BMW 5 Series Wont Start? Here’s Quick Solutions to Most Common Problems

A BMW Series 5 at a Car Show

Intro

As a trained car mechanic with over 20 years of hands on experience, I’ve seen plenty of people battling when their BMW 5 Series Won’t Start. And I’ll be straight with you, not being able to start your car when you need to drive is extremely bothersome.

But don’t lose hope, you’ve come to the right place, no need to keep googling searches like “BMW wont start but lights come on no clicking noise“, I got you covered. My name’s Robby, a certified auto mechanic with over two decades of experience, and in this article, I’ll explain the most common explanations for why your 5 Series doesn’t start. I’ll cover all the commonplace culprits so you can pinpoint what’s happening, plus what to do to resolve each particular problem. Drawing on my two decades of training and on the job experience, I’ll supply usable troubleshooting tips to get your BMW 5 Series started as soon as possible!

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Why Won’t My a BMW Start?

BMW 5 Series wont start

Before we tackle the list of possible faults and fixes, it’s critical to first get on the same page of the central issue. When you climb into your BMW 5 Series and realize “it won’t start!”, there could be a number of components causing the troubles. Maybe the engine isn’t cranking at all, or possibly it’s cranking but not firing. Or you might notice clicking sounds when you try to start it, but ultimately nothing happens. Each scenario can be a sign of different problems under the hood.

Common Reasons Why Your BMW 5 Series Won’t Start

There are numerous culprits as to why your 5 Series won’t fire up. Typical causes include a weak or drained battery, defective alternator, starter motor failures, fuel system snags, plus electrical or wiring malfunctions. Every one of these issues can present differently, needing specific methods of diagnosis and repair to get you back on the open road as quick as possible. All of which, we’ll delve into.

Symptoms of a BMW 5 Series That Won’t Start

Identifying these symptoms will lead you to the main issue. Take for example, when you turn the key or press the start button and you hear it turning over yet no start up, it often means a fuel or ignition issue.

Analysis of The Reasons Why Your BMW 5 Series Won’t Start

The initial move in solving the no-start headache is identifying the specific source of the issue. So let’s explore the most frequent causes of the 5 Series refusing to start when you turn the key.

Battery Issues in a BMW 5 Series

car wont start but battery is good
Image Credit: MechanicAnswer.com

In the vast majority of situations, the most frequent reason a BMW 5 Series won’t start comes down to issues with the battery. Specifically, a weak or dead battery prevents the engine from cranking. The car’s battery delivers the necessary electrical juice to ignite the engine and energize all your electronics. Signals of a dying battery include labored or difficult cranking, dim headlights, or a warning light illuminated on the dash. A battery charger can recharge a dead battery if you don’t have the help of another vehicle to jump start it, but do have an electrical socket nearby like at home.  And a portable jump starter lets you charge p the battery without another vehicle, and by the roadside without the need for an electrical socket, so you are never stuck.

Alternator Problems in a BMW 5 Series

car wont start alternator

The Alternator keeps the battery charged by harnessing engine power while driving. A malfunctioning alternator can easily prevent your BMW 5 Series from starting since it fails to recharge the battery, depleting it completely so that one day you hop in your beloved BMW 5 Series and it simply can’t start. Clues of a malfunctioning alternator may include an illuminated battery or alternator caution light on its dash, faint headlights while idling, or a whirring noise from the engine while running.

Starter Motor Failures in a BMW 5 Series

car wont start wont turn over

The starter motor is key to cranking the engine when you turn the key to start your BMW. In the event of starter problems, the engine can’t crank, keeping your 5 Series from starting. Listen out for clicking noises when you turn the key or grinding during cranking, possibly meaning starter problems.

Fuel System Issues in a BMW 5 Series

car wont start fuel filter

This isn’t about running out of gas like a silly goose. Rather, it’s issues with the fuel system itself that could leave your 5 Series unable to start up. Your BMW 5 Series uses fuel to combine with oxygen and powers the engine. So problems here like a clogged fuel filter or failing fuel pump relay can result in the engine lacking the fuel it needs to start. Fuel injectors can also get clogged over time, so consider a fuel injector cleaner like Red Line to clear any blockages and improve starting.

Electrical System or Wiring Problems in a BMW 5 Series

car wont start electrical issue
Image Credit: MechanicAnswer.com

Ok, well yes that image is a joke, but I want to emphasize modern cars now rely heavily on electronics, opening up the number of things that can go wrong. With older models, common culprits include blown fuses, spark issues, damaged ignition switches, or non-working sensors. Electrical issues and electronics like these may prevent your vehicle from starting. Pay attention to intermittent starting, warning lights, or failure to crank as signs of an underlying electrical problem. Diagnosing and repairing these typically requires an experienced mechanic near you.

