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BMW Engine Auto Start Stop Feature Explained

Newer BMWs are now equipped with the Auto Start-Stop function. The main purpose of auto Start/Stop is to save fuel.

Every time you stop at a red light or are stopped in traffic, the engine turns off. Everything in the car, including the ignition, remains on. As soon as you take your foot off the brake, the engine starts again automatically. It takes about 1 second for the BMW engine to restart.

BMW Engine Auto Start Stop Feature Explained


bmw engine restart

BMW auto Start/Stop can be turned off. BMW will remember the state of the Auto Start function even if you turn off the engine and park the car. In other words, when you enter the car again, your BMW knows if you had the Auto Start on.

How is Engine Auto Stop activated?

Several conditions need to be met for the engine to stop and restart automatically.

Here are the primary requirements.

  • Transmission is in the Drive position.
  • The brake pedal is pressed and remains pressed.
  • Seat belt buckled
  • Drive's door is closed.

If these conditions are not met, you will notice a cross on the Start/Stop symbol on your instrument cluster.

Under certain conditions, BMW may not restart; for example, if the engine is turned off during auto shutoff, you open a door or remove a seat belt. If this happens to you, try restarting the car by pressing the Start/Stop button.

Why is my Auto Engine Start/Stop not working?

BMW auto-stop does not work on reverse gear.

BMW auto-start function does not work if you drive at speeds less than 5 mph or about 8 km/hr. Your BMW instrument cluster may display a symbol stating READY, which means the car is ready to start the engine automatically.

Your BMW auto engine start may not work in several situations. List of cases under which engine stop/start feature will not work.

  • On extremely hot days
  • On extremely cold days
  • The interior temperature has not reached your desired level.
  • The engine hasn't warmed up to optimal temperature.
  • Wheels are turned all the way to the left or right.
  • Driving in reverse
  • The car battery is not fully charged.
  • At very high elevation
  • The Hood is not properly locked.
  • Stop and go traffic
  • Used wrong fuel octane or too much ethanol

BMW engine starts even though I haven't started driving

In some cases, you may notice that the engine restarts, even though you haven't started to drive yet. Several conditions can trigger the BMW engine to restart automatically.

  • The temperature inside your car has changed drastically from your desired temperature.
  • The car battery is being discharged too quickly.
  • If the BMW starts to roll with the engine off
  • You move the gear shifter to Neutral, Reverse, or Park.
  • You move the steering wheel while the engine is off.
  • The temperature inside the car increases too much.
  • You press the A off button above the Start/Stop.

Problems with BMW Auto Start/Stop

If you experience problems with the Auto Start/Stop feature, you will need to read the control module's fault codes. This can be done with a scanner that is capable of reading BMW-specific fault codes. A generic OBD2 scanner cannot read fault codes or troubleshoot the Start/Stop function.

For more information, follow our article on How to read BMW fault codes.



My new 2019 X4 Auto Start/Stop does not work as stated. I have to turn it off every time I start the car.


When I'm parking my car and the engine is automatically turned off doI still have to press the stop/start engine button?


can it be deactivated


I have a 2014 BMW 535i. When using the auto start/stop, when the car stops and when it's time to start again a trasmission warning comes up and the car goes into park. I can manually change the gear to Drive and it runs fine. I have been told that the battery might be low, would fixing/replacing the battery be enough to fix this issue or do i need to get the transmission looked at for this. Thank you for taking the time to assist.


This isn't true. It always turn back on in the 2019 3 series “BMW will remember the state of Auto Start function even if you turn off the engine and park the car. In other words, when you enter the car again, your BMW knows if you had the Auto Start on. ”


Yes next you your start button, there should be an Auto Start button what looks like an "A". It should say "A Off". If the light next to that button is on, it is deactivated.


Can Auto Start/Stop be permanently deactivated on 2019 X7


My X3 2013 does the same. I get transmission warning and my car goes into park. I have changed my battery and spent money getting it fixed however this hasn't resolved the issue. I am concerned that it may be a bigger issue. Not wanting to spend money on it now, I am disabling this feature every time I use my car. Not great but an alternative for now.


So, I have a 2011 BMW 116i F20 with start/stop feature. As far as I know, if it's below 3 degrees celsius outside, it should disable automatically. However, recently, it was about 0-1 degrees and when I parked in front of my house, the engine stopped, sitting on the ready I started driving again for a bit and won't you know it, when I came to another stop it turned off again. Maybe ECU problem? Temperature sensor problem? I haven't went to a service yet. Any help is appreciated.


Should this happen on 320d e92 2009 ? Or is there a problem just had it serviced today all good but still happens I do however have auto start


I have this 2013 BMW X3 that may have problem with start/stop system. Engine stops when I stop at traffic lights but car goes into park mode when I take my foot off the brake. It sounds car tried to restart but was not successful. Next thing is I get a message of transmission problem. I took it to BMW dealer for diagnosis, I was told that battery is old and needs replacement. I am confused why car is giving transmission error when engine fails to restart and if battery charge is low. Should not give a message saying your battery has low charge. Does SW need to be coded properly with proper parameters, anyone has any idea? Car never hesitates restarting when I push start button.


In reply to by Visitor

I recently discussed this issue with BMW rep 9/8/2020. I was told that is the new default setting and can not be changed. I don't know if this is true, but that is what I was told.

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