The X1 is a subcompact crossover SUV that’s been manufactured by BMW since 2009. Depending on the model variation of your vehicle, some of the BMW X1 warning lights may not apply to your version.
The following BMW X1 dashboard warning lights are illustrated with a symbol, followed by the meaning of the symbol, then what action to if the warning light should illuminate on your vehicle’s dashboard.
The X1 warning lights can illuminate in a variety of combinations and colours. Several of the lights are checked for proper functioning and illuminate temporarily when drive-ready state is turned on.
BMW X1 Red Warning Lights
Red warning lights typically represent the most urgent. If a red warning light illuminates on your BMW X1 dashboard, it may indicate a risk to vehicle occupant safety, or a serious malfunction that may result in vehicle breakdown.
To acknowledge that the airbag system and seat belt tensioners are operational, the airbag warning light should come on briefly when drive readiness is switched on. The BMW X1 airbag system can comprise of:
- Front airbag (driver and passenger)
- Head airbag
- Side airbag
- Knee airbag
If the airbag light remains constantly lit, it means there’s a malfunction. Some of the possible reasons why your X1 airbag light remains lit can include:
- Vehicle has been in a light collision and damaged a sensor
- Problem with the seat belt buckles
- Low battery voltage
- Dislodged wiring / connections under the front seats
- Worn airbag clock spring in the steering column
Brake System Warning
The brake system warning light comes on when possible malfunction has been detected. This may be an indication of low brake fluid, or a fault in the brake circuit. It’s advised to driver moderately and to increase stopping distances. Have the vehicle check by a BMW workshop immediately.
A discharged battery is indicated by a red indicator light. Frequent short-distance driving, or stationary periods of more than one month can have a negative effect on the vehicle’s battery and it may require charging.
If the battery has lost charge due to a fault, it’s usually due to the alternator or alternator drive belts. If the battery requires changing, it’s recommended that you have the battery registered by an authorised service centre. Once the battery has been registered, all comfort features will be available without restriction and any related Check Control messages will no longer be issued. See why is my car battery warning light on for further information.
Emergency Stop / Collision Warning
This symbol illuminate on the BMW X1 if the driver is unable to drive, the emergency stop system safely brings the vehicle to a standstill.
The red triangle containing an exclamation mark also illuminates along with an acoustic alert if there’s a risk of collision. The Forward Collision Mitigation system may activate the vehicle’s brake to reduce the severity of the collision. Other BMW X1 collision alert system include:
- Pedestrian Collision Warning: Warns of a potential collision with pedestrians ahead.
- Forward Collision Warning: Warns of a potential collision with vehicle ahead.
- Intersection Collision Warning: Warns of a potential collision with vehicle crossing from the left or right.
Distance Control Warning
With the use of Cruise Control, the distance to the vehicle ahead can be adjusted. The BMW X1 distance control allows the vehicle to accelerate and brake so that a set distance is maintained on the vehicle ahead. A distance warning alert symbol will illuminate if the distance from the vehicle ahead is too short. The distance control symbol has the following colours:
- White symbol: No distance control will display as the accelerator pedal is being pressed.
- Green symbol: A vehicle has been detected ahead. If the green symbol flashes, it means the vehicle has driven off.
- Flashing gray: The conditions are not suitable for the distance control system to operate.
- Flashing red: You must brake and make evasive manoeuvres.
Assisted Driving Warning
The BMW X1 Assisted Driving works alongside Distance Control and helps to keep the vehicle in its lane. The system performs supporting steering movements. Sensors in the steering detect whether the steering wheel is being held. The Assisted Driving warning light illuminates in the following colours:
- Gray symbol: The system if on standby.
- Green symbol: The Assisted Driving system is active.
- Yellow / red symbol: The driver’s hands are not on the steering wheel.
- Flashing yellow: Lane boundary driven over.
- Flashing red: The Assisted Driving is switching off.
Engine Coolant Overheating Warning
If the engine coolant is too hot, a check control message will display along with the red engine coolant warning light. Stop the vehicle as soon as safe to do so, switch off the engine and allow the engine to cool. Check coolant levels.
The coolant level is correct when it is just below the maximum mark in the filler neck. BMW recommends using BMW LC-18 specification coolant. Only continue driving if the coolant light goes out. For further information, see red engine coolant warning light on or flashing.
BMW X1 Yellow Warning Lights
Yellow or amber warning lights typically illuminate to represent a fault that’s non-urgent, but should be dealt with as soon as possible. They may also illuminate to indicate a vehicle maintenance schedule reminder, or that a vehicle system has been switched off, when it’s usually active by default.
Yellow Brake Warning
If your BMW X1 is displaying a yellow brake warning light, it may be an indication of low brake fluid, or that the brake pads are worn and require replacing.
Yellow Park Warning
If your BMW X1 is displaying a yellow park warning light, it may indicate a malfunction with the parking brake. In this instance, the BMW parking brake may require resetting. The problem usually relate to the BMW parking brake actuator. It’s usually a good idea to check fuses and in some instances, disconnecting the battery negative terminal for at least 15 minutes can work to reset the parking brake.
The BMW X1 ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) is responsible for helping to prevent the wheels from locking while under hard braking. This in turn allows the vehicle’s steering to stay operational. If the ABS system fails, one of the more common reasons is due to one of the four wheel speed sensors malfunctioning.
Forward Collision Alert Warning
The BMW X1 Forward Collision Mitigation makes use of camera and radar sensors around the vehicle to constantly monitor your speed, the speed of other vehicles, pedestrians, speed limits etc. The system can help to prevent accidents by either alerting you by warning light and audible sound, or by applying the vehicle’s brakes.
