Your car helps you get to where you need to go. Plus, your BMW gets you there in style. To keep your car running smoothly it’s essential to keep up with everyday maintenance.
Here are some common maintenance issues to look out for.
1. Faulty Restraint System
When this issue occurs, your airbag light flashes and stays there for an extended period. The problem is usually due to an imbalance between your passenger seat and a weight sensor. Your clock spring may also be faulty.
Here are some of the other common reasons for this issue:
- Faulty airbag module
- Defective seatbelt
- Low battery voltage
- Problem with the wire harness
- Water damage
To fix the issue use a scanner to clear the airbag light. Plug it into the diagnostic port located under your dashboard. Start your ignition, but don’t turn on your engine. Turn on the scanner and find the control settings for your airbag module. Then you want to check to see if you have any fault codes. These will help to diagnose the problem. If your restraint systems need to be repaired, take your BMW to the dealer.
You want to get this issue fixed, so your airbags deploy properly. In 2017, frontal airbags saved an estimated 2,790 people over the age of 13.
2. Issues With the Sound System
Your iDrive system allows you to connect to your phone. This way you can listen to your favorite playlist while cruising down the highway. If your iDrive system starts malfunctioning, there will be lower sound quality.
To reboot your iDrive, hold down the knob. Then press the CD eject button and audio system power button for around one second.
If this issue persists, you might need to replace your system. To save money, consider buying individual parts online.
3. Check Engine Light
This warning will pop up on your dashboard. It may mean your transmission got stuck in limp mode or your fuel cap is loose.
Also, look out for these other common causes:
- Cracked or loose hoses
- Old battery
- Bad mass air-flow sensor
- Bad charcoal carbon canister
- High-pressure fuel pump failure
Use an OBD-II scanner to read fault codes to diagnose the specific problem. If your light continues to flash, this can indicate a more serious problem. You want to take your car to the dealer as soon as possible.
4. Cooling System Failure
As your BMW ages, the parts of your cooling system can become brittle. This can cause your system to malfunction. You will need to replace any broken parts.
To determine if your system is failing, check for signs of overheating. If your temperature gauge remains high, this is a sign to turn off your engine and let it cool down. A steaming hood is also a warning your engine is overheating. In this case, you may want to add some extra coolant to your system.
If you see white exhaust smoke, your car is leaking coolant. The coolant will be easily distinguishable since it is a bright green color.
If you notice any of these signs, take your BMW to your local car mechanic.
5. Problem With the Locking System
Over time your car’s locking mechanism can weaken. Usually, it is due to the lack of connection between your key and the car sensor. Malfunctioning fuses or control module failures could also cause it. You may need to order a new key. Keeping up with routine maintenance can help to prevent this issue.
It is important to get your locks fixed as soon as possible. This will ensure your belongings remain safe. In 2019, there were about 721,855 motor vehicle thefts.
6. Oil Leaks
You want to check for this, especially if you have an older model. Fuel leaks commonly come from valve covers. They can also occur at your transmission or differential seals. If you notice a burning smell or smoke coming from your hood, these are signs of oil leakage. Also, be on the lookout for oil spots on the garage floor.
When you notice these signs, take your BMW in for a repair. If you wait too long, it could cause long-term issues for your engine.
7. Battery Terminal Issues
The Battery Safety Terminal (BST) helps to reduce the risk of fire during an accident. It works by disconnecting your vehicle’s positive cable. However, the cable can also come apart during minor impacts, like hitting a curb. When this happens, your car may not start. It will also trigger your airbag light to turn on. To fix this issue, use a scanner to clear the codes.
How to Keep Your BMW Running Smoothly
Your BMW allows you to ride around in style. With this luxury also comes the responsibility to maintain your vehicle. Keep in mind these common BMW issues during your next car inspection.