It is important to follow the proper procedure when jump-starting a BMW.
A BMW is jump-started by connecting to the jump terminals in the engine bay.
Do not connect the jump box or jumper cables directly to the battery.
What you will need
- Remove the metal blade from your BMW key fob.
- Use the metal key to unlock the driver's door manually. Newer BMWs have the keyhole on the driver's door covered with a small cap. Use the metal key to pry out the key cover.
- Open the hood by pulling the hood release under the dashboard. Pull the hood release twice.
- Locate the terminals in the engine bay designed to jump-start your BMW. You will notice a RED plastic cover with the + symbol on top of the positive terminal.
- Connect the red (positive) jumper cable to the positive terminal.
- Connect the black (negative) jumper cable to the ground terminal on the vehicle frame.
Watch video on how to connect jumper cables to a BMW.
- Get inside the car, turn on the ignition but start the engine. This will allow modules to power up. Wait 10 seconds, then try to start the engine.
BMW Won't Jump Start
If all you hear is a click, check the jump starter clamps are making good contact. Ensure the jump box is fully charged.
The battery in the car may be completely discharged. Keep the jumper cables connected for at least 15 minutes, then try again.
Common symptoms that you may experience if your BMW battery is dead.
- BMW won't start
- Can't unlock the car
- Lights too dim (Check headlights)
- BMW turns over slowly
- Slow engine crank
- Dashboard Warning Lights on
- You can't start the car with the Push Start button
- Engine cranks slowly, then stop.
- Click, Click, Click noise.
- Electrical Issues
If your BMW is over 7 years old, you are driving on borrowed time. Sooner or later, you will need to replace the battery.
You can replace a BMW battery yourself. Just make sure to perform the battery registration procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to get into the trunk, if you have a dead battery
Many BMW owners ask how do I get into the trunk if the battery is dead.
Use the jump-starting terminal under the hood to power up your BMW, then unlock the trunk.
These instructions work on all BMW models, including 1-series, 2-series, 3-series, 5-series, 6-series, 7-series, X1, X5, X6.
BMW battery is dead, and the trunk won't open.
BMW engineers have made it difficult to get access to the trunk when the battery is dead.
You don't want and shouldn't jump-start a BMW directly from the battery.
This is a common mistake many roadside assistance technicians make.
If you read on BMW forums, you will find hundreds of cases where control modules were damaged by improperly jump-starting a BMW this way. Costing car owners thousands of dollars in repair.
How to charge a dead BMW battery
Replacing the battery on a BMW is expensive because not only do you need a new battery, but it also needs to be registered.
The typical cost of a BMW battery replacement range is $400-$500.
Before you spend hundreds on a new battery, we recommended using a trickle battery charger to bring the battery back to life instead of jump-starting the car and letting the alternator charge the battery.
By trickle charging a dead BMW battery, you have a better chance of bringing the battery back to life. Otherwise, your BMW may no longer hold a proper charge.
Use the OEM BMW Battery Charger or even the cheaper Black+Decker BBM3B 12V Battery Charger Maintainer, which works just as well.
It will take at least 24 hours to bring a completely dead battery back to life.
You are only providing 2 Amperes to the battery, which is a slow charge but ensures no damage is caused to the battery cells.
Don't leave the keys in the ignition as your BMW charges.
BMW Battery keeps dying
If your BMW keeps on dying or is not holding a proper charge, it could be due to any of the following:
- Battery Age / Old Battery
- Corroded or Loose Battery Connections
- Parasitic Current Drains in the electrical system.