Being stranded on the road because your car battery is dead can be frustrating. The situation is worse when you drive a BMW, an expensive luxury car that demands proper handling and maintenance. However, jumpstarting your BMW is not rocket science; anyone with basic knowledge of car mechanics can do it themselves.
In this guide, we will show you step by step how to jump start your BMW so you can quickly get back on the road without having to pay for towing services or calling in professional assistance. Jump starting your BMW is quicker, cheaper, and less stressful than waiting for help to arrive.
“Jumpstarting your BMW is like breathing new life into it, but you must know what you’re doing.” -Unknown
Even if you’ve never jump started any vehicle before, don’t worry! This guide is beginner-friendly and designed to take the guesswork out of the process. You will learn everything you need to know about jumpstarting your BMW: from the tools you’ll need to the right method for safely connecting the jumper cables.
By the time you finish reading this guide, you’ll have enough knowledge to confidently jumpstart your BMW within minutes. Ready to save yourself some stress and money? Let’s dive in!
Understand the basics of jump starting a BMW
Jump-starting a BMW can be intimidating if you are not familiar with how it works and what precautions to take. A dead battery is one of the most common reasons for being stranded, so knowing how to jump start your BMW can save you time and money.
In this article, we will discuss the basics of jump-starting a BMW, including identifying symptoms of a dead battery, understanding the risks involved in jump-starting, and the key steps to safely jump-start your vehicle.
Know the symptoms of a dead battery
The first step in jumpstarting a BMW is to identify whether or not the problem is actually related to a dead battery. Here are some signs that your BMW’s battery needs a jumpstart:
- Your engine won’t crank: When you turn the ignition key, nothing happens at all – no sound, no clicking noises, just silence.
- Your headlights don’t turn on: If you try to turn your headlights on and they remain off, chances are good that your battery is dead.
- Your electronics aren’t working: Most modern cars have sensitive electronics that require power from the battery to operate. If any electronics such as air conditioning or radio do not work, then there may be an issue with your BMW’s battery.
Identify the risks of jump starting
While jump starting a BMW can be a quick fix, it comes with its inherent risks that should be carefully considered before attempting to jump start the vehicle. Here are some significant risks that could arise during the process :
- Explosion risk: Batteries contain hydrogen gas which can ignite during the jumpstarting process, resulting in an explosion.
- Electrical shock: Jumpstarting involves handling live electrical wires which could pose a severe risk of electric shock if handled improperly.
“In extreme cases, jump-starting a BMW can result in personal injury and property damage. It is essential to properly follow all safety precautions before attempting a jump start.” – AAA
Understand the key steps for jump starting a BMW
If you have identified that your BMW battery needs jumping, it’s time to take specific steps to attack the problem safely:
- Park both vehicles: The first thing you must do is park the car with the good battery next to the BMW. This proximity allows the jumper cables from one vehicle to reach the battery terminals on the other.
- Connect Jumper Cables: Connect one end of the red cable to positive terminal (+) post of the dead battery, connect another end of the same cable to the positive (+) of the working battery followed by connecting the black cable to the negative (-) post of the functioning battery.
- Start the engine of the working vehicle: Allow 1-2 minutes for charging the low battery then turn on the cars’ engines simultaneouslym Starting the good car’s engine will begin the transfer process of charges into the battery of the car with flat battery.
- Attempt to start the vehicle with the dead battery: Once you have successfully connected the battery cables, attempt to start the car with the low battery. Keep the cables connected for several minutes to ensure enough power has transferred to the dead battery.
- Remove cables and secure batteries: After successfully jump-starting your BMW, remove the cables carefully, following correctly established guidelines. Secure the batteries once disconnected cautiously.
“Make sure you follow the steps for jump-starting carefully, especially connecting the voltage relay and battery jumper cables to their proper terminals. Otherwise, seriously damage your car or hurt yourself.” -European Cars of Greenwich
Jumpstarting can be an easy way to get back on the road quickly, but it does come with risks and potential hazards if not performed correctly.
Take safety precautions seriously, understand the ins-and-outs of how to perform a safe BMW jump start procedure, and always keep in mind the possible dangers that might arise when trying to do this job without knowledge.
Gather the necessary equipment for jump starting
If your BMW won’t start, a dead battery is likely the culprit. Jumpstarting your vehicle is a simple process, provided you use the correct equipment and follow all safety precautions to prevent injury and damage to the car’s electrical system.
Get a set of jumper cables
The primary tool you’ll need to jumpstart your BMW is a set of jumper cables. Be sure that they are long enough to reach between both vehicles’ batteries. You can purchase jumper cables at most automotive stores, or borrow them from someone who has them.
- Select heavy-duty cables with thicker gauges for maximum power transfer.
- Choose cables with insulated clamps to reduce the risk of electric shock.
- Look for cables with tangle-resistant designs, making them easy to store and handle.
