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Hello and welcome to JustAnswer BMW,My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to assist you today.
This light comes on when the car's engine management system senses a fault. This has nothing to do with oil service, coolant level, etc. It is a failed component or operating range out of spec that is causing this light.
There are dozens and dozens and dozens of reasons (actually close to 200 reasons) for this light to come on. The good news is that when this light is triggered, the car logs a descriptive fault in its computer which can then be read out to shed some additional light on the problem.
The only way to determine why this light is on is to have the fault memory read from the car using a compatible scan tool. Once the fault memory is read, the failed component can be identified and replaced, and the light switched off. Some parts stores will read the faults for free, so check with those near you. If you cannot find a local parts store that scans faults for free, then you will need to pay to have the memory read out at a shop with the proper equipment. You can also buy fault readers for $50 to $100 as well.
If the car still seems to be operating normally, it is most likely just an emissions related sensor that has failed, but again, the fault memory must be read in order to verify the exact cause.
I hope that is helpful, please let me know if you have further questions, or if I can clarify anything for you.
It has been my pleasure to help today and I wish you the best of luck with the vehicle.
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