BMW E36 Blog

Reset BMW E36 oil service light

24th February 2007

Reset BMW E36 oil service light

posted in Do It Yourself, Electrical, Technical Info, Tips & Tricks |

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Hello my friends,

After changing the oil for your car, the oil service light stays on (on the red) and it becomes very annoying to you sometimes. It makes me upset just to see it like that, so I wanted to find out how this creature is reset. It turned out that the procedure is very simple and it doesn’t need time, money or even special equipment. Well, only a paperclip ;-). The following article will show you how this thing is done within couple minutes. BTW, I didn’t write this article. I found it here in case you want to read it. Ready? ok here we go . . .


Disclaimer: Use this procedure at your own risk!! I’m not responsible for your mistakes man! :D

First, pop your hood and find the diagnostic data port. It is located on the right side of the engine bay near the right strut tower.




Unscrew the cap. You will see a big Pac-Man shaped hole and twenty little round holes. What is a Pac-Man? Never mind. We are only concerned with pin 7 and pin 19 (note: the words "pin" and "hole" are used interchangeably in this text). Refer to the picture below to find pins 7 and 19.




What we will be doing in this exercise is connecting pins 7 and 19 with a paperclip for four seconds. This will reset the oil service light. Simple, no? But first, here is the list of pins and what they are supposed to do:


Pin Terminal Description
1 TD TD Signal
2 Not occupied
3 Not occupied
4 Not occupied
5 Not occupied
6 Not occupied
7 SI Service Interval Reset
8 Not occupied
9 Not occupied
10 Not occupied
11 Not occupied
12 61 (D+) Generator Charge Indicator
13 Not occupied
14 30 Voltage; Hot At All Times
15 RXD Diagnostic Data Link
16 15S Voltage; Ignition Switch in Run
17 Not occupied
18 PGSP Programming Line
19 31 Ground
20 TXD Diagnostic Data Link


OK, using a paperclip, Bend your paperclip it so it looks like this:



Well it doesn’t have to look exactly like this, but you get the idea. Use pliers if you have to. We want those little loops at the end to maximize the contact with the conductors in the holes of the data port. If you can’t make those little loops at the ends, that’s okay. Just don’t go running around with sharp objects.


OK, now you’re ready to reset the oil service light, so turn the ignition key to position II, but don’t start the car. Get out of the car and go to the data port. Always connect pin 7 first. Once you’ve inserted one end into pin 7, insert the other end into pin 19 and hold it there for 4 seconds. Then remove the paperclip. Check the dash and the oil inspection lights should be reset. The reset occurs upon removal of the clip.


IMPORTANT: DO NOT HOLD IT THERE FOR LONGER THAN 10 SECONDS or you may inadvertently reset your inspection I/II interval.



OK, you’re done. It was pretty easy as I promised! wasn’t it?



Are you looking for more do it yourself procedures (DIY) ? I recommend the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual for you. I got it and I think it’s a gold mine for us -BMW E36 Owners-. If you didn’t grab your copy yet, get it right now! I’m sure you’ll find this book worth every penny you’ve paid for. Get the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual


Wait for more from . . . BMW E36 Blog


Best regards,

Tony Sticks.

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There are currently 293 responses to “Reset BMW E36 oil service light”

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  1. 1 On March 20th, 2007, Barry Woolcott said:

    Hello. I’ve tried doing what you advise, but in spite of several attempts, the lights refuse to reset. Have checked pin 19 and confirm it is “earth”. My car is a 1996 318i E36. Have you any thoughts on what I’m doing wrong?

  2. 2 On March 20th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Barry,

    For cars with the 20 pin data link connector, you have to place the ignition switch in position two. You provide a short and then remove it after a specified time. The reset occurs on >>REMOVAL<<. On the older cars the reset occurred after the specified time. That’s the only difference between the older diagnostic connector and the newer data link connector. Please try again and let me know if this works

  3. 3 On March 21st, 2007, Barry Woolcott said:

    Hi Tony
    If at first you don’t succeed . .
    I repeated all the operations I had previously, but made sure that I maintained the connection a bit longer this time – but not long enough to upset the other read-out. And – Bingo!
    That saves me going to a garage, who would charge $20-25 for the job, or buying the Peake gadget.
    Many thanks


  4. 4 On March 21st, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    You’re welcome Barry. Glad to hear that you managed to do it :-)

    Keep visiting my blog. I’ll be posting more DIYs in the future ..

  5. 5 On April 2nd, 2007, Randy said:

    thanks man that work great!!!!!! on my 1999 328i

  6. 6 On April 2nd, 2007, Randy said:

    hey what do i do about the inspection,because now when i start the car that comes on and then its goes to mpg 5.9???????????? pls let me know something [email protected]

  7. 7 On April 2nd, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Randy,

    Thank you very much for the sweet comment. The inspection light can be reset too using the same method above, but you have to keep it for around 9~12 seconds and it should work. Please let me know how it goes.

  8. 8 On April 13th, 2007, JohnnyLed said:

    thanks man i tried it a couple of times and i failed but i held it a lil bit longer and now my car is perfect once again good job

  9. 9 On April 17th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    You’re welcome Johnny :-)

  10. 10 On May 20th, 2007, Barry Woolcott said:

    Hi there
    This question is not about resetting the service lights (done that!) but about the seals round the rear screen. I have the 2 seals in question and would like to know if there is any special technique involved. I guess the screen is sealed to the body (epoxy?) and the seals are cosmetic to tidy up the look of the screen. Can I just peel the old seals off and is it necessary to apply some sealant to the new seals before putting them in place?
    Thanks in advance

  11. 11 On May 20th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    I frankly didn’t try this or even read about it. So, I can’t help with this question. Maybe someone else can.

    Sorry Barry.

  12. 12 On July 27th, 2007, George said:

    Very nice!!! I did it, the red and orange bar turned off,
    but the five green bars remains on, is this normal…
    or they also sould be turned off??

  13. 13 On July 27th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:


    That’s Normal. The green lights mean you ok. After some time, these green lights will start to turn off. Then after all of them are gone orange and red lights will turn on. Which means you should do it again!

  14. 14 On September 5th, 2007, Matoto W. Lubinda said:

    1998 BMW 318iS done 275754Km. The engine runs smoothly when it is cold. At warm/hot temperature the engine switches off when idling and backfires when in motion. I have replaced the fuel pump but still the problem persist. Need help.

  15. 15 On September 14th, 2007, Dan Greig said:

    Thank you for the information. Do you know if this same procedure will work to reset the oil
    service light on a 2000 Z3 ?

  16. 16 On September 15th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Dan,

    I’m sure the procedure will be almost the same, but I’m not sure about the pin numbers. So, I recommend you search for a specific procedure for Z3’s. Otherwise, you may end-up burning something :D

  17. 17 On September 23rd, 2007, steve said:

    1990 bmw 535i 30 mph maximum dash light?
    as soon as i hit 30mph a 30 mph maximum message comes on my dash stays for a while no sounds or changes in speed can easily go over 30 car still rides good
    i checked oil coolant tires reset the computer any ideas email me please mrchitownsteve@yahoo thatnks for the pin trick

  18. 18 On October 22nd, 2007, Zak said:


    I wonder if you can help i have 1995 E36 BMW drop top and i removed the steering wheel to change a
    which i have done smoothly, but yet my Airbag light has been set to on.
    I was wondering will the papaer clip job rest this problem?.

  19. 19 On October 22nd, 2007, Tony Sticks said:


    Unfortunately, the paper clip won’t help fix your problem b/c resetting the Airbag light is something that’s totally different and seems a bit more complicated. I will try to search for some information regarding how to do this b/c my car’s airbag light is on as well. I will post a new article about this if I have successfully managed to find a solution.

  20. 20 On October 24th, 2007, Steve #2 said:

    Thanks mate – paper clip reset worked a treat.

  21. 21 On October 24th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    You’re welcome Steve. Glad it worked for you.

  22. 22 On November 6th, 2007, Justin said:

    Hi Tony. I just went out and did this tonight after reading your post, in the dark, with my flashlight in my teeth. My poor 1992 325is hadn’t been reset in 60K miles. It took a few tries before it worked, primarily because for my car, it apparently takes closer to 6 seconds.

    I really appreciate the great how-to. says the same trick (well, there is one minor procedural difference) will work on my 2001 740i. I’ll give that a try soon.

  23. 23 On November 7th, 2007, Bradley said:

    Hi There, i tried doing this procedure, and it worked, well…mostly i guess. The inspectio9n writing went off, but there is still a bunch of little bars underneath where the inspection writing was. The bars start off yellow at one end, and then as more bars light up they go green. The red bars have not lighten up yet, but i would like to get rid of this problem as it makes an annoying dinging sound when i turn the key to position 2. Thanks in advance!

  24. 24 On November 10th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Bradley,

    Sorry for not replying to your question soon. About the yellow bar, it should not appear. What you should see is only green bars after you do this procedure. Please try this again, but keep the two pins connected for longer time like 6 seconds or a little bit more. It should work for you.

    About the dinging sound, I’m not sure if this has anything to do with the service lights.

    Please let me know if this works for you.

