Reset oil & inspection lights
without an expensive reset tool
If you change your own oil, you may wonder, "How do I extinguish that annoying OIL SERVICE light?" It is a simple matter of sticking a piece of wire under your hood for 4 seconds. Well maybe it's not that simple, but that is the basic principle. No need to go to the dealer and pay them $75 for 4 seconds of work. I take no credit for the technical information on this page. Much of it was adapted from Ron Stygar's excellent writeup, which can be found here: http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/electrical/e36_reset_service_lights.html.
WTF?!? How do I get rid of this?
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. WTF 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? Description TD Signal Not occupied Not occupied Not occupied Not occupied Not occupied Service Interval Reset Not occupied Not occupied Not occupied Not occupied Generator Charge Indicator Not occupied Voltage; Hot At All Times Diagnostic Data Link Voltage; Ignition Switch in Run Not occupied Programming Line Ground Diagnostic Data Link
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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.
Note: you probably will not be able to recover the original shape of the paperclip, so please don't use paperclips you can't afford to lose.
Using speaker wire
Use speaker wire that isn't so thick that it won't fit in the holes in the data port.
You only need a few inches of wire. Strip the wire at both ends. Twist the ends of the wire so that they stay nice and tight.
You have a choice of items to use: the paperclip, speaker wire, or your HMRD™. 1. Using a paperclip or speaker wire 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. DO NOT HOLD IT THERE FOR LONGER THAN 10 SECONDS or you may inadvertently reset your inspection I/II interval.
Speaker wire with twisted ends.
2. Using the HMRD™ (Home-Made Reset Device) Go to the data port. Connect one wire to pin 7 and one wire to pin 19. Get in the car (bring the button module with you). Turn the ignition key to position II, but don't start the car. Press and hold the button for 4 seconds. Release the button. The oil inspection lights should reset upon release of the button. DO NOT HOLD THE BUTTON DOWN FOR LONGER THAN 10 SECONDS or you may inadvertently reset your inspection I/II interval.
Using the HMRD™. Note: I am not sitting in the car.