BMW Won’t Start? Here’s Quick Solutions to the Most Common Causes

BMW wont start

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Let's face it, we've all experienced it, you've got places to be, so you get in your BMW, turn the key, and … drum roll please … nothing! Your BMW wont start up! This a very bothersome situation to find yourself in, but don't stress, we've got the answers. There are lots and lots of factors as to why your BMW will not start, and within this guide, to save you time we'll cover the most common explanations along with provide you practical solutions to get your car back on the road ASAP!

If you're short on time, rather than reading, you’re always welcome to speak with a live mechanic 24×7 and get immediate help and assistance on finding and repairing the issue, by clicking the “ask a mechanic” button in the bottom right of this page.

Understanding the Problem

Car Won't Start?

Before we get stuck into the causes and repair options it's essential to initially comprehend the problem. When you hop into your car and realize “my BMW wont start”, this could be due to a multitude of issues being wrong with your vehicle. Perhaps the engine is not turning over at all, perhaps it is turning over partially however then not starting, or maybe you can hear a clicking sound when you try to start the engine, but ultimately nothing happens. Each of these cases can be indicative of different issues with your car.

Common Reasons Why Your BMW Won't Start

There are various reasons that a BMW wont start up. These problems usually consist of a weak or dead vehicle battery, a broken alternator, starter motor problems, fuel system complications, as well as electrical or wiring issues. Each one of these problems can show up as various symptoms and require separate solutions to identify and fix, so we can get your car back on the road ASAP.

Symptoms of a BMW That Won't Start

Being able to recognize and diagnose these symptoms, will help you in finding the underlying cause of the problem. For example, when you turn the key in the ignition, and you hear a clicking noise however your vehicle still will not start, it can be a sign that there is a problem with the fuel or ignition system.

Analysis of The Reasons Why Your BMW Won't Start

The very first step to discovering a practical solution to the issue is figuring out the root cause of that problem, so let's explore the most common causes as to why your BMW wont start.

BMW Battery Issues

Auto mechanic replacing car batteryIn the majority of instances, the most common reason why your BMW won't start is, in many cases down to a bad battery, it's either weak or dead, and you need to either charge your car’s battery or change it. The car's battery stores the electric required to start the engine, and power all the electrical parts in your BMW. Symptoms of a weak or dead battery problem in a BMW, are things like the car being sluggish to crank the engine, poorly lit headlights, or a lit-up battery caution light on the dash

BMW Alternator Problems

is my alternator stopping my car from starting?

The alternator is tasked with charging the battery from the engine while the car is running. A broken alternator can certainly stop your BMW from starting as it won't be able to charge the battery, from the engine, so it will drain all the way down until it's dead and you don't realize it until you can't get your BMW started. Signs that your BMW's alternator is faulty can be a lit-up battery or alternator caution light on the dash, poorly lit headlights when the engine is idling, and also a whining or grinding noise from the engine while it's running.

BMW Starter Motor Failures

my car wont start is the starter motor?

The starter motor handles turning the engine over (cranking) when you start up your BMW. If the starter motor is faulty in some manner then the engine won’t crank, and your BMW wont start. You can tell if your starter motor has an issue or not often by listening for a clicking noise when you turn the key in the ignition or a grinding noise during the start-up, or your vehicle starts up but only intermittently, then the starter motor may very well be the problem.

BMW Fuel System Complications

my car wont start but clicks

We’re not talking about when you just run out of gas here, but your car’s fuel system itself having issues. Your BMW uses a combustion engine, and because of this to start and run, it requires a mix of enough fuel and air. If your BMW problems are due to a faulty fuel system, this can sometimes be a clogged fuel filter or a failing fuel pump relay, which could mean the engine might not be receiving the fuel it requires to get the vehicle started.