  25. 25 On November 15th, 2007, Nick Gurg said:

    Will this procedure work on a 2001 bmw 330. (reset mileage for oil change)

  26. 26 On November 16th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Nick, I’m not sure. This procedure will work on BMW E36 cars. I’m not sure about newer cars.

  27. 27 On November 16th, 2007, Justin said:

    Hi Nick,

    Follow the link in my post above; it shows the procedural difference between this method on the E36 and the method for an 01 740i. They are very similar. In both cases you jump the same pins. But the difference is in when you turn on the key.

    Also, I just used a method that only uses the instrument cluster to reset on my 740i. It worked, though not exactly as described. I should have gotten some messages, according to the directions, but I didn’t. But the service lights did reset. I’d rather it have worked exactly as described, but oh well. You can read about this method (again on an 01 740i) here:

    I suspect the methods are very similar if not identical across most models from the same years. But as Tony said, we can’t be sure.

  28. 28 On November 23rd, 2007, Dave Brown said:

    Great work Tony. Ive managed to reset the indicator. I accidently turned the engine over without replacing the diagnostic cap, can this cause any kind of problems do you know? I only had the engine running for about 10 secounds then switched off and replaced the cap. Your help is appreciated !

  29. 29 On November 23rd, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Dave,

    You mean that your car doesn’t start right now even while the diagnostic cap is put in place?

  30. 30 On November 24th, 2007, Dave Brown said:

    No it starts with no problems. I just thought i should of put the cap on before i turned the car over. Wondered if i could of done damage without realising. ie blow or short anything.

  31. 31 On November 24th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Glad to hear that! I thought that your car cannot be started now Dave.

    About the cap, I don’t think the cap will do any harm, but as a precaution rule, I would recommend you to place the cap while the car is turned off.

  32. 32 On December 8th, 2007, sotos said:

    Always having bad relastionship with time, I’ve hold the paperclip more than 10 seconds for oil reset.Is it really an inadvertently problem or there might be a solution?Thanks in advance

  33. 33 On December 8th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Are you sure you connected the correct pins? AFAIK, this should work perfectly and it has been tested by many guys here.

  34. 34 On December 9th, 2007, David Pehrson said:

    Tony, I just read through your page about resetting the service indicators. Great information! I have a 2003 325iT E46 and a 2004 Z4. What are your recommended procedures and precautions for resetting the service indicator for these two particular models. Thanks a million…Dave

  35. 35 On December 9th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi David,

    I’m sorry, but I don’t have information about E46 and Z4 cars. However, I did a quick search on Google and found these instructions to reset the oil service lights for E46 cars:



    If your OBC needs to be reset after completing your oil change, there are two ways. NOTE: If you miss a step, just turn the key back off and try again:

    A. Model Year 1999 to Mid-2000: You should have the older round 20-pin DLC connector under your hood behind the battery terminal, you need to use a small length of wire to connect (short) pins 7 and 19 for 3-5 seconds with the ignition key in position 1 (Accessory).

    B. After Mid-2000: You should not have the 20-pin DLC connector. You only need to hold the left odometer reset button while turning the key to position 1 (Accessory). Keep holding the button for 5 or so seconds until any of the following shows in the display: OIL SERVICE or INSPECTION with RESET or RE. Release the button and press it again for another 5 or so seconds until RESET or RE flash. While the display flashes, press the button one more time briefly. If done correctly, END SIA should show up for a few seconds. All done.

    About the Z4, I’m sorry, I couldn’t find a quick thing to help you with. I suggest you do a search again and I’m sure you’ll be able to find it.

  36. 36 On December 10th, 2007, SOTOS said:

    Hi tony, it’s Sotos again.The oil light have been reset but after 2000 kilometres none of the green lights have been reset as usuall.Is this an effect of letting the paperclip more than 10 secondes?Thanks.

  37. 37 On December 10th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    I don’t think so Sotos. I guess you have to try the procedure again, but don’t wait more than 6 seconds. Let me know if this works for you.

  38. 38 On December 13th, 2007, ben said:

    hey tony, did you ever find out the quick fix for the air bag light?

  39. 39 On December 13th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:


    My airbag light kept on and on until I ran a diagnosis for the car. It turned out that my right airbag sensor was not working. So, I ended up changing it and that solved my problem.

    I suggest you do the same thing and see if you’re going to face the same problem. Also, I suggest you to do that fast, b/c you’ll never know when you’re going to need it. right?

  40. 40 On December 20th, 2007, Frozen in England said:


    Tony it worked like a charm! Found this post about an hour ago so I went outside in the frost with my Mag light and a ‘FRESH’ ‘CLEAN’ paperclip (Yes one without any coating) and it worked the second time. As everyone says it’s better to leave it in just past the five second mark. I recall hearing a ‘click’ from the other side of the engine compartment when it reset. Either that or it was my eyelashes crystallizing.

    Thanks for the tip sir.

    This is on a 95′ 525 TDS

  41. 41 On December 20th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    I’m really glad to know it worked for your 525. Thank you for reporting that.

  42. 42 On December 20th, 2007, Frozen in England said:

    No problem sir. Didn’t take me long to fiuere out where the diagnostic data port was. It is located on the ‘LEFT’ side of the engine bay.
    Everything is backwards over here even my Chrysler. :)

  43. 43 On December 21st, 2007, ck said:

    Tony–You are the MAN!!! I have a 2003 BMW 325i and I tried your info out to reset the oil change odometer on my car and presto 1st try it worked! Many thanks to you!
    CK in snow bound Iowa

  44. 44 On December 21st, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    I’m glad to see it worked for you ck.

  45. 45 On December 21st, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    @Frozen in England: Loool!.

  46. 46 On December 21st, 2007, GibsoN said:

    Nice tip! Changed my oil and using a paperclip reset the service light, good times, held mine for about 5 secs. But i appear to have blown the bulbs on the heater control panel, bad times. Tryed changing the Heater Control fuse (I belive this is the correct one) but still doesnt work, must be the bulbs. Anyway where would the fun be if there wasnt something to tinker with!

  47. 47 On December 30th, 2007, JF said:

    This worked like a charm. Thank you.

  48. 48 On December 31st, 2007, Oscar said:

    Hi Tony, I have my car E36 316i serviced and lights were reset just two months ago but now it has already down to 2 green lights on the bar already. Before I reset the light does the only two remaining green lights mean there’re some problems with the car that needs to be checked soon? Thanks!

  49. 49 On December 31st, 2007, Sdavis said:

    Thanks for the great paperclip tip. I have a 2002 Z3 2.5 and had to try it a few times and it finally worked. I pushed the jpaperclip in further by straightening the loops out to go in deeper. I saw the reset tool on the net in prices ranging from $34.95 up to $200.00. I saved a bundle. Thanks again.

  50. 50 On January 1st, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Oscar,

    How many miles did you travel since the service lights reset?

  51. 51 On January 2nd, 2008, Oscar said:

    Sorry Tony forgot to mention it. I’ve only done a little over 1000 miles since the last service, that’s why I found it a little strange.

  52. 52 On January 3rd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    I see Oscar,

    As you may know, the service indicator lights are not smart. They just measure the distance that your car traveled and report the lights according to it. Maybe you should reset it again and see if this problem disappears. That’s weird!

  53. 53 On January 7th, 2008, Dave B said:

    Awsome tip The lights not being there actually bugged me like a lot of people, I too thought about buying the reset tool. Held mine for about 6-7 sec. I tried 4 but it wouldn’t take.
    I just took some 14 ga. wire about 3 inches long and stripped the ends. Thanks for the money saver…

  54. 54 On January 27th, 2008, reg said:

    hi, the problem i have is that my battery went flat, i used jump leasds now the temp guage only goes up to quarter, and the rev counter and MPG no longer works ? ? any ideas please

  55. 55 On January 30th, 2008, Jose said:

    I cant find the diagnostic data port on my 318i 2001!

  56. 56 On January 30th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Jose,

    Please check the comments above (My comment on December 9th, 2007 to David). It describes how you can do that.

  57. 57 On January 30th, 2008, Jose said:

    This didnt work in my car. I had to press the ODO reset and turn key to first position, the when the service kms came up I released the button then pressed again until “resst” appeared on the read out. Then I pressed once again and it went back to 25000 km remaining.

  58. 58 On January 30th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    So, you didn’t had to use a paper clip ? :-) cool. I guess this works only on E46

  59. 59 On February 2nd, 2008, Geordie said:

    The green lights should all be on after a service, orange and red off. The computer takes into account number of engine starts, length of journeys and mileage to determine how quick it will put out the green lights from left to right until the last goes out and the orange and red come on. On my 325 1994, from reset to orange on was precisely 7838 miles the 1st time, and 8105 miles the second time …. If you continue to drive it keeps going until the orange goes out, i think the red stays on, not sure, never left it that late … !
    Incidentally, here is a q for you … I had just carried out a annual service a few weeks ago, and used the paper clip as usual to reset the ‘inspection and clock lights’, but the oil service light was still on at orange and red. tried a couple more times at subtly different timings and they are still lit…. anybody had this .. ?

