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 1Airflow Meter
Code 2Oxygen Sensor
Code 3Coolat Temperature Sensor
Code 4Throttle 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.
1000End of diagnosis
1211Electronic Control Unit (ECU)
1215Airflow Sensor
1221Oxygen Sensor
1222Oxygen Sensor regulation
1223Coolant Temperature Sensor
1224Air Temperature Sensor
1231Battery Voltage out of range
1232Idle Switch
1251Fuel Injectors (final stage 1)
1252Fuel Injectors (final stage 2)
1261Fuel Pump Relay
1262Idle Speed Controller
1263Tank Vent
1264Oxygen Sensor heater relay
1444No 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!
ModelYearEngine identificationSystem
1 Series (E82/E88)20086 cylinder N51Siemens
3 Series/Compact (E36)1992-014 cylinderMotronic/Siemens
3 Series (E46)1998-024/6 cylinderMotronic M5.2/ME7.2/ BMS46
3 Series (E46)1998-024/6 cylinderSiemens MS40/41/42
3 Series 2.5/3.0L (E46/E90/E91)2002-0625 6S 6/30 6S 3/N52/N53Motronic/Siemens
3 Series 3.0L (E90/E91/E92/E93)2007-086 cylinder N51/N52Siemens
3 Series 3.0L (E90/E92/E93)2007-086 cylinder N54Siemens
5 Series (E39)1996-026/8 cylinderMotronic/Siemens
5 Series 2.5/3.0/4.4/4.8L (E39/E60/E61)2002-0625 6S 5/30 6S 3/44 AS 1/2/N52/N53/N62Motronic/Siemens
5 Series 3.0L (E60/E61)2007-086 cylinder N52Siemens
5 Series/M5 3.0/5.0L (E60/E61)2006-08N54/S54Siemens
5 Series 4.4L (E60)2004-05N62 B44Motronic/Siemens
5 Series 4.8L (E60/61)2007-08N62TUMotronic
5 Series M5 5.0L (E39)2000-0350 as 1Motronic/Siemens
5 Series M5 5.0L (E60/61)2006-08S54Motronic/Siemens
6 Series 4.4/4.8L (E63/E64)2004-06N62Motronic/Siemens
6 Series 4.8L (E63/E64)2007-08N62TUMotronic
6 Series M6 5.0L (E63/E64)2006-08sa5Siemens
7 Series (E38)1994-026/a cylinderMotronic/Siemens
7 Series 4.4/4.8L (E65/E66)2002-06N62 844/8a5Motronic/Siemens
7 Series 4.8L (E65/E66)2007-08N62TUMotronic
7 Series 6.0L (E66)2003-08N73Motronic
8 Series (E31)1994-98a/12 cylinderMotronic/Siemens
X3 2.5L (E83)2004-0525 6S 5Motronic/Siemens
X3 3.0L (E83)2004-0630 6S 3/M54/N52Motronic/Siemens
X3 3.0L (E83)2007-086 cylinder N52Siemens
X5 (E53)1999-028 cylinderMotronic/Siemens
X5 3.0/4.4/4.6/4.8L (E53)2003-0630 6S 3/44 8S 2/46 a8 1/N62 844/N62 B48Motronic/Siemens
X5 3.0L (E70)2007-086 cylinder N52Siemens
X5 4.8L (E70)2007-08N62TUMotronic
Z31996-024/6 cylinderMotronic/Siemens
Z4 2.5L (E85)2003-0525 68 5Motronic/Siemens
Z4 3.0L (E85)2003-0830 68 3Motronic/Siemens
Z4 3.0L (E85/E86)2007-086 cylinder N52Siemens
Z4 3.0L (E85/E86)2006-086 cylinder 854Siemens
Z8 5.0L (E52)2000-0350 8S 1Motronic/Siemens
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2 years ago

what does oxygen sensor regulation mean?.what the difference between that and o2 sensor?

sylvester beason
2 years ago

My 95 bmw 318i randomly won’t start. than 5 or 6 hour later it start right up like nothing never happen . Two or three days later it does it again. What might be causing this.

Mateusz Radke
Mateusz Radke
3 years ago

Can u explain this P115D code ? To BMW 730d xdrive 2013
Is it something with driving system?

3 years ago

My scan tool says Cylinder 3 high pressure injector low side/ high side electrical.
What does this mean? It caused the motor to go into limp mode.
Un hooked battery for a few minutes then hooked back up car runs perfect for about 2 miles then same thing

3 years ago

Hi, I would like to know what This Code Means (Its BMW 320i)

A559 Supply Was Switched Off ( Terminal 30g – f)

3 years ago


Larry bengtson
Larry bengtson
3 years ago

I would like to no codes 143 and 80 on 2005 BMW x5