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  7. BMW 1 Series Not Starting: 5 Possible Causes & Solutions

BMW 1 Series Not Starting: 5 Possible Causes & Solutions

2011 BMW 1-Series

BMW 1 Series Not Starting: 5 Possible Causes & Solutions

The BMW 1 Series models are so great that people decide to buy them used or new, depending on their budget. The cars are very classy, but also comfortable and have enough storage space if you decide to go on a trip.

Sadly, benefits are always accompanied by some drawbacks with all cars, and one problem reported by many people is the BMW 1 Series not starting.

There are various causes why your BMW 1 Series will not start. Some of them could be a dead battery, but also a faulty starter, worn spark plugs, a bad fuel pump, a damaged key, a weak key fob battery, and many others.

If you want to enjoy your car again, you must find out why your BMW 1 Series isn’t starting anymore and learn what you can do to fix it.

Read this post to find out the top possible reasons for your BMW not starting.

A Weak Battery

jump starting battery
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A weak battery is often the culprit when it comes to a BMW 1 Series not starting. Therefore, if you are having this problem with your car, you should check the battery and see if it is weak. If you notice that the dashboard or lights don’t power up, the battery is the one generally causing it.

Other signs that the battery is bad include no radio, no click, and no noise.

Solution: Try doing a jump start if the weak battery prevents the vehicle from starting. Also, do not connect the jumper cables to your battery directly. Try doing it under the hood.

Another thing you can do is charge the BMW battery using a trickle charger. Just bear in mind that you may need from 5 to 24 hours for this procedure, but it can help you revive a BMW battery if it’s discharged.

Your vehicle should start without issues when the battery is charged completely. This all applies unless there is a damaged cell inside the battery. Also, if you notice the symptoms returning after a few days, the chances are that the battery may not be able to hold a charge. In this case, it may require a replacement.

Bad Starter

man repairing car
Photo by Pexels

When your BMW has a bad starter, it may also be unable to start. But how exactly can you tell when a bad starter is the culprit?

Well, there are some telltale signs that a bad starter is preventing your BMW from starting. For instance, there may be lights but no action, you may notice smoke coming from the car, oil soaking the starter, and an engine that will not crank. Bad starters do not allow the engine to turn over.

Solution: Check the starter. Look under the hood, and try tapping the starter. This is one of the best ways to get a starter to work again. Then, adjust the transmission. But if nothing seems to fix the issue, you should replace the faulty starter.

Cold Weather

car on a winter road
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Yes, cold weather can prevent your BMW Series 1 from starting in some cases – especially if you tend to park your car outside in cold weather.

One of the most common symptoms of this is the engine turning over very slowly when it starts. But if your car doesn’t start at all, it could mean that the cold weather affected one of the vehicle’s parts. So, you need to perform a thorough check.

Solution: Check the battery. Sometimes, because of the cold weather, the performance of the battery may decrease. If the battery is near the end of its life, you may have to look for a replacement.

Spark Plugs or Ignition Coils

spark plugs
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When the BMW Series 1 doesn’t start anymore, you should also look at the spark plugs and ignition coils. This could happen to anyone, and it is not the end of the world – it’s just a frustrating issue.

When the spark plugs are causing the issue, you will notice engine misfires, bad fuel economy, loss of power, and the BMW not starting.

Solution: You should get them replaced as soon as possible. And if they were recently replaced yet they do not work, make sure that the wire harnesses are properly connected. Also, ensure that you do not swap your wires between ignition coils. You must always connect the ignition coil wire to the same ignition coil it was removed from.

Bad Fuel Pressure

BMW engine
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In some cases, the fuel pressure is the one causing the issue. This is especially the case when you are dealing with a Series 1 that cranks but won’t start.

Solution: Take off the engine cover and look for the Schrader valve at the end of the fuel line. Then, connect the fuel pressure gauge to the port and look at the gauge when you turn on the ignition, then try to start your vehicle.


Your BMW 1 Series not starting could be caused by various things, such as a weak battery, bad spark plugs, bad fuel pressure, a bad starter, and even cold weather. You must check your car as soon as possible, find the problem, and deal with it before more damage is done to the vehicle.

Don’t hesitate to ask for a mechanic’s help if you cannot do reparations or replacements yourself.


Why doesn’t my BMW 1 Series start despite having power?

If your BMW 1 Series has power but it doesn’t start, the culprit may be a partially discharged battery. So, the first thing you may want to do is charge the battery. But other things may be causing this issue, such as a bad starter, no spark or no fuel pressure, or a damaged engine. You should have your car checked to accurately detect the problem.

Can low oil prevent my BMW 1 Series from starting?

When the oil level in a BMW 1 Series vehicle is low, the engine might seize or not turn over. If the engine seizes as a result of no oil, it may be taken apart. On top of preventing the BMW model from starting, low oil levels may also lead to damage to the engine. So, if the issue is not solved soon enough, the car may not start at all.

How do I know if my starter is bad in my BMW 1 Series?

When a starter is going bad in a BMW 1 Series vehicle, you will start noticing specific signs. For example, you will start hearing grinding, clicking, or whirring noises. You may start seeing or smelling smoke underneath the engine due to overheating. Also, the engine might not turn over anymore. In other cases, the starter will engage without the motor starting.