BMW: Accessing Trouble Codes
This information applies to 1989-1990 3, 5, and 7 series BMW models.
The following procedure will enable you to retrieve “basic” or “flash” trouble codes only. Other codes may also be stored, but they can only be retrieved using an appropriate Scan Tool.
Turn the ignition key to the “on” position, but do not start the engine. Wait 3 seconds for the code(s) to flash. The check engine light will flash the first code, pause for 3 seconds, then flash the next code. For example, if codes 2 and 4 are stored, the check engine light will flash twice, pause for three seconds, then flash four times. When all codes have been displayed, the check engine light will remain ON.
Code 1 Airflow Meter Code 2 Oxygen Sensor Code 3 Coolat Temperature Sensor Code 4 Throttle Position Sensor
Less Diagnostic Tool
90-later 3 series models
- Turn ignition On.
- Depress accelerator pedal five times to WOT within five seconds.
- DTCs will display as flashes on Check Engine lamp.
- On models equipped with V-12 engine, depress accelerator pedal six times to WOT to display cylinder 712 DTCs.
5 and 7 Series
Turn the ignition key to the “on” position, engine off. Depress the accelerator pedal completely to the floor five times. The check engine light will begin flashing the trouble codes. These models use 4 digit codes. The codes are displayed as follows:
First digit (always “1”), pause, 2nd digit, pause, 3rd digit, pause, 4th digit. The light will now pause again and then will begin flashing out the next stored code, or it will repeat the first code if no other codes are stored.
1000 End of diagnosis 1211 Electronic Control Unit (ECU) 1215 Airflow Sensor 1221 Oxygen Sensor 1222 Oxygen Sensor regulation 1223 Coolant Temperature Sensor 1224 Air Temperature Sensor 1231 Battery Voltage out of range 1232 Idle Switch 1251 Fuel Injectors (final stage 1) 1252 Fuel Injectors (final stage 2) 1261 Fuel Pump Relay 1262 Idle Speed Controller 1263 Tank Vent 1264 Oxygen Sensor heater relay 1444 No faults in memory
Using Scan Tool
Connect scan tool to diagnostic link connector located at right rear of engine compartment. Follow tool manufacturers instructions to obtain DTCs.
Reading the Trouble Codes
Using Check Engine Lamp
Check Engine lamp will stay on five seconds, flash once, then begin flashing fault codes with 2.5 seconds between numbers. When DTC has been displayed, lamp remains on. Repeat access procedure to display next DTC. If first DTC is 1444, 2444 or 4444, no DTCs are stored. DTC 1000 or 2000 followed by one or two flashes, a long paused and then lamp remaining on indicates no more DTCs are stored. Refer to Diagnostic Trouble Code Identification for DTC interpretation.
Clearing Trouble Codes
To clear trouble codes, momentarily disconnect multi-pin connector from ECM, disconnect battery, start engine 60 times after repair without repeat failure, or follow diagnostic tool manufacturers instructions.
NOTE: IF YOUR CAR IS EQUIPPED WITH A FACTORY ANTI-THEFT RADIO, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RADIO ACTIVATION CODE BEFORE YOU DISCONNECT THE BATTERY CABLE!