Mini Dashboard Warning Lights and Meanings
This section contains many of the dashboard warning lights and engine management symbols for BMW Mini Cooper, Clubman and Mini Countryman from various dates.
The colour of the illuminated symbol signifies how serious the problem is. Red symbols for example will usually signify a more serious issue where immediate attention is necessary to avoid damage to vehicle components, or where safety may be compromised.
Orange or yellow symbols signify less urgent issues, such as a vehicle service is required for example. Other symbol colours signify driver information, typically in the form of green or blue illuminations. Flashing dashboard warning lights signify urgent issues.
Airbag and seat belt tensioner failure light
These dashboard lights will illuminate if either one or more airbags systems have reported a fault, or if the seat belt tensioners have failed. If seat belt tensioners have failed, use seat belts as normal. Have the vehicle checked by an authorised workshop immediately.
Power steering failure
If this dashboard warning light illuminates, the power assisted steering has failed. The vehicle can still be driven although significantly different steering characteristics will be felt. Take your Mini to an authorised repair workshop as soon as possible.
Mini outside temperature
The BMW Mini outside temperature warning light (snowflake inside a triangle) illuminates if the temperature falls to around +3C / 37F. A signal will sound and this warning light will come on. This is to warn you to drive cautiously. This also signifies an increased risk of sheet ice on the roads.
Engine refuses to start
To start the engine, depress the brake if the car has automatic transmission, or depress the clutch if the car has manual transmission.
Ignition on and driver’s door open
This exclamation mark dashboard symbol illuminate when the ignition is attempted to be switched on whilst the driver door is not shut.
Diesel preheat light
When temperatures fall below 0C / 32F, starting the engine may be delayed by the use of automatic preheating on diesel engines.
Remote control faulty
The key dashboard light will illuminate if the remote control is faulty or not detected if the car has convenient access without its need. If the engine cannot be started, have the remote control checked.
Remote control battery
The key with the battery symbol warning will illuminate if the battery in the remote control is discharged or flat. Drive longer journeys to recharge the battery or in older models replace the battery.
Engine malfunction light
This dashboard symbol signifies an engine malfunction within your Mini car. The severity of the malfunction depends on the light colour. If the symbol shows red, stop the car and switch off the engine. You will be unable to continue your journey. If the symbol shows yellow, engine power is limited. You can continue the journey, but have the issue dealt with by an authorised workshop as soon as possible.
Engine fault warning
This light signifies a fault within the engine. On the Mini dashboard, if the fault light is flashing, reduce speed and moderate engine load. High engine load will result in damage to the catalytic converter. If the symbol remains a constant illumination, a degradation in vehicle emissions will occur. In either case, vehicle can be driven, but seek assistance from a vehicle technician as soon as possible.
Battery warning light
Severity of the problem is signified by colour of the dashboard symbol. Red indicates the battery is no longer being charged. Yellow indicates the battery has a low charge. In either case, turn off any vehicle systems that consume electrical charge and have the battery checked as soon as possible.
See car battery life expectancy and maintenance for help.
Brake issues warning
As well as informing the driver that the handbrake is applied, this warning light has other uses depending on its colour. If red, brake fluid is too low. Top up the brake fluid reservoir with fluid or seek technical assistance if in doubt. If yellow, the Hill Starts Assist feature has failed and the car will not be held in place after the brake has been released. If the combination shows the above symbol along with the car on a service ramp / lift stand, this signifies the brake pads are worn. this should be looked at without delay as braking could become seriously impaired.
Severity of the engine temperature warning light depends on colour. If the dashboard symbol is red, overheating will occur. Stop the car and switch off the engine to allow cooling. Do not open bonnet until engine has sufficiently cooled as there is a risk of scolding. If the light is yellow, the engine is running hot. Slow down and moderate engine load to allow the engine to cool. See what is engine coolant and how to check engine coolant for further details.
The car on a service ramp stand lift dashboard warning light in combination with the symbols found under it indicates a vehicle electronics failure.
The car can no longer be driven without being seen by a vehicle technician.
Car on ramp / lift light
The Mini car on ramp / lift warning light signifies various issues depending on the colour of the symbol when illuminated. An explanation of the colours follows below.
- The engine starter has failed. In this situation, you will be unable to start the engine and mechanical assistance is required.
- The ignition is malfunctioning and the engine is only possible to start when the brake pedal is depressed.
- Vehicle lighting system failed. Rear and brake lights operational as well as low beam lights. All other light non-operational.
- Brake light failure.
- Fuel supply faulty. Vehicle will still be operational although speed of vehicle should be moderated.
- Drive system malfunctioning. Vehicle will still operate though at a reduced speed.
Anti-lock brakes light
The driving stability control systems have failed, including the run flat indicator. Hampered braking and reduced stability whilst driving may be experienced. Reduce speed and avoid situations that require full or heavy braking. See the Anti-Lock Braking System guide for understanding what ABS is and how it works.
Low engine oil pressure light
If this light illuminates, you must stop immediately and turn off the engine to avoid serious damage to engine components and to remain safe. The assistance of an approved Mini technician must be seen. See how to check engine oil for further information.
Tyre run flat monitor light
The tyre monitor run flat warning light will illuminate due to a failure in the system. A red lights shows that a tyre is deflated or that the run flat indicator did not initialise. A yellow symbol will indicate the run flat indicator has failed and punctures will not be detected.
See tyre legal limit for information on having too high and too low pressure in tyres.
Transmission overheating light
The Mini warning light cog with thermometer indicates that the transmission is overheating. The severity of the problem is determined by the colour of the symbol. Red indicates overheating and requires that you stop the vehicle to allow the transmission to cool down before continuing. Yellow indicates a hot transmission. Reduce engine loads to allow for cooling.
Transmission fault dashboard warning light
The Mini warning light cog with exclamation mark indicates issues with the transmission. The symbol varies in colour; red or yellow depending on the type of fault it is displaying.
- The Mini transmission limp-home programme has activated with a restricted range of gears. this may also reduce acceleration. Vehicle can still be driven although it should be checked as soon as possible.
- Gears can be engaged without the need to depress the brake. Always depress the brake to engage a gear.
- The automatic selector lever has locked. Manually unlock the selector lever inter-lock.
- Automatic selector lever is locked in position P with engine running and brake depressed, or the brake signal is faulty as a gear can be engaged without depressing the brake. Manually unlock the selector lever inter-lock or when the vehicle is stationary, always depress the brake before engaging a gear. Before exiting the vehicle, move the selector lever to position P and turn off the engine.
Dynamic Stability / Traction Control light
The Mini Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) has failed. Vehicle can still be driven although speed should be reduced, especially around corners where traction and stability may be reduced. Vehicle will need to be checked as soon as possible.
Electric steering wheel lock faulty
This dashboard warning light will illuminate in red when the electric steering wheel lock is faulty. If applicable, do not turn off the engine as it will be unable to be started. A BMW Mini technician will need to resolve the issue.
Mini dashboard light symbols
All Mini dashboard warning lights can come on in various colours and combinations. Listed below are some of the more common dashboard light symbols for the BMW Mini.