What does this warning light mean?

Vacation time is over and the kids are back in school. I know how important the reliability of my transportation is to me, so I can imagine it’s also important to you.

Since I see my customers as an extension of my family so I wanted to make sure that you’re aware of when it’s of utmost importance that you call us when a light appears on the dash. Sometimes you have car noises and sometimes the CD player isn’t working. Here is a simple litmus test to determine:

“Is this something I need to take care of right away, or can it wait until my hectic life slows down just a bit?”

The RED Brake Warning Light, Red Coolant or OVERHEAT light, Red Flat Tire Warning, Oil Pressure Warning and/or Battery Warning Lights 

Red means “STOP!”. When you see a red stoplight, you don’t think about it. You stop. Failure to do so means you’re breaking the law. Consider the same thing with the warning lights in your car. If a warning light comes on AND IT IS RED, you literally have seconds to stop the operation of the vehicle before it becomes disastrous. Consider the following chart:

Light What it means How much time you have before it becomes very expensive.
Red Brake Warning Light Could be brakes(mechanically), Could be brake fluid pressure. BMW brakes are expensive, but fluid pressure loss is Deadly. If you lose your fluid pressure in the brake hydraulics you can’t stop your car. If your brake pads are causing the light, it’s likely that fluid loss is right around the corner.
Red Coolant or OVERHEAT light The cooling system in your car has failed or is failing. This system keeps the engine from seizing due to heat or thermal expansion. Your head gasket is the expensive part of an overheat. Mere minutes. Like 3 minutes tops. If you continue driving, imagine $100 bills flying out the window. I know home or your destination is only 5 minutes away, but those 5 minutes will cost you possibly over $1000 a minute. How much do you make an hour? Pull over and have it towed to our shop. It’s not worth risking it. I stop for this light and I know what I’m doing. Now you do too.
Red Flat Tire warning There is currently a pressure loss in one or more tires greater that 8 PSI(pounds per square inch) Depends. If you have run flat tires, you can continue for 250 miles at 50 MPH. (that is at 0PSI) If you have regular tires you need to get out and check pressures. Tire gauges are cheap and everyone should have one in their car. You waste your gas money when you allow your tire pressure to be low. Do yourself a favor. Keep a tire gauge in your car and actually use it every time you get gas. Let the pump pump your gas and you check the tires and fluid. You’ll be in better shape than 99% of other drivers.
Red Oil Pressure Warning Light You have less than 5-8 PSI of oil pressure. If the engine is running and you see this light, TURN OFF THE ENGINE IMMEDIATELY(after you pull over).  You see how this is the only one in bold letters? I’m not kidding. If you let this go and drive your car you are putting your engine in the fast lane to complete failure.
Red Battery warning light The battery or the alternator are failing or have failed The Alternator provides the entire vehicle with the electrical energy necessary to power the engine and all the lights and entertainment functions in your vehicle. It also charges the battery when the engine is running.  If the alternator fails, The battery will power everything until it is discharged. If the battery fails, you simply won’t be able to start your vehicle and in some cases, the battery could be shorted. This will cause the alternator to work extra hard and will cause it to prematurely fail.

If you have any light on you should call and immediately make an appointment to bring it in. A check engine light, engine malfunction light, transmission light(can be red that’s another blog) can be expensive but if they’re yellow, they typically won’t cause your vehicle to completely stop operation or cause you to lose power steering and the ability to control your vehicle. There are other red lights like the airbag and transmission lights but as important as the ones listed above.

Do you have a light on that is concerning you? You need a shop that has the technical know-how and the wherewithal to do what is right and treat you fairly?

Make an appointment at Baltimore’s best 21st Century Shop today.


Joshua Johnson

Baltimore Bimmer LLC


6254 Kenwood Ave

Rosedale MD 21237