  60. 60 On February 2nd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:


    Your service lights has not been reset. Are you sure you connected the correct pins?

  61. 61 On February 16th, 2008, Darko said:

    I have bmw e36 318 is from 1992 and this dosent work there is more then 20 pins?help

  62. 62 On February 17th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:


    Can you please take a photo for it and send it to my email address?

  63. 63 On February 20th, 2008, prakash said:

    hey this is great it worked first time im well chuffed i went to bmw n they wanted £50 to do that, this is great mate nice one fella.

  64. 64 On February 20th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Great to hear that it worked for you Prakash.

  65. 65 On February 22nd, 2008, Kumi said:

    YOU THE MAN!!!! Worked the first time one question are the green lights supposed to stay on all the time or do they shut off after the car starts? (Mineonly come on when I first start the car and then they shut off. The same happens with the oil service light) 1992 325is

  66. 66 On February 23rd, 2008, Julio said:

    my insturments cluster lights keep going on and off as im driving how do i fix this problem?

  67. 67 On February 24th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Mine does the same thing. This is how it’s supposed to work Kumi.

  68. 68 On February 26th, 2008, Julio said:

    Hey Tony!!!

    My insturments cluster lights keep going on and off as im driving how do i fix this problem?

  69. 69 On February 27th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:


    Is it like flickering? I think there’s something that is loosening in there. I suggest you remove your cluster and try to look for anything suspecious. Here’s a DIY about how you can remove your cluster:
    Remove BMW E36 Gauge Cluster

  70. 70 On March 6th, 2008, Darko said:

    Tony do you know how to reset my milage on my bmw e36 it is 349298 i want to be 120500.

  71. 71 On March 7th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    I’m sorry Darko. I have no idea how this can be done. Besides, don’t you think this is illegal?

  72. 72 On March 9th, 2008, zarak said:

    thank you for helping me saving money for long time i have been searching for a solution to resolve the lights myself finally i got it thank you very much

  73. 73 On March 9th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Zarak: I’m glad to help :-)

  74. 74 On March 9th, 2008, Julio said:

    Do you know where the drl modul is located on the a 318i 1994 im trying to shut off the daytime running lights off and i cant find it and also i need to located the ambient sensor b/c my obc is reading -35 at all time please help

  75. 75 On March 10th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Julio: About the DRL module, please check these:

    About the temp sensor, please check my post:
    Faulty temperature sensor in BMW E36

  76. 76 On March 16th, 2008, andre said:

    Great oil interval reset idea with a paperclip. I used a small one, but failed. Then bent a bigger one with my fingers only, bending more metal with leverage, and poof, oil indicator reset!!! Thank you!!! Now, why is my radiator tank cap suddenly leaking coolant while I’m driving and warmed up to operating temperatures?! Back to deduction…

  77. 77 On March 17th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Andre,

    I’m glad it helped you.

    About your radiator, I suggest that you let the car cool off, then open the cap and the screw beside it then turn your engine on. After that, try to increase the coolant inside the radiator and keep watching the coolant that is going out of the small radiator opening. It should start going out of that opening without any air bubbles. When this happens close both and try your car again. If the coolant kept leaking from there, I think you will need to check your radiator for any cracks.

  78. 78 On March 17th, 2008, Darko said:

    do anyone know what are the numbers on the dash board are for i think of a numbers that are showing when you put the key in secon position and press the reset buton of km there are six numbers and then all the lights and arows flash and move?

  79. 79 On March 17th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Darko: I think you’re looking for this BMW On Board Computer (OBC) secrets!

  80. 80 On March 21st, 2008, swtk1sses4u said:

    Hello, is that diagnostic data port the same for a 2001 X5?

  81. 81 On March 23rd, 2008, Mr. Fixit said:

    Amazing… thanks for the tip its so easy and cheap in and out in five minutes thanks for your posting you’ve help lots of people.

  82. 82 On March 24th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Mr.Fixit: No problem. Glad to help.

  83. 83 On April 3rd, 2008, Danny T said:

    it really works on my Bimmer

    you’re champion…big thanks Tony

  84. 84 On April 3rd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Glad to help Danny :-)

  85. 85 On April 10th, 2008, cheryl said:

    Hi just wanted to say thanks i was reading your info how to reset oil service have a bmw 325i 2001,worked first time , oh and i’m a girl shows how easy it is.
    thanks again

  86. 86 On April 11th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    No problem Cheryl. I’m glad it worked for you!

  87. 87 On April 14th, 2008, Brett said:

    Hey is there anyway i can reset my Airbag light, without buying the reset tool?

  88. 88 On April 14th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Brett,

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyway to reset the airbag light without a reset tool until now.

  89. 89 On April 16th, 2008, Farhad said:

    Great article!

    I have UK 1997 e36 318is which seems to have the 20pin port type. There are 3 green lights remaining after an oil service and the orange clock symbol for I guess coolant and brake fluid. Is there any way of switching the orange clock off without resetting the service light?


  90. 90 On April 16th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Farhad,

    AFAIK, the orange clock will be turned on with the oil service lights. It’s not for the coolant/brake fluid. Why do you want to reset that only anyway?

  91. 91 On April 16th, 2008, Farhad said:

    Hi Tony
    Thanks for the reply. I have had this orange clock before and I was told that it was for brake fluid/coolant change every two years. I don’t want to pay the garage to do it this time and may do it myself but wanted to know how to switch it off without affecting the normal servicing lights. As it happens there are three green lights and orange clock on simultaneously at the moment!


  92. 92 On April 17th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Frahad,

    As I said before, I’m not aware of any method to turn that off alone. I’m not even sure if there’s away to do it.

    Sorry for not being able to help.

  93. 93 On April 18th, 2008, Darko said:

    on my dash board had showned ispection light what to do and what does mean

  94. 94 On April 18th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Farhad, Darko:

    From the Bentely Manual:

    An OIL SERVICE interval will always be followed by an INSPECTION interval, which will then be followed by an OIL SERVICE inteval, and so on.

    I guess this means that everytime you reset the oil service indicators, and drive the car until the next inspection is about to come, you will see either the INSPECTION light or the OIL SERVICE light. In the next time, you will see the other light. These are referred to as INSPECTION I and INSPECTION II according to the Bentely Manual.

  95. 95 On April 19th, 2008, Miguel said:

    On my 320i 1994 it works fine. From Spain thank you for helping me. Miguel

  96. 96 On April 20th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    No problem Miguel! I’m glad to help.

  97. 97 On April 20th, 2008, dwayne said:

    tony, thanks for the reset info, worked first time w/ a 5 second count on my sons ’94 740i, dwayne in n.y.

  98. 98 On April 20th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Great to hear that Dwayne. You’re most welcome :-)

  99. 99 On May 6th, 2008, caleb said:

    Is there a way to rest the check engin light? without paying?

  100. 100 On May 6th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Caleb,

    The check engine light normally indicates that there’s a problem with your car that needs to be fixed. The correct way to reset that light is by fixing that problem first.

  101. 101 On May 9th, 2008, Derek D said:


    Thanks for the DIY. I just reset the lights on my e36 323ic. Eight seconds was too short, but 12 worked perfect. Green lights! Go!

    Appreciate all the good info on here buddy.

  102. 102 On May 9th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    You’re welcome Derek, I’m glad to help.

  103. 103 On May 15th, 2008, ALEX T. said:

    Hi, thanx for this article, perfect stuff,but will it also fix the problem of lighting on the INSPECTION or OIL SERVICE or whatever…

  104. 104 On May 15th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @ALEX T.: I think it’s for either, but I’m not 100% sure of that.

  105. 105 On May 20th, 2008, DBALES said:

    How do I reset the brake light…I changed my brake pads (front and rear) after the light came appeared on the instrument panel….JUST IN TIME….but the light still appears. How do I reset it or do I need to take it to a shop?

  106. 106 On May 20th, 2008, DBALES said:

    FYI…it is a 2003 325i e46

  107. 107 On May 20th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @DBALES: There is a brake pad sensor that should be replaced whenever you replace the brake pads. It’s located inside a whole in the brake caliper of the left front wheel. When this sensor fails, the warning light will come up in your dashboard.

  108. 108 On June 5th, 2008, Paul said:

    Hi I have reset the Inspection service lights and the 4 green lights but still have the clock symbol illuminated have done it twice but the clock still on can you help ?

  109. 109 On June 7th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Paul: I don’t know why is that Paul. I’m sorry!

  110. 110 On June 24th, 2008, Trev said:


    I have e bmw e46 and i have a gear symbol that appears quite often,Im nt sure if ts a gear malfunction but the car moves like normal but sometimes im not able to use my radio and the brake light stays on all the time,any ideas on this?

  111. 111 On June 28th, 2008, mike said:

    Hi Tony have fixed my oil lights but have lost the inspection interval lights eg orange and red can you help. Mike

  112. 112 On June 28th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @mike: Lost them? is it like they are turned off now and you have green lights instead? if that’s the case, then don’t worry. this is how it’s supposed to work. After a while, you will notice that the green lights will begin to turn off one by one until they’re all gone. Then the orange light will appear again as a warning for your next inspection.

