It is early morning and you’re running late for work already. You grab your briefcase or bag, snag your keys from the countertop, and rush out the door. You’re not even sure if you locked your front door and don’t really care at this point in time.
You unlock your car, toss in your bag or briefcase, and jump in behind the wheel. You slide the key into the ignition turn it over and then all you hear is a click.
It is a frustrating sound, but not that uncommon. Depending on the type of car you have, how old it is, and other factors, there could be a few potential causes for this all-too-familiar click.
A Dead Battery
The most common reason for hearing that click when you try to start your BMW is a dead battery. When the battery has died to the point where it doesn’t have enough power to turn the starter motor, which turns the engine over, all you’re going to hear is a click when you turn the key. If you turn the key to the start position, and if you hear the click repeating over and over, this is pretty much what to expect. You can jumpstart the vehicle to get to work, and if the alternator is working properly it should charge the battery at least to some degree. It’s still necessary to have a brand new battery installed as soon as possible.
A Blown Fuse
If there is a fuse blown somewhere in the electrical system, it could cause that familiar clicking sound. In the event that a fuse has blown, it’s usually a sign of a short somewhere in the electrical system and that needs to be diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible to keep it from happening again.
Depending on the type of fuse that blows, you may have one in your glove compartment or at the fuse box located on your BMW.
A Seized Engine
If you notice this clicking sound but the battery is fine and all of the fuses check out okay, it might be a sign of a seized engine. An engine can usually seize if the oil runs low or is completely drained and hasn’t been refilled.
It is important to check the oil on a regular basis to make sure it is not leaking or burning off. Usually when an engine seizes, the owner or driver will know it as it’s happening. If somebody borrowed your car and returned it and didn’t say anything, this could cause serious problems.
Cold weather can also impact an engine. Oil does not flow as smoothly in extremely cold temperatures and that can cause damage to the engine.
If you are stuck with a car that doesn’t turn over and all you hear is a click, contact an authorized BMW service center to have your car jumpstarted or towed to the facility and diagnosed for repairs.