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Steve, BMW Expert
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 23902
Experience:  BMW Expert
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Engine maintain soon light--what does this mean

Customer Question

engine maintain soon light--what does this mean
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome,
My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to assist you today.
I will provide an honest answer. I trust this will be appreciated.
Please remember that a low rating PUNISHES me for being honest and that I receive nothing for my time until a positive rating is clicked.
The engine light is not specific to any one thing. It is only meant to inform the driver that there is a problem with engine management / emissions control.
This light comes on when the car's engine management system senses an emissions impacting fault. This has nothing to do with oil service, coolant level, or any regular maintenance items. This light is caused a failed component or operating range out of spec. There is a problem with the engine / engine management / emission control systems or one of the inputs that it uses to operate properly / efficiently.
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 or issue can be identified and replaced/repaired, 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. There is no alternative to having the fault logs read out – there is no way to guess the problem, and attempting to do so would get very expensive, very quickly.
If the car still seems to be operating normally, it is most likely just an emissions related sensor that has failed, or something to do with the evaporative emissions control system or possibly a loose gas cap, but again, the fault memory MUST be read in order to verify the cause. And again, the light will not go off until the underlying issue is fixed.
Please let me know if you have further questions. Please do not forget to click a positive rating as this is the only way I receive credit for my answer, thank you. Best wishes with your vehicle.