How to jumpstart a BMW

Most of BMW batteries are often located towards the rear of the car bonnet and jump starting a BMW may look like a tedious process but it is not that complicated. To jump start a BMW you will need to connect your jumping cables to the engine bay.

Procedure for jump-starting BMW

Borrow another car’s battery

To jump start your car you will need to borrow another’s car battery. Park the car with functioning battery close to yours but not touching each other. The two cars should be facing each other bonnet to bonnet. You should ensure they are close enough for the jumper cables to reach both ends.

Opening driver’s door

Since your car battery is dead you may not be able to access your car through keyless entry. On the BMW key fob remove the key and use it to open your car’s door. In newer BMW models the keyhole is often covered with a small cap. You will need to use the physical key to open the cover.

Open the car’s hood

Underneath your dashboard you will find the bonnet release. Pull it twice to open the hood.

Locate terminals in the engine bay

Inside the hood you will find terminals in your engine bay with the red terminal covered with a red plastic cover. Connect your red jumper cable to the positive terminal and the negative cable (black in color) to the ground terminal on the vehicle frame.

Turn on car

Once the terminals are properly connected, now get into your car and turn on the ignition but don’t start the engine. While doing this ensure that your AC, radio and headlights are turned off. Wait for around 10 seconds as the modules power up before turning on the engine. Your car should roar back to life after this. You can them remove the jumper cables but do not turn off the car’s engine until your battery has gotten time to recharge.

Drive car to recharge battery

Once your engine has started working properly you will need to drive your car for around 30 minutes to ensure that the battery is getting recharged by your alternator.

What should I do if it still does not start?

If the only thing you hear is a click then it could mean your jumper cables are not properly connected and are not making contact. Check them again before starting.

The other reason for this method not working could be that your terminals are corroded. You will need to clean them thoroughly before using the jumper cables.

If you still hear a clicking sound even when starting the ignition but the engine does not roar to life it could be that your starter is broken. 

Common symptoms of dead battery

  • You can’t unlock the car
  • When you turn the ignition it will not work
  • You have not replaced your battery for a long time
  • Slow engine crank
  • Dashboard warning lights are on
  • Engine cranks slowly then immediately stops
  • Lights are too dim
  • Click noises

How to get into the car with a dead battery

Many people wonder how they will get into their car when the battery is dead and they can’t access the door. For BMW you have the physical key that is tucked into the key fob. You can remove this and access the door key hole then open the door manually. For your trunk you may have to wait until you have started the car. This is because the central locking system is still not operational with a dead battery.

If you notice that your battery keeps dying even after jump starting it then it could mean the battery is old and in need of replacement or that the battery terminals are corroded. The later can be cleaned with a carbonated soda solution and tooth brush.

Tips to extend the lifespan of your car’s battery

The following tips will help you extend the lifespan of your car’s battery so that you do not need to keep jumping starting it all the time. The average lifespan of a car battery is anything from 2 to 5 years depending on brand and usage. This lifespan can shortened depending on existing weather conditions. If you live in an area with persistent hot temperatures then your car’s battery will deteriorate faster.

Limit short rides

If you want a fully charged battery then you need to limit those short car rides. Use your car for extended ride’s and this gives the alternator time to recharge your battery.

Fasten the terminals

If your battery terminals are not well fastened then whenever the car vibrates there is going to be short circuiting. This causes more internal damage to your car. Check your battery terminals more frequently especially if you use your car on bumpy roads.

Ensure you have turned off all your lights

One major battery drainer is when you accidentally leave your car lights on. Though this is less the case in more modern cars like BMW that give you alerts when you do this but there situations these can happen.

Scrub your terminals occasionally

Your battery terminals will build up corrosion over time and this hinders the battery performance. occasionally scrub the corrosion off your battery with a tooth brush and some baking soda. Rinse with some cold water and repeat the process occasionally.

Test your battery for voltage

You can do this yourself or when you take your car to the service stations you can have them check for you the battery voltage. If you have a voltmeter you can do this yourself.


The car not starting is a symptom of a dead car battery. This can be annoying when you are in a hurry. Keeping a set of jumper cables in your car will help you jump start your car with a borrowed battery from another motorist. While jump starting is easy you need to remember that with BMW you do not connect the terminals directly to the battery. If you do this you can damage lots of control modules.

Jurgen Shmidt works as an automotive engineer, his duties revolve around vehicle design, development manufacture, and testing. Shmidt is also involved in marketing, sales, and the after-sale care of cars, apart from his 8 hours job, he interacts with enthusiasts who have concerns or wish to learn about the various models of the BMW luxury cars. Shmidt believes that the demand for detailed information surpasses its availability and that is why he dedicates most of his free time, researching and compiling reliable information. The information compiled on bmwexpert has been derived from hands-on experience and not some snazzy press release, thus we believe you will find answers to your troubling questions about the BMW.

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