  113. 113 On June 29th, 2008, mike said:

    Thanks for getting back to me so fast i forgot to mention that the clock has also disappeared as well as the oil service and inspection wording
    Regards Mike

  114. 114 On June 30th, 2008, Derek D said:


    Like Tony says, when you reset the lights these things go away. They light up at appropriate intervals to say “hey, time for Oil Service/Inspection”. Once you reset them the car assumes it doesn’t need to tell you this anymore. When I recently did this, it had been a while since my last reset and I too was used to seeing the Oil/Inspection indicators on startup. As such this same thing caught me off guard for a second. But it’s all good. 5 green bars 1 yellow and 1 red is all you should see, and from the sounds of it is all you are seeing. You’re good to go brother. Now get out there and enjoy your newly maintenanced e36!!!

  115. 115 On July 13th, 2008, mai-nguyen said:

    Thanks for the tips


  116. 116 On July 13th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @mai-nguyen: Glad to help :-)

  117. 117 On July 13th, 2008, George said:

    Dear friends, I just bought BMW CARSOFT 6.5 and during tests with BMW M3 95 USA.
    I could not access some of modules as (DME, ABS, LCM): MODULE DOES NOT RESPOND.
    But it acess modules as (SERVICE OIL, AIR BAG).
    Does anyone has some previous experience with CARSOFT ?
    Thank you

  118. 118 On July 15th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @George: I think you should read this BMW E36 Carsoft Diagnosis Tool and follow the full review as well. You have OBD I and that’s why you can’t use the Carsoft to the maximum limit.

  119. 119 On July 27th, 2008, Sam said:

    Hi this worked realy well. FINALLY i can put the bulb back in the service light i couldnt stand it anymore and was very close to paying someone. thanks a lot. :)

  120. 120 On July 28th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Sam: No problem! I’m glad to help Sam.

  121. 121 On July 31st, 2008, carol said:

    I tried to reset the service light and the car won’t start. Had to tow it to the mechanic.

  122. 122 On July 31st, 2008, Gerry V said:

    Hi can you tell me how I can get my service engine light and tpm light to stop comming on? I filled up my 2008 535i with gas and did’nt put the gas cap on tight enough!

  123. 123 On August 1st, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @carol: Oh! I’m really sorry to hear that. Are you sure you followed the steps provided here exactly? What did the mechanic say?

  124. 124 On August 1st, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Gerry V: I’m afraid I can’t help with that :-) Sorry!

  125. 125 On August 3rd, 2008, Rudi said:

    Hi guys, just a comment on the oil light reset function. I have noticed that one reason for the oil light NOT resetting, is when there is any other underlying diagnostic problem not attended to. Ie if your OBC says “Check Coolant Level”, it will NOT reset. Thus all issues must be addressed before reset will occur. Hope this helps.

  126. 126 On August 13th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Rudi: Hmmm… I don’t think this is correct because my car had issues with Knock Sensor #2 and it reset just fine.

  127. 127 On August 14th, 2008, Leon Olivier said:

    Hi Tony

    I have a 325i E36. I need to reset my inspection lights. My OBC socket centre piece do not look like a pacman but instead have a triangler shape . I tried the connection 7 to 19 but this does not work for me. I also tried it on a 316i 93 E36 with the same triangler as mine but also does not work. Any suggestions?

  128. 128 On August 16th, 2008, Leon Olivier said:


    No need to reply. I have been looking at the wrong socket! I found the correct socket with the pacman center and I rosetted my inspection lights. Thanks for the great information!

  129. 129 On August 18th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Leon Olivier: Great to hear that Leon. I’m sorry, I’m very slow these days with replying to comments because I’m really busy. I hope this will end soon :-)

  130. 130 On August 18th, 2008, Paul H said:

    Hi Tony, just been reading this with interest, you have been a great help to many people, Im hoping I will be another…1998 318TI airbag warning light is on. Is this able to be re-set yet.

  131. 131 On August 18th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Paul H: I’m sorry Paul, but I couldn’t find any way to reset the airbag light yet. When I found a way, I will defintely publish a specific post about it.

  132. 132 On August 22nd, 2008, glen said:

    thanks tony after a service at home this done just the job to reset them horid warning lights

    thank you

  133. 133 On August 22nd, 2008, Mick Walker said:

    Hi, just wanted to let you know, I tried this on my 1999 Z3 roadster, and it worked perfectly, I now have all green bars.
    BMW here in belfast, actually told me, that if I hadnt had the oil service done by them, they wouldnt reset the light even if I was willing to pay them.

    I was so impressed with this article, I have actually used the data on my own blog, I have provided a link back to yourself for courtisy.

  134. 134 On August 23rd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Mick Walker: No problem! I’m glad to help :-)

  135. 135 On August 24th, 2008, mai nguyen said:

    Hi Tony,
    My E36 (318IS 1994 ) radio now not working after i replaced battery (have code but don’t know
    how to enter , please help
    mai nguyen

  136. 136 On August 26th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @mai nguyen: Check this post BMW radio with security code problem … solved!. It may help you.

  137. 137 On August 31st, 2008, oakwell bear said:

    Thanks tony
    Just reset service lights on E36 318i Using paperclip Held on pins for 5-6 seconds, worked a treat 1st time.
    Thanks again

  138. 138 On August 31st, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @oakwell bear: No problem. I’m glad it worked for you.

  139. 139 On September 4th, 2008, Jo said:

    hey Tony great blog, i have a 1998 e36 318i and was going to give it an oil change, ive bought 10w-30 fully synthetic oil for it (5 litres) and was wondering how much does the 318i 1.8L take, my previous cars have all be ls2 V8s so no help there lol, any info would be great thanks……..

  140. 140 On September 6th, 2008, hello said:

    i have a question,
    I own a 316i from 93 and after i bought it, i realized that the check engine bulb was not at his place so i put a new one back… this bulb should turn on at startup for checking? should be another light like a gear wheel?
    the catalyst led should turn on at startup?
    and another question, i changed the brake pads and the sensor, but it’s still turned on. how can i reset it?


  141. 141 On September 7th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @hello: Yes, the “Check Engine” light should turn on whenever the car is started for checking. Please refer to the post BMW E36 Warning Lamps for more info.

    About the brake pads sensor, it cannot be reset. If you’ve replaced the sensor and the light is still on, it means that there’s something wrong with your brake pads sensor circuit. You have to check it again.

  142. 142 On September 9th, 2008, Kevin Nguyen said:

    Hey i just it step by step and it worked. But then i noticed that the mileage isn’t showing up anymore. I tried turning it back on later on and noticed that the mileage is barely showing when the green lights turn on. It doesnt stay on though. Anything like this ever happen before or do you know how to fix it? Thanks in advance.

  143. 143 On September 9th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Kevin Nguyen: Are you saying that your odometer LCD is not turning on. Does it look like this case Fixing BMW E36 Trip Odometer LCD . . . DIY! ? If this is true, your LCD bulb has burned and needs to be replaced.

  144. 144 On September 9th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Jo: It normally takes around 4 litres.

  145. 145 On September 17th, 2008, mark said:

    ref reset many many thanks buy do u no how i can get my girlfriends hair clip back into shape ? just subscribed to this site iv got a 328 convert p reg iv got a hard top but carnt use it as it leaks in both corners and drips onto seats the drivers seat leather is ruined any ideas on how to fix this anoying roof ?

  146. 146 On September 18th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @mark: LOL! I’m not sure about the clip :D . About the roof fix, I recall that I’ve seen something like this on the, but I’m not 100%.

  147. 147 On September 19th, 2008, edgar said:

    hallo i have ae36 318 tds 1996

    the dislplay is not yet red or yeloow, but i have still 1 green, so if i do that then i become all the green lights?

    and before i begin with paperclip, have I to put the key in the car? or just everything off?

    ok thankyou (srry for bad english lol;)

  148. 148 On September 21st, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @edgar: No, you have to put the key in the car and turn it to position II, but don’t start the car. Then use the paperclip.

  149. 149 On September 23rd, 2008, e3666 said:

    great little trick there tony, ill still buy the OBD1 and 11 tool to show when the cars showing up a code/ fault, however for now this works a treat for oil changes and inspections .

  150. 150 On September 23rd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @e3666: I agree, this trick doesn’t mean that you won’t need a code reader for your BMW.

  151. 151 On September 23rd, 2008, Seng said:

    I just found this great website, but there is a pesky ad that runs right down the middle of the instructions I need for turning off my service light indicator and oil light. How do I get rid of this ad so I can see the instructions? Also, I need to turn off my break pad replacement light. It’s coincidental that as I drove off of the BMW service lot (after being told I need new break pads) the light popped on. It’s annoying. I think the technician programmed it to go on. I will get my breaks done, but I don’t need the constant reminder.
    Thanks for your help.

  152. 152 On September 24th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Seng: Hi Seng and welcome to the BMW E36 Blog. The advertisement is shown because you’re using Internet Explorer 6 right? Can you upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 or FireFox ?

    About your brake pads warning light, I think that you can turn it off by removing the brake sensor and connect the wires together. But I would recommend changing the brakepads and replace your sensor instead.

