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How to jump start BMW vehicles

In this guide, you will learn how to properly jump start a BMW battery. Common causes and symptoms of dead BMW battery include: you can't start the car, unlock the doors or the trunk.

Follow the instructions below to learn how to properly jump start a BMW. 

Symptoms

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 car
  • Lights too dim (Check headlights)
  • BMW turns over slowly
  • Slow engine crank
  • Dashboard Warning Lights on
  • Can't start the car with Push Start button
  • Engine cranks slowly then stops
  • Click, Click, Click noise
  • Electrical Issues

Important 

Do NOT jump start a dead BMW by connecting jumper cables to the battery located in the trunk. Use the terminals in the engine compartment which are designed for jump-starting a BMW. See instructions below. 

What you will need

Instructions

 

  1. Remove the metal blade from your BMW key fob. 
  2. Use the metal key to manually unlock the driver's door. how to jump start a bmw with completely dead battery

     

  3. Open the hood by pulling the hood release under the dashboard. 
  4. Locate the terminals in the engine bay designed to jump start your 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 vehicle frame.bmw jump starting location

    Watch video on how to connect jumper cables to a BMW.

  7. 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.
    1. If all you hear is a click, check the jump starter clamps are making good contact.
    2. Ensure the jump box if fully charged. 

FAQ

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 BMW battery is dead.

  • Use the jump starting terminal under the hood to power up your BMW then unlock the trunk. 

 

bmw battery dead trunk won't open

These instructions work on all BMW models including 1-series, 2-series, 3-series, 5-series, 6-series, 7-series, X1, X5, X6.

It is important to follow the proper procedure to jump-start a BMW. If you don't or jump-start a BMW by connecting jumper cables to the battery located in the trunk you can cause electrical issues. 

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. 

If you have a good reason to get in the trunk but the battery is dead this is what you should do.

  1. Manually unlock the car. 
  2. Open the hood. Yes, open the hood first. 
  3. Connect a 12-volt source at the positive and negative terminals under the hood.
  4. Now that your BMW is powered up, press the trunk unlock button on your key fob. 

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 in the $400-$500.

Before you spend hundreds on a new battery we recommended to use a trickle battery charger to bring the battery back to life instead of jump-starting the car and letting the alternator charge the battery.

how to charge a bmw 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. 

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

Additonal Help

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.

Here is a list of articles that will help you replace a BMW battery. 

Comments

David, 2017-08-29

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.

tafa, 2018-04-17

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

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.

Nic, 2019-07-13

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?

Winston Wills, 2019-01-06

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

Visitor, 2019-04-08

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

Stacey , 2019-04-08

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

BimmerLad, 2019-06-13

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

By YOUCANIC on May 29, 2019

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