Find a working car to use as the power source
You’ll also need another vehicle with a charged battery to supply the energy needed to start your BMW. Look for a car with a similar engine size to yours since this will help guarantee compatibility. Once you have located a suitable vehicle:
- Ensure that it is parked securely in front of your BMW, facing each other
- Make sure the two cars aren’t touching – there should be no metal-to-metal contact while the engines are running
- Mare double sure that both handbrakes are on solidly, transmission gearshifts are in neutral, and disconnect any aftermarket electronics such as alarms, etc., before proceeding..
Wear protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses
Always wear safety gear when jumpstarting your BMW, including gloves and protective glasses or goggles. Batteries contain strong acids that can cause burns or splatter and damage to eyes if opened unintentionally.
Make sure the working car’s engine is off, shift both cars into neutral and open their hoods. Verify that both battery terminals are clean and free of corrosion. If either one appears dirty, use a wire brush to clean them – being cautious not to let grit fall in the cells.
“Performing this procedure correctly ensures your battery doesn’t get damaged in the process,” says Matt Wright, professional mechanic and the About.com Guide to Auto Repair.
You’re now ready to start jumpstarting your BMW! Be patient and follow all the instructions carefully. If you’re still having difficulty starting your BMW after doing so, it may be time for a new battery or an inspection by a certified mechanic to ensure there’s no underlying problem causing the issue.
Locate the battery and connect the jumper cables properly
Identify the location of the BMW battery
Before jump-starting a BMW, it’s essential to locate the car battery. Typically, you can find the battery in the engine compartment or the trunk. Some newer BMWS have the battery located under the floor panel of the rear passenger seat.
If you’re not sure where the battery is located, refer to your owner’s manual for guidance. Alternatively, you can search online for resources that will show you pictures of the BMW model you are driving and point out the location of your car battery.
Attach the positive jumper cable to the dead battery
The first step in connecting jumper cables to a BMW is attaching the positive clamp to the battery. The positive clamp on most jumper cables is red.
You should attach the positive jumper cable clamp to the dead battery’s positive terminal. The positive terminal is usually marked with a “+” symbol. Ensure that the connection is tight and secure.
Please keep in mind that if you accidentally connect the positive jumper cable to the negative terminal, this could lead to damage to your vehicle’s electrical system.
Connect the negative jumper cable to a metal ground point on the BMW
The next step is to connect the black (negative) clamp to a suitable ground point on the BMW. A good grounding source is usually a bare metal surface such as an engine bolt or the chassis.
Avoid attaching the negative clamp to the negative terminal of the flat battery, as this can cause a spark and even an explosion due to the build-up of hydrogen gas within the battery. Always make sure that the negative end of the jumper cable connects firmly, as a loosened connection may create sparks.
If you are uncertain about the best grounding source on your BMW, consult a workshop manual or connect the negative cable to an engine bolt near the battery.
- It’s vital that both jumper cable clamps are firmly connected.
- The positive clamp must be attached first and disconnected last.
- The ground point you use for the negative jumplead is essential – it should not come into contact with any moving parts and at least 12 inches from the dead battery.
- You might need another vehicle with a good battery to help jump-start your flat BMW battery. This will depend on how weak your car battery is and the condition of the cables in use.
Jumpstarting a BMW can be dangerous if caution is not taken because cars run at high voltages, which can lead to electrical shocks and serious injury. If you don’t feel confident enough to jumpstart a car yourself, consider taking your BMW to a mechanic.
“Safety is a common denominator across all aspects of life, hence knowledge should always be shared.” -Anonymous
Charge the battery and start the car
Jump starting a BMW is an easy process that anyone can do with a few simple steps. First, make sure your BMW’s battery is dead. If you turn the key in the ignition and there’s no sound or any indication that the engine is attempting to start, then it’s likely you need to jump start the car.
The next step is to bring out the jumper cables and another car with a good battery. Once you have these things ready, follow these steps:
- Park both cars facing each other, but make sure they are not touching. Turn off all electronics and engines before connecting the cables.
- Attach the red positive cable (marked with a “+” sign) to the positive terminal of the battery on the dead BMW.
- Attach the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the good battery.
- Connect the black negative cable (marked with a “-” sign) to the negative terminal of the good battery.
- Attach the other end of the black cable to an unpainted metal surface on the engine block or chassis of the dead BMW. This provides a proper ground connection for the circuit, preventing sparks from occurring near the battery where explosive gases may be present.
- Start the engine of the car with the good battery. Wait a few minutes, this will allow some charge to flow into the dead battery.
- Try starting the BMW. If it doesn’t work right away, wait a little longer while the batteries continue to connect and repeat previous steps if necessary. Be careful not to run down the new battery by excessively cranking the engine over – fifteen seconds max per attempt should do the trick.
Keep the car running for at least 30 minutes to charge the battery
If you have successfully started your BMW, leave it running for at least half an hour to recharge the battery fully. Driving around on a dead car battery will not provide enough power for your battery to be recharged properly and can cause further damage. After starting the engine, turn off any electrical components or accessories, such as the radio or headlights, to save power while charging.