BMW Electrical System or Wiring Problems

can electrics be a reason a car wont start

Modern BMW's rely heavily on electronics, which can mean there are lots of things that can potentially break. Even in an older vehicle, you can have regular issues such as blown fuses, spark plug problems, a damaged ignition switch, or a broken sensor, and more. These can be a few of the various electrical reasons your vehicle can't get started. Indications of a circuitry or electrical issue can differ vastly however can typically include the engine not cranking, or your BMW can start however only intermittently or numerous warning lights come on the car’s dash. To properly identify and repair these kinds of problems, you will need the skills of a knowledgeable car mechanic in your area or online.

Solutions & Repair Tips

When you have found out what the cause of your BMW failing to start is. The next step is naturally to try and fix it. Here are some pointers for the common problems we've covered previously.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Battery Issues in a BMW

my car wont start i think its the battery

If you suspect it's possible a battery problem is the culprit as to why your BMW has difficulty starting up, then the first thing you ought to do is check around the battery and check the battery terminals. You want them to be clean, not corroded and firmly connected. If you discover that the terminals are corroded you can attempt cleaning them with a mix of baking soda and water. If the battery is just old or weak, you will have to replace it, otherwise, even if you charge it up enough to start the car, it will probably die again in the not so distant future. You can make use of a multimeter as a way to test the life of the battery to find out if it’s worth saving or if it needs replacing. You can ask a reliable car mechanic online or in your area to best advise you on this.

How to Diagnose Alternator Problems in a BMW

car wont start, jumped and started alternator

If you’re thinking that the alternator is the cause of your car starting problems, you can test it. If you can get the vehicle started temporarily (you may need to jump-start the car for that), but once it’s going, let the car run, and while its running, disconnect the positive terminal of the battery. It's likely due to a fault with your car's alternator if you notice that your BMW dies right away when you disconnect the positive terminal. However, be warned this test can be risky and dangerous if you don't know what you're doing, and may harm the delicate electronic elements in your BMW, so in this case best to discuss this with an experienced mechanic local to you or online, prior to ever attempting this.

How to Identify Starter Motor Failures in a  BMW

car wont start starter and battery good

You should listen for a clicking sound when you turn the ignition key if you think the starter motor is the root cause of your BMW not starting. In this case, the solution is to have the starter motor changed for a new one by a professional mechanic.

How to Solve Fuel System Problems in a BMW

clogged fuel filter car wont start

If you suspect the issue to be due to a fuel system problem, try and listen for the fuel pump when you turn the key to the “on” position, before starting up the vehicle. You should be able to hear a humming noise for a few seconds. If you are not able to hear this noise, then it may be there is an issue with the fuel pump. If you discover your BMW is hard to start, it stalls, or it has weak acceleration, it might be because of a clogged fuel filter. Both of these will likely need a reliable car mechanic in order to effectively fix.

How to Fix Electrical or Wiring Issues in a BMW

fuses to check when car wont start

If you think it's an electrical wiring or electrical system problem, initially inspect the fuses associated with the ignition system, and change any that have actually blown. If your BMW starts after this, then it was a successful, easy and low-cost repair! However, if the car refuses to start, even intermittently it might be an issue with the ignition switch itself. It may be a faulty sensor if numerous warning lights are noticeable on your dashboard. These problems can be really complex and a reliable car mechanic is likely required to identify and fix it.

Preventive Steps

As my dad always stated “Prevention is better than cure”, so here are some preventative measures to ensure you avoid any BMW starting pains ever again!

Routine Upkeep of Your BMW:

Regular maintenance on car to prevent starting issues

Routine maintenance of your BMW is of the utmost importance to preventing future problems. This consists of things like routine oil changes, checking the battery, cleaning up the terminals, replacing the fuel filter as advised/needed, and having your vehicle inspected by a reliable car mechanic routinely. You can speak with a mechanic in your area or online if you are unsure or need further clarity about the regular upkeep tasks required for your specific automobile.

