When facing the issue of a “BMW 3 Series won’t start push button,” owners face a perplexing and frustrating scenario. 

This introductory discussion aims to shed light on the standard reasons and potential remedies for when the push button start feature in the BMW 3 Series unexpectedly fails. 

Recognized for its convenience and advanced technology, the push button start system sometimes presents challenges that require a deeper understanding of its mechanics and potential faults. 

We will explore the intricacies of this system, identify common causes of failure, and suggest practical solutions to help get your BMW 3 Series running smoothly again.

What Is The BMW Push Button Start?

BMW Push Button Start

The BMW Push Button Start is a keyless ignition system. The driver can start the engine without turning a key in the ignition. Instead, the system uses a key fob to communicate with the car’s computer system. The fob sends low-frequency signals to the car, verifying the signal and starting the engine if the correct ID signal is received. This system has become a standard feature in many modern vehicles, offering convenience and improved security against theft​​​​.

Also read Steering Straight: Top 10 Steering Problems and Their Natural Fixes

BMW 3 Series Won’t Start Push Button – What Are The Causes?

Several factors can prevent a BMW 3 Series from starting with the push button. These include:

  1. Weak or Dead Key Fob Battery: If the essential fob battery is low or dead, the car won’t recognize the fob and won’t start.
  2. Faulty Starter Motor: A malfunctioning starter motor can fail to crank the engine.
  3. Fuel System Issues: Problems like a clogged fuel filter, faulty fuel pump, or malfunctioning fuel injectors can affect fuel delivery to the engine.
  4. Electrical Issues: This can include blown fuses, broken relays, or Electronic Control Module (ECM) malfunctions.
  5. Spark Plug or Ignition Coil Problems: Worn-out spark plugs or defective ignition coils can prevent the engine from firing.
  6. Mechanical Issues: Rare mechanical problems like a seized piston can stop the engine from turning over.
  7. External Factors: An empty fuel tank, air pockets in the fuel lines, or extreme cold weather can also cause starting issues​​​​​​.

What Are The Possible Solutions For BMW Push Button Start?

Solutions to address these issues vary depending on the cause:

  1. Dead Key Fob Battery: Replace the essential fob battery. If stranded, you may be able to start the car by holding the fob against the steering column’s marked area.
  2. Starter Motor Issues: If the starter motor is at fault, it may need to be replaced. A temporary fix can be tapping the starter motor lightly.
  3. Fuel System Fixes: Replace the fuel filter if it’s clogged, check the fuel pump functionality, and clean or replace fuel injectors if necessary.
  4. Addressing Electrical Problems: Inspect and replace any blown fuses. Check and potentially swap out faulty relays.
  5. Spark Plug and Ignition Coil Maintenance: Replace any non-firing spark plugs and check the ignition coil for faults.
  6. Mechanical Repairs: Mechanical issues like a seized piston require professional inspection and possibly extensive repairs.
  7. External Factor Solutions: Refuel the car if the tank is empty, ensure proper fuel flow to address air pockets, and consider winter-proofing in cold conditions​​​​​​.

Also read Car Engine Replacement: How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Car Engine? A Complete Guide.

FAQs related to BMW push button start issues and their solutions:

Can I Start a BMW with a Low Battery?

Yes, starting a BMW with a low battery is possible by placing the key fob against the steering column where there’s a pictogram of a vehicle key. This method lets the car recognize the key fob and start the engine​​.

Why Is My BMW Brake Hard and Won’t Start?

This issue might be due to a blockage, a leak in the vacuum line, or a leak in the braking accelerator control valve. It’s advisable to check the control valve for leaks, especially after the engine has been idling for a while​​.

Why Won’t My BMW Start Despite Clicking?

A clicking sound typically indicates a low battery voltage or a problem with the starter motor. Suppose the starter receives a click but not enough power to start the engine. In that case, it suggests the battery might be dead, or the alternator is faulty​​​​​​.

What are the common causes of BMW not starting with push buttons?

Common causes include

  • a weak or dead essential fob battery,
  • a faulty starter motor,
  • problems with the push system or battery,
  • damaged spark plugs,
  • malfunctions in the Electronic Control Module (ECM) and
  • issues with fuses and relays​​​​​​.

How Do I Troubleshoot a BMW Push Button Start?

For a weak or dead essential fob battery, replacing the battery is a simple fix. If the starter motor is faulty, it may need replacement. Other solutions include checking and repairing the push system, replacing damaged spark plugs, and addressing ECM malfunctions. For issues related to fuses and relays, inspect and replace any faulty components​​​​​​.

What Should I Do if My BMW Key Fob Is Damaged?

If the key fob is damaged, it might require repair or, more often, replacement. A new BMW key fob costs around $300, varying depending on the model and critical complexity​​.

How Do I Manually Start My BMW if the Key Fob Battery Is Dead?

You can manually start your BMW by using the internal key blade found in the key fob to unlock the doors and then holding the key fob against the steering column’s marked area to start the engine​​.

Concluding Thoughts

By addressing these specific issues, you can troubleshoot and potentially resolve starting problems with your BMW 3 Series push-button start system. However, suppose the problem persists or you need help. You’re handling it yourself. In that case, it’s recommended that you seek assistance from a professional mechanic or a BMW dealership.


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