Like other cars, BMW cars have a warning light that warns you if your battery charge drops below the required level(typically 40%). So, what causes the BMW battery charge level low error? Well, lots of issues, including;
- Your battery never charged sufficiently.
- You had your car turned on for a long period without the engine running.
- You had your electrical accessories turned on for a long period without the engine running.
- A charging malfunction.
- Your BMW’s battery is losing strength and dying.
More About Each Possible Issue
The battery Never Charged Sufficiently
Your battery level may not be sufficient perhaps because you never drive the car for periods long enough for it to charge over sufficient levels(40% and above).
Remember that the battery only charges when the engine is running. If you never let it run for periods long enough to allow the battery sufficient time to charge over the required percentage, you are going to see this error warning.
The car Was On For a Longer Period Without the Engine Running
Having your car turned on by leaving the key in the ignition actually utilizes your battery. Therefore, you shouldn’t do that for periods longer than 8-10 minutes while the engine isn’t running. Otherwise, doing so will drain your battery up to insufficient levels, causing the battery charge level low error in BMW cars.
The Electrical Accessories Were Turned On For a Longer Period Without the Engine Running
Like other cars, your BMW comes with a wide range of electrical accessories that get powered by the battery. These include the radio, lights, wipers, climate control, and so on.
Meaning having them enabled without the engine running will drain your battery, again, causing the battery charge level low error.
A Charging Malfunction
Your battery is charged by the alternator. If faulty, this charging system may not be able to charge it properly. Similarly, this can result in the charge level low error message popping up on the dashboard.
A lot of things can cause alternator/battery charging malfunction. These include having a badly worn or broken alternator, as well as corroded wires, connections, and battery terminals. Symptoms of a bad charging system on your Bmw;
- Overly bright or dim lights
- Slow or malfunctioning accessories.
- You smell burning wires or rubber.
- Whining or growling noises.
- Trouble starting or occasional stalling of the engine.
Your Battery Is Losing Strength & Dying
Last but not least, the battery charge level low error may also occur if your battery is losing strength and dying. This normally occurs when the battery is nearing the end of its lifespan. On average, a BMW battery will last 3-5 years.
Fix Costs and Labor Costs
The battery was insufficiently charged
To fix this issue, give your battery sufficient time to charge by letting your engine run for a few minutes until the light goes off.
You could also remove and charge your battery externally until at least its charge reaches the minimum required level(typically 40%). You can use a special gadget to quickly check your battery charge level.
The car was on without the engine running
Give the battery sufficient time to charge by letting your engine run for a few minutes until the error message disappears on its own.
You could also remove and charge the battery externally until at least its charge reaches the minimum required level(typically 40%). This remedy shouldn’t cost you any amount.
Electrical accessories were on for a longer time without the engine running
The error message should vanish after the battery has at least gained the minimum charge level. Again, this remedy should not cost you a dime because it’s the engine that will do the charging.
A Battery Charging System Malfunction
Have your battery’s charging checked and replaced(if need be)by a trustworthy mechanic. On average, this fix should cost around $150-$800(including labor).
A weak or dying battery
You’ll need to replace your battery. BMW battery replacement costs $300—$500(including labor). You could also save on the costs by doing the replacement part on your own, slushing off the labor cost.
Preventing This Problem From Occurring Again in the Future
Always give your battery enough time to charge by driving the car for longer periods as necessary.
Always avoid draining your battery when it’s not charging at the same time.
Activities that can drain it include, leaving the key in the ignition and operating your car’s accessories that drain the battery(e.g the radio) for longer periods while the battery isn’t charging.
Always check the condition of your battery after every 3-5 years, replacing it if necessary. Always watch out for symptoms of a bad battery charging system, replacing the charging system if need be.
A few things can cause the battery charge level low error in BMW cars. Your battery never charging sufficiently and having your car or electrical accessories turned on without the engine running are some of them.
So are; a charging malfunction and your BMW’s battery is losing strength and dying. The good thing is that you can remedy this problem for $150-$800(including labor).