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.

Each warning light list provides an explanation of its meaning detailing the fault. The dashboard warning lights that illuminate in your Mini may vary depending on the model, the year and the country where it was manufactured. Vehicle warning lights in all makes and models generally follow a similar rule in terms of symbol colour.

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.

Mini airbag failure dashboard warning light
Seat belt tensioner failure warning light

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. For further information about airbags and possible faults, see why is the airbag light on?

Mini power assisted steering failure dashboard warning light

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 dashboard warning light

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 warning light

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.

Mini driver door and ignition switched on dashboard warning light

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 engine preheat warning light

Diesel preheat light

When temperatures fall below 0C / 32F, starting the engine may be delayed by the use of automatic preheating on diesel engines.

Mini remote control faulty dashboard warning light

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.

Mini remote control flat battery warning light

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.

Mini engine malfunction dashboard warning light

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.

Mini engine fault dashboard warning symbol

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.

Mini battery dashboard warning light

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 Why is the battery warning light on for further help. See car battery life expectancy and maintenance for help.

Mini brake issues warning dashboard symbol
Mini car on lift ramp warning dashboard symbol

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.

Mini engine temperature warning dashboard symbol

Engine temperature

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.

Mini car on lift ramp warning dashboard symbol
Electronics failure

Electronics failure

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.

Mini warning lights car on ramp

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.

Shows red:
  • 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.
Shows yellow:
  • 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.

Mini anti-lock braking system warning light

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.

Mini low engine oil pressure warning symbol

Low engine oil pressure light

If the low oil pressure 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.

BMW Mini tyre run flat monitor warning light

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. If you are experiencing problems, see tyre pressure warning light keeps coming on. See tyre legal limit for information on having too high and too low pressure in tyres.

Mini warning light cog with exclamation mark
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.

Mini warning light cog with exclamation mark

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.

Shows red:
  • 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.
Shows yellow:
  • 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.

BMW Mini stability control warning light
DSC Light

Dynamic Stability / Traction Control light

If the light remains on and the system is not in use, 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. The arrow circle containing a orange triangle and exclamation mark is also the DSC light used in alternative models of Mini.

BMW Mini electric steering wheel lock faulty warning light

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.

Directional turn indicator light
High beam headlights dashboard light
Front fog lights activated dashboard warning light
Rear fog lights activated dashboard warning light
Fasten seat belt warning symbol
Handbrake applied warning light
Low fuel warning light
Lights still switched on dashboard warning light
Mini warning light P symbol Parking lights are on warning light
Door open dashboard warning light
Car bonnet / engine compartment open warning light
Window washer fluid levels low warning light
Red triangle with exclamation mark warning light indicates a service is due
Gear selector lever not in position P. Vehicle not prevented from rolling
Gear selector P not engaged – ignition cannot be switched off. Select gear lever P
Electronic steering wheel lock engaged – move steering before starting
Mini cruise control system failure warning light
Park distance control failure
Mini bulb of exterior lighting system failed
Mini low beam or fog light failed
Mini headlight failed warning light
Mini rear fog light failed warning light
Mini headlight beam throw adjustment failed warning light
Mini adaptive head light failed warning light
Mini engine coolant level too low warning light
Mini diesel particle filter malfunction warning light

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25 thoughts on “Mini Dashboard Warning Lights and Meanings”

  1. Vicky Barker

    I have a BMW Z 3 and it will not half run It sounds like it is not getting gas or it runs like a spark plug is bad or something is wrong with the ignition. The dash light comes on with the letters EML and service engine light is on. Can you tell me what is going on with my car? It is a 2000 year.

    Thank You.

  2. min

    what does “EWL” ,mean on my mini dashboard?

  3. Leon

    Does anyone’s handbrake light flash as well as the indicator flash when indicating.?

  4. James

    Leon it sounds like there could be moisture in your fuse box. Minewl is engine warning light

  5. Laura Allison

    What does the memo pad mean on dash message?