Solutions: Let’s Get Your BMW 5 Series Starting Again!

If you think you might know what the issue may be, it’s time to figure out the reason behind your car’s inability to start up, and then the next step is to try to repair the issue. Here’s advice for the frequent problems we’ve talked about already:

How to Identify and Fix Battery Issues in a BMW 5 Series

car not starting but battery is fine

The first step if a battery issue is suspected for the no start is to check the battery terminals. Ensure they are clean, secure, and properly connected. If the terminals are in fact dirty, try cleaning them with a sodium bicarbonate(baking soda) and water mixture.

Once you have checked the battery terminals, you can check to see if the battery is just out of charge, or worse, it’s old and weak, or dead and needs to be replaced. For this, you can charge the battery in a few different ways:

If the battery charges fully and performs as expected, the issue may be resolved. However, if the battery has aged or lacks capacity, replacing it will be necessary. Otherwise, even sufficiently charging it to start your 5 Series may only provide temporary relief before it runs out of charge again in the near future. Using a multimeter or OB2 scanner to evaluate the battery’s condition can determine if it’s worth preserving or requires replacement. Suitable replacement batteries for your specific BMW can be found on Amazon here by entering your vehicle details to filter for the right fit and choosing a highly-rated seller.

Robby Recommends:

Portable Car Battery Jump Starter Charger - NOCO Boost Plus GB40

At Home Battery Charger - YONHAN - Fully Automatic

Jumper Cables by Energizer for Car Battery - Heavy Duty

NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000A UltraSafe Car Battery Jump Starter

YONHAN Battery Charger Fully-Automatic

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car Battery, Heavy Duty

If charging your 5 Series’s battery fails to solve ongoing issues like frequent draining and recharging even after installing a new battery, an underlying problem likely causes the excessive drain. Professional diagnostic services would then be needed to inspect and identify the root cause. You can also consult a mechanic online through us or obtain an instant quote from a mobile mechanic.

How to Identify and Fix Alternator Problems in a BMW 5 Series

Car wont start replace alternator needed

If you think the alternator is the reason your BMW 5 Series won’t start, a test can confirm. If you can temporarily get the auto running (you may need a jump start), with the engine on, remove the positive battery terminal. If the vehicle dies fairly quickly after that, it’s likely a bad alternator. Keep in mind though this test can be dangerous and mess up delicate electronics in your motor, so it’s best to consult with a professional mechanic in your town or online first since this test risks harming the delicate electronics in your BMWvehicle.

If you figure out that the alternator is the problem, it’s a case of having it replaced. I recommend consulting an online or local mechanic as they will advise you on how difficult the repair is for your specific model, and you can work out if you want to try it yourself, or with the advice of an online mechanic

If you do want to try it yourself or take it to a local garage, you can often buy the replacement parts yourself cheaper than at the garage, but you need to know what to get for your model of BMW 5 Series. You find all the information you need about your specific vehicle by searching online for something like “BMW owner lookup by VIN free“, which is a purchasable report, that will give the specs for your vehicle and which parts are compatible, and then you can go get the alternator parts you need. However, an easier option is, Amazon probably has the alternator you need online, at a cheaper price, and their site easily shows which ones will go in your specific car model. Check the Amazon alternator page here

How to Identify and Fix Starter Motor Problems in a BMW 5 Series

starter motor issues in a ford

If you think the starter motor is the reason behind your BMW not turning over, keep an ear out for a clicking noise when you turn the key. If present, but the engine does not turn over, the starter motor likely needs replacing. You can take it to a local garage and have them repair it, or repair it yourself with the help and advice from an online mechanic guiding you. 

If you need it, one of the cheapest and easiest places to get a new starter motor, for your exact vehicle model is on the Amazon here.

How to Identify and Solve Fuel System Problems in a BMW 5 Series

clogged fuel filter car wont start

If you suspect a fuel system issue might be causing the no-start, tune your ears for the fuel pump hum when you turn the key to “on” before trying to turn over the car. The pump should make a quiet humming for a few seconds. If such a noise is not heard, the fuel pump could be defective. Problematic starting, stalling, or lagging acceleration may also result from a problematic or clogged fuel filter. Both pump and filter issues usually need a skilled mechanic to inspect and repair them properly, often involving fuel pressure testing and precise diagnostic equipment. Later in this article, I detail the best ways to get help from a local BMW mechanic near you. 