  153. 153 On September 24th, 2008, Bello Racing said:

    hey any help ! I have a 95 coupe M3 with a 413 ecu. My problem is my car can not connect to the service port, i tried whit Snap-On Scanner, original BMW Reader tool , etc. with out success. Any idea why the car can not connect?
    Actually I have the check engine light on, I make the “five times foot peg press” for realease the codes and fixed the problem, but I can not clear them from the ecu with the “ten seconds the pedal presed.”. If any one have the wiring diagram “harness” I think that I have something wrong an my harness, please sent to [email protected].

    I really apreciate any info, regards..

  154. 154 On September 25th, 2008, pauly said:

    nice one tony!! got onto this site for the first time last night and thought i would try your tip on resetting the oil service lights!! and guess wot it worked firs time briiliant thanks mate… RESPECT MAN!!

  155. 155 On September 25th, 2008, pauly said:

    got any idea wot this could be i am getting a rattle sound from the back drivers side wheel(right side)on my 1.6 compact at first i thought it was the spare wheel or the exhaust as it is that sort of sound but they seem to be fine so then i took the wheel off but still there doesn’t seem to be anything loose,then the other day i noticed if i keep my foot on the brake as i go over a bump the sound stops but as soon as i take my foot off the brake it’s there again hope you got some idea as you can imagine its bugging me much appreciated mate.. paul

  156. 156 On September 26th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @pauly: Welcome to the blog Pauly. I’m really glad this worked for you :-)

  157. 157 On September 26th, 2008, Tinman said:

    hi there,all my service lights are out,my little clock face is on,oil inspection,the whole nine yards,reset them before with the above method,but now it will not touch them,e36, 316i 1996,ant idears cheers

  158. 158 On October 7th, 2008, alan said:

    hello there.
    I am having problems with my cluster after I cleaned my car. I was hoovering the dash I hit the reset button and now my ODO meter is only showing the top half of the numbers. Sometimes it works properly and other time not. Also there is an orange clock showing. What does that mean I am pretty sure that was not there before does that mean my car has been clocked. I was trying to get my odo meter back and was pressing the pedals in fast random and it was changing it from km to miles and I think it might of said error. Not sure of the error as it was all so quick. Also I jet washed the engine bay quickly but the problem started when i pressed the reset with hoover.
    If I do this reset thing will it make everything ok? Maybe need to disconnect battery? What is the orange clock? I have seen this idea for returning the odo meter to normal reading

  159. 159 On October 7th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @alan: Hi, I’ve published two posts about this problem. They’re Fixing BMW E36 Odometer LCD and Fixing BMW E36 Trip Odometer LCD. Now, about the orange clocks, it’s nothing serious. It’s just showing that your car will need service (change oil … etc) soon and resetting it using the procedure above will remove it.

  160. 160 On October 9th, 2008, Tinman said:

    Hi again i still have a red and amber light on the sevice lights,no green ones,the clock face is on(timeing),oil inspection light is on,serviced the car,plugs,oil,filter,but the lights will not reset using the above methods,any more idea’s why now they will not reset,cheers

  161. 161 On October 13th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Tinman: Are you sure you’re following the instructions exactly ? That’s really weird

  162. 162 On October 15th, 2008, Ken said:

    Hey thanks so much. I did my own oil change on my 99 323is and it worked first try. To the others that had trouble make sure you turn your ignition from off to the first position, then one more till the dash lights up, do not go one more and start the car. I hear BMW here in Saskatoon Canada, charges $60 to $80 bucks to do the reset. When service time rolls around I will do the maintenance at a fraction of the cost and do the reset for that service at that time. I love it when people like you help the guys and gals that like to work on their own vehicles. Ken

  163. 163 On October 21st, 2008, marc said:

    Hi Tony!
    I’m the new owner of a sweet 98 323 convertible and found your blog today.

    I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into when this car became available and I’m just amazed at the owner participation
    when it comes to these machines!

    It’s like the biggest suprise and has made my decision to buy the car a total delight.

    Please bear with me as I’m a total noob to the world of BMW and have only had the car since last Wednesday, I’m a shade tree mechanic, but mostly Italian two wheelers lately.

    Try as I might I can’t get the oil change service thing to change on the dash following your instruction.

    I’ve used copper wire instead of a paper clip, I’ve held it for 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 seconds, nada.

    I’ve tried it with the key in position 1 (my 323 is a May 98 build, I tried it in case it had ‘newer’ parts).

    I’ve tried it by putting the wire in, turning the ignition to position 2 and getting the wife to pull the wire at 5 seconds…nought.

    O.K. so maybe I’m such a noob that I don’t even know what I am looking at….

    I have ‘OIL SERVICE’ at the left side of the lit bracket and then a yellow and a red lit square with ‘INSPECTION’ above it on the right hand side….

    The only thing I am thinking at the moment is either pin 19 or pin 7 have become disconnected underneath….?

    Oh yeah and somewhere up there in the replies to this someone spoke of a rattling in the rear right that can’t be found, I am not sure if this is the place to post this but have the same thing, I got under the car today and could not find it, do the shocks rattle when they are shot?

    I mean this sounds like a tinny heat shield type of rattle.

    Oh, BTW, great blog and thanks in advance for the passing of any profound knowledge!


  164. 164 On October 24th, 2008, Sean Taylor said:

    Thanks very much… worked second time…. Just had my car serviced and they didn’t have the correct tools to reset the meter… how wrong where they!!! all they needed was a paperclip!!!

    Any ideas about how difficult it is to put in front fog light when there isn’t any to begin with (I don’t think) just the covers??

  165. 165 On October 28th, 2008, Daniel said:

    Thanks for the tip Tony. I called BMW of Scottsdale and they quite rudely told me “no, we cannot tell you how to reset it. That would be like BMW putting our seal of approval on second rate work” I told her, “o.k. thanks, I will look online” I hung up, found your site and reset it in 1 minute.

    I did however call her back and told her this ” Laura, it occurred to me that maybe you don’t know how to reset the light. All you do is pull the dummy plug and jump pins 7 and 19 okay. Have a day!!”

    Thanks again. =)

  166. 166 On October 28th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Daniel: LOOL! Daniel. You should’ve been easy on her. I don’t think she even knows that info because they all have reset tools. They don’t know how it works internally.

  167. 167 On November 6th, 2008, Dysan said:

    Hi i have a Bmw 316i 1997 Model and have just done a mjor service on the car…So now all the service lights and oil light stays on.I have read everything here but the problem is my E36’s plug does not look like anyone of these…Please help.Is there anyway i can post a pic of the plug?

  168. 168 On November 8th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Dysan: Is it possible the plug is on the left side of the car? I recall that someone has been looking for that plug in wrong location.

  169. 169 On November 9th, 2008, ben said:

    Sweet!! Thanks for that!!

  170. 170 On November 10th, 2008, Dysan said:

    Hi Tony
    Thanx for the reply i found the right plug it came loose and was somewhere at the bottom of the engin
    Reset it verything works fine.One more thing my cars OBC is stuck in German and i have read everything you have here on the OBC but when i press the two buttons the post said my OBC does nothing(Know this is the wrong post for this but thanx alot)

  171. 171 On November 10th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Dysan: I’m glad to hear that you’ve managed to reset it correctly. Regarding the language, I suggest you check my post BMW E36 OBC Secrets. Make sure to read the comments as well. You can normally change the language of the OBC by changing the country code. I hope this helps.

  172. 172 On November 10th, 2008, ben said:

    hi tony thanks for this it worked a treat, can you tell me if all bmw wheels will fit a 97 316 compact? i just bought some 17’s think they are of a new 5 series, thanks alot

  173. 173 On November 13th, 2008, paul said:

    hi i have a bmw 325 05 plate the service light is on and also the puncture light is there any way to reset these thanks !!!!!

  174. 174 On November 13th, 2008, mike said:

    hey guys. my leds on my radio are dying off progressively, anyway to fix or how can i replace them at a reasonable rate? also my keyless entry stop working. i tried reinitializing it but no response. any help? thanks in advance.

  175. 175 On November 14th, 2008, Derek said:


    The radio problem is a common one and there are many DIYs out there for it. The issue is a small flaw in the fabbing of the circuit board in e36 radios. The resistor that controls the voltage to the display commonly has a poor solder connection to the board. With age, temperature changes, shrinkage, etc the connection gets progressively worse. Ultimately what most see is a dimming of the display. In some cases, once the car and radio warm up, the small amount of thermal expansion fixes the connection and the display will get brighter after some driving time (this is the case with mine right now). The solution is very simple. All you need to do is find the guilty resistor, and with a small soldering iron, freshen up the connection between the resistor and the radio’s circuit board. The many DIYs out there will tell you exactly how to remove the radio, safely open the casing, and locate the correct resistor (its always the same one). Just be sure you have your radio code before you embark on this mission. Otherwise, I understand it to be a ~20 minute job. Good luck !!

  176. 176 On November 20th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @ben: I think they’ll fit just fine.

  177. 177 On November 21st, 2008, mike said:

    thanks derek for the helpful info. hey does anyone know how i can fix my keyless entry problem? i reinitialized the keys and now it will not respond at all. i have to lock my door manually. anyone can help? thanks in advance. -mike.

