform reset”
- Start the engine – do not drive off.
- Reset tyre / tire inflation pressure: “Perform reset”.
- System has reset – drive away.
Name: Power Steering
Description: Power steering aids the driver by making the steering wheel easier to turn. If a malfunction in the power steering occurs, a noticeable increase in force will be required to turn the wheel.
Action: Power steering may resume when motor has cooled. Avoid excessive steering from lock-to-lock or leaving on full lock while engine is running.
Name: Lane Departure
Description: The lane departure warning symbol illuminates if a detected lane with markings is being left without signaling first. A gently vibration in the steering wheel is also used as a warning signal. The system may not be fully functional during the following situations:
- In heavy fog, rain or snowfall.
- Where lane markings are worn or not clearly visible. This can include being obscured by dirt and snow or road objects.
- In tight curves or on narrow lanes.
- If driving too close to the vehicle in front.
- If bright lights are ahead.
- If the windscreen in front of the mirror is dirty or foggy – this is where the camera is located.
- During camera calibration.
Action: Is system fails to work, ensure the camera visibility is clear by cleaning the windscreen directly in front of the interior mirror.
Description: This symbol illuminates on the BMW 2 Series dash indicating a engine fault. The malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) or ‘check engine’ light typically comes on when exhaust emissions have deteriorated. This is a signal or many potential faults and will often result in the engine misfiring. Engine misfiring can seriously damage emissions components such as the catalytic converter.
Action: Slow down immediately if the warning light illuminates and have vehicle checked as soon as possible. Diagnostic equipment will be required to read fault codes to establish the problem.
Name: Spark Plugs
Description: This spark plugs symbol may or may not be displayed on your BMW. It informs you that on petrol engines only, the spark plugs should be changed every second oil change service along with the filter.
Action: Have the spark plugs changed.
Name: Oil service
Description: This symbol may illuminate in red or amber on the BMW 2 Series. It indicates that the oil and the oil filter require replacing.
Action: Having your engine serviced regularly maintains optimum performance and efficiency.
Name: Pollen Filter
Description: This symbol may illuminate in red or amber on the BMW 2 Series. It indicates that the microfilter / pollen filter should be replaced with the engine service.
Action: Pollen filters are usually changed as part of a full service.
Description: A vehicle MOT is a safety and emissions test that every vehicle must undergo from three years of age. This symbol indicates that the annual MOT test is due.
Action: Book an MOT for your vehicle.
Name: Diesel Filter
Description: To enable cleaner exhaust emissions, the BMW 2 Series is fitted with a diesel particulate filter. The filter is often cleaned automatically. On occasions however, the filter may become blocked. This symbol indicates that the filter requires cleaning.
Action: Drive at a steady rate with engine revolutions above 3000 rpm on a road that does not require stopping (motorway for example). The light should go off. If it remains on, have vehicle check as damage to the emissions system may occur.
BMW 2 Series Information Symbols
The car computer, in the case of BMW is called Check Control. This provides information for the driver.
Name: Check Control
Description: The triangle which contains an exclamation mark is the BMW Check Control system. This symbol illuminates on the dashboard indicating that there is a message displayed or stored.