BMW 3 Series Doesn’t Start

7 Fixes If You’re BMW 3 Series Doesn’t Start? Best Guide(2023)

Suppose you hurry to prepare for an important meeting and quickly get into your fancy BMW 3 Series. But you get annoyed when the car doesn’t start. You start to panic, thinking about how to get to the meeting on time.

Don’t worry – this article is here to save the day. If your BMW 3 Series doesn’t start due to a dead battery or a faulty ignition switch, we’ve got seven fixes that will get you back on the road in no time. Sit back and relax. We will guide you in troubleshooting your luxury car and uncovering the solution to its unresponsiveness.

7 Things to Try If Your BMW 3 Series Doesn’t Start

An annoying scenario for any BMW owner is when their beloved BMW 3 Series doesn’t start. Before you begin to panic, you can try a few things to get your car back on the road without breaking a sweat.

Let’s say that you need to look at seven things!

Check Your Battery Voltage

The battery is responsible for providing the electrical power needed to start the car’s engine; if it doesn’t have enough energy, it won’t be able to do so. BMW 3 Series cars need a solid battery because they have many electronics. In case the battery is low, your car won’t start.

There are a few signs of a bad battery on your BMW 3 Series.

  • If you start to notice that your engine is taking longer to start or you hear a clicking sound when you try to turn the key in the ignition, it could mean that your battery is losing its ability to hold a charge.
  •  Dimming headlights: You might have noticed that your lights appear weaker than usual or flicker while driving at night. This can happen because the battery isn’t providing enough power to keep it fully illuminated, indicating an issue with its overall health.
  •  Malfunctioning of power windows or fluctuating dashboard lights may point towards a bad battery. These issues arise because the battery needs to supply a consistent flow of electricity to various components in your car.

You’ve been using the same car battery for over three years; it’s probably a good idea to have it tested to see if it might need replacing soon. Car batteries gradually lose their capacity to hold a charge effectively as time passes.

BMW 3 Series Doesn’t Start

A multimeter is one of the simplest and most effective ways to test the battery and to determine its health and performance. You have to connect the positive and negative leads of the multimeter to the corresponding terminals on the battery; you can instantly see important information like voltage levels.

To start your BMW smoothly and efficiently, the ideal voltage for its battery should be around 12.5 volts. This specific voltage range is crucial because it guarantees enough power to ignite the engine and keep all electronic systems running optimally.

Use An OBD Reader To Check For Any Fault Codes

It may have a fault code that stops the engine from running if your BMW 3 Series is still not starting. This is true if you have modified your BMW 3 Series.

BMW 3 Series Doesn’t Start

You can identify this fault code by using an OBD reader. An OBD reader, also known as an On-Board Diagnostics reader, is a powerful tool that can save you time and money when troubleshooting your car’s issues. You’ll be able to quickly check for fault codes stored in the system when this tiny device is connected to the OBD port of your vehicle. These codes provide valuable information about what might be going wrong with your car.

Carly is a renowned brand that offers a range of OBD readers, and here are the most popular ones from their lineup.

BMW 3 Series Doesn’t Start

OBD readers have revolutionized how car owners can diagnose and monitor their BMWs. It is a simple device that plugs into your OBD port and an app on your phone; you can access real-time information about your car’s health.

Make Sure Your Car Doesn’t Have A Parasitic Draw

BMW 3 Series Doesn’t Start

Parasitic draw is a common issue that can drain your car’s battery, leaving you stranded and frustrated. You can check a few things to ensure your vehicle doesn’t have a parasitic draw.

Inspecting the battery cables for any signs of corrosion or damage would be best. Faulty connections can create an unnecessary electrical load, resulting in a parasitic draw.

You should also check your car’s alternator and voltage regulator as part of regular maintenance. A malfunctioning alternator may not provide enough battery charge while driving, leading to increased reliance on stored power when parked.

Try Starting Your Car With The Spare Key

BMW 3 Series Doesn’t Start

Most BMWs are equipped with an Electronic Immobilizer System (EWS), a sophisticated security feature that ensures only a key specific to the car can start it. This system provides an additional layer of protection against theft, requiring authentication from the key before allowing the engine to start.

EWS communicates with the engine control unit, and if there is a mismatch or no signal received from the key, it will disable the fuel injection and spark plug ignition systems. But sometimes, the problem occurs when there is poor or no connection between the key and EWS.

You can start your car with a spare key instead of the main one to see if it works. If your car starts without any problems using the spare key, it could be a sign that the primary key has lost its connection to the EWS (Electronic Immobilizer System).

If your BMW 3 Series has a start-stop button, you may have encountered the frustrating situation of your car not starting because it fails to pick up the signal from your key. It could be due to the reason that the battery in your key is too weak.

Last, you can lock and unlock your car a few times and start it again. This might seem like a strange solution, but sometimes, the electronic components in your vehicle can get stuck or experience a glitch. You reset these components by manually locking and unlocking your car, giving them another chance to function correctly.

