EML light on and caution light with arrow around came on the car, what should I do?

I was driving normally, then suddenly the EML light and caution light came on the dashboard. What does it mean?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
The warning lights mean that the vehicle’s computer has detected a fault in the engine management system and/or engine controls which includes a lot of sensors and other devices. If the vehicle has not entered "limp mode" (reduced performance), is NOT actively misfiring, and otherwise appears to be functioning normally (no overheating, stalling, strange noises, etc.), you can usually operate the vehicle safely until your first opportunity to get it diagnosed. Obviously, do not operate the car indefinitely with the EML light on and, in particular, if the car is misfiring do not operate it at all because such will destroy the catalytic converter.

The particular fault, causing the EML to illuminate, would be unknown (there are literally thousands of fault codes in these computerized engine management systems but maybe hundreds are "commonly" experienced) until a Mechanic uses an appropriate scan tool to download and decipher the fault code(s). Once the codes are read, the components, sensors, parts, systems or wiring that are referred to, or identified, in the fault code(s) MUST be individually tested or diagnosed. The key thing to understand is the fault codes DO NOT, and cannot, conclusively identify failed parts, so you should not let anyone replace parts on the basis of fault codes unless and until the part slated for replacement is TESTED to see if there is actually anything wrong with it. So, if you take the car to a garage and they say they are going to replace part "x" because the fault code "says so", ask them if they actually tested the part and further, on the basis of that testing, were they able to reasonably condemn it. And, then, if they do replace a part, be sure you take the old part with you just in case their repair does not resolve the issue (by keeping the old part you obviously preserve the possibility of later testing it yourself, if you end up with a failed diagnostic). The thing to do in a circumstance like this is get a competent diagnosis so that time and money is not wasted randomly changing out parts on the basis of guesses as to why the fault code(s) was set by the computer. If you want a competent, professional Diagnostic which will get to the root issue, feel free to set up a mobile visit with YourMechanic. If you have other technical concerns or questions, by all means feel free to re-contact us. Best wishes with this..if you ask lots of questions you will get the issue identified and resolved to your satisfaction.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

An engine management light, or EML (sometimes also called the `check engine light`) is a dashboard warning light that illuminates when an issue with your car`s engine, exhaust or emissions system has cropped up.
The Engine Management Light (EML) or check engine light is a warning indicator which is found on your BMW`s dashboard. It will illuminate when more severe issues are detected in your vehicle`s systems or parts which work with the engine and the connecting exhaust systems.
The “EML” warning light in a BMW indicates a problem with the “drive by wire” throttle control system.”
If the sensor detects issues that your vehicle`s fuel is too rich (not enough air) or too lean (too much air, the EML might turn on. It may also be illuminated if there`s a fault with the sensor.
EGR valve failure

The EGR valve can become stuck open or closed due to a build-up of particles, which will cause a fault, resulting in the engine management light being illuminated on the dash.

If you notice the yellow triangle warning with an exclamation point, it could also mean that your ABS sensor is faulty or there`s an issue with the driveshaft. Light Bulb: If this symbol is lit then one or more external lights are out or experiencing an issue.
This light signals a serious fault or engine malfunction and may even cause your vehicle to break down, so it is not safe to continue driving while this light is showing.
EML light up on the dash? This symbol indicates a fault within the DME or DDE (ECU – engine control unit). This is referred to as an EML warning light. EML is an abbreviated term for Electronic Motor Load regulation. Remember if your ECU detects any fault with the running of the engine you will see this lamp.
If you haven`t seen the yellow “EML” light on your BMW E46, it`s probably only a matter of time. It stands for Elektronische Motorleistungsregelung, and it can mean a myriad of “electronic engine power control” issues, mostly having to do with the drive-by-wire system.
Engine management warning light

It`s also unhelpful when a light appears on your dashboard that could be caused by a variety of things. One such example of that is the engine management light (EML), which is also known as the check engine light.

