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Old 07-20-2021, 01:09 PM
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Service Engine Soon Light

I tried to search this, but the search function doesn't seem to be working. And the inter-web refereced a misfire/bad coil pack, or a badly seated fuel cap. I'm not sure if these apply because my 02 E53 4.4i isn't throwing any codes.

shut the car down this morning and all was well. Started it right back up so I could reposition it due to a crappy park job and the Service Engine Soon light was on. I put my Foxwell scanner on it and nothing showed up.

I did service the oil last week and reset the indicator. It had one bar left at the time and I'm wondering if I did the wrong reset? However, I don't see in that my Foxwell 520 can reset the Service Engine Soon light specifically.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:53 PM
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Service Engine Soon Light

Do a complete auto scan. I'm not aware of anything that sets SES that's not in the DME module but auto scan will check everything.

In the engine submenu you will have a read code and a reset code function. (Exact names likely different)
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Old 07-20-2021, 04:36 PM
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During my recent (and not completely resolved) issues with smog / purge valve / O2 sensors readiness not completing, I've noticed some weirdness between the SES light, Foxwell OBD2 codes, and Foxwell BMW codes.

I have the Foxwell NT520 Pro, and something is at least a little wrong with things since I can no longer automatically read the VIN, vs. it used to do that and some other things too.

I could have problems with my car, could be wrong / confused, but here you go:

The service engine soon light is not a maintenance indicator. It's the check engine light / malfunction indicator light. So the Foxwell does not let you reset the light like you reset the maintenance schedule; it lets you erase codes, which should make the light go away unless it comes back instantly.

My SES light is always on when the key is ON and the engine is stopped.

I found cases where I would have BMW codes (via Foxwell in the BMW diagnostics), but no OBD2 codes (via Foxwell in the OBD diagnostics), and no SES light. Not talking about pending codes. Real codes here. It seems that the OBD code (e.g., P0444) and SES would eventually catch up to the BMW code (e.g., DME-44), but this all surprised me that they were independent.

Foxwell OBD reports the SES light on (might call it "MIL status" or something like that [malfunction indicator light], reported as "ON") when the SES light is on only because the engine is stopped. And then when the engine is running, it will report it "OFF." So it is literally telling you whether the light is on at the moment it is read, regardless of reasoning.

Foxwell BMW diagnostics is smarter than that and knows whether the light would be on when the engine is running.


And when you get into the smog check readiness monitors, it is a whole 'nother level of hocus pocus. I just replaced my rear O2 sensors even though I had no codes and the heater resistances measured fine, just because there was no other explanation for why the readiness monitor was not resetting. Still waiting for it to reset. I have a couple of threads on these problems that I will update with answers once I find them.
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:34 PM
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Thanks for the info gents. I plugged the foxwell back in and found the right DMW module and did a manual scan. Of note, there were quite a few DMEs listed from the auto scans I'd been doing...several diesel versions and a few non diesel, and I think I had not found the right one to probe.

At any rate I found two pending codes "DME 8C Activation Map cooling " and "DME 62 Tank Venting Valve", and the Service Engine Soon light went out as I was reading them. I reset the codes anyway and will keep an eye on it tomorrow.

I took advantage of some time to mess around with the "Live" function. Map Cooling was "Active" and Tank Venting was at 24.46%. Not sure what either of those mean, but I am happy to have found them, and that they have cleared. I'll so some research tonight to see what they mean.

***update***
Thanks to an older post on this forum I suspect the 62 code for the tank venting system is related to the vent hose on the outbound side of the fuel filter. I went to change it last week and found Pelican had sent me the wrong filter. My 20 year old OEM filter is half the size of the one they sent me and with different connectors. The rubber on the vent hose was shot and failed as I put the engine feed line back on. I cut it back a bit and hoped for the best. I suspect that vent line is off and the car senses a vacuum problem.

Last edited by Henn28; 07-20-2021 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 07-21-2021, 12:58 AM
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That's a good guess. Follow up after you get to check out


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