Make Sure Your Starter Is Working

It’s time to turn your attention to the starter if you already checked out the battery and key as the culprits. The starter is a small yet powerful motor that plays a crucial role in turning over the engine when you turn the key in the ignition. When you turn the key, an electrical signal is sent to the starter solenoid. It then engages with a toothed gear called a flywheel or flexplate. 

BMW 3 Series Doesn’t Start

Starters can deteriorate over time due to wear and tear or electrical issues. In this case, the engine won’t be able to turn over, and the car won’t start.

Here, we share a little secret for getting a stubborn starter motor to cooperate: simply tapping it with a wrench might do the trick. This technique has been known to work wonders when the starter motor gets stuck. It’s like giving it a gentle wake-up call.

You can also check your starter by a mechanic.

Check For Fuel Delivery Issues

There might be a problem related to fuel delivery when your BMW 3 Series refuses to start. 

Here are several key issues that often arise and can have significant consequences related to fuel issues. 

  • Fuel contamination: Contaminated fuel can lead to engine damage, reduced efficiency, and poor performance.
  •  Not having enough fuel in your car. Running out of power can leave you stranded on the side of the road.
  •  Faulty fuel pump: When the pump malfunctions, it can result in various problems, such as poor acceleration, stalling, or even an inability to start your car altogether.

It is essential to keep track of your fuel levels and refill them before they get too low. In this way, you can avoid this problem. Regular maintenance checks can also help identify any potential issues with your fuel system that may lead to insufficient fuel delivery.

BMW 3 Series Doesn’t Start

You can also disconnect and test the fuel pump relay with a multimeter. This simple step can help diagnose any problems in the electrical system that might be preventing power from reaching the relay. After this, you can determine if the issue lies with the relay or elsewhere in the circuit. It’s time to replace the relay if there is still no power reaching the relay.

A clogged fuel filter could be another reason for not getting fuel to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can restrict fuel flow and prevent it from reaching the engine, leading to reduced power, misfires, and stalling.

Use starter fluid and spray it into the intake to check if your BMW 3 Series has blocked the fuel filter.

Make Sure All Spark Plugs Are Firing

The Spark system could also be to blame if your BMW 3 series doesn’t start despite having fuel in the tank and power reaching the fuel pump. Turning the ignition key sends an electrical signal to the spark plugs, providing the necessary spark that ignites the fuel-air mixture. Your engine will start with this spark.

Spark Plugs

At that time, you must check whether all the spark plugs are firing. You must remove each individually to determine if your spark plugs are firing correctly. Start with disconnecting the wire connecting each pin. Then, carefully remove each plug from its respective cylinder using a socket wrench or spark plug socket.

Once removed, inspect them for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If you notice that any plugs are heavily covered in carbon buildup or have worn electrodes, it indicates that they are not firing correctly, and you need to replace them.

You have to check whether or not there is power getting to the coil pack if the troubleshooting problem still occurs. This is a relatively simple task that can be done with a multimeter.

Why Is My BMW Clicking But Not Starting?

It can be frustrating and worrisome if you’re experiencing a situation where your BMW 3 Series is clicking but not starting, 

Several reasons behind this issue require further investigation. One possibility is a weak or dead battery. Even though your car may still have enough power to make the clicking sound, there might not be enough energy to start the engine. It’s worth checking the battery voltage with a multimeter or calling for roadside assistance to jump-start your vehicle.

Can A Fuse Cause A BMW Not To Start?

Sometimes, a seemingly insignificant component can significantly impact your BMW’s functionality, just like the fuse. It is often ignored; a blown fuse has the power to prevent your BMW from starting.

Can A Fuse Cause A BMW Not To Start

Fuses are designed to protect electrical circuits by breaking the current flow when an overload or short circuit occurs. Your BMW doesn’t start if one of these events happens because the fuse supplies power to critical components. 


It is always frustrating when you find yourself in the unfortunate situation that your BMW 3 Series doesn’t start. There are several potential causes to consider. It could be a simple issue like a dead battery or a faulty ignition switch. But sometimes, it is also possible that more complex problems are at play, such as a malfunctioning starter motor or fuel pump.

It is always recommended to consult a qualified mechanic specializing in BMW vehicles to diagnose and address the issue accurately. So don’t panic if you find yourself in this situation. Check it by reading our guide or seek professional assistance to get your BMW back on the road as soon as possible. After reading our guide, I hope you can make your BMW 3 Series start again!

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How do I know if my starter failed?

If the engine doesn’t start when you turn the key or push it to start, it’s a sign that your starter might be faulty. Pay attention to any strange noises like clicking, grinding, or whirring, as they could cause damage to the engine flywheel if ignored.

How long does a BMW 3 Series battery last?

Changing your BMW 3 Series battery every 4-5 years is generally advisable. You must also ensure you consistently book maintenance appointments for your BMW to prevent significant complications.

How much does a BMW battery cost?

Prices for a replacement car battery can vary depending on factors such as power, size, and quality. You can expect to pay anywhere from $45 to $250.