The alternator in the vehicle’s engine now helps charge the battery rather than just providing power to run the car’s systems when the engine is running. When you start driving your vehicle again after this process, ensure that you are taking adequate steps to care for your battery by keeping the terminals clean and tight and often checking its voltage to make sure it is holding a full charge and working correctly.
Disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order they were attached
Removing the jumper cables is also crucial. Follow these last instructions carefully:
- Remove the black cable from the unpainted metal surface of the dead car first.
- Then remove the black-negative cable from the good battery terminal next.
- Detatch the red-positive cable from the good battery.
- Finally, remove the red-positive cable from the dead battery.
Make sure the ends of each connected wire do not touch one another during disconnection since sparks can form even if the cable isn’t picking up electricity. Store your jumper cables safely away until the next time you may need them to restart your car.
“Jump-starting a BMW: what could go wrong? The problem most likely to occur due to improper jump-starting is an electronics failure caused by over-voltage – or voltage spikes – when jump-starting a car with the always-on electrical systems. It is rare but expensive and can basically ruin your day.” –Niko Rosberg, F1 World Champion
Prevent future dead battery situations with maintenance tips
Dealing with a dead car battery is never fun, especially if you need to get somewhere important. If you’re driving a BMW, jump starting the vehicle may be more complicated than with other cars. To prevent getting stuck in this situation, it’s best to take steps for proper battery maintenance.
Regularly check the battery for signs of wear and tear
If you notice any strange sounds or issues when starting your BMW, it could mean your battery needs a replacement. However, regularly checking on the battery can help catch these issues before they become too severe. Be aware of leaks, corrosion, cracks, bulges, or other physical damage signs. Any one of these could indicate that it’s time to shop for a new battery. Experts suggest doing a visual inspection every six months or so.
Keep the battery clean and free of corrosion
Battery terminals often accumulate dirt, rust and grime over time which leads to poor electrical connectivity. Regular cleaning helps to ensure better terminal connections, thus improving charging and cranking power. Use water, baking soda and a toothbrush to scrub off accumulated acid deposits from the surface. It’s also effective to cover terminals with grease to minimize oxidation since exposed metal will continue to oxidize until all contacts are consumed.
Limit the use of electronics when the car is not running
If you frequently leave your lights on without the engine running, or play your music system without actually starting the car, you might drain the battery faster than expected. In such cases, the only option will be to look for someone or something to jump start your BMW. Always remember that excessive strain on an already-compressed battery reduces its lifespan quickly. So, limit device usage when the vehicle engine is not started.
- Use a smart charger – this practical device helps prevent battery drainage and prolongs its lifespan especially if you’re storing your BMW for an extended period of time. The device is specifically designed to maintain batteries when they are not in use.
- Avoid letting the car sit unused for long periods of time, as some cars require continuous operations of their electrical systems in order to stay charged up. If you have to park the car for a while, consider disconnecting the battery or investing in a solar-powered trickle charger that will replenish any losses over several days.
“The basic principle for minimizing premature aging (of lead-acid batteries) remains simple – prevent the occurrence of deep discharge cycles by fully recharging periodically” – BatteryUniversity.com
Keeping your BMW’s battery healthy means checking it regularly and ensuring it’s free of dirt, corrosion, deformations and other issues associated with wear and tear. Limiting electronics usage also helps improve battery life. By prioritizing good maintenance habits, you can help minimize the frequency of dead battery situations, ultimately reducing the likelihood of getting stranded on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
What equipment is needed to jump start a BMW?
To jump start a BMW, you need a set of jumper cables and a working car with a fully charged battery. It is important to use high-quality cables with thick insulation and sturdy clamps to ensure safety and proper connection.
What is the correct procedure for jump starting a BMW?
The first step is to turn off both cars and connect the jumper cables, starting with the positive terminals of the dead battery and the donor car. Next, connect the negative terminal of the donor car and a metal part of the recipient car. Finally, start the donor car and wait a few minutes before attempting to start the recipient car.
Can jump starting a BMW damage the car’s electronics?
In general, jump starting a BMW should not damage the car’s electronics as long as the correct procedure is followed. However, it is always possible that a power surge or other issue could cause damage, so it is important to exercise caution and use good-quality jumper cables.
What are the common reasons why a BMW may need to be jump started?
A BMW may need to be jump started if the battery is dead or has been drained due to leaving the lights on or other electrical issues. Cold weather can also reduce battery performance and make it more likely to require a jump start.
How long should you drive your BMW after jump starting it?
After jump starting a BMW, it is important to drive the car for at least 20 minutes to recharge the battery. This will help ensure that the battery has enough charge to start the car the next time you need to use it.
Is it possible to jump start a BMW using another BMW?
Yes, it is possible to jump start a BMW using another BMW as long as both cars have the same voltage and the correct procedure is followed. It is important to make sure that the clamps are properly attached and that the cars are not touching before attempting to start the recipient car.