  178. 178 On November 23rd, 2008, Juan said:

    I have a 1997 318is, I live in El Salvador and this BMW is the GERMAN version. The Paper clip worked excellent!!! Thanks for the information.
    Best Regards

  179. 179 On December 12th, 2008, Lost N NC said:

    Recently bought 1996 328is. turned out the radiator was busted pretty bad. All of my warning lights are on, from the seatbelt to the airbag….and car doesnt APPEAR to run hot, but goes from normal temp (str8 up n down) to hot in seconds….and suggestions? thanks

  180. 180 On December 13th, 2008, lukehurt said:

    reset meter really happy now thanks alot used the mrs’s hair clip but shush she dont no yet ha but thanks alot top man!

  181. 181 On December 14th, 2008, ovi roman said:

    this works. i tried it 5 minutes ago and my oil lights turned green

  182. 182 On December 14th, 2008, Marty said:

    Tried this for ages and could not do it.

  183. 183 On December 15th, 2008, TG said:


    will this work for 2002 x5 (E53) and if so, where would the obd be located?


  184. 184 On December 30th, 2008, Bobby D said:

    Wow…that was too easy. Thanks for the tip!!

  185. 185 On December 30th, 2008, Marty said:

    after a little trial and it worked…yay!

    Great tip.

  186. 186 On January 3rd, 2009, David seifert said:

    worked on my 523i se e39 shape no probs but now MPG is down to 8.2 when i was getting 26-28 MPG any idea’s mate

  187. 187 On January 4th, 2009, Tony Sticks said:

    @David seifert: I don’t think this has anything to do with the MPG of your car David.

  188. 188 On January 4th, 2009, Thunder said:

    Helo there,

    I want to thank you for your manual!
    It works great!

    Thunder from The Netherlands!

  189. 189 On January 4th, 2009, Tony Sticks said:

    @Thunder: You’re most welcome :-)

  190. 190 On January 6th, 2009, Hammad said:

    Hi mate thanks a lot for this info. My mechanic would have charged me £10 for every reset, now I never need to worry again.


  191. 191 On January 6th, 2009, Tony Sticks said:

    @Hammad: I’m glad to help :-)

  192. 192 On January 8th, 2009, Shelly Schultz said:

    Can you tell me how to reset the service mileage when doing service yourself. When I turn my car on, the mileage until next service still says -1000 but I did my service myself, how can I reset that to start counting down again. I have a 2004 BMW 325i. Thanks

  193. 193 On January 10th, 2009, lexocom said:

    I have a problem with my reset…

    Did oil change about 3 month and 3800 km ago.
    Reset went well as described…
    But i have all green all the time.

    Should not it become less green? (it’s the second car i meet the problem)
    any cure? maybe reset again?

  194. 194 On January 10th, 2009, Tony Sticks said:

    @lexocom: It takes more than 3,800km to start dropping down. I think the total distance that is needed to turn off all the green lights is around 15,000km, but I don’t know how long it takes to turn off the first green light.

  195. 195 On January 10th, 2009, lexocom said:

    Thanks for reply.

    The oil-man said the next change should be in 9000 km (total mileage was about 93000)
    so i should have some green lights off by that time.
    but still i have the exact mileage written down. so i have my “plan B”

    i will post if and when the first light goes off!

  196. 196 On January 10th, 2009, Tony Sticks said:

    @lexocom: Great! good luck :-)

  197. 197 On January 12th, 2009, steve turner said:


    wondering if anybody can help,

    I reset my oil service light on my 1996 BMW 316i SE about 2 months ago and all went ok. Yesterday i got in the car and as usual when i turned on the ignition all 5 green lights appeared but so did the inspection warning? but there are still all the green bars present? what does this mean.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks

  198. 198 On January 13th, 2009, lexocom said:

    @Steve: all 5 green lights appeared but so did the inspection warning? but there are still all the green bars present? what does this mean.

    “Inspection” does not mean OIL INSPECTION… its just time to make overall inspection.

    (i don’t have a manual with me. later a can tell you what inspection it needs, or you can check Barkly’s Manual – i saw link somewhere around here.)

  199. 199 On January 14th, 2009, steve turner said:

    @lexocom: if you could look into it and find out what it means that would be great,

    my impression was that even for the inspection the green bars should have counted down?

  200. 200 On January 21st, 2009, Paul "CUBE" said:

    Hi guys,
    I have an European 05/1995 BMW E36 (318i, 85 kW). As I would not like to damage it (I like it very much) by these procedures, I’d like to be sure it works. Anyone experienced with this model? Does it really reset the OIL SERVICE and INSPECTION lights? The position II means ignition on?
    Thank you very much.

  201. 201 On January 23rd, 2009, lexocom said:

    Tony Sticks
    My Oil Green Lights work fine….
    First One Gone on 4000 km

    @Paul “CUBE”
    >Anyone experienced with this model? YES
    >Does it really reset the OIL SERVICE and INSPECTION lights? it DOES what it says
    >The position II means ignition on? IGNITION READY, its just the moment, last step, before the motor goes-start…

  202. 202 On January 25th, 2009, Paul "CUBE" said:

    …and thanks a lot Tony – worked fine on my European E36 05/1995. I tried resetting both Oil Service (on the 2nd attempt; I had a bad connection 1st time I think) and Inspection (1st attempt).
    Thank you again.

  203. 203 On January 26th, 2009, Tony Sticks said:

    @Paul: No problem. I’m glad to help :-)

  204. 204 On January 27th, 2009, Paul "CUBE" said:

    Well, another thing that makes me upset is the damned airbag warning light. It behaves this way: After turning the key from 0 to I (radio etc.) or II (ignition on) it lights up, flashes once and lights up again for about 2 minutes. Then, when I start the engine, the airbag light sometimes comes up again (lights, flashes once and light again for 2 minutes) and sometimes it doesn’t come anymore. Fortunately, I’ve never seen it lighting or flashing during drive.

  205. 205 On January 28th, 2009, Tony Sticks said:

    @Paul “CUBE”: Your airbag warning light should only flash when you start the car (as a self-check) then it should go away as long as the car is running. If it keeps flashing for 2 minutes, I’d say check for problems…

  206. 206 On February 7th, 2009, george said:

    I heard you can start your car with the pins in the diagnostic cap.
    Do you know which pin or pins?

    Bmw shop told me to touch one pin( didn’t say which one) with the postive terminal.

    Need to move my car, key cylinder broke. NEw one order from bmw.

  207. 207 On February 10th, 2009, kaveer said:

    hello my name is kaveer i having a big problem with mt bmw e36 316i 1992 model
    everything works but i notice something stays on.its my window swtich lights it stays on all the time,i use the car all the time,so my battery wont go flat.

    what could be the problem if my window light switch stays on all the time,only time it goes of when i disconnect the battery

    can some please help me asap ?

  208. 208 On February 14th, 2009, David said:

    Tony, thanks so much. It costs about $120 to get an oil change on a 325i here. Was worried at first, I set off the inspection light. But, was able to reset with 13 seconds. Now I have 5 green bars smiling at me. Now my other problem. I have a noise coming from under the hood. Sounds like a kind of knocking noise. But the sound seems to come from under the fuse box area and only when the car is at operating temp. Any ideas what this might be? I almost sounds like a pump of some kind in its rhythm.

  209. 209 On February 18th, 2009, steve said:

    Thank you so much this worked a treat I now have a row of green lights on my S REG 316i Compact. Now for that pesky airbag light :-(


  210. 210 On February 26th, 2009, John said:


    I removed my driver seat from 1996 Z-3 to clean. SRS light remains on. Can I jump two pins in the diagnostic port to reset the SRS light similar to resetting the oil change light?

  211. 211 On February 26th, 2009, Tony Sticks said:

    @John: Honestly, I didn’t find anyway to reset the SRS light after it’s turned on except by using a reset tool. However, you may try to disconnect the negative (-) wire from your battery and leave it for like 10 or 15 minutes. I guess it should reset it if you don’t have any problem with your SRS. Please try and let’s see if it works.

  212. 212 On March 4th, 2009, mark said:

    just want to thanks what a great bit of advice worked first time and saved me and my dad bit of money on our 328,s now were all green

  213. 213 On March 4th, 2009, rhys said:

    thanks for that i have got it reset, so saved my self giviong any money to bmw! also i now have my exhaust emmisions warning light on, the little engine outline warning light. Is there anyway of getting this to switch off? I am supposed to be part exing the car on saturday, so could do with getting the light off anyway i can! Its a 2000 323ci.

    Cheers guys

  214. 214 On March 6th, 2009, Endy said:

    Hello its available this reset inclusiv for E36 323ti? Thank You

  215. 215 On March 13th, 2009, Gun Indonesia said:

    Dear tony,

    My car is 318i E36 with 4 cylinders and single overhead cam in it. My question is..can we reset oil indicator even when it’s still have one or two green light litting ? Or we actually have to wait untill it goes yellow and red ?
    Please advice..because i tried the method when my BMW still has 2 green indicator lights litting..
    Thanks and regards,

  216. 216 On March 17th, 2009, Bob said:

    Hi Tony,

    I have a BMW 318i 1996/7 E36 sedan. It is a right hand drive. I cannot seem to locate the Pacman connector. There are two connectors near the r/h side of the engine with a triangle center. Is there a third connector else where?

