BMWs are high-quality vehicles that tend to have incredible longevity and performance, but after a while, they will run into problems like any machine. One of the most common issues a BMW will have is electronic issues. Luckily, these are easy and generally inexpensive to fix. Let’s look at some of the most common electronic failures you might experience in your BMW and what to do when they occur.
This is one of the most serious issues that can occur because it means you likely won’t be able to start your car without a jump from another car’s battery. Normally, BMW batteries last anywhere from 3 to 5 years, but this can be shortened by several things, such as using accessories like car chargers, leaving your headlights on, or even experiencing extreme weather conditions like intense heat or cold.
A car’s battery is like the heart of your car’s electronic systems. If your car battery is dead, that affects every other electrical system in the vehicle. While this could happen simply due to time and age, it could also be a sign that other electronic parts aren’t functioning properly. Read below for some of those complications.
The alternator is the part that charges your car’s battery while you’re driving, so if the battery has died, there may actually be nothing wrong with the battery itself. Instead, the alternator may not be charging it properly.
Some common symptoms of a faulty alternator to look out for are flickering headlights and dashboard lights. You might also notice that your air conditioner isn’t functioning properly. If this problem persists, it will eventually cause you to be unable to start your car at all.
The alternator can also receive cracks and other kinds of wear, which a trained technician will look for during normal inspections at oil changes. They will replace the part if they see the need.
If the battery is like the heart, then the cables are the veins and arteries, transferring electrical power all around the car and keeping everything running properly. It can be easy to overlook frayed or broken cables, but they can cause electrical failures in any number of a car’s systems.
If you notice electrical problems like the inability to open or close power windows, turn on internal lights, or anything else, the cause could be a faulty cable. The good part is that if the problem is nothing but a worn down cable, it should be simple for a professional mechanic to replace.
A Faulty Ignition Switch
The ignition switch is what allows you to turn on your car, so if it fails, you won’t be able to start the vehicle even if you have a full battery and a full tank of gas. When you insert your key into the ignition and turn it, you may hear a click. That click is the ignition switch sending electrical power to the spark plugs in the engine, allowing the car to start.
If the ignition switch is broken, don’t keep trying to start the car over and over, as that could cause the engine to flood. To get the vehicle back into working order, it’s best to tow it to an expert technician for repair.
Your fuse box should be easily accessible inside your car, so it should be simple for you to tell when a fuse has blown. Check your owner’s manual or online for its location.
Worn down fuses can cause electrical problems in every part of your car’s system, and you’ll be able to see exactly which fuses affect which parts thanks to a diagram included inside the fuse box itself. Simply check the fuse that controls the particular function you’re having trouble with, and if you notice that it’s damaged, broken, or dirty, you can replace it on your own with a fuse from a retail auto shop.
Experts for your BMW’s Electronic Issues
BMW owners in or near Columbus, Dublin, New Albany, Worthington, or Powell, Ohio should look no further than Auto Assets in Powell for all of their maintenance and repair needs. We specialize in European automobiles, such as BMWs, and would be happy to provide you with our expert assistance and prompt service. Feel free to visit us in person or contact us at 614-793-1050 to learn more.
* BMW X1 image credit goes to: Ingus Kruklitis.