BMW is a brand known for making “ultimate driving machines” which means that BMWs are designed to be driven and enjoyed. However, not being able to start the car up negates that so it needs to be addressed in order for your BMW to be driven and enjoyed. As such, you’ve come to the right place as we are going to tell you why your BMW won’t start – causes and how to fix it.
First of all, you need to pay attention to your battery as the battery is tasked with providing electric energy to your car which is necessary to start the car up. The battery can be weak, it can have corroded terminals, or it can be completely dead. Also, pay attention to your starter motor and your alternator as these three components make the electrical base of the entire car.
All newer BMW models come with a key fob instead of a normal blade key which means that the battery can die and you will not be able to start the car up. A clogged fuel filter or a failed fuel pump can block fuel from entering the engine which also leads to you not being able to start the car up.
Finally, also be sure to check the fuse box and your spark plugs because these can fail and disable you from starting your car up. Now we are going to go a bit more in-depth about all of these reasons, so be sure to stick around!
Your first point of interest should be your battery as this is usually the most common reason why a BMW won’t start. If the car refuses to crank or it does in a really slow fashion, chances are that your battery is either weak or depleted. You can either try to jump-start the car with a pair of jumper cables or test the battery with a multimeter to see what’s wrong with it.
Sometimes the battery terminals can be corroded which will lead to loss of contact between the wires and the batteries and thus reduce electrical current. If that is indeed the case, be sure to use a dedicated battery cleaner and dust off all the corrosion from a disconnected battery.
Alternator or Starter Motor Issues
An alternator is a clever piece of engineering designed to charge your battery while on the move which is why your battery shouldn’t become depleted in the first place. If your alternator fails and your lights are blinking, be sure to test the alternator to see if it’s providing any power.
The starter motor can also fail and if you hear a click and nothing else, chances are that your starter motor is to blame. If all of your accessories are powered up, but the car still refuses to kick in, the starter motor is likely the reason why.
Key Fob Battery
All new BMWs are provided with a key fob instead of a regular blade key which can also pose an issue if the key fob battery is depleted. Cars that come with keyless systems will not be able to recognize that the key is inside the car which will stop you from starting the car up. To repair this, simply replace the battery or use the blade key variant if you have it with you.
Clogged Fuel Filter or a Failed Fuel Pump
Various BMW models are known for fuel pump issues which lead to your engine being starved of fuel which inherently makes it impossible to start your car up. The only way to repair this properly is to replace the fuel pump. Moreover, a clogged fuel filter can block the passage of fuel into the engine and also stop you from starting the car up. As such, be sure to check your fuel filter and replace it if it is indeed clogged up.
Fuse Box and Spark Plugs
Fuses are designed to shield your car from various electrical issues which means that they are going to blow if something overbears the electrical systems of the car. As such, if you can’t start your BMW up, inspect the fuse box and replace a burnt fuse with the same amperage in order to restore current to your electrical systems.
If a spark plug dies, it won’t be able to aid in the combustion process which will either cause misfiring or it will stop your car from starting up at all. These will also need to be replaced in order to solve the issue.
How much does a BMW battery cost?
The battery is likely going to cost you between $300 and $500 when you include both parts and labor costs. However, if you take advantage of special deals, savings, and coupons at a large retailer, you are likely going to buy the battery for much less and potentially even benefit from a complimentary installation.
Either way, always be sure to use the correct battery for the car as there are many different types of batteries on the market.
How much does a BMW alternator cost?
A brand-new alternator with labor costs is going to cost you between $375 and $1,000 which is quite an expensive component. As such, some say that these can often be repaired, but it is always going to be a better idea to buy a new one.
The reason why is simple. A broken alternator is going to deplete your battery which can lead to needing both a new alternator and a new battery more than once which can be really frustrating for obvious reasons.
Do BMWs break down often?
If you own a lower-mileage well-serviced and looked-after BMW, chances of having serious issues are not all that likely. However, higher-mileage, older, and questionably looked-after BMWs can be a festival of issues which is why you should always do your due diligence before buying a used BMW of any kind.
BMW is not known for making the world’s most reliable cars because that is not the key priority for BMW.