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View Full Version : HALP I jumped my BMW, now I can't get it to start


designgeek
Dec 24, 2010, 09:02 PM
As the title says, I left my lights on today and when I got off a ten hour shift, my battery was dead as they get. I tried to jump it from a friends car but it wouldn't start, now whenever I turn the key it just clicks.

Before you start, I know I'm not supposed to jump a BMW, but there are ways and I know the ways. I did everything right as far as I know, but I'm stuck with my roommate's car until he gets back from L.A. I don't really know much about cars anymore, so I'm kind of in the dark here.

I know this isn't the ideal forum for this kind of issue, but I've looked everywhere and car forums aren't usually welcoming to idiots like me. :o If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.

:)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, or lovely non-denominational winter solstice.

wpotere
Dec 24, 2010, 09:07 PM
You're not supposed to jump a BMW? Who told you that garbage?

Anyway, you can jump it but likely you didn't let it sit long enough to get enough juice to turn it over. I have a MINI and jumping it generally takes a good 5 min (BMW/MINI are electrics intensive) hooked to another car in order to get enough juice to turn it over on a flat battery. Once you do get it started, you will need to drive it for 15 min or so to get the battery charged.

Dalton63841
Dec 24, 2010, 09:07 PM
If it is clicking then it is still trying, it just isn't getting enough juice through the solenoid to turn the starter. Chances are your battery is just THAT freaking dead. It's happened to me before. Take your battery to be tested and/or replaced.

kellen
Dec 24, 2010, 09:09 PM
Year and model would help.

Probably just need to charge the battery or replace it.

xlii
Dec 24, 2010, 09:13 PM
Jump Starting Your BMW

Jump-starting BMW vehicles should be avoided, as it may cause damage to certain electrical components. The electrical components found in BMWs (and most other cars) are designed to handle up to 15 volts for brief periods only. Jump-starting equipment found on some tow trucks operates at 18 volts or as high as 24 volts. Disconnecting the battery, then charging it, is the recommended alternative.

When jump-starting is the only option, you can take these steps to ensure the vehicle's electrical components are not damaged:
Ensure that the vehicle being jump-started and the vehicle used to jump-start are not touching each other. Ground points exist on some bumpers.
Ensure that both vehicles have batteries of the same voltage and of approximately the same ampere-hour rating (to guarantee you'll have enough power to jump start the dead car).
Connect the positive jumper cable to the positive (B+ junction) post on the dead battery, and then to the positive terminal on the vehicle providing the jump-start.
Connect the negative jumper cable to a chassis ground on both vehicles. This protects sensitive electronic components from damaging voltage surges by using the damping action of the chassis ground.
Jump-start the vehicle. Before disconnecting the jumper cables, switch on: the heater fan at highest speed, the rear window defroster and the low beam headlights. Activating these reduces the voltage surge at the moment the jumper cables are disconnected.
Disconnect the negative cable, then the positive. Maintaining this order ensure that any momentary arcing that might occur is away from the battery and the engine compartment, where flammable gases may develop.

Remember, failure to follow these procedures may result in damage to sensitive electrical components. Damage is a virtual certainty if performed with equipment that delivers over 15 volts.


Taken from www.allbmwparts.com

You didn't hurt your bmw by using your friend's cars battery. What happened when you tried to start it with the cables? Did the starter run? Did you just hear the clicking? If the starter turned but you couldn't start the car... the reason could be that the car is flooded(too much gas). Usually waiting a few minutes and trying again will fix that. If not, try starting the car with the petal all the way to the floor.

One other thing could be that the battery to solenoid connection is lose.

RaceTripper
Dec 24, 2010, 09:16 PM
Sure you can jump start a BMW. I jumped my wife's 3er from my MINI not that long ago. The clicking sound generally means the battery doesn't have enough charge to get the starter going.

BTW: if you need to replace the battery, don't do it through a dealer. You'll pay way too much. I replaced my wife's battery myself for about $150. The dealer would have been twice that.

iJohnHenry
Dec 24, 2010, 09:17 PM
And someone who knows what the Hell they are doing, is immeasurable.

xlii
Dec 24, 2010, 09:20 PM
If it's a standard shift you could get 4 friends and have them give you a push... or if you are on a hill... start rolling and pop the clutch.

Dalton63841
Dec 24, 2010, 09:21 PM
And someone who knows what the Hell they are doing, is immeasurable.

LOL This. My step-dad wouldn't even let me buy a car when I was younger, until I knew all the ins and outs of working on one. I started when I was 12. Now, there are few engines I can't take apart and put right back together, granted I'm 26 now.

