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Old 16th April 2004, 03:00   #1
greg
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Tech: How to reset your service indicator

Thanks to member "jaj" (JJ) for getting me onto the scent of this procedure (see related thread.) - I thought I would document it here with a minor correction and a searchable title for future use.

Update 12/26/04: Yet another post, by jhowton, with a slightly simpler procedure.

Disclaimer: The Service Indicator is a good thing. Don't ignore it. Don't just reset it for the hell of it. It integrates miles driven with other variables that can shorten or lengthen the recommended service interval - a car started many times but driven only short distances will wear out its motor oil much faster than one that has accumulated the same number of miles on long freeway runs, for example.

I like having the Service Indicator. As long as my car was under the maintenance agreement I was content to have the dealer perform the required services and reset the light. However, I am doing my own services now. I don't want the indicator staring me in the face telling me to service the car when I just did! In fact I want it to remind me when I should again, if I don't get to it first. And I don't feel like springing $$$ for a reset tool now that I know I don't need one!

You CAN reset your service indicator, as follows:


  1. Get in the car, close the door, buckle the seatbelt.
  2. Push in the clutch pedal and hold it to the floor
  3. Press the left hand dash button (the one that resets your odometer) and hold it down
  4. Put the ignition key in the key slot, and turn it gently (very gently) until the dashboard lights come on - the key will not click - if it clicks you've gone too far and you have to start again. Hold the key in this position. In five seconds or so, the dash will display "SIA" and some other characters. Do not proceed until this happens.
  5. Release the dash button (and only the dashboard button) and then press and hold it again. In another 5 seconds or so the display should begin to flash "RESET?" Do not proceed until this happens.
  6. Release the dash button and push it again to confirm. You won't need to hold it - the display should change immediately and your service indicator will display five green LED's.


Neat, huh?
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Last edited by greg; 26th December 2004 at 19:14. Reason: Updated with URL of orig thread, which now has the answer to the question it posed.
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Old 16th April 2004, 03:25   #2
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Re: Tech: How to reset your service indicator

Thanks Greg, this is good to know.

I have a feeling though that most will misuse this. Then when they go to sell the car they will have poor or non-existing records to show potential buyers and thereby lose thousands in value. But that's just my take. There is more to service than oil changing. Proper brake fluid flush at least two years, coolant flushing (now three years according to the dealer). Bulletins from BMW about free replacement of emission control parts, safety equipment and other things that may be under concern will often be unknown to most self servicers.

I have noticed on this board that as the car ages new owners are less likely to get proper service from a BMW trained tech.s which doesn't have to be at the dealer but most usually is and the cars will eventually deteriorate.

I think it is better to promote proper maintenance, if not at the dealer at trained BMW mechanics, and there are plenty around. I don't think paying 5 or 6 hundred for every twenty thousand miles is so bad.

I recognize that you and many others are particularly well trained or versed in the maintenance of your cars but most of your audience are not.
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Old 16th April 2004, 13:12   #3
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Re: Tech: How to reset your service indicator

Greg-
Great info!

Do you happen to know if this procedure clears just Inspection I or both Inspection I and II ?
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Old 16th April 2004, 13:19   #4
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Re: Tech: How to reset your service indicator

Thanks Greg- thats great info. When I get past the scheduled maintenance plan this will come in very handy.
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Old 16th April 2004, 18:32   #5
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Re: Tech: How to reset your service indicator

Jim - I agree 100%. This can (and probably will) be abused - most likely just prior to a sale. Service should be done!!!!

Rvacha - as far as I know this resets the indicator no matter what - in fact, I don't think the indicator itself distinguishes between an Inspection I and an Inspection II - I think that is based on the service schedule only - which you can find in your owner's manual.
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Old 16th April 2004, 19:20   #6
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Re: Tech: How to reset your service indicator

Greg

You and the rest of the board are very welcome - but I have to give credit to the board for the information in the first place!

I believe (I haven't tried it myself so I'm not positive) that when the SIA is reset, it toggles between Inspection I and Inspection II. That is, if you're resetting from Inspection I, it will display Inspection II the next time it trips, and vice-versa.

