BMW service indicator - andymc {P}
I'll be getting my recently acquired 525 TD serviced within the next few weeks. As it's now 7 years old - one of the last of the old shape models - I don't feel the need for official dealer servicing, and reckon that dated receipts showing all work done/parts replaced etc should be enough for any future buyer now that the car is about to pass 100k. However, there is a service indicator on the dash which comes on after you turn on the electrics. It consists of a series of green lights, a yellow and a red - the idea being that the green lights go out one by one the closer you are to needing a service, yellow for "service now" and red for "service overdue".
My question is this: will I need to go to a main dealer in possession of a laptop in order to get the service indicator reset, or will a small local mechanic without a computer be able to do this some other way? I'd rather that the indicator was able to continue functioning instead of having to ignore the red light all the time.
BMW service indicator - dan
This was one (failed thankfully) attempt by BMW to proprietorise the servicing industry. AFAIK you'll need the BMW man and his expensive by the hour laptop. I have known owners to tape over them or remove the bulbs!
BMW service indicator - Oz
Haven't I seen web sites (especially USA ones) offering the tools for this task?
BMW service indicator - Dude - {P}
Thankfully there are good independent garages that are able to reset the service interval indicators on Beemers. I do believe that the necessary tools to perform this task can also be purchased. By the way Oz, you mentioned on an earlier thread that you had achieved 60 mpg out of your 320d, - at present I am only getting approx 38, but the car has only done 7500k miles. I have spoken to my local main dealer & they say the situation should improve by 15k. I live in hopes!!
BMW service indicator - Oz
Hi Dude,
You're observant! My pattern of driving used to involve an easy 36 miles each way to work, 5 days a week, half of which was on motorway and the rest on an A-road. This meant steady speed conditions and almost nil requirement for braking. Till then I got 56 mpg overall over 18 months. (I was determined that such 'work' mileage should be done cheaply!).
Since then it has been a much more 'urban' cycle and MPG is now around 47-48. Miles per tank *were* in the high 700's, but now in the range 600-650 (always adding around 60 litres per fill at Sainsburys).
Occasionally I give it the necessary blast for a clearout at higher revs which is a lot of fun.
BMW service indicator - Dizzy {P}
Dan, where on earth did you get that misinformation from?

Firstly, the service indicator is an excellent reminder, not only of when a service is due but also as a daily guide as to how long there is to go before the next service. The system takes into account the style of driving, number of cold starts, etc. and calculates the service intervals very accurately. It even knows how far you have gone into the 'red' and brings the next service forward a bit to compensate. Oh, and it also reminds you when brake fluid and coolant changes are due.

Secondly, of course you don't need to pay a BMW man with a laptop to reset the lights! Resetting tools have been available to the public for many years, and very cheaply too. Resetting takes no more than a minute or so.

BMW service indicator - IKM
Euro Car Parts sell a BMW service light resetting tool for £12.93 plus VAT.

On my 1988 E30 318i with Motronic engine management system I reset the service lights by the following procedure:
1. Remove cap from 20 pin diagnostic socket on bulkhead next to fuse box.
2. Switch on ignition.
3. With a suitable length of wire, short pin 7 on the diagnostic socket to battery negative for approx 3 to 6 seconds until all green lights come on.
4. Switch ignition off and replace cap on diagnostic socket.

Maybe someone can say if the same procedure will work on your car. If in any doubt I would buy the tool from Euro Car Parts.
BMW service indicator - madf
I have a brand new unused resetting tool for all BMWs which I bought and never used - ex Euro Car Parts. Email me if you are interested..
BMW service indicator - petronus
You see new resetting tools for BMW's made by Draper for sale on all the time. I've never tried one, but Draper seem to know what they are doing generally.
The above link was just one of many currently on offer. A search for "bmw" and "tool" does the trick. If your not familiar with ebay, make sure to check the sellers feedback before bidding!
BMW service indicator - eMBe {P}
for full explanation of how to reset the service indicator, go to

which was found via
BMW service indicator - andymc {P}
Thanks for the help, everyone - invaluable, as always. Madf, I may contact you closer to the time as I'll pass the information linked/written here on to my mechanic and let him decide what he'd be happiest with. Thanks very much for your offer.
Just for everyone's information, I'll be putting biodiesel in this car for the first time within the next fortnight. I expect that all the gunk accumulated at the bottom of the fuel tank will get cleaned right out, leading to a clogged fuel filter which I will then have changed as part of the service. I don't know whether or not it may become clogged again soon after that, but I'll post results here. The Leon thrives on the stuff, but it's been drinking it since the first 70 miles went on the clock, so this is a slightly different proposition! I have to admit I'm a little wary in case the clogging of the filter causes harm to the fuel pump or injectors, but hopefully I'll be able to get to the system before anything serious happens. In fact, I may arrange with my mechanic for a small weekly inspection over a month or so.


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