OutThere
Dec 24, 2010, 09:27 PM
A lot of times if your battery is really super drained, a jump start and a short drive home will not put any significant charge on the battery and you won't be able to crank it later. 30 minutes including some time on the highway will charge you up pretty well.

alust2013
Dec 24, 2010, 09:36 PM
A lot of times if your battery is really super drained, a jump start and a short drive home will not put any significant charge on the battery and you won't be able to crank it later. 30 minutes including some time on the highway will charge you up pretty well.

Excellent advice. If it's clicking, it hadn't been connected to the other car long enough. You will need to connect it, let it sit with the other car running at 3000 RPM or so for a few minutes to start from a completely flat battery.

designgeek
Dec 24, 2010, 09:41 PM
Thanks for all the help! I bet i didn't let it sit long enough. My friends were on their way back home and had a two hour drive ahead of them so i didn't want to keep them waiting. I'll give it another shot tomorrow.

My mechanic, who worked for BMW for like 25 years or so advised against jumping a bimmer, but said it's possible. All you have to do is turn everything on before you disconnect the cables, and I think he said it's preferable to jump from a car that's not running.

FYI, it's a 1991 318is, manual trans, RWD.

Again thanks for the help. :)

Intell
Dec 24, 2010, 09:45 PM
... manual trans...
Bump start that sucker. Its how I start my 2010 Ranger when I don't have a battery.

acurafan
Dec 24, 2010, 10:03 PM
...
BTW: if you need to replace the battery, don't do it through a dealer. You'll pay way too much. I replaced my wife's battery myself for about $150. The dealer would have been twice that.
relative had to get her battery replaced, $600 for the diagnostic fee, battery, and program the battery/computer. not part of free maintenance...what the F * * k??? then again, if you can afford the beemer, guess you can afford the service ;) why i stick with a good ol' honda.

If it's a standard shift you could get 4 friends and have them give you a push... or if you are on a hill... start rolling and pop the clutch.
:D exactly, the joy of having a manual. put it in 1st and get it moving ;)

GoCubsGo
Dec 24, 2010, 10:09 PM
I've jump started a BMW before, I'd like to know if it's true that you shouldn't do it.

RaceTripper
Dec 24, 2010, 10:13 PM
relative had to get her battery replaced, $600 for the diagnostic fee, battery, and program the battery/computer. not part of free maintenance...what the F * * k??? then again, if you can afford the beemer, guess you can afford the service ;) why i stick with a good ol' honda....)
That doesn't sound like it was done by an honest service center. Dealer service for a battery replacement on a recent 3 series is normally about $250-300, incl. labor.

The computer shouldn't need reprogramming after a battery replacement. I did it myself on my wife's '03 330ci and it was simple procedure of pulling the dead one and installing the new one. I also didn't use the BMW battery. I got one locally at Advance Auto.

Rodimus Prime
Dec 24, 2010, 10:17 PM
Thanks for all the help! I bet i didn't let it sit long enough. My friends were on their way back home and had a two hour drive ahead of them so i didn't want to keep them waiting. I'll give it another shot tomorrow.

My mechanic, who worked for BMW for like 25 years or so advised against jumping a bimmer, but said it's possible. All you have to do is turn everything on before you disconnect the cables, and I think he said it's preferable to jump from a car that's not running.

FYI, it's a 1991 318is, manual trans, RWD.

Again thanks for the help. :)

It is every car you should avoid jumping because it puts a lot of strain on the electrical systems. Both the car doing the jumping and the car being jumped. On my old car I fried an alternator jump starting my dad's car.

As others pointed out some times you have to let the cars being jumped battery charge a little. This goes double if you do not have some heavy jumper cables. Most people have pretty thin ones that require some time to get a charge.

I know on my car I have been jump started more than once from pretty dead and had to get a little charge in the battery first. When I was jump starting a truck I had to charge his battery a little since my car just does not put out enough amps to jump start it and I have some pretty heavy duty jumper cables.

Rodimus Prime
Dec 24, 2010, 10:20 PM
relative had to get her battery replaced, $600 for the diagnostic fee, battery, and program the battery/computer. not part of free maintenance...what the F * * k??? then again, if you can afford the beemer, guess you can afford the service ;) why i stick with a good ol' honda.


you are getting rip off. If you have to reprogram the computer/battery every time it changes that means every time it is disconnect or dies you would have 2. Worse that happens is the memory on the cars computer gets reset, memory in the radio gets reset and the clock has to be reset. None of which is a big deal.

