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BMW Dead Battery & How to Jump Start It

Looking to jump-start a BMW with a dead battery? Here you will learn how to jump-start a BMW. First, remove the emergency key from the keyfob and manually unlock the driver’s door.

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

  • 12V Jump Starter
  • Jumper Cables – Requires a running car

Procedure

  1. Remove the metal blade from your BMW key fob. All BMW keys have an emergency key inside.
  2. 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. how to jump start a bmw with completely dead battery
  3. Open the hood by pulling the hood release under the dashboard. Pull the hood release twice. For help with this step, see the guide on how to open a stuck BMW hood.
  4. Locate the terminals in the engine bay designed to jump-start your BMW. You will notice a RED plastic cover with the + symbol, which is the positive terminal.  The battery may be installed in the trunk, but you can use the positive terminal post in the engine bay to jump-start a dead BMW. bmw how to jump start if you can't get into the trunk
  5. Connect the red (positive) jumper cable to the positive terminal. bmw positive terminal location
  6. Connect the black (negative) jumper cable to the ground terminal on the vehicle frame.bmw jump starting location
  7. Get inside the car, turn on the ignition and start the engine.

If the BMW won’t start, but you hear a click, the jump box is not fully charged, or the clamps are not making good contact. Wait a few minutes and try again. Also, check the clamps and make sure they are making good contact.

Why Won’t a BMW Jump Start

bmw battery dead trunk won't open

A BMW may not jump start with a jump box or jumper cables because the car battery is completely discharged and taking all the juice the jump box provides. Keep the jumper cables connected for at least 15 minutes, and try to start the engine again.

If all you hear is a click, check the jump starter clamps are not making good contact. Also, ensure the jump box is fully charged.

Symptoms of Dead BMW Battery

how to jump start a bmw with dead battery

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
  • The engine cranks slowly, then stop.
  • Click, Click, Click noise.
  • Electrical Issues
  • BMW Malfunction Warning

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do BMW batteries last?

How long a BMW lasts depends on many factors, including battery type, climate, engine size, and usage. In general, a BMW battery lasts about four years. You drive on borrowed time if your BMW is over seven years old. 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.

How to get into the trunk, if you have a dead battery

Many BMW owners ask how to 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, and X6.

The BMW battery is dead, and the trunk won’t open.

BMW engineers have made it difficult to access the trunk when the battery dies. 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. can cost 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 recommend 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.

Why does my BMW Battery keep 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.

We hope you find the BMW Dead Battery & How to Jump Start It guide helpful. For more help with troubleshooting and maintaining your BMW, check out these Vehicle Repair Guides.

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9 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    My bmw 745li will not get any power even with jumper cables under the hood..

  2. Anonymous says:

    My BMW died whilst I was driving yesterday and I’m wondering if it is the battery. Is this what happened to you when you say you were ‘travelling?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Stacey, it sounds like the Footwell module is blown…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Aaa jumped started our 540 bmw n know the doors n trunk wont lock with the remote n the windshield wippers wont work n inter lights dont work how is this fixed

  5. Anonymous says:

    Our battery died on our 540 and the aaa guy jumped started the battery in the trunk n know our doors wont unlock n the wippers dont work n the trunk wont open with the remote

  6. Anonymous says:

    My BMW 2003 745li I cannot get the doors or Trunk unlocked I had AAA out and no success what else can I do to get the doors open
    Thanks

  7. swiftbatteryspecialist says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. My bmw car died in the middle of travelling. I did not get what the problem is so I found lot of difficulty at that time to jump start. But this article now helped to understand the reasons why bmw dies. So after reading this article I will take care of all the points which are mentioned in the article. This is really very helpful for all.

  8. Anonymous says:

    this is extremely useful. my x5 35d battery has died because I parked the car for 6 months. Was about to jump start it but this has probably saved me a lot of money and frustration down the line. I just ordered many of the items you have mentioned here. thanks a lot

  9. Anonymous says:

    My BMW 530 died in the parking lot. The AAA guy was trying to get to the battery in the trunk. Thanks for helping me out with this article.