Why Won’t My BMW X5 Start?

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The BMW X5 was marketed primarily as a sports activity vehicle instead of the typical sports utility vehicle.

This was done to promote its on-road handling abilities, which is hard to believe considering the size of the vehicle.

It also featured armored security versions modified directly from the main lineup.

All of these variants sound amazing and help in the status of the BMW X5, but this does not mean that the car is without any issues.

There have been plenty of issues that have hampered the success of the BMW X5.

These issues range from mildly annoying to major ones that will make you ask,” Why won’t my BMW X5 start?”.

If your BMW X5 has been causing any issues, one of these is likely the reason why:

  1. Dead/Low Charged Battery
  2. Loose Cables/Cable Corrosion
  3. Bad Weather Conditions
  4. Blown Fuses
  5. Faulty Alternator

I will discuss all of these issues in depth for you, so ensure that you read the article till the end.

What Would Cause A BMW X5 To Not Start?

Learn what causes your BMW X5 not to start

I’ll be listing all the causes/reasons in more details and the ways to prevent these issues from rising again, so it is in your best interest to read this section carefully.

1: Dead/Low Charged Battery

One of the biggest issues that cars, in general, will face is related to the battery.

For those who do not know how their car operates, you have a battery inside, which is used to power all the tools and components that work in the car.

The battery is considered an essential component, so you need to ensure it is working properly.

This can be difficult to do as the battery requires a lot of maintenance to remain in top form.

A low or dead battery can easily prevent your BMW X5 from turning on since the engine and none of the other components are getting the needed power.

This issue is likely caused by not driving enough or certain weather conditions.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Start by doing a voltage test on the battery to confirm whether it is the source of the issue.
  • If the voltage test shows less than 12 volts, your battery is the problem and will have to be fixed.
  • Check to see how old your battery is and how long it has been used.
  • This information will be useful in providing you with an optimal strategy for what you need to do.
  • If your battery is four years old, it is recommended that you get a new one, as your current one may have outlived its life.
  • If your battery is less than four years old, you can simply jumpstart it, and it should start working again.

2: Loose Cables/Cable Corrosion

Cable management is also very important when it comes to cars.

All of the connections between the cars and the components are done via wires and cables, so it is integral that you keep them clean and safe from rusting and corrosion.

The BMW X5, like any other car, needs all of its components to work in unison. This only happens when all of the cables are perfectly attached.

If any cables become loose or corroded, the components may not be functioning properly.

Not only will this prevent the car from starting, but this will also cause various other issues to spring up.

Hence, you need to take good care of the cables and wires, especially the ones around your battery.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Inspect to see all the cables and wires of the BMW X5. You should only check the component area where you think the cables are loose.
  • If you see any loose wires, try to join them yourself.
  • If there are multiple loose wires and you do not know where each goes, then it is best to have a mechanic take a look.
  • If you find any corrosion, you will probably have to replace the entire cable.
  • From this point onwards, you should also do your best to keep the cables clean and free from corrosion.

3: Bad Weather Conditions

The weather also plays an important role in keeping the car running at optimal conditions.

While your car may run in bad weather conditions, chances are equally that it will not do so. If the weather is too cold, it can prevent your BMW X5 from starting.

If your BMW X5 is quite advanced, it may also prevent the car from starting in extreme heat to avoid overheating.

While hot weather is generally not an issue, cold weather is. It starts by preventing the battery from operating at optimal conditions.

If the weather is really cold, it may also prevent the spark plugs from igniting the fuel, preventing the car from starting altogether.

What Should You Do About It?

  • There is not much you can do to change the weather. That being said, you can take steps to help mitigate any problems due to harsh weather.
  • You should keep your BMW X5 inside during cold temperatures, so the battery is not adversely affected. You should also keep it in a garage during rain and snow.
  • If the weather is too hot, you should avoid driving your BMW X5; otherwise, you risk overheating the car and damaging its parts.
  • Maintain good fluid levels and tire pressure during harsh climates, and account for them as much as possible.

4: Blown Fuses

There are a lot of electrical components which go into your BMW X5. The car has fuses to ensure any amount of damage or voltage is limited as much as possible.

The fuse’s job is to protect the electrical wiring and the components in case of any short circuit or overcurrent.

They do so by disconnecting the circuit if they detect any electrical fault.

Fuses are found throughout the car’s electrical system because of their need. They are most commonly found in fuse boxes located in the engine bay or trunk area.

