BMW Won't Start in Cold Weather

Solving the Issue of a BMW That Won’t Start in Cold Weather

Starting a BMW in cold weather can sometimes be a challenge, but it’s important to identify and resolve the issue promptly. There are a variety of reasons why a BMW might not start in cold weather, including dead batteries, clogged fuel injectors, and cold-related engine problems. To resolve the issue and get your BMW running smoothly again, it’s important to identify the cause of the problem potentially with a full system OBD-II scanner, and take the appropriate steps to fix it. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of BMWs not starting in cold weather and what you can do to solve the issue.

The BMW may not start in cold weather and can affect all BMW vehicles, including 1, 3, 5, 7, X1, X3, and X5 series. Typical symptoms include the engine turning over slowly, then stopping. You may be able to start the BMW by either cranking the engine several times or waiting until it gets warmer, which is not the ideal solution. This list of items can prevent a BMW from starting in cold weather.

Common Causes


wear-bmw-battery-causing alarm

The first thing that needs to check is the battery. This problem can be due to a battery that’s near the end of its life. Battery performance decreases as the temperature decreases. Therefore it may be harder to start the car if it is cold outside.

The BMW may not start in cold weather for several other reasons. Especially if the engine is turning over without a problem, the battery is charged, but the engine refuses to start. The BMW battery may be new but it still needs to be registered.

Faulty Spark Plugs or Coils

bmw faulty

Old or worn-out spark plugs can cause a BMW to struggle to start in cold weather, as they are responsible for igniting the fuel and air mixture in the engine. If the spark plugs haven’t been replaced in a while, they may not produce a strong enough spark to ignite the fuel and air mixture, causing the engine to crank but not start. Additionally, worn-out spark plugs can also cause misfires, which can lead to a decrease in engine performance and efficiency. Replacing the spark plugs with new ones can quickly solve the problem and prevent further damage to the engine, allowing your BMW to start easily even in cold weather. It is recommended to replace spark plugs every 100,000 miles or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Fuel Problem

low fuel pressure

The BMW may not start if there is low fuel pressure, a bad fuel pump relay, or a faulty fuel pump. A bad fuel pump can also cause this problem. If you have a fuel pressure gauge, you can quickly check the fuel pressure in the morning. Another test you can perform is to cycle the ignition three or four times without cranking the engine. This should build up the required pressure to start the car.

The fuel pump relay may stick when the outside temperature drops drastically. To verify this, remove the fuel pump relay. Take it inside and warm it to room temperature. Do not use methods that would melt the relay. Reinstall it while it is still cold outside, and start the engine. If the engine starts, replace the relay when the relay is warmed.

VANOS Problem

bmw won't start timing chain problem

The variable intake valve control system may be why your BMW won’t start. VANOS adjusts the valves during engine warm-up for the best fuel/air ratio. VANOS is designed to adjust valves at high RPM but can also impact cold-weather performance.

Engine temperature sensor / PCM Coolant Sensor

The engine coolant temperature sensor may also malfunction, making it harder for your BMW to start in the morning. Read the fault codes from the Engine Control Unit (DME). If you have fault codes related to the engine temperature sensor, replace them.


bmw service engine soon diagnose 1

In conclusion, when a BMW won’t start in cold weather, it’s important to identify the cause and take the appropriate steps to resolve the issue. Whether it’s a dead battery, clogged fuel injectors, or another cold-related problem, fixing the issue will ensure your BMW runs smoothly and gets you where you need to go.

Regular maintenance and preventative measures, such as ensuring your battery are in good condition, using the right type of fuel, and keeping your fuel injectors clean, can help prevent BMW cold weather starting problems. If you’re still having trouble, consult a BMW specialist or mechanic to diagnose and repair any underlying issues. Don’t let cold weather keep you from driving your BMW, take the necessary steps to ensure it starts every time, no matter the temperature.

We hope you find the BMW Won’t Start in Cold Weather guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your BMW.


  • Rushit Hila • ASE Certified

    Rushit Hila, an ASE-certified engineer (G1 Automotive Maintenance and Repair), brings over two decades of hands-on experience in the automotive world to his writing. With a strong educational background, including a Master of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he has honed his skills and expertise through years of practical work. As a respected authority in the field, Mr. Hila is dedicated to offering insightful and valuable content that resonates with both vehicle owners and mechanics.

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