How to Repair Electrical or Wiring Issues in a BMW 5 Series

fuses to check when car wont start

If you think it’s an wiring issue, first examine the fuses for the ignition system, and replace any that have blown. If your 5 Series starts after this, it was an effective, cheap fix! But if your BMW 5 Series refuses to start, even sometimes, the ignition switch itself could be problematic. Warning lights on the dashboard could also mean a faulty sensor. These can be complex issues needing a professional mechanic to diagnose and properly repair (see below advice on local mechanics).

How to Prevent Starting Issues in a BMW 5 Series

As grandad would say: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Here’s how to prevent future problems starting your 5 Series:

Regular Maintenance of Your BMW 5 Series

Regular maintenance on car to prevent starting issues

Regular maintenance is essential to avoiding issues, including oil changes, battery checks, cleaning terminals, replacing the fuel filter as needed, and having a mechanic check over the vehicle routinely. If unsure about maintenance for your model, ask a mechanic locally or online for guidance.

Drive Your 5 Series Regularly

drive regular to avoid car troubles

If your BMW 5 Series happens to sit unmoved in the garage or front yard for weeks without being driven, the battery can weaken as it is not being charged up by the engine running, through the alternator. Try your best to drive your car regularly to keep a charged battery. If you remember you haven’t driven your car in a while, take it for a brief drive around town to ensure there is still a charge left.

Note: Letting the battery fully drain is also bad for its longevity, so try to avoid that.

Take Notice Of Warning Signs

Check Engine Control Light on a Vehicle Dashboard

If you notice any abnormal things like unusual noises, changes in driving and performance, or warning lights lit up on the dashboard, do not ignore them. These are often early signs of an issue that should be addressed ASAP before they escalate into larger problems later on. Consult with a mechanic locally or online about these problems and get advice on if they require attention.

When to Ask a BMW Mechanic Online

If you have limited time available, or despite putting in real effort on your own, you still can’t get your car to start, consider consulting a BMW mechanic online. It delivers quick professional advice from the comfort of home, and is far less expensive than a tow and diagnosis at the local garage.

Benefits of an Online BMW Mechanic

Happy mechanic repairing car looking at camera

Online BMW mechanics can review your symptoms, past repair history, and circumstances to provide troubleshooting steps tailored to your situation. With so many BMW mechanics available they can help fix nearly any problem, it doesn’t if matter it’s your 5 Series that’s having issues or a BMW 4 Series wont start, the online mechanics can help sort anything in no time. And with many household budgets tighter these days, an online mechanic provides instant affordable help when you need it most, 24/7.

You can explain the problems you’re having, ask BMW mechanics endless questions, and even submit images and videos so you can demonstrate to the mechanic what you mean. You can connect with them via instant messenger or voice chat, whatever you like. The BMW mechanic will diagnose the problem, advise the best fix for your particular case, and even walk you through simple maintenance step-by-step.

Whether you want an expert second opinion or are simply short on time, online repairs assistance is there when you need it. Give it a try – you may be surprised just how easy and stress-free it is.

So feel free to try out our BMW repair questions service and see for yourself!

When and How to Get a Local BMW Mechanics Help

automobile mobile mechanic

When your BMW 5 Series won’t start, and you are unable to repair it yourself, thinking about how to get your vehicle to the garage can be a nightmare. There are options like roadside services, that come to you and can provide simple fixes to get your car moving enough again, so you can get it to a mechanic garage for proper repairs. You can also use a towing service, but these can be costly, easily into the hundreds of dollars. A much better option is the use of a mobile mechanic, who will come to you at your home, place of work, or by the roadside, and carry out repairs there and then for you, so you can get your 5 Series started again ASAP.

So if you think a mobile mechanic is the best solution for you, instead of searching on Google something like  “at home car mechanic near me“, the best in the USA that also covers most towns is YourMechanicI have personally recommended them to countless people across the country and they always have a great experience.

Reasons I recommend them:

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If you would like to know more, the process to use them is this.

  1. Visit their official website here: YourMechanic
  2. Get an instant free quote for what you need
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Conclusion

In short, when your BMW 5 Series doesn’t turn over, it can be a major inconvenience. However, understanding what might be triggering the issues, being able to troubleshoot them, and knowing what actions are required in each case, and where to find help if necessary, will be a huge help. Keep in mind that regular care is key to avoiding most vehicle issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) When a BMW 5 Series Won’t Start

BMW 5 Series won’t start but lights come on?

