4112No Check Engine Light on 1988 535is
- Jan 14, 2006Others may have this problem. I have a 1988 BMW 535is (actually
manufactured in 4/87). This year the state of California required
me to have a "Smog Test" performed (a $90 rip-off for a 10 min test
Took my car to the local smog test place and the car passed the
emissions test but ending up failing because "your check engine
light is not operating". The tech pointed out on the instrument
cluster where the light should be.
I have had this car for about 4 years now and had never seen that
light operate before so looked in my owners manual only to find
there was no description of a Check Engine Light. All the other
lights were described in typical BMW detail. I then did some
research on the internet and found others had the problem too and I
printed out several pages of stuff. Also, I have passed this smog
check before without the light. It was clear to me that this car
was not manufactured with a Check Engine Light.
I went back to the smog test place with owners manual and internet
pages in hand to explain that my car does not have a Check Engine
Light. I got absolutely nowhere with that. The tech told me that
California prints a manual of what he has to check on each car and
he as to certify all those things. Anything not working is a failed
He did say he would call several BMW dealers and see if he could
validate what I was saying. He called me back several times after
talking to a few service managers at various dealers in the area
only to tell me they all said my car was manufactured with a Check
So I went to my nearest dealer and talked to the service manager who
looked up the electrical diagrams based on the date of manufacture
of my car (4/87 even though its called an '88). He confirmed that
this car does not have a Check Engine Light and made copies of the
applicable pages for me along with the cover page of the manual.
I went back go the smog shop and provided this info and only then
got my car smog certified.