You should inspect these fuse boxes and look for any blown fuses if you suspect you may have had a short circuit. Once this happens, you will have to replace the blown fuse.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you believe you have blown a fuse, the first natural thing to do is check the fuse boxes and look for the blown fuse.
  • Before you check the fuse, ensure the key is not in the ignition.
  • While checking the fuse boxes, you should also check the relays. This should be done especially for the starter and fuel pumps.
  • You cannot inspect them visibly and, as such, have to get them checked via a mechanic.
  • Once you have identified a blown fuse, you should get it swapped for a new one.
  • If you continuously are blowing fuse, you likely have a wiring issue and should get that checked out.

5: Faulty Alternator

Another major component of the BMW X5 is the alternator. The significance of the alternator is immense as it charges the battery needed by the car.

It does so by converting the mechanical energy generated by the engine to electrical energy, which it sends to the battery.

This keeps the battery charged the more you drive your BMW X5. A faulty alternator is really hard to identify because it looks makes it look like the battery is the issue.

More often than not, people will get their battery jumpstarted, have it work for a while, and then watch it die again.

There is a chance that you may be able to start the car and drive with a faulty alternator.

If you know that your alternator is damaged or faulty, you should avoid driving your car and instead get the issue fixed as soon as possible.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Check to see if there is any visible damage to the alternator.
  • If you can see such damage, then you should go to the mechanic and get the alternator fixed.
  • Note how long your battery lasts between jumps. If it is not capable of lasting more than a day, then you likely have an issue with an alternator.
  • If you cannot see any damage or corrosion and still suspect that the alternator is the cause, then have a mechanic take a look.
  • It is advised to get the alternator replaced instead of getting it fixed. This is more economical and will avoid issues down the line.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My BMW X5 Start With New Battery?

Firstly, you should make sure that the new battery you have installed has been done so properly.

Chances are it has not been fitted right and is not working.

You should also check to see if all the connections and cables are in order.

Loose connections or corroded wires can easily prevent the battery from doing its job.

Q2. Why Won’t My BMW X5 Start Even With A Jump?

If your battery does not get a charge after a jump, then chances are your battery has lived past its prime. It could not be time for you to get yourself a new battery.

Alternatively, this could also be due to the jumpstart not being done correctly. If all of this is not the case, then your issue may not be with the battery.

Q3. Why Won’t My BMW X5 Start But Lights Work?

Lights do not require much power from the battery, which is why even a low-charged one can start them up. The engine is on a completely different level and needs a lot more juice.

A jumpstart will likely fix the issue, but if it does not, you may need to get yourself a replacement battery.

Q4. Why Won’t My BMW X5 Start But Cranks?

If your BMW X5 is cranking, it means that there should not be any issues with the battery or the starter. Your issue is likely in the ignition system or the fuel system.

You should have both of these critical systems checked out by a mechanic. They should then be able to recommend a fix which you should carry out.

Q5. Why Won’t My BMW X5 Starts Just Clicks?

More often than not, this is usually caused by a low battery or even a poor connection between the battery and the starter.

Alternatively, this could also be due to issues with the cables or the terminals of the battery. Corrosion can weaken the link with the battery, making it harder for the engine to start.

Q6. Why Won’t My BMW X5 Start In The Cold Weather?

Cold weather is not good for any car, especially the BMW X5. The cold weather makes it much more difficult for spark plugs and batteries to carry out their functions.

This also has a major effect on the engine as well and prevents it from heating up. You should try to keep your car inside and away from the cold weather if possible.

Q7. Why Won’t My BMW X5 Start After I Get Gas?

There is likely an issue with your fuel system, which is preventing the BMW X5 from getting an adequate amount of fuel that it needs to start.

You likely have a blockage in the fuel filters or are dealing with a fuel leak. Alternatively, you can also have component issues like failed fuel pumps.

All of this can be confirmed via an inspection.

Q8. Why Won’t My BMW X5 Start But Radio Works?

The radio of the BMW X5 does not require a lot of power to work.

The engine requires a good chunk of energy which is why low-charged batteries will be able to turn the radio on but not the engine.

If you are facing this sort of issue, it is likely that your battery needs to be replaced or, at the very least, jumpstarted.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The BMW X5?


The BMW X5 featured various performance models and was overall a great lineup for the company; however, many issues discussed above really hurt its reputation.

While not every model or BMW X5 will cause issues, you should be prepared for the problems mentioned above if you are considering buying a BMW X5.

That being said, if you ever find yourself asking the question, “Why won’t my BMW X5 start?” you should refer back to this article.

This way, you will be able to swiftly identify the issue that is hurting your SUV and take steps toward fixing it as fast as possible.