How To Know If Your BMW Alternator Is Failing

One of the most important components of your BMW’s engine is the alternator, but you may not know what it does or what to look out for when it begins to fail. Here are some of the most common symptoms that mean your BMW alternator could be failing. You can prevent an expensive breakdown by knowing these warning signs so you can get your alternator fixed before it fails completely.

Dead Battery

The first sign that your BMW alternator is failing is a dead battery. The battery is used to start your vehicle, so you won’t be able to start it if there isn’t enough juice left in it. This means a dead battery and a non-starting car can be indicators of an alternator problem.

Slow Or Malfunctioning Accessories

A failing alternator will result in your car’s lights, radio, and other accessories slowing down or not working at all. The most noticeable thing you’ll notice is that they won’t come on when you try to turn on your headlamps. This is because a weak battery can’t power them up. The same thing goes for heated seats and windshield wipers – if they’re slow to respond or just not coming on at all, and it’s likely due to a bad alternator.

Dashboard Warning Lights

First and foremost, you’ll need to know that your BMW has dashboard warning lights. While they can be confusing at first, they’re pretty straightforward. The simplest way to understand them is to think of it as a primary traffic light system; your dashboard will have three lights: Green, Yellow, and Red. Each light represents a different thing that’s either happening or could happen in the near future.

Performance Issues

First, if you experience any performance issues at all with your BMW vehicles—such as a lack of acceleration or extra sluggishness on hills—you should seek out alternative means to get your car fixed as soon as possible. You don’t want to wait until you have a total loss of power in your car before seeking repairs. This could be an indicator that something is wrong with your alternator, and it’s about to give out completely.

Trouble Starting Or Frequent Stalling

A common sign of aging or failing BMW alternator is trouble starting or frequent stalling. When your alternator stops working, your car’s battery will take over—but it isn’t designed to hold a charge for long. So, you may find yourself stranded with a dead battery if you don’t have another form of transportation.

Growling Or Whining Noises

When you hear a growling or whining noise coming from your BMW, it’s probably because your alternator is failing. Although most of these noises will occur while you’re driving, they can also happen while your car is parked.

Smell Of Burning Rubber Or Wires

This is a sure sign that you are having an issue with your alternator. When you smell burning wires or rubber, there is little to no doubt left about it. You will want to find out what can be causing it and repair it as soon as possible because if you do not, you will end up being forced to replace your alternator prematurely.

Electrical Issues

The first thing you need to know is that BMWs rely on electronics more than other vehicles. That means they’re a bit more sensitive when it comes to electrical issues. If your vehicle isn’t working right, don’t immediately start looking at physical parts. Instead, look for an electrical problem or possible software bug before you start troubleshooting components like batteries and alternators.