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. 3 Series 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 Definitions

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

  1. Turn ignition On.
  2. Depress accelerator pedal five times to WOT within five seconds.
  3. DTCs will display as flashes on ‘‘Check Engine’’ lamp.
  4. On models equipped with V-12 engine, depress accelerator pedal six times to WOT to display cylinder 7–12 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 manufacturer’s 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 manufacturer’s 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!
Model Year Engine identification System
1 Series (E82/E88) 2008 6 cylinder N51 Siemens
3 Series/Compact (E36) 1992-01 4 cylinder Motronic/Siemens
3 Series (E46) 1998-02 4/6 cylinder Motronic M5.2/ME7.2/ BMS46
3 Series (E46) 1998-02 4/6 cylinder Siemens MS40/41/42
3 Series 2.5/3.0L (E46/E90/E91) 2002-06 25 6S 6/30 6S 3/N52/N53 Motronic/Siemens
3 Series 3.0L (E90/E91/E92/E93) 2007-08 6 cylinder N51/N52 Siemens
3 Series 3.0L (E90/E92/E93) 2007-08 6 cylinder N54 Siemens
5 Series (E39) 1996-02 6/8 cylinder Motronic/Siemens
5 Series 2.5/3.0/4.4/4.8L (E39/E60/E61) 2002-06 25 6S 5/30 6S 3/44 AS 1/2/N52/N53/N62 Motronic/Siemens
5 Series 3.0L (E60/E61) 2007-08 6 cylinder N52 Siemens
5 Series/M5 3.0/5.0L (E60/E61) 2006-08 N54/S54 Siemens
5 Series 4.4L (E60) 2004-05 N62 B44 Motronic/Siemens
5 Series 4.8L (E60/61) 2007-08 N62TU Motronic
5 Series M5 5.0L (E39) 2000-03 50 as 1 Motronic/Siemens
5 Series M5 5.0L (E60/61) 2006-08 S54 Motronic/Siemens
6 Series 4.4/4.8L (E63/E64) 2004-06 N62 Motronic/Siemens
6 Series 4.8L (E63/E64) 2007-08 N62TU Motronic
6 Series M6 5.0L (E63/E64) 2006-08 sa5 Siemens
7 Series (E38) 1994-02 6/a cylinder Motronic/Siemens
7 Series 4.4/4.8L (E65/E66) 2002-06 N62 844/8a5 Motronic/Siemens
7 Series 4.8L (E65/E66) 2007-08 N62TU Motronic
7 Series 6.0L (E66) 2003-08 N73 Motronic
8 Series (E31) 1994-98 a/12 cylinder Motronic/Siemens
X3 2.5L (E83) 2004-05 25 6S 5 Motronic/Siemens
X3 3.0L (E83) 2004-06 30 6S 3/M54/N52 Motronic/Siemens
X3 3.0L (E83) 2007-08 6 cylinder N52 Siemens
X5 (E53) 1999-02 8 cylinder Motronic/Siemens
X5 3.0/4.4/4.6/4.8L (E53) 2003-06 30 6S 3/44 8S 2/46 a8 1/N62 844/N62 B48 Motronic/Siemens
X5 3.0L (E70) 2007-08 6 cylinder N52 Siemens
X5 4.8L (E70) 2007-08 N62TU Motronic
Z3 1996-02 4/6 cylinder Motronic/Siemens
Z4 2.5L (E85) 2003-05 25 68 5 Motronic/Siemens
Z4 3.0L (E85) 2003-08 30 68 3 Motronic/Siemens
Z4 3.0L (E85/E86) 2007-08 6 cylinder N52 Siemens
Z4 3.0L (E85/E86) 2006-08 6 cylinder 854 Siemens
Z8 5.0L (E52) 2000-03 50 8S 1 Motronic/Siemens

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