    Pls advise


  217. 217 On March 17th, 2009, Shatisa said:

    I see the pictures to reset the Oil Service light at the top of the page. I was wondering if you have any advice on reseting a 1986 BMW 325 E mine has 12 prongs not 20 any advice?

  218. 218 On March 18th, 2009, tony said:

    hi i have the ABS light on on my 1996 316i is there a way of turning it off untill it’s annual test time in june? thanks Tony

  219. 219 On April 10th, 2009, mark said:

    hi new to this have a bmw 320i e36 1992 overheated replaced pump thermo aux belt plugs and one coil pack(seemed to have cracked and hard gunk was leaking out)all plugs were light brown ,car now has erratic idle removed and cleaned the icv but still lumpy in stationary mode rpm 1000 drops to about 800rpm back to 1000 (hunts)then settles at 800rpm however the car still has an idle vibration even though the rpm indicator seems stationary on 800rpm.also the dial cluster stopped functioning ie petrol/temp/rev/rpm stopped working replaced with second hand unit this now seems fine.inspection light needs to be reset will follow your instructions. car has done 300 miles with this idle problem and even going 80 mph on the motor way the car seems to have no ill effects i e no white/black smoke temp gauge centre posistion no overheat even with this problem stood in traffic for nearly one hour temp moved to 3 quaters never stalled seems fine but this idle shuddering is doing my brains in any ideas???????????????

    cheers mark

  220. 220 On April 14th, 2009, willie mchugh said:

    hi tony i have a 316i 1999 compact. can you tell me where the abs relay is please

  221. 221 On April 16th, 2009, Tony said:

    David, back on Feb 14th, the noise is most likely the heater valve which is back on the right side bulkhead as you look in the engine bay. If you put your hands on it whilst the noise is happening you will feel the noise. Sometimes the valve will just keep on knocking and no other troubles, sometimes not. Check what is happening with your heater in the car, sometimes working sometimes not? If you go on ebay and put in BMW heater valve there are always some on there so you can see what it looks like. Common problem.

  222. 222 On April 19th, 2009, Will Hunt said:

    Hi, I just used your article to reset the oilservice lights on my ‘M’ reg 318i, it worked first time & I now have 5 lovely green lights! Thanks a million !

  223. 223 On April 29th, 2009, devon said:

    Than you so much for the help!

  224. 224 On May 1st, 2009, kevin Newman said:

    Hi mate great I reset my oil lights. but got a couple of other faults you may be able to help with! 1) my fuel gauge reads empty all the time and 2) when i put the ignition to position II after a few seconds the radiator fan starts up even when engine cold eg car been sat for 2 days and this stops internal blower gowing and turns off the hot cold air instument panel, one thing i do know though saw one of your other posts about the air bag light this means it’s charged to go off and should not be driven as it could go off without a crash and cause one!!

  225. 225 On May 9th, 2009, Daniel said:

    Thank You!!! You helped me so much, it worked great ;)))

  226. 226 On May 15th, 2009, lee said:

    I have a 95 318 e36 the reset trick worked very well thank you.

    Just wondering my car runs at 1000 rpm tick over when first started, but when its been running and gets warm it goes up to 1500 rpm and seems to be racing a little at tick over.

    Is had a full service and runs well just the rpm at 1500 tick over when warm seem to high.

    Is this normal or is there something wrong ?


  227. 227 On May 17th, 2009, James said:

    Cheers Tony, that worked a treat.

    Any news on the ‘air bag’ light? I too took my steering wheel off and the airbag light is permanently on.

  228. 228 On September 12th, 2010, Victor Ciccarone said:


    Tried it 3 X will not reset the oil inspection!

  229. 229 On September 19th, 2010, Andrei said:

    yeah, it takes about 12 seconds.
    thanks for damn good trick

  230. 230 On September 20th, 2010, Victor Ciccarone said:

    I did eventually get it to work by taking the pin to an engin ground Vs using the ground in the data plug. I needed to wait a long time with egnition to positon 2 but it did eventually work…So it does work on a 97 Z3 Dissreguard my post # 228


  231. 231 On October 1st, 2010, Greg said:

    Great job Tony done what you said and no problems it works.

  232. 232 On October 4th, 2010, Paul said:

    Worked great for me and my 94 325i. Thanks for submitting.

  233. 233 On October 29th, 2010, Jim said:

    Works like a charm… thanks a lot Tony!
    One question, after reset, the green light were on, the orange and red light is off, but the inspection light still there (inspection light with clock). Is it normal?

    Mine is BMW 318i and Sorry for my bad english =)

  234. 234 On October 31st, 2010, d235353 said:

    tnx alot looking for this a while, hope this works for Ti compact ..

  235. 235 On November 12th, 2010, jason said:

    It worked a treat on my 1997 e36 THANKS :)

  236. 236 On November 18th, 2010, Eric said:

    It worked on my 1995 e36. So happy now!!
    Thanks a lot!!

  237. 237 On December 18th, 2010, darren said:

    sorted the service lights,excellent worked 1st time,now just need to get the gear box sorted,ever since the battery went flat it switched itself to safe mode (2nd & 4th).any ideas or is it gonna be costly…..Thanks.

  238. 238 On December 19th, 2010, Jeff West said:

    It worked on my 2001 Z3 after several tries, I think it required greater than 10 seconds. Nice!!

  239. 239 On December 20th, 2010, Adam said:

    Hi There, i have a BMW 318i SE 2006, i have a warning light that has come on, would you be able to tell me how to turn this out? its the triangle one that has a circle of arrows around it. Also how do you turn the service indicator out?
    many thanks for your help


  240. 240 On December 21st, 2010, DSP543 said:

    Hi All
    Why is it important to reset the e36 oil light, if you don’t reset it is there something like malfunction which may ocur?

  241. 241 On December 26th, 2010, bash said:

    HI, anybody have idea where i can find this in BMW 2003 3 Series 325i 4dr Sdn??? thanks.

  242. 242 On December 29th, 2010, Matt said:

    10 seconds for me, but worked great otherwise. i have a 98 323is with the srs light on. will disconnecting the battery work for my car? or is it just a z thing?

  243. 243 On December 31st, 2010, bash said:

    i have BMW 3 series 325i 4dr sdn, Air bag light is on. dealar is asking high $$$ to reset it. do anyone knows how to reset airbag or SRS light???? i don’t know antitheft code as i bought the car used, i don’t want to unplug battery might disable the car. little help will be greatly appreciated. thanks for your time.

  244. 244 On January 8th, 2011, Anders said:

    I have BMW 316i -95 and this works perfect.

  245. 245 On February 10th, 2011, chris said:

    i did this on my 99 328i and it reset fine but now the car will not start any ideas?

  246. 246 On February 12th, 2011, paul said:

    just tried the procedure for resetting the service lights, worked perfectly, much appreciated many thanks

  247. 247 On March 7th, 2011, Adam said:

    Worked great on my 2000 Z3 2.5. It took about 6 seconds. That saved me from taking it in and spending an arm and a leg. Thanks!

  248. 248 On April 13th, 2011, Laurice said:

    I have a BMW 316I 2004, for two days now, a light that looks like a battery keeps appearing and dissapearing, how it was permanently on today. Don’t have amanual.


  249. 249 On April 17th, 2011, Tony Sticks said:

    @Laurice: Please refer to BMW E36 dashboard signals. Does yours look like the second one here?

  250. 250 On April 17th, 2011, Laurice said:

    Hi Tony,
    thanks for replying

    Unfortunately it is not any of the signs you illustrated, infact those signs I do know. I have asked and was told that the symbol I am seeing is for the radiator, for two days I have to be pouring water as it appears to have been dissapearing but nothing indicates that there is a leak and then on friday the water poured stayed and the light disppeared, haven’t seen it since. Not sure what is going on.

  251. 251 On April 18th, 2011, Leon Olivier said:

    Hi Laurice

    Have you bled your water system after filling your radiator with water? Next to your filling cap you will find a small plastic screw that you need to loosen (Not take out) while filling with water. The vehicle must not be started during this process. Once all the air has escaped and clear water is coming out you can then close this screw. Hope this solves your mystery.

  252. 252 On April 27th, 2011, ct said:

    I have 1998, 318i (e46) model and this work as a treat. The only thing is you have to hold it for quite alot longer than 4 seconds. I hold mine for about 20 seconds and bang… the negative oil service no longer shows up when the car starts.

    Thank you

  253. 253 On April 30th, 2011, Tony Glover said:

    i have a 97 3 series. you are a lifesaver!!! i think this was the cause of some of my road rage lol

  254. 254 On May 2nd, 2011, Yoshi said:

    I have a 1997 Z3. I did an Inspection 1 at 90,000 miles and now at 107,000 miles the Inspection light has come on. Shouldn’t I be getting a lot more miles between inspections? Most of the miles are in-town driving. And, yah, the dealer wants $600 for the inspection…

  255. 255 On June 12th, 2011, Brendon Pillay said:

    Is there anything important I need to know if I am servicing my 1995 BMW 328i for the first time?? Please help as I have never ever serviced any car before, but am sure I can do it :-) Thanks gents!!

