BMWs are known for being reliable, innovative vehicles, but even the best BMW may fall prey to engine starter failure. As the component’s name suggests, the engine starter plays a key role in allowing your vehicle to start. This means that engine starter problems can stop your BMW dead in its tracks.
To help you avoid this huge hassle, here is everything you need to know about how your vehicle’s starter works, why it might fail, and what you can do to keep it in top condition:
How the Starter Works
When you start your vehicle, an electromagnet within the starter turns on. The electromagnet then engages a series of rods and gears within the starter that work to turn the engine on. Once the engine is running, its movement creates suction with the system, drawing air and fuel into the combustion chamber and allowing the engine to produce its own energy. Therefore, without the starter, your BMW wouldn’t be able to run.
Common Causes of Starter Problems
Because the starter is a complex unit that activates every time you start your vehicle, several factors may cause it to fail. For example, one of the most common causes of starter problems is damaged gears. As previously mentioned, the starter uses a system of rods and gears to start the engine. Over time, these gears may wear down from frequent use, and they may even lose teeth. If this happens, the gears won’t engage correctly with each other and will be unable to start the engine.
Similarly, electrical issues can also interfere with the starter’s ability. Like many other components within your BMW, the starter relies on electricity from the battery to function. Therefore, if the connection between the battery and the starter becomes loose or corroded, the starter will be unable to work properly.
Additionally, the electromagnet within the starter may wear down over time, which can cause the entire system to fail. Fortunately, all of these problems can often be prevented by having your vehicle’s electrical systems regularly checked by a professional during scheduled routine maintenance.
Symptoms of Starter Failure
If your BMW’s starter is beginning to fail, then you’ll likely want to identify and solve the problem before it leaves you unable to drive your vehicle. Often, the first indicator of starter failure will be unusual noises occurring when you start your car. If your BMW’s starter clicks, whirs, or grinds when you try to turn your vehicle on, you should have the component examined as soon as possible.
In addition, another potential sign of starter failure is smoke coming from your vehicle’s engine. If you try to start your vehicle multiple times in a row with a faulty starter, the starter may overheat, which can either worsen existing electrical problems or create new ones. This can produce smoke. Trying to operate a smoking starter can be incredibly dangerous, so if you see or smell smoke when starting your car, you should stop cranking the engine and should instead call a professional mechanic for help.
Finally, the most common symptom of a malfunctioning starter is failure of the engine to start. If you’ve jump-started your vehicle several times and the lights are turning on but the engine won’t crank, then there is almost certainly something wrong with the starter. In this case, the best course of action is to have your vehicle towed to our auto shop for expert repairs.
We’re Here to Help
A malfunctioning starter can be a significant source of frustration, but the repair process doesn’t have to be. Here at Bavarium Autoworks, our experienced technicians are dedicated to getting the job done right the first time, with equal focus on repair efficiency and quality.
We are proud to provide excellent service to customers in Cupertino, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga, and Mountain View, CA. We are regarded as the area’s experts in European auto maintenance and repair and are BMW specialists. We would love to help you keep your BMW running smoothly, so stop by for a visit or give us a call today to find out what we can do for you.