When you hop into your BMW and turn the key, you expect to be on the road within seconds. The engine cranks, it starts up, and you’re off. A key component in the process of starting your car is the ignition module, an electrical switch that allows current to flow to the spark plugs. This ignites the fuel and starts your engine. If the ignition module on a vehicle fails, it simply will not start.
As a premium luxury automobile and the best of German engineering, your BMW has a superb design. However, no car is perfect, and a common problem that BMW owners experience after putting miles on their vehicle is ignition module failure. In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of ignition module failure and how you will know when it’s time to have your Bimmer serviced.
Common Causes of Ignition Module Failure
The most common reason for ignition module failure in a BMW is an electrical issue. A short in the wiring or a blown fuse can cause the module to stop working and you won’t be able to start your vehicle.
Another potential cause is frequent overheating of the engine. Excess heat melts the plastic coating on the wires within your ignition module. When that coating melts, the wires within the component can come into contact with each other, creating a short.
An electrical short is when the flow of electrical current is trapped in an unintended path from which it cannot escape, preventing it from reaching its destination and powering the correct part.
Small parts in the ignition module, like the wiring and the switch, can also wear down over time, even without being overheated. Whatever the cause of ignition module failure, your BMW will need to be serviced by a qualified mechanic to get it up and running again.
Signs and Symptoms
An early sign that your BMW’s ignition module needs to be replaced is stalling. We all know the feeling of pulling up to a red light and noticing that the rumble of the engine goes silent. If the ignition switch loses power, your vehicle will stall and not start again.
Then again, you might be getting into your car to head to work, and when you turn the key, the engine cranks but won’t fire. As we have said, this is because the spark plug is not getting power from the ignition module, and the fuel cannot be ignited without a spark.
On the other hand, if the engine does not crank when you turn the key, you’re likely dealing with a totally separate issue. When a vehicle does not start, it is due to a problem in one of three areas: ignition, fuel, or the starter. If your BMW cranks, then the starter is doing fine, and your problem is likely in the ignition module. If it doesn’t crank, though, then either your battery isn’t supplying power to the starter or the starter itself has failed. Keep this in mind if your BMW doesn’t start on Monday morning!
Another possible sign of a faulty ignition module is sudden overheating of your BMW. If this happens, you’ll not only notice your vehicle stalling, but the temperature gauge on the dashboard will read hot. What’s more, you could even see smoke seeping from under the hood of your car, which is always a cause for concern. It could be that the insulation is melting on the wires within the module itself, or it could be from a number of other parts affected by the broken ignition switch.
Other symptoms of overheating include gas guzzling, stuttering in idle, and high volumes of exhaust fumes. If you notice any of these signs of ignition module failure, it’s an indication that your BMW needs to be serviced by a certified BMW mechanic.
How Germany’s Best Can Help
At Germany’s Best, we have been providing drivers from around Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, and Oakland, CA with expert services for over 25 years. Our BMW specialists are ASE certified master technicians who use the latest technology to maintain your vehicle’s top-notch performance. Whether you need routine maintenance or emergency repairs, our mechanics are always ready to give you the quality service that you and your BMW deserve. To have your ignition module replaced or to inquire about our five-star reviewed automotive specialists, call us at (510) 658-8948 today!