  256. 256 On June 15th, 2011, Alec said:

    Very easy and simple…I was able to walk my wife through the proccess over the phone which says alot…thanks to all who created this site. :)

  257. 257 On June 16th, 2011, Mike said:

    I have a 2003 bmw325xi. The oil light indicator on the center dashboard comes on (yellow) while i’m driving. I just had my oil changed 1,000 ago and nothing is leaking. Does the light need to be reset?

  258. 258 On June 28th, 2011, shane said:

    hi just want to say thanks , i recently picked up an m reg 320i and the inspection light was bugging me , it had recently been serviced , read your post and less than 5 minutes later back in house problem solved , thanks again pal

  259. 259 On July 4th, 2011, Pedro said:

    Works perfectly in a 1997 Z3 1.9!!

  260. 260 On July 16th, 2011, Ewan Geddes said:

    Thank you for your help. Before I came across your page I tried to reset my computer 1998 528i but I must have connected the wrong connectors at first because my radio doesn’t work now. Oil indicators are all green though. The radio goes on for about 3 minutes and then turns off. Even when it is on there are no radio lights. Can you help me “reset” the radio or suggest a fix.

    Thanks for your help


  261. 261 On July 26th, 2011, Sean said:

    I tried this tonight for the millionth time and it finally worked. Never give up. Cheers for that guys

  262. 262 On August 3rd, 2011, Sandra said:


    I own a 2006 BMW 330ci and my inspection light is on and I will have to pay BMW $80.00 to only reset the inspection. I had my car serviced with another service company instead of the BMW dealer adn they did not know how to reset the inspection light, where it would continue to keep up with my service requirement. Should I follow the directions with the paperclip? Excited to hear from you.


  263. 263 On August 4th, 2011, C.G. said:

    Thanks so much for this tip! My former wife informed me this morning that her ‘Oil Service’ light was on (’92 318ic), and what was I going to do about it.


    Not wanting to take an hour of my day to drive it over to our local shop and ask them to reset it, I Google searched for an answer and, lo!, there yours was – clear, concise, easy as pie, and thanks for the visual aids.

    Ciao from Portlandia, OR.

  264. 264 On August 7th, 2011, murray said:

    Great advice, tried and tried again a little longer, bingo all green lights even before service due

  265. 265 On August 8th, 2011, K said:

    It worked like a charm, thanks for the help

  266. 266 On August 17th, 2011, Aaron said:

    Just purchased a 01 Z3 wasn’t sure when previous owner had preformed oil change. And being a guy that the last place I will take a car is the dealer, found this site after reseaching how to reset the oil light. The paper clip trick worked for me! I had to do it several times with the last time being appox. 7 seconds, full
    green bars showing now baby!

    Thanks for taking the time in posting this information for others to use. I know I sure appreciate it.

  267. 267 On August 20th, 2011, Miguel said:

    Hi, thank you very much for that tip to reset the Oil Service light.
    Can somebody help me to fix the problem I have with my “brake light sensor” please. I change already all the brake pads and the 2 brake pad sensors on my BMW 325i 1992 (E36) but the brake pad sensor light still ON, new sensors are original from BMW dealer.
    Thank you for your great help.

  268. 268 On August 21st, 2011, murray said:

    anyone know what front shocks were installed in the first e36 1991 318i, decarbon or monrow

  269. 269 On August 21st, 2011, murray said:

    your brake light sensor wire bay be severed some where or not pushed in properly.

  270. 270 On August 21st, 2011, Miguel said:

    Thank you Murray. Can you please tell me how to reach such “wire BAY” for the brake pad sensor and what else to do. BMW 325i 1992, 4 Doors. E36. I appreciate your time. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

  271. 271 On August 21st, 2011, Dutch said:

    Miguel, I’m pretty sure that warning refers to your brake PEDAL sensor. It’s the switch that turns on the brake lights when you press the brake pedal. It’s mounted near the top of the brake pedal arm under the console. It has a button that contacts the brake arm at it’s rest position. The switch is like $9 and installs easily. You should be able to google a tutorial. I’ve had to replace many of these. It’s a 20 min job. Good luck

  272. 272 On August 28th, 2011, Seth said:

    Just tried it on my 1996 z3 took several tries. Def cures my ocd for the night!

  273. 273 On August 28th, 2011, Miguel said:

    Dutch, thank you very much for your reply but I am not talking about the STOP red light, I am talking about the “Brake Light” on the dashboard, which is ussually activated when the brake pads sensors are activated for brake service. Thank you.

  274. 274 On September 16th, 2011, Eli said:

    i tried it and acidently reset the inspection I/II interval what do i do now the lights are not on at all

  275. 275 On September 18th, 2011, Mike D said:

    Just tried this on my E36 328i coupe highline individual. Works a treat :) Just some tips… instead of a paperclip I used some insulated wire (any sort of wire will do, like off an old car stereo). I folded the ends of the wire to be a nice thickness to ensure the pin holes would pick up the connection. The first time I tried it only reset the oil service indicator (the clock symbol) and held it in for approx 5 secs. I turned off the ignition and tried again for about 6 seconds and the service indicators (the green lights) reset also. Thank you for the advice and happy that it only took about 2 mins to complete!

  276. 276 On September 30th, 2011, Fish said:

    just did it on my 98 328i msport coupe… took a couple of attempts but alas i have done it!
    Thanks a lot, you have saved me time and money!

  277. 277 On October 4th, 2011, gene said:

    Hi.did the trick just now…bingo, oil service off, green lights on…it took me less than a minute…thanks a lot.

  278. 278 On October 18th, 2011, andyrobbo78 said:

    hello there did oil plugs filters service myself only to find astill had a nasty yellow and red lightsup on tha dash,ggggggggrrrrrrrr i looked for the pacman diagnostic connection under the bonnet and there was only 10pins.luckily i had drawn a diagram of the pin postitions of 7 and 19 and used ma g.f,s tweezersto reset ma lights now all green also recalibrated my tricks and saved me paying bmwto do are tha man!!! really appreaciate this pal.besta luck to you and youre familys.respect andy

  279. 279 On October 24th, 2011, Martin said:

    I wanted to reset the oil service meter, and I just realised that it gives me the next inspection log… Have I done anything wrong??

  280. 280 On October 25th, 2011, Az said:

    Hi Tony,

    I have just follow your instruction on resetting oil service light and it was great. It work, but left it on to long and reset the inspection light too. Is there any problem?
    Cheers AZ

  281. 281 On November 13th, 2011, Brett Wilko said:

    How to reset your inspection I/II interval ,reset oil service time as specified, know LCD lights not working for taco/kilometres read out Please help.

  282. 282 On November 25th, 2011, Franz said:

    I tried for 10 seconds and worked very good, i have green light all the way.

    Thank you

  283. 283 On February 16th, 2012, Cathy said:

    hey, I’m a girl. And a blond. And the oil service reset trick worked for me. Paper clip and about 8 seconds. Yayyyyyy!!!

  284. 284 On March 12th, 2012, donny said:

    My service lights stay on all of them the oil service small clock and all the green the yellow and red …and when i turn the car off the yellow and sometimes the red stays on..can u help?

  285. 285 On March 12th, 2012, selvan said:

    hi i have changed my auto gearbox to manual buy the gearbox light is on . how to remove the light

  286. 286 On March 25th, 2012, Julian useche said:

    My 1992 E36 blinking signal only makes the ticking sound periodically when activated , however the signal itself always works (right turn Left turn) any comments of how to approach this issue ? i know it must be a relay, but where is it located?

  287. 287 On May 10th, 2012, ledz said:

    reset worked . The oil service digits has gone too… is that normal

  288. 288 On July 3rd, 2012, paul said:

    hi there tony, just read you paperclip trick went out and within 8 seconds job done. 5 green light on and yellow and red gone FANTASTIC your the DADDY. e36 1999 2.5. 03/07/2012 :O)

  289. 289 On August 21st, 2012, Naleen said:

    Hi tony in my BMW I don’t know what are the controller sings for air conditioning , heating, and fresh air? Their is a sing arrow goes round, I wonder what is that mean too? If you can help with this I would really appreciate. Cheers naleen

  290. 290 On August 31st, 2012, kester said: kester from philippines..i have a 1997 bmw 320i i’ve got a problem with the remote… i use to go with the instruction manuals for the activation of the remote but it didn’t work out..and i watch the other from the youtube..but all of it is not working on my car….what should i do with the remote.. to activate the lock and unlocking,keyless entry… im so stressful thinking of it, its been 4 days..pls help..very much tnx..!

  291. 291 On November 3rd, 2012, matt said:

    thanks for the tip! worked a charm :)

  292. 292 On May 6th, 2013, Mike said:

    Excellent tip. Worked on the first try for me. Thank you.

  293. 293 On May 10th, 2013, Shaun said:

    Brilliant, worked first time. Thanks.

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