Your BMW is an elite vehicle designed for premium performance while also providing comfort on the road. Though reliable, like any vehicle, your vehicle has its share of common issues that owners frequently experience as the car acquires miles over time. Lower-quality cars can develop all sorts of expensive mechanical failures over their lifetime, and although a BMW owner can experience electrical issues in their vehicle, these fixes are cheaper and easier to take care of than mechanical ones. In this article, we will discuss the common electronic issues of a BMW, what causes them, and how you can go about getting these problems fixed easily.
Common Electronic Issues
There are a number of electrical malfunctions that BMW owners may be liable to experience. Since the electrical system of a vehicle is interconnected, all of the components tend to be highly interdependent. With this in mind, the electrical issues that are common in a BMW can occur as independent or collective incidents.
The battery is the core of your BMW’s electrical system. From it comes all of the electrical power that allows the multiple components to function. Typically, a BMW battery will last 3-5 years, depending on how much you drive. However, they can be drained by accessories like phone chargers or simply by leaving your headlights on too much. Plus, if your battery is dying, the steering wheel lock could become activated, which will cause you not to be able to start your car at all until the internal computer is reset.
The alternator is a component which charges the battery while you are driving your car. It also allows electrical current to continue circulating while the engine is running. If the alternator is faulty, then the battery will lose life quickly. You could experience flickering headlights or dashboard backlights just prior to the battery dying as a result.
Whether the fuse box is located in the trunk, in the glove box, or under the hood of your particular BMW model, it is one of the easiest parts of the electrical system to access. The fuses in your car dictate a variety of electrical functions, from power windows to the A/C system. A blown fuse is easy to replace, and can easily be done by yourself. The fuse box itself has a diagram that displays which function that each fuse controls, so if you have a problem with a particular malfunction, you can check that fuse to see if the metal looks burnt, dirty, or broken. Fuses are inexpensive and easily replaced by hand.
Wiring and Cables
The wiring in your BMW can become damaged by excessive heat or normal wear and tear. Smaller electrical components like small wires can break over time, as electrical wires carry hot current that naturally causes wear on the metal in the wires themselves. If you have a broken cable or wire, current flow can be disrupted to one or multiple components in the electrical system. To avoid these problems, it is important to have routine inspections as part of your BMW’s maintenance program. If you think you have an issue with faulty wiring, a skilled BMW service technician will be able to diagnose and easily fix this.
The ignition switch is a critical component of your BMW, since without it, you could not start your car. It sends electrical current to the spark plugs in the engine whenever you turn the key or press the start button, which allows the fuel to ignite and fire up the engine. If your ignition switch fails, you will not be able to start your vehicle.
Fixing Electronic Failures in Your BMW
Failures in the alternator, fuses, or wiring can cause multiple electrical accessories in the cabin of your BMW to function abnormally or not at all. Of course, any electrical problems can be fixed by a qualified BMW service technician. However, if you’re handy and you have the right tools, you can easily fix many of these issues yourself. With a digital ohm meter, you can test your alternator to see if it is functioning properly. Plus, with merely a pair of pliers, you can replace any blown fuses in the fusebox.
How to Take Care of Electrical Issues
The best way to diagnose and fix electrical problems in your BMW is to have them serviced by the professional and courteous experts at Autobahn Automotive. We have been servicing BMW owners from all over San Antonio and Longhorn, TX, for over 40 years. Give us a call today at (210)-657-1180.