Easy step by step guide to retrieve and define BMW OBD1 trouble codes.
Difficulty Level - 2
Begin with your vehicle on level ground, in park with the emergency brake set.
Step 1 - Gathering codes on a BMW before 1995 is performed using the check
engine light. Turn the ignition key to the "ON" position (do not start engine.)
Step 2 - Press the gas pedal five times to the floor in rapid succession
within five seconds, when the code gathering is activated the check engine light
will flash "ON" and then "OFF", count the blinks. The first set of blinks will give
the first digit of the trouble code, there will be a pause, then restart blinking,
this will be the beginning of the next code digit and so on. For example: twelve
flashes followed by fifteen more flashes the code number is 1215.
Step 3 - Once repairs are complete, clear the codes by disconnecting the
battery for five minutes
Code 1211 MCU (computer) malfunction.
Code 1215 Air mass flow sensor fault (MAF.)
Code 1221 Oxygen sensor (O2.)
Code 1222 Oxygen sensor control.
Code 1223 Engine coolant temperature (ECT.)
Code 1224 Air intake temperature.
Code 1231 Battery voltage.
Code 1232 Idle throttle valve switch.
Code 1233 Full load throttle valve switch.
Code 1251/1252 Injection valve.
Code 1261 Fuel pump relay circuit.
Code 1262 Idle speed control valve.
Code 1263 Fuel tank vent valve.
Code 1264 Oxygen sensor heater relay.
Code 1444 No failure.
Written by Ken Lavacot Co-Founder and CEO of 2CarPros.com 35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.
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Article first published 2009-09-11 (Updated 2015-04-22)