  6. Scott

    2003 mini cooper Service Engine Soon and Orange Triangle with a Circle around it with an arrow at the end. Any info would be greatly appreciated…thx

  7. Sounds like the Dynamic Stability Control light. If it’s on, the DSC is either turned off, or it is currently / temporarily in use due to the vehicle becoming unstable. If the light stays on permanently and you haven’t turned it off, then it’s likely a fault with the system.

  8. Kalau

    I have 2016 Clubman. Transmission warning says car must be in park to start. Car IS in Park and won’t start. Car Engine is dead. No way to get out of traffic..just lucky rolled through 3 lanes to side. Now Mini Service can’t find problem. Fourth event of Engine Failure. Transmission Warning means car is totally dead. My 9th Mini 😥

  9. Morris

    My 03 Mini Cooper is displaying the following three yellow warning lights simultaneously. At first this was intermittent. Know constant. I’m assuming it’s a short in the wiring.
    Tire information
    Traction control.
    Can anyone help?

  10. I would think it’s likely one of the ABS sensors in a wheel. Will need to hook up diagnostics to see for sure.

  11. Dolfan0118

    Is there any way to get the tire pressure sensor light off if I am using winter tires on rims without the sensors?

  12. colin

    mini 2009 cooper D will not start has ! on dash hen i put key fob in and try and start with start / stop button will turn over but not run

  13. Glenn Scabet

    I have a notepad with an exclamation point on my dashboard 2016 Mini 4 door.

  14. AliceS

    When i push the starter a red car pops up and it used to be a yellow car. It goes off but im worried because utbis now red

  15. Doc

    I have a 2013 Countryman and my headlight/fog light warning came on, i have replaced all bulbs but the warning light continues to come on, especially when slowing down or stopping, any thoughts?

  16. Tom

    Hello, I have red handbrake sign, yellow ABS, and yellow run flat… and they flicker on and off…

  17. Stephen Jones

    I had my clutch replaced then the triangle with exclamation light came on and stays on. Any help out there?

  18. Hi Stephen,
    Do you have any check control messages; access by operating the switch on the turn signal stalk? If the warning triangle came on directly after the clutch was replaced, it sounds related. Perhaps something was damaged or not put properly back in place. First thing to do would be to contact the person who changed your clutch.

  19. Sue spiers

    Please can anyone tell what a symbol that appears below the gear number that looks like a crossed out circle with two small circles on bottom right hand. T is white. Really need help as have no idea.
    I have not posted this before.

  20. Sean Caprai

    I have a 2011 mini Cooper base model. When I am on the highway the check engine light comes on and the car seems to run a little rough. After I stop and turn the car off, and I restart the engine the light will be off and the car seems to run perfect again. Can anyone out there help me out diagnosing what the issue is? Is it a sensor? Is it something more serious? HELP!

  21. Hi Sean,
    Could be a spark plug or blocked fuel injectors or problem with ignition coil. But really, you don’t want to go down the guessing route. When the engine warning light comes on, a fault code is typically generated and stored. Diagnostic tools are then plugged in and scanned. The tools will bring up and fault codes. These codes help you to locate the fault. Diagnostics is always the place to start.

  22. Lorraine

    Hi I have a mini copper coupe.
    A red circle with an A in it followed by red explanation mark. I’ve googled n googled but cant resolve what it means. Help, does anyone know.

  23. Hi Lorraine,
    Are you sure it’s not the automatic engine start stop warning light? It sounds very similar. It’s a circular arrow containing the letter A with an exclamation mark alongside it. It’s actually amber in colour, but might appear to look red.

    It’s more common to have issues with the automatic start stop system in winter as demands on the vehicle’s battery increase. There are quite a few things that can cause an issue with the start stop system, but usually it’s battery related. The battery might be getting old and need replacing (having your battery tested will find that out), or leaving it on charge over night might sort it. Frequent short trips often don’t allow the vehicle enough time to properly charge the battery, particularly in winter.

  24. Cait

    Can anyone tell me what this means, it reads “transmission: secure vehicle with parking brake when stopped. Consult service center.” It shows a car with an arrow pointing both left and right. It shows up in red lettering 25% of the time, the other 75% its yellow. 2015 mini cooper S

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