As for the complex logic in the system itself, it's really very clever. BMW figured out that the easiest way to take driving style into consideration was to count litres of gasoline. When the SIA is reset, the first screen in the sequence above, "SIA 0 l", will switch to "SIA 3250 l". The "3250 l" is a count of litres of gasoline, and when the engine has consumed 3250 litres of gasoline (about 800 gallons) the SIA will hve counted down and will read "0" again, and the Inspection light will come on. If you drive hard or have lots of cold starts, the fuel consumption is much higher, and the light comes on sooner. Lots of low-stress highway miles will give you a longer interval.

By the way, this "SIA 3250 l" counter actually counts down as you drive, so you can see how far through the total you are. I've used this system to measure long-term fuel economy, so I'm pretty comfortable with it's use and it's accuracy. Mine was off by 0.3 litres on 300 litres of fuel, so it's pretty danged accurate!

By the way, if you want to change your oil more often than the SIA indicates, as many do, then use the first stage of the procedure and check the remaining count. If you change twice as often, then change when the reading is "1625", or if you want three times, then change at "2200" and at "1100".

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Old 16th April 2004, 22:33   #7
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Re: Tech: How to reset your service indicator

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaj
As for the complex logic in the system itself, it's really very clever. BMW figured out that the easiest way to take driving style into consideration was to count litres of gasoline. When the SIA is reset, the first screen in the sequence above, "SIA 0 l", will switch to "SIA 3250 l". The "3250 l" is a count of litres of gasoline, and when the engine has consumed 3250 litres of gasoline (about 800 gallons) the SIA will hve counted down and will read "0" again, and the Inspection light will come on. If you drive hard or have lots of cold starts, the fuel consumption is much higher, and the light comes on sooner. Lots of low-stress highway miles will give you a longer interval.
Wow, I never would have thought it would be something so simple, yet so clever. Interesting observation, that is really trick. Thanks a ton jaj and greg for the info!
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Old 16th April 2004, 23:01   #8
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Re: Tech: How to reset your service indicator

I am new to the M5 (just got mine a few months back). Prior to taking posesssion I had a dealer do an inspection (quite a nightmare as it turned out) and had them do an oil change and some other minor things, suchg as rear rotors (though I doubt they bled the brakes as they should have). Hence, the car came to me with all 5 green lights lit up and those lights are still lit up. The car has over 60,000 miles on it and I am doing most of the inspection II maintenance myself (already changed the air filters, micro filters, and spark plugs and will flush the coolant and check the brake fluid soon). I presume that the next interval to light up will be inspection II, but how do I know? I have the records for the car and inspection II has not come up as due yet. Does the system just count like this:1) oil change; 2) inspection I; 3) oil change; 4) inspection II, and then reset to the beginning. Based on the logic above this must be the case. If so, then the last time they reset the light it would have cleared inspection II even though all they did was change the oil.


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Old 16th April 2004, 23:46   #9
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Re: Tech: How to reset your service indicator

Bill,

The system does count as you described. (1) oil change; 2) inspection I; 3) oil change; 4) inspection II)

However, 60k miles and 5 green bars seem a little strange, unless the Inspection II was recently done and they just re-set the green bars. My impression is that Inspection II hits at between 65k-70k miles. If a dealer performed the Inspection II, then you can see this service record from any BMW dealer as BMW keeps central files for all dealers to see. If an independent shop did the Inspection II, then the records will need to come from the PO.

Another possibility is that someone just re-set the lights for the sale, thus 5 green bars regardless of mileage. This is less likely as this is not a well-known technique.

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Old 16th April 2004, 23:51   #10
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Re: Tech: How to reset your service indicator

I am sure the dealer just reset it when they did the oil change service I asked them to do prior to the sale.

EDIT: Well I just went through the first sequence to check the interval and it works just as it should. My reading was SIA 2877 I. So it does look like the dealer reset the service interval when the oil was changed about 1600 miles back. Pretty nifty!

Last edited by ZCAT3; 17th April 2004 at 03:01.
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