The Forward Collision Mitigation warning light will remain lit if the system is unable to operate due to unsuitable environment conditions, or if the system has a fault. If necessary, follow the instructions from Check Control messages.
Dynamic Stability Control Warning
The BMW X1 Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system uses various sensors to determine the vehicle’s projected and actual course and if necessary, reduce engine power or apply individual wheel braking to keep the vehicle stable. DSC also incorporates traction control to help prevent wheel slip.
If the DSC flashes or flickers, it means the system is operating and if the DSC warning light remains constantly lit, it means there’s a fault. The vehicle can still be driven, but without the safety of DSC. One of the more common causes for a DSC fault is a damaged wheel speed sensor.
If there’s an engine fault, where reduced engine power is activated, DSC may be automatically disabled, as DSC may interfere with the reduced engine performance. DSC is also referred to as ESC (Electronic Stability Control). For more information, see What ESC is in Cars and How Does ESC Work in Cars.
Tire Pressure Warning
The BMW X1 makes use of a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and alerts the driver via a warning light if a pressure loss in one or more tires is detected.
The BMW X1 makes use of sensors in the tire valves to monitor pressure and communicate via radio frequency. The warning light may also flash for 1 minute, then remain steady lit to indicate a problem with the TPMS. Reasons for the flashing tire pressure light can include:
- External systems or devices with the same radio frequency: after leaving the area of the interference, the system automatically becomes active again.
- A pressure sensor has been damaged during wheel or tire replacement.
- A tire has been installed without a sensor.
- A malfunction with the TPMS.
- Tire or wheels that are not in accordance with BMW guidelines are being used and have not been approved and require being actively reset.
Tires that require special approval can have their settings updated and the reset procedure in the Menu ▷ Vehicle apps ▷ Vehicle status ▷ Tire pressure monitor menu.
BMW X1 Tire Presse Reset
To reset the BMW X1 tire pressure monitoring system:
- Vehicle apps
- Vehicle status
- Tire Pressure Monitor
- Make sure that correct tire settings have been made.
- Turn on drive-ready state and do not drive off.
- Reset tire pressure: ‘Perform reset’.
- Drive off.
On your dashboard display, the wheels are displayed in gray and the following message is displayed: “Resetting tire pressure…”. After a driving time of several minutes, the set tire inflation pressures are accepted as the predefined tire inflation pressures. The reset is completed automatically while driving. Always adjust pressure when tires are considered as cold.
Power Steering Warning
The power steering warning light can come on for various reasons. Sometimes it may be a temporary fault where the PS motor has overheated. This can occur where consistent steering form full left to right is performed while the vehicle is stationary, or where the steering is left on full lock. Once the motor has cooled, normal steering will resume.
If the light is permanent, you may notice the steering is harder to operate than normal. In this instance, you will need to have the vehicles serviced at a BMW workshop.
Engine Warning Light
The BMW X1 emissions control system constantly monitors the various components that can affect the exhaust emissions. If a fault is detected, the engine warning light is triggered. If the engine light is on (steady), you can usually continue driving, but it’s advised to to have the fault repaired as soon as possible due to the problem deteriorating.
If the engine light is flashing, it can indicate an engine misfire. A misfiring engine can cause serious damage to engine components, in particular the catalytic converter. Reduce speed and avoid high engine loads. The engine warning light may return to a non-flashing state. If the engine light continues to flash, have the vehicle serviced immediately.
When the engine light comes on, a fault code is usually generated. To the left side of the driver’s footwell, there’s a socket for OBD on-board diagnostics where a diagnostic scanner tool can be plugged in for reading fault codes. Fault codes can often help to locate the problem.
For more information about the common reasons for the check engine warning light to come on, how to scan for Diagnostic Trouble Codes and what to do when the engine warning light comes on, see reasons why the engine warning light is on.
Lane Departure Warning
The BMW X1 lane departure warning alerts when the vehicle is about to run off the road or exit the lane. Automatic steering intervention may help keeping the vehicle in its lane. The lane departure warning light illuminates in green to indicate the system is on and active. If the light illuminates in yellow, it means there’s a fault with the system. The lane departure system uses the following sensors:
- Camera behind the windshield.
- Front radar sensor.
- Radar sensor, side, front.
- Radar sensor, side, rear.
Ensure these areas are kept clean and clear of debris.
Active Blind Spot Detection Warning
The BMW X1 Active Blind Spot Detection system detects vehicles in the blind spot (to the sides) or vehicles approaching from behind in the adjacent lane and warns the driver.
The Active Blind Spot Detection system warning light illuminates in green indicating the system is on and operational. If the warning light is yellow, it indicates there are operational restrictions, such as dirty sensors or the system has failed. The sensors used may vary on your X1 model and level of equipment, but can be:
- Camera behind the windshield.
- Radar sensors, side, rear.
- Radar sensors, side, front.
Ensure these areas are kept clean and clear of debris.
BMW X1 Sensors and Camera Locations
Vehicles are increasing being equipped with driver assistance and safety systems. These systems use a variety of camera sensors, ultrasonic sensors and radars around the vehicle. To see where these sensors are located, see BMW X1 sensors and camera locations.
BMW Check Control Messages
The BMW X1 Check Control system monitors functions in the vehicle and notifies you of any faults. A Check Control message is displayed as a
combination of indicator or warning lights and text messages in the instrument cluster. Along with a message, an acoustic alert may be heard.
Hiding Check Control Messages
An arrow icon alongside the Check Control message indicates if the message can be hidden. Use the thumbwheel control on the steering wheel to hide Check Control messages. Some messages cannot be hidden and are only cleared once the fault has been eliminated.
Displaying Stored Check Control Messages
To view stored Check Control messages on your BMW X1, select:
- Vehicle apps
- Vehicle Status
- Check Control
- Then select the desired message