The cars computer just storied info about any check engine lights, and then what the exact engine timing should be. Something that is always learning and adjusting to. Just will take about 30 miles to get line up again.

acurafan
Dec 24, 2010, 10:29 PM
...
The computer shouldn't need reprogramming after a battery replacement. I did it myself on my wife's '03 330ci and it was simple procedure of pulling the dead one and installing the new one. I also didn't use the BMW battery. I got one locally at Advance Auto.
that's what i said! i'd just rip that damn thing outta the back and get a nice optima, she told me AFTER THE FACT!...anyway, this was a 530i serviced at BMW of Manhattan.

yg17
Dec 24, 2010, 11:29 PM
If it's a manual, I'd push start it. Although when you say a BMW shouldn't be jumped because of all of the electronics, what kind of electronics are we talking about here? His car is a 1991, I can't imagine the electrical system being that complex - it's not like he's jumping a brand new 7 series with navi and a billion other different electrical components, computers and gizmos.

Funny how it works, a little BMW apparently takes some juice to get started when being jumped, but yesterday I gave a jump to one of those giant Chevy cargo vans from my little VW and the van started right up.

And on the topic of dealers - yeah, definitely don't go to a dealer. Batteries are simple enough to do on your own - and if it's one of those cars where the battery is buried deep inside the engine bay and you're more comfortable having a professional do it, take it to an independent shop. There's nothing special that has to be done to a car's computer. The ECU might have to re-learn your driving style over the course of the next 50 miles or so, but the only thing you have to do is reset the clock and reprogram your radio stations.

cantthinkofone
Dec 25, 2010, 12:18 AM
You can't jump start BMWs?........

LMFAO. Never have liked BMWs. Now they just got another puss point with me.

In all seriousness though if it's a manual get it rolling at about a slow jogging pace and pop the clutch. Make sure you let it run for 10-15 minutes. Better yet go for a small drive for 10-15 minutes.

puma1552
Dec 25, 2010, 01:14 AM
I've jump started a BMW before, I'd like to know if it's true that you shouldn't do it.

Of course it's not true, it's a car with an electrical system just like any other car. It's not made out of gold and feathers.

I've had two BMWs, jumped 'em both, and they did exactly what they were supposed to when I jumped 'em--they started just like any other car on the planet you would jump start, problem over.

designgeek
Dec 25, 2010, 07:46 AM
K, just to clarify, you're not supposed to jump a bimmer, it's not impossible, I watched my mechanic do it before. The issue lies in the way the electrical system works. The voltage spike that occurs when you remove the jumper cables from the jumped car can cause damage and apparently bmw's don't like this. That's why you turn everything on before you remove the cables. All I really know is that I don't want hundreds of dollars of electrical work on this thing, I don't mind being a little careful.

Also, who on earth would go to a dealer out of warranty? Or ever? One of my friends in high school had a 91 Honda and still went to the dealer for everything. Paid WAY too much for everything. $1200 for work on the fuel injection system. :D

Again, it's possible, just be careful. I'll update tomorrow when I go back for another try. :o

dmr727
Dec 25, 2010, 07:53 AM
Bunch of friggin' yuppies!

NickZac
Dec 25, 2010, 07:54 AM
Replace that sucker with an Optima Red Top. It will be the last battery you ever buy in your LIFE. I had a Yellow Top from my Uncle who bought it around 1996 and when I got rid of my car, I gave it back to him and now he's using it again...

They have higher CCA's, aren't affected by weather, don't leak or corrode, can be mounted upside down, are shock-resistant, will hold their charge for AGES if just left sitting, helps regulate the car's electrical system, and is better for the environment (IIRC lead free). These dry/spiral cell batteries are just amazing.

RaceTripper
Dec 25, 2010, 09:18 AM
K, just to clarify, you're not supposed to jump a bimmer, it's not impossible, ?..you're statement is total B.S. I've owned 4 Bimmers including two 3-series, an M3, and a 5er. You can jump one just like any other car. In fact, every one of my BMWs -- since the battery is in the trunk -- has a + post in the engine bay for easy access. You use the engine block for ground (-).

designgeek
Dec 25, 2010, 08:19 PM
you're statement is total B.S. I've owned 4 Bimmers including two 3-series, an M3, and a 5er. You can jump one just like any other car. In fact, every one of my BMWs -- since the battery is in the trunk -- has a + post in the engine bay for easy access. You use the engine block for ground (-).

Whatever. All the conventional wisdom and everything I found on the interwebz said it was a bad idea. I don't know a lot about cars so that's why I'm asking for help.

Meanwhile, back in the land of things that matter, I went back tonight with my roommate's car to jump it CAREFULLY and couldn't find jumping posts on his car since the battery is under the washer fluid reservoir (WTF GM?) so I decided to see if the battery just needed a break. In short, the car barely started, but at least it did. I drove it around town for twenty minutes or so. Now all I need is a ride to get his car back. :)

Thanks for all the help, these forums and its constituents rock, I was really concerned that I had damaged something. :)