The reasons for a check engine light turning on can range from something minor like a loose gas cap to something more serious like a faulty catalytic converter. It could even be a sign of internal engine failure. Ignoring the problem can turn a potentially quick fix into a costly and time-consuming repair.
This light signals a serious fault or engine malfunction and may even cause your vehicle to break down, so it is not safe to continue driving while this light is showing.
An even simpler way to clear the engine management light is to turn the ignition on and off. This approach achieves the same outcome as the previous step, but without disconnecting the battery. Turn the ignition on and off three times, pausing a second between each cycle. The engine management light should go off.
A steady glow typically means something less serious but a flashing check engine light indicates that your vehicle`s engine is in serious trouble and service is needed immediately. If your check engine light is flashing in your BMW, we highly recommend not to drive the vehicle and schedule BMW service today.
EML light up on the dash? This symbol indicates a fault within the DME or DDE (ECU – engine control unit). This is referred to as an EML warning light. EML is an abbreviated term for Electronic Motor Load regulation. Remember if your ECU detects any fault with the running of the engine you will see this lamp.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

EML light on and caution light with arrow around came on the car, what should I do?
ANSWER : The warning lights mean that the vehicle’s computer has detected a fault in the engine management system and/or engine controls which includes a lot of sensors and other devices. If the vehicle has not entered "limp mode" (reduced performance), is NOT actively misfiring, and otherwise appears to be functioning normally (no overheating, stalling, strange noises, etc.), you can usually operate the vehicle safely until your first opportunity to get it diagnosed. Obviously, do not operate the car indefinitely with the EML light on and, in particular, if the car is misfiring do not operate it at all because such will destroy the catalytic converter.

The particular fault, causing the EML to illuminate, would be unknown (there are literally thousands of fault codes in these computerized engine management systems but maybe hundreds are "commonly" experienced) until a Mechanic uses an appropriate scan tool to download and decipher the fault code(s). Once the codes are read, the components, sensors, parts, systems or wiring that are referred to, or identified, in the fault code(s) MUST be individually tested or diagnosed. The key thing to understand is the fault codes DO NOT, and cannot, conclusively identify failed parts, so you should not let anyone replace parts on the basis of fault codes unless and until the part slated for replacement is TESTED to see if there is actually anything wrong with it. So, if you take the car to a garage and they say they are going to replace part "x" because the fault code "says so", ask them if they actually tested the part and further, on the basis of that testing, were they able to reasonably condemn it. And, then, if they do replace a part, be sure you take the old part with you just in case their repair does not resolve the issue (by keeping the old part you obviously preserve the possibility of later testing it yourself, if you end up with a failed diagnostic). The thing to do in a circumstance like this is get a competent diagnosis so that time and money is not wasted randomly changing out parts on the basis of guesses as to why the fault code(s) was set by the computer. If you want a competent, professional Diagnostic which will get to the root issue, feel free to set up a mobile visit with YourMechanic. If you have other technical concerns or questions, by all means feel free to re-contact us. Best wishes with this..if you ask lots of questions you will get the issue identified and resolved to your satisfaction.

2012 equinox reduced power light engine light and traction light came on. Lost a lot of power got home and all light except engine
ANSWER : Your car has what is called a "safe mode" that will be engaged by the computer when it detects that something critical has gone wrong related to any of the major components in your engine chassis or power train. This may be related to a number of things, most of which should have been registered in the computer when the check engine light came on. I recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to inspect your check engine light and diagnose any codes registered by your vehicle’s computer.

My car stalls at times, yesterday the car shut off at a red light. I turned car off then back on now engine light is on.
ANSWER : This may be a result of a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve reads the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and at idle. Since this valve is controlled by the vehicle’s computer, it will adjust idle speed based upon other measurements such as engine temperature, intake air temperature and electrical system load or voltage. When you accelerate, the engine RPM increases, and as you let off the gas, the RPM slowly returns to the normal idling speed with the help of the idle air control valve making the transition from a higher RPM back down to idle speed. When the engine RPM drops below the normal range of about ~800 RPM, this often times will cause the engine to stall indicating a dirty or faulty idle air control valve. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and replace your idle air control valve.

Car won’t start. The check engine light, battery light, and oil change light are coming on. I tried jumping the car and nothing happened. Why won’t my car start?
ANSWER : Hi and thanks for contacting Your Mechanic. If sometimes your vehicle will start with the new alternator and sometimes it won’t, then there is a loose connection in your charging system. Check all of the wires to the alternator and to the battery. Make sure that the battery cables are clean and tight. Make sure that the wires to the starter are clean and tight. A loose ground to the ignition system will cause the vehicle to not crank over. Check all of the ground wires from the battery to the starter. Make sure that they are clean and tight. If you need further assistance troubleshooting your no start situation, then seek out a technician, such as one from Your Mechanic, that can assist you.

