If you are a BMW owner, then you probably love your car. And when you love your car, you want to make sure it's always running in top shape. Besides, you have to get where you're going, right?
Like all cars, BMWs can run into problems. But unlike all cars, BMWs are prone to electrical issues that can put your commute or road trip in danger. In fact, they are some of the most common obstacles faced by BMW owners and there have even been a number of recalls due to electrical problems in the past.
Luckily, electrical problems are easy to fix, especially for a qualified BMW technician. Still, it's important for you to know how to spot trouble so you know when it's time for a repair. In this article, we'll go over signs of electrical issues, the most common causes, and how to fix them so you can get back on the road safely.
Spotting a Problem
Electrical issues in BMWs can range from mildly annoying to dangerous, depending on driving conditions and what exactly is going wrong. Any malfunction could mean a car failure is in your future, so it's definitely a sign that it's time to take your car in for a diagnosis and repair. Here are the most common places to spot electrical problems:
Failing door locks is one of the most common electrical issues experienced by BMW owners. If your doors won't lock and unlock at the push of a button, it could be due to a faulty or malfunctioning key fob, or it might be a blown fuse or failed wiring.
Turn signals are an important safety feature of everyday driving, ensuring other drivers on the road are aware of your movements and preventing possible accidents. If your turn signals malfunction or stop working, you should bring your BMW to a professional repair shop as soon as possible to avoid hazardous driving conditions.
Slow-moving or immobile windows can be a common BMW problem, especially in the E46 model. It could simply mean the regulator clips need to be replaced,or it could be signaling a larger problem in your electrical system that can lead to an overall system failure.
Driving without properly functioning windshield wipers can be extremely dangerous, depending on weather conditions. Malfunctioning windshield wipers, such as the wipers not turning off, is not only annoying, but may also mean your relay system needs a repair.
Every BMW driver has that sweet spot where their seat is in just the right position, but if your seat positioner is malfunctioning or not working at all, not only does it put a damper on your whole drive, but it could be a sign of a bigger electrical issue.
Most Common Causes of Electrical Problems
When you encounter electrical issues in your BMW, you may want to start by checking for a blown fuse at the fuse box, which is located in the trunk in older models and in the glove box in newer ones. However, a blown fuse can be caused by a greater electrical problem elsewhere in your car, so it's important to get your BMW checked out by a skilled technician if you notice any blown fuses.
Water, heat, rodents, and regular wear can all cause the wiring in your BMW to fail. On top of that, the drainage systems in some older models weren't properly designed and can cause water damage to the wiring. Because of this, it is vital to have a qualified BMW specialist perform routine inspections.
The alternator powers many of the electrical functions in your BMW, like the windows and locks. While problems with those functions may be unrelated electrical malfunctions, they could be a sign of a failed alternator, which will quickly lead to car failure. It may be time to get your alternator replaced.
How the Team at Fastlane European Can Help
While any car can experience electrical problems, BMW and many other European manufacturers have unique systems, designs and protocols. A one-size-fits-all mechanic may not have the expertise or pieces necessary to fix your BMW without adding extra time and costs, so your first step when experiencing electrical issues should be finding a BMW specialist.
From replacing faulty key fobs to repairing weathered wiring, Fast Lane European has been the leading BMW service center in San Jose, CA, since 2011. Our factory-certified, highly experienced technicians are equipped with specialized skills, ISTA diagnostic software, and low labor rates that will ensure you get the electrical repair you need to drive safely at a lower cost than other shops. If you are experiencing electrical issues, please call us today.