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Old September 18th 04, 11:18 AM
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Default BMW service lights in the UK

Hi all.

I bought my E39 new back in sept 02. Since the last month, the service
lights have read a CLOCK symbol and two green lights. I haven't yet had a
service (no, I don't drive that much).

My understanding of this was that I needed the time based service - I think
that means fluid change and other minor things. On calling the garage, they
told me that I didn't need any serivce at all, but was welcome to get a
"safety check". I thought I should take this option seeing as I suspected
that I actually did need a service of some kind - it had been two years
since buying after all.

It turned out that the clock symbol DID mean that I needed a fluid change
but not a full service - I added that to the list and it was done. However,
on the car's return although the clock symbol was out the five green lights
had come back on. First question - is this right?

I called the mechanic back. He wasn't too sure (hmm), but referred to his
technician. Apparently they had inadvertently reset both the clock and
service lights, and the computer wouldn't let them restore it to two lights
on. Note that they would have let me drive away if i hadn't had asked them
about this. Second question - can the lights be custom set?

Finally I asked what I should do. I feared that if i follow the new lights,
Id be 3 service lights "late" for my first service. The mechanic advised
that I should return after the first two lights have turned off - i.e. when
there are 3 green lights remaining, at which point a service and another
rest of the lights would occur and Id be back in sync. So my final
questions - will three service lights indicate the correct time for my first
service, or would it be too early? Or more dangerously, too late? Are all
the lights of the same "value"? If not when should I actually go in for a
service? I dont expect my driving pattern to change much over the next few

Any advice appreciated, thanks!