Drive Your BMW Regularly:

drive regular to avoid car troubles

If you happen to leave your BMW in your garage for long durations of time without taking it for a spin now and again, the battery can deplete down as it's not getting any charge from the engine being used. Try to drive your vehicle regularly to keep the battery charged. If you remember you have not driven your car in a while, take it for a spin to ensure there is still a charge in the battery. Worth noting: letting the battery totally drain, is also damaging to the longevity of the battery, try not to do this.

Pay Attention to Warning Signs:

Check Engine Control Light on a Vehicle Dashboard

If you notice anything strange like unusual noises, changes in how it drives and the performance, or warning lights are now visible on your BMW's dashboard, don’t just ignore them. These are usually early warnings of an issue and it’s best to be resolved ASAP so that they don’t end up being much bigger problems down the line. Chat with a car mechanic locally or online about these warning lights and get advice on if they need to be addressed.

When to Ask a BMW Mechanic Online

If you want to save time, want an expert BMW mechanic on hand helping and advising you, or you have attempted to fix it by yourself, but in spite of your best efforts your vehicle can't start, then chatting with a BMW mechanic online can be a terrific choice.

Benefits of Online Mechanic Solutions

Happy mechanic repairing car looking at camera

Online mechanic services, like ours in the bottom right of this page, provide a number of advantages. You can get skilled BMW mechanic guidance 24×7 and without leaving your home, which is particularly beneficial if your car won't start and is stuck in the driveway. It can also help you save money as online mechanic consultations are more affordable than a physical visit to a local mechanic near you. Plus, you can get answers rapidly, which is great if you're in a hurry, require a second opinion, or you simply like having a specialist BMW mechanic on hand.

How Services Like Can Assist You

Ask a mechanic online about my car not starting connects you with licensed specialist mechanics who can supply immediate aid, guidance and suggestions. You're able to explain the problems you are having with your car, ask a BMW mechanic unlimited questions, and even upload pictures and videos so you can actually show the mechanic what you mean. You can speak to them by means of online chat or by phone call, whichever you prefer. The BMW mechanic online will help you detect the problem, guide you on what are the best options for your specific situation and even guide you through basic maintenance and repair work step by step.


To wrap up when your BMW won't start, it will likely be a major disappointment and a huge inconvenience. However, understanding what may be triggering the problems, being able to troubleshoot them, and knowing what steps are needed in each case, and where to get help if required, will be a huge help. Keep in mind that regular upkeep is essential for preventing all kinds of car issues.

If this guide didn't quite get your car back on the road, our online mechanic help is always available.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I prevent my BMW not starting issues?

In order to ensure this inconvenience never ever takes place again, routine upkeep is essential. This consists of things like oil changes, examining the battery and cleaning it's terminals, changing the fuel filter as recommended / needed, and having your BMW checked by a mechanic frequently. It's also an excellent idea to drive the car frequently so the battery stays charged.

What should I do if my BMW can’t start? 

First off, don't panic. Try to identify any signs that might suggest a problem, such as unusual sounds, warning lights on the dash, or changes in performance. The reason for the issue is likely one of the most common causes gone over in this guide. You will need the assistance of a mechanic in your area or online if you can't find the cause of the problem yourself.

How to tell if my BMW wont start because of the battery?

Indications of a battery problem in a BMW consist of the engine being slow to crank, dim headlights, and lit battery warning lights on dash. You can also check the battery terminals to see if they are clean, not corroded, and securely connected. If the battery is old or weak, it might be best to simply change it.

Can I ask a mechanic online if my BMW wont start? 

Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can supply instantaneous expert BMW mechanic assistance and guidance, without you having to leave your house. This is especially useful if your vehicle wont start and is stuck in the driveway.

How can services like help if my BMW wont start?

We connect you with certified specialist BMW mechanics who can provide advice on your particular situation. You can tell them about your vehicle problems, ask unlimited questions, and even upload images and videos so you can appropriately explain and show the issue. The mechanic will have the ability to help, troubleshoot, identify the issue, recommend the very best course of action and guide you along the way.

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24/7 Expert Mechanics To Help Solve Any Issues Your Having.