I was driving and my car started to slow down, and my gas pedal wouldn’t work, and all the signs came on and the car light was flickering
ANSWER : Hi, thanks for writing in. It sounds like your battery has crashed. When the system voltage drops below a certain point, the electronics go haywire. The alternator is supposed to maintain the battery voltage at around 14 volts, and I’m guessing that your’s is not working. When the alternator stops charging, the car can continue to run on stored energy in the battery for a few hours, until the voltage falls below about 10 volts, then all those crazy things start happening.

It’s hard to say without hearing it, but the "airplane" noise may be coming from your failed alternator. I don’t recommend running out and buying a new alternator right away, the battery needs to be fully charged or replaced so that you can have a proper tests performed.

Charging or installing a battery, or even jumping one off, is a risky business on a modern car. Connecting the cables incorrectly for even a moment can do a lot of expensive damage to the various modules in your car.

I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home or office to confirm a diagnosis on the issue and make or suggest the necessary repairs or replacements.

My car won’t crank and the check engine light, battery light and oil change light came on all at the same time.
ANSWER : Hi there. Quite often when a mechanical problem is discovered in the transmission or other critical parts of the vehicle, an error code will be created and stored in the ECU of the vehicle. This in turn illuminates your check engine light and in some case will activate a fail safe or "limp mode". This will restrict the speed to below 40 mph in most cases and is designed to allow car owners to safely drive to a dealership or auto repair center to have the code downloaded by a professional mechanic; which allows them to determine what caused the fault in the first place. It’s possible that what ever it was that caused the initial problem has broken and caused the car to not start now. The best way to start the diagnostic process is to have one of our mobile mechanics come to your location and complete a check engine light inspection. This will permit them to download the code that initially triggered the check engine light and determine why your car is not starting now.

Battery and oil light come on when trying to start car, take keys out try again car starts no problem and lights go away
ANSWER : Of course, don’t switch gears without being fully stopped, unless your Owner’s Manual or the manufacturer has alternative advice. However, the gear shift issue has no relation to the no-start problem you are describing. Inasmuch as you only have 6,000 miles on the car, the "constant on and off" that you believe has occurred is meaningless in comparison to the expected total vehicle service life. That is, assume what you perceive as "constant on and off", during merely 6,000 miles, might be equivalent to using the car "normally" for three years. A new car should be trouble free for at least 5 years, unless there is a defect, so your "constant on and off" is not a causal factor for any fault on the vehicle. What you might have is a defect in the ignition switch, or perhaps the immobilizer system, but if the problem is not in the switch itself, clearly there is an electrical problem.

If your vehicle is under warranty, by law the dealer MUST repair the issue you are describing within a prescribed time frame and number of "attempts", otherwise the dealer will run afoul of Federal and state Lemon Laws that give you very specific rights, and recourse (contact an Attorney; we are Mechanics, NOT attorneys). Consequently, if the vehicle is still under warranty, to save yourself money do be sure to seek a resolution from the dealer. If the vehicle is not under warranty, obviously a certified Mechanic from YourMechanic could identify the electrical fault and resolve this for you. If you want to go that route, please simply request a no start diagnostic -electrical system and the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Battery light goes on when I start car then turns off, if I rev engine light comes back until rpms go down. Abs goes comes on/off
ANSWER : Batteries can die due to faults in the charging system so ideally a suspected "faulty" battery should be load tested before a decision is made to condemn it. The only exception to this rule is if the battery is already clearly "old" (greater than 5 years) but even then once you put a new battery in, as a replacement for a "dead" battery, you have to comprehensively check out the charging system. Diagnostic Trouble Code P0460 will result in disruption of the dashboard fuel gauge’s ability to accurately report your tank’s fuel levels. The fuel gauge readings may be erratic, or read somewhere off scale. Vehicles equipped with a low fuel warning light feature may also suffer from erratic low fuel warnings in the event of a code P0460. Unless the P0460 code has been reported alongside other trouble code, all of the vehicle’s essential systems should otherwise function normally. I would recommend that you request a check engine light diagnostic to first resolve the fault causing the P0460 code to set. The check gas cap light warning light could be due a faulty gas cap and/or small leaks in the EVAP system.