If your BMW 5 Series‘s lights turn on but it still won’t start, the issue is likely not related to the battery. More than likely there is a problem with the engine starter. Investigate if you hear any clicking noises when trying to turn the key. If so, the starter motor is trying to engage but failing. Get a mechanic check over the starter motor – it may need to be repaired or replaced.

BMW 5 Series won’t start but has power?

When your BMW 5 Series has power (lights, radio etc work) but fails to start, there may be a fuel delivery problem. Issues like a faulty fuel pump relay could prevent fuel getting to the engine. Without enough fuel, combustion can’t happen and the engine won’t start. Listen near the back seat when cranking the key – you should hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds. If not, get a mechanic check the fuel system.

BMW 5 Series won’t start but battery is fine?

If your BMW 5 Series‘s battery checks out OK and is fully charged, but the car still refuses to start, the underlying cause is likely electrical. Possible issues include a bad ignition switch, broken sensor, or wiring problems. As electrical issues can be tricky, diagnosis by a professional mechanic is best. They can correctly pinpoint the specific electrical fault and have it repaired.

BMW 5 Series won’t start just clicking?

When you turn the key and just hear clicking but the engine doesn’t crank, the most common cause is a faulty starter motor. The click comes from the starter solenoid trying to engage the starter motor, but the motor itself fails to crank the engine. As the starter motor needs mechanical repair or replacing, consult with a reliable mechanic to get your BMW 5 Series running again.

What if my BMW 5 Series won’t start up?

First things first, take a deep breath and try to stay calm. Look for any odd noises, flashing lights, or changes in how it runs that could point to the issue. Most likely the culprit is one of the common problems we’ll talk about here. If you still can’t identify the exact issue, you’ll have to ask for help from a trusted BMW mechanic locally or online.

Determine if my BMW 5 Series won’t start because of the battery?

Signs that your BMW’s battery is the issue are, a slow cranking engine, dim front lights, and battery warning symbols lighting up on the dash. You can also make sure the battery terminals are clean, corrosion-free, and tightly fastened. If your battery is worn out it’s probably best to just replace it completely.

How to prevent my BMW 5 Series from failing to start in the future?

To prevent this hassle from repeating, regular upkeep is essential. This includes oil changes, checking the battery and scrubbing its terminals, changing out the fuel filter when required, and getting your BMW 5 Series inspected by a mechanic routinely. Also, be diligent about drive the car regularly so the battery stays charged.

Can I consult an online mechanic if my BMW 5 Series fails to start up?

Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can offer immediate professional BMW mechanic assistance and recommendations, without you having to leave your house. This is particularly helpful if your BMW 5 Series is unable to start and is stuck in the parking area,.

How can websites like MechanicAnswer.com be of service if my BMW 5 Series doesn’t ignite?

We pair you with qualified BMW specialists who can supply recommendations tailored to your exact predicament. You can update them about your vehicle problems, ask unlimited questions as needed, upload images and videos so you can comprehensively demonstrate the issue. The mechanic will be capable to help, identify the issue, and propose the best plan of action and talk you through it.

Interesting BMW 5 Series Facts

Did you know that the BMW 5 Series has been in production for over 45 years? That’s longer than some of us have been alive! And get this – the 5 Series was the first BMW model to feature the now iconic “kidney grille” design. It’s like the OG of cool car grilles. Plus, the 5 Series has won numerous awards over the years, including being named one of Car and Driver’s 10Best Cars multiple times. And if you’re into tech, you’ll be blown away by the fact that the 5 Series was one of the first cars to offer in-car navigation systems back in the 1990s. It’s like the original smart car! So, if you’re feeling down about your car not starting, just remember all the cool and interesting things that make your BMW 5 Series so special.

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Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
  2. Get help from a Mobile Mechanic. We  recommend Fixter. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper for you, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Choose Your Mechanic

1. Chat with A.I. Mechanic (Robot Robby)
  • Free 7-day trial
  • A.I. Mechanic that is trained by our human mechanic writers. As helpful as a human mechanic for expert advice, troubleshooting, and repair guidance.
2. Chat with a Human Mechanic Online
  • Join for just $5, and $39/month. Cancel anytime
  • Real human ASE-certified mechanics available 24/7

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic Near You. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. If there are none near you, you will be redirected to the online mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
  2. Get help from a Mobile Mechanic. We  recommend Fixter. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper for you, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Where Can I Find My VIN?

Your vehicle’s unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be found on the title document, the vehicle registration, and the insurance policy. It is a series letters and numbers like this as example: WAUGC0896JA235262. The VIN can also be located on the following locations on the vehicle itself:

how to find VIN on vehicle