What Does the Big Warning (exclamation mark) Sign in the Color Red Mean on a BMW Dashboard?

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Seeing a red exclamation mark on your BMW dashboard is never a good sign. This means there are some major issues with your car.

When you see any warning lights on your BMW dashboard come on, stop driving. The problem only gets worse when you keep driving. So, fix it soon to avoid future car issues.

Of all the light colors you may see on your BMW Dashboard, the red color is the worse of them all. It means there are serious issues with your tires, engine, and more.

Ignoring warning lights on your car’s dashboard not only damages your car but may also stop it from working normally again.

Even worse, if you still drive your car with the warning lights on – it compromises your safety on the road and, causes major accidents.

To save yourself and your car from unwanted car situations, it’s important to address these problems immediately.

Read the following article to learn what the red exclamation mark on your BMW means and, easy steps to save your car from these issues:

Reasons for Red Exclamation Mark on BMW Dashboard

  • Engine Problems

You might notice the check engine light turn on. Don’t ignore this because it could mean that the engine that’s operating your car – is either damaged or needs repairs.

On the other hand, it could also mean that the temperature of your engine is rising. The thermometer light may come on to signal that your engine is overheating, and you need to cool it down immediately.

  • Low Oil & Coolant Levels

When there isn’t enough fuel oil or coolant in your car’s system, it can induce a warning light on your BMW dashboard. This causes your car to overheat – and the check engine light turns on, or if there’s an issue with the fuel – a warning for low oil pressure turns on.

  • Faulty Tyre Pressure 

A common reason the warning lights in your dashboard may turn on – is because of low tire pressure. But if you notice the pressure in your tires is adequate, it could be an issue with the pressure sensor of your car. Either way, it’s not safe to drive without getting this checked.

  • Failing Breaks

If your brakes are faulty or the brake fluid is too low, it causes the brake light to show up. This signals problems with the brake system of your car. It is advised to get this checked immediately and, avoid driving before your brakes are repaired.

  • Hot Coolant

When your car overheats, it makes the inner fluid of your car hot as well. The coolant temperature warning light comes on when your car coolant is too hot. A normal temperature for coolant needs to be maintained – or else it can lose its cooling properties.

  • Safety Belt Issues 

When a rear passenger doesn’t have their safety belt on, it causes a red light to show up on your BMW dashboard. This warning light is for the extra safety of car passengers in a BMW – and is easily solved. Fastening the seatbelts will make this red warning light go away.

Steps To Avoid Red Exclamation Mark on BMW Dashboard 

  • Maintain Tyre Pressure 

Make sure that all the tires of your car are filled with an adequate level of air. When your tires are fairly balanced, it reduces the chances of red warning lights on your car dashboard. It’s also important to replace car tires if too damaged or repair them if unnecessary.

  • Top Up Fuel & Coolant Levels 

When you maintain the oil and fuel levels regularly and fill them when needed, it helps your car stay on track. A major part of your car’s functionality depends on how well it uses the oil and coolant.
For a smoother functioning car, keep your fuel and coolant topped up at optimal levels.

  • Replace Dead Batteries

When you notice that your car drives slower, has bad smells, and car battery swelling – it needs to be replaced. A very common sign of warning lights turning on in your car’s dashboard is a problem with your car battery. You can temporarily revive your car batteries by using an Epsom salt solution. But, you’ll need to replace your faulty battery soon to protect your car from further damage.

  • Don’t Let Your Car Overheat

When you overwork your car, it causes the engine to overheat. Many warning lights can show up on your car’s dashboard- when you don’t pay attention to your car’s temperature.

If you notice that your engine is overheating, open the hood and wait for it to cool down until it returns to an optimal temperature.

  • Repair Faulty Alternator 

When you have a bad alternator, it makes it harder for your engine to start and, function smoothly. Even worse, it causes your battery to drain and sucks all the car power out. Don’t wait too long and get your faulty alternators fixed to prevent further damage to the car.

  • Maintain Cluster Fuse 

To keep the electric circuits safe, you need to keep the cluster fuse clean and maintained. This helps the car dashboard to work better. Any faulty fuses should be dealt with immediately – to avoid electrical damage to the inner parts of your car.


The red exclamation mark on your BMW dashboard is never a good sign. When red warning lights pop up, you need to get the car issue checked immediately. Different warning lights will point to the specific issue your car is having – and reading the warning lights is important.

Ignoring your car’s warning lights, especially when they are red – doesn’t help. It worsens the condition of your car. To work for a long time, your car needs to be maintained often. But, getting a new engine or transmission for your car is extremely expensive.

Check out our used BMW engines for sale for your car today. Extremely budget-friendly and high-quality premium engines and transmissions available – with warranty.

 Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What does a red triangle with an exclamation mark mean on my dashboard?

This means that your car’s ABS Sensor is not working properly. It’s important to get it checked immediately to avoid further damage to your driveshaft. The automatic traction control of your car needs to be checked too. Ignoring these signs leads to worse car issues.

  1. How one can reset the red exclamation mark on a BMW? 

The best way to reset the red exclamation mark on a BMW is by holding the end of the stalk for about 5 seconds until a tick appears. After doing this, it will reset as you drive your car. 

  1. Why is there a flashing red exclamation mark on my dashboard?

 A flashing red exclamation mark on your dashboard mostly means that there is an issue with the brake system of your car. This can happen because the brake fluid in your car is low, or there may be damage to the brakes of your car.

  1. What do BMW warning lights on the dashboard mean? 

The warning lights on a BMW dashboard point to problems that your car is experiencing, and need to be fixed immediately. Orange and yellow lights on the BMW Dashboard are warnings that are not as detrimental to your car as the red warning lights.

  1. What does a BMW 1 series red exclamation mark in brackets mean? 

When you see a BMW 1 series get a red exclamation mark in brackets on the dashboard, it means it might be a tire or brakes issue. So, don’t ignore this, get it checked immediately.

It’s important to get your car checked immediately or, solve any pending car repairs when you see red warning lights in your car.

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About the Author: Katherine

Katherine is a passionate digital nomad with a major in English language and literature, a word connoisseur who loves writing about raging technologies, digital marketing, and career conundrums.

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