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BMW E46 Dashboard Light Symbols

Dashboard warnings on your E46 3 series depend on the BMW Problem. It could be an indicator light for ABS, airbag, engine light or something else. There are many reasons why the dashboard shows warning lights and below is a list of the lights on the dashboard. You might need to buy a scanner online which will show BMW trouble codes.
If you need to reset a dashboard light or diagnose a fault on your BMW we would recommend the C110 Code Scanner.

If you need a new sensors to fix your BMW such as ABS sensor, MAF, camshaft & crankshaft, visit www.bavariandominator.co.uk

You might also be interested in our Perfomance Chip Tuning kits for the BMW E46


bmw abs dash light E46 3 Series Anti-Lock Brakes, indicates a fault in the anti lock brake system. It could be that an ABS sensor needs to be replaced immediately. This BMW C110 fault scan tool will tell you which ABS sensor you need to replace. If you do need to replace a sensor - please visit www.bavariandominator.co.uk  who have all the ABS sensors you need. Look further down this page to see the dash lights which show when you need to replace an ABS sensor. You can also view our guide on how to change BMW E46 ABS sensor. Here you can watch a video of the C110 diagnose a BMW ABS Light problem. The guide shows the scanner working on the E46, but works in the same way on all other models.


bmw battery dash light E46 3 Series Battery charge is low. Do not drive for long distances and have it checked by a professional immediately.

bmw brakepad wear dash light E46 3 Series Brake pad wear. Brakepads are worn and need to be replaced as soon as possible. If you have replaced your brake pads and the dash light is still illuminated, you will need to visit www.bavariandominator.co.uk to get replacement sensors.

bmw coolant dash coolant light E46 3 Series Cooling system or coolant light. Stop when safe, check and top up coolant as needed. See this video of a coolant light in a bmw E46

bmw traction control activated dash light E46 3 Series Traction control activated, tyres have temporarily lost traction. Drive with extreme caution.

bmw engine malfunction dash light E46 3 Series Stop when safe and service engine immediately.

bmw low tyre pressure dash light E46 3 Series Check tyre pressure. Stop when safe, fill tyre upto correct PSI & have tyre checked for leaks.

bmw low oil pressure dash light E46 3 Series Low oil pressure. Check oil pressure immediately & add oil upto the correct level. If you have added oil and the light remaims, or the light stays on for an extened period of time after start up, you will need to replace the oil level sensor which can be found by visiting www.bavariandominator.co.uk
bmw service needed dash light E46 3 Series Service needed. Schedule your vehicle fo a service as soon as possible and your local garage or service the vehicle yourself if you know how to. Once the vehicle has been serviced you will need to reset the dashboard light - visit our page on BMW service reset tools 

bmw traction control off dash light E46 3 Series Traction control OFF. Warning that the traction control has been turned off and is no longer active.

eml engine management light E46 3 Series Engine management light or EML. Possible problem with the vehicle engine or a sensor may need replacing. Because this light has been illuminated on your dashboard, your vehicle will have stored a code which you need to retreive in order to fix the problem, or find the source of the problem. You can find these code readers on our BMW code reader page, and we would reccomend the BMW C110 code reader

bmw airbag light symbol E46 3 Series Airbag Light. These are the three common airbag light symbols which will illuminate on your BMW dashboard. If this light is lit up it means there is a problem in the airbag SRS system (supplimental restraint system) and you need to get this checked out. The good news is that it can be done cheaply. If your BMW was made between 1994 & 2003 you need to purchase our B800 BMW airbag reset tool - it is a simple plug & play device which plugs into your OBD diagnostic port (either under the dashboard near the steering wheel, or within the engine compartment) The tool will reset the code, remove the dashboard light and even comes with a code book to tell you where the problem was in the first place. Here you can watch a video of the C110 tool resetting the BMW airbag light - The C110 is also available from our BMW airbag light section and will also read trouble codes & problem codes from other modules such as engine & ABS.


If your vehicle was made after 2003 we still have the tool for you to reset your airbag light. You will need to purchase the Autel MD702 which will plug into your diagnostic port under the dashboard below the steering wheel. It will also give you information on the initial problem and then turn off the light.

bmw dashboard symbols

1. E46 Fuel Gauge
2. E46 Flashing turn indicators
3. E46 speedometer
4. E46 Telltale & warning lights
5. E46 Revolution counter & energy control
6. E46 Coolant thermometer
7. E46 Telltale & warning lights
8. E46 Adjusting knob for time, service indicator & outside temperature display
9. E46 Selector level position for automatic vehicles
10. E46 Display for trip meter, distance recorder, clock, service interval, on board computer, mpg etc
11. E46 Check contol
12. E46 Trip distance control zeroing
13. E46 Telltale & warning lights

You can also view a short video we took of the BMW dashboard & lights/symbols taken directly from the BMW manual.

Here we have a video of all of the E46 dash warning lights all on at the same time - quite a cool trick

If you see the following light appear on your BMW, the chances are you need to replace an ABS sensor. You are advised to use the C110 to find out which ABS sensor needs to be replaced, and then visit www.bavariandominator.co.uk to find the BMW ABS sensor for your vehicle

abs lights
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