BMW E36 Blog

Reset BMW E36 oil service light

24th February 2007

Reset BMW E36 oil service light

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! 😀

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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posted in Do It Yourself, Electrical, Technical Info, Tips & Tricks | 293 Comments