The Most Common BMW 1 Series Questions Answered by WhoCanFixMyCar Experts

Now in its third generation, the BMW 1 Series helped to redefine driver expectations for compact cars. It's a stylish offering but there are some issues drivers need to be aware of.

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BMW 1 Series Tyre Pressure

What is the recommended tyre pressure of a BMW 1 Series?

The recommended tyre pressure for a BMW 1 Series can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker given the information by the driver’s door. Depending on the tyre, the front tyres will usually be set at 32 psi or 2.2 bar and the rear tyres are generally set at 35 psi or 2.4 bar.


What should I do when I see a tyre pressure warning?

The BMW 1 Series utilises a tyre pressure warning system that will monitor the tyres for the correct pressure. If it detects that a tyre is losing pressure, then a light on the dashboard will be illuminated. You should slow down and see what the potential damage is. If it's a serious puncture, then you'll need to replace the tyre, or you can take your vehicle to a garage for the tyre to be repaired or replaced.


How to check a BMW 1 Series tyre pressure?

If you want to know what the tyre pressure for your BMW 1 Series should be then many garages will have airlines for pumping air into tyres and some will have a chart showing what the correct pressure should be. Or you could use a foot pump with a gauge. However, neither of these are renowned for being accurate, so you could use a small hand-held gauge which will give a better idea.


How do I reset a BMW 1 Series tyre pressure light?

Once all the tyres of the BMW 1 Series have the correct pressure, you may need to reset the tyre pressure warning light. This is a straightforward process for the 1 Series, and you will need to:

  • Use the indicator stalk to scroll through the menu
  • When you see the tyre symbol press reset
  • The display will show resetting
  • Press and hold the button on the indicator stalk
  • The tyre pressure warning light will switch off or will do so after a few miles of driving.

If your 1 Series has the iDrive system, then you'll need to scroll through to find 'vehicle', then 'settings', click on 'TPM' and then 'reset'. And that's it!


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BMW 1 Series Warning Lights

The BMW 1 Series has universal warning lights, but there are some that you will need to pay particular attention to, including:

Oil pressure: When the engine oil pressure warning light becomes illuminated it means there's not enough oil pressure in the engine. You'll need to stop the car, switch off the engine and contact someone because you cannot continue driving.

Find the best garage for a BMW 1 series oil change in your area with WhoCanFixMyCar.

Engine overheating: This will illuminate as a red warning light, you will need to pull over and switch off the engine. Allow the engine to cool and then you need to check the coolant levels. Do not drive with this light on since you cause expensive damage to the engine.

Brake warning: Should the brake warning light appear, then you'll need to stop immediately because there's an issue with your braking system. You will need to have a professional fix the problem.

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What does a BMW 1 Series engine warning light mean?

One of the most important warning lights on the dashboard of the BMW 1 Series is that for the engine management. If this becomes illuminated, and it will be amber, then you'll need to take your vehicle to a garage because there's a problem with the emissions system. It's better to act promptly to prevent expensive damage being caused.

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BMW 1 Series Service Intervals

Depending on the age of your BMW 1 Series model, you'll need to have your car serviced to ensure it runs smoothly. For those older versions, then servicing takes place every 12,000 miles or one year, whichever is sooner.

Newer 1 Series models have a display that will show when a service is required and this will be based on the mileage and the driver’s use of the vehicle. Typically, the service for a 1 Series will be between 18,000 and 22,000 miles, but this service interval will vary accordingly.

22,000 miles: Oil and filter change

40,000 miles: Brake fluid and oil and filters plus pollen filter and fuel filter

60,000 miles: Brake fluid, pollen filter, engine air filter

100,000 miles: Timing belt and tensioner, water pump


How do I reset my BMW 1 Series service light?


To help ensure that you service the car, the BMW 1 Series will illuminate a service reminder light. For some reason, the dealer or professional may not reset this light, but you can do-it-yourself by simply:


  • Turn on the ignition, but not the engine
  • Depress the hold trip reset button
  • The service icon will appear
  • Press the trip reset button
  • Use the button on the indicator stalk to choose to reset the reminder
  • This will enter the reset procedure
  • Enter the new date
  • Press the button to firm settings
  • Switch the ignition off.

