A comprehensive guide to understanding BMW warning lights

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On today’s date, you will hardly find someone who doesn’t know about BMW. The German car manufacturer company BMW is now the most popular and desirable automobile company. This brand is also known as one of the most luxurious car manufacturers.

BMW is manufacturing its automobiles with the latest and greatest technology-based features. Along with luxury and comfort, driver and passenger safety has a similar priority to them. 

In today’s article, we will learn about dashboard symbols and some of their functionalities. Let’s start with the warning lights on BMW.

BMW warning lights exclamation mark

BMW Warning lights

On the dashboard, you will find three different colored symbols. All of the illuminating symbols hold a particular meaning and warning information.

You will see Red, Orange/Yellow, and Blue/Green color symbols. They do have different functionalities and ensure you about the vehicle condition stats.

Red lights 

Red lights/Red symbols are used to show critical conditions of a particular system/part of the car that needs emergency attention.

With the red lights on the dashboard, it is not wise to run the car for a longer period. This can cause hazardous accidents. They are also considered to be emergency symbols that require instant actions.

Orange and Yellow lights

These illuminating lights designate a warning that is not critical but needs attention. They will start screening on your dashboard if there is a slight technical or systematic issue found on your vehicle.

The automatic detecting system scans the whole system of the car each time before pulling the steering. These lights show up so that the driver can fix minor faults that can cause extreme failure.

Blue and Green 

All the blue and green symbols are to give you the current active status of the system of your car. These illuminating symbols ensure the proper and accurate functionality of your car according to its status.

BMW dashboard warning symbols

BMW Warning lights

68 warning symbols are available on BMW .pdf cars in total. They all indicate different functionality and failure warning of the car's system. With different colors and styles, they give you information about your vehicle’s present condition.

All the symbols are not shown on the screen. Only the functional symbols will show up at a time.

The warning symbols with orange or red color give you warnings for urgent to noticeable changes of the system of your car.

Warning lights with the exclamation mark 

5 warning lights are seen in the dashboard with the exclamation mark. They all do have a different meanings. Their definition is given below.

An illuminated bulb with ‘!’ in the middle

Parking, brake, rear fog, signal, interior lighting, or license plate lamps are faulty. Check all the lighting lamps of your vehicle if there is any to fix.

A spiked circle with ‘!’ in the middle

It shows the transmission fault of your vehicle. When this symbol shows up, we recommend you to tow the vehicle or drive slowly to the nearest BMW service point.

Flat tire circle with ‘!’ in the middle

This symbol indicates a low tire pressure. It shows that one of your tires has leaked and the system has caught a malfunction.

A steering circle with ‘!’ in the middle

Indicates hand brake, low brake, brake fluid issues, and also the termination of the brake pads.

Triangle with ‘!’ in the middle

The triangle with the exclamation point informs you if there is an ESP malfunction. Like, if your vehicle has an issue with traction control or electronic stability.

Functionality and importance

Warning lights with exclamation mark shows the urgency of conditions. Whether it is related to your car’s tires or engine temperature, all of them have unique importance on their own.

All the symbols warn you of any malfunction that occurs due to low maintenance or technical issues. With these symbols, you get to learn what is going wrong with your vehicle. And being able to take necessary initiatives, stay safer from any unwanted hazards.

So, the importance of these symbols with an exclamation mark is more than one can imagine. 

What to do when showing warning lights with an exclamation mark?

When warning lights have started showing on the screen you will need to take them very sensibly. On many occasions, you may also need to stop your car and go for servicing. 

With different symbols, different stats are shown to you. Some of them may prove emergency and sensitive enough to take instant steps.

With the color code, the driver can simply notice what important thing is to fix before going on a ride. Each symbol is to understand by the driver for a safer and effective driving experience.

If severe (Red illuminated) issues are found and the red symbols are shown on your screen, contact the BMW service point near you. And for instant step, stop the car and tow it to the service point.

You will find some minor malfunctions fixable on your own, like windscreen washing fluid for example. But the serious faults are about to be fixed in a fixing center. 


1. Is there a shark fin indicator available?

Ans. with the availability of shark fin in your particular model of BMW, the indicator will be available.

2. Do they malfunction?

Ans. The indicators do not malfunction. May the sensors act in contrast.

3. Is it possible that the car indicators differ by model?

Ans. Yes, the indicating symbols and their look different from one model to another. And the latest one also can introduce new symbols but with the same definition.

Final words

As the most important safety measure BMW ensures you with the most informative dashboard that allows you to connect you with the system of the car. Warning lights are there to keep you informed of the stat of your vehicle. Exclamation marks with the symbols mean malfunction and recommend you to take steps.

So, please check the dashboard warning indicators firmly and then go for a drive.

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