Should your BMW 1 Series reach one of these milestone mileages, visit a full service specialist near you.

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BMW 1 Series Common Problems

For owners and potential owners of the BMW 1 Series, it's worth looking at the common faults and problems that you may encounter. It also needs to be appreciated that there have been 12 recalls for the 1 Series despite it feeling well-made with premium materials. Of the recalls, four involved the steering, six recalls involved engine issues and two highlights it a potential fire risk. Other problems include:

Coil pack: A very common issue on petrol engine versions, so if the engine temperature rises or falls quickly or the engine has rough running, then it might be the coil pack.

Dynamic traction: The warning light for the dynamic traction control may appear on your dashboard and the fault is down to the control unit.

Idling issues: Some BMW 1 Series owners may find issues when they start the vehicle from cold that it struggles to idle. This is down to the ECU struggling in cold weather.

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Why is my BMW 1 Series exhaust blowing?


If the exhaust on your BMW 1 Series is louder than it was or is making the engine sound rough, then it's likely your exhaust is blowing and needs to be repaired or replaced. If the problem is only a small hole in the system, then you can weld it shut. Otherwise, you will be looking to replace part or all of your exhaust system. Owners of the diesel engine 1 Series may also need to know that BMW issued a recall in 2018 as the exhaust system on it could cause a fire. It's best checking to see whether your model is affected.


How do I change BM 1 Series headlight?


Should you need to replace a headlight bulb in your BMW 1 Series, then you need to ensure that you have the correct replacement bulb ready.

Remember, having fully functional headlights is important for road safety and some owners may prefer to take their car to a garage to have the work carried out.

One reason for this is that this can be a tricky operation. You'll need to access the bulb housing through the wheel arch for the low beam so you need to turn the wheels inwards to remove the cover from the housing, or you can remove the wheel for comfort.

  • Locate the low beam bulb and turn it counter clockwise to remove it.
  • Pull directly toward you and you will remove it from the headlight housing.
  • Replace the bulb, screw in position and replace the housing.

If you need to replace a high beam bulb, then you'll need to access the engine compartment

  • Under the bonnet, there's a cap covering the bulb housing.
  • Turn this counter clockwise to remove it.
  • Turn the bulb holder counter clockwise and remove from the housing.
  • Remove this bulb from the holder and replace with the new one.
  • Screw the bulb back into position and replace the cap.

Older 1 Series models have a simple clip-on bracket at the rear of the housing that is removed first.

It’s easy to find the best garages near you who specialise in BMW 1 Series exhaust fitting with WhoCanFixMyCar.

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Other Common BMW 1 Series Questions

How Often Does A BMW 1 Series Brake Fluid Need To Be Changed?

It's important that the brake fluid for your BMW 1 Series is changed in accordance with the manufacturer's regulations. This will help ensure that the pressure in the braking system will function correctly. Generally, the brake fluid needs replacing every two years and it's usually not covered under BMW's Service Pack agreement. Prices for the work will vary and it's probably worth shopping around to find the best price.


How Do I Check A BMW 1 Series Coolant Level?

If you need to add coolant to your BMW 1 Series - for example, the low coolant warning light may have appeared. You will need to ensure that you buy the correct type of coolant and the recommendations will be detailed in the owner's manual. To check the coolant level:

  • Park on a level surface
  • Ensure the engine and coolant has cooled down
  • Remove the coolant tank cap
  • Inspect where the coolant level is on the translucent tank
  • NOTE: Some coolant tanks will have a float that will rise with the level to make this task easier.
  • Top up to the fill level


Which Oil Type Does A BMW 1 Series Take?

The oil type required by your BMW 1 Series will be specified in the owner’s manual. Also, older models may need a slightly different specification for the oil. Generally, the BMW 1 Series will use 5W-30, a fully synthetic oil. Also, 0W-40 is a synthetic oil that can be used.

You can find the best garage in your area to repair your BMW 1 Series by visiting the brake pads and discs specialist page.

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