Why You Shouldn’t Jump Start a Weak Battery

A couple of times a year we have BMW automobiles come in to have a weak battery replaced. We replace it and code it if necessary, then the customer will drive off. All pretty routine, except sometimes the customer will call us back a few days later to tell us that their fuel gauge is not working or their steering wheel is very heavy. They bring the car back for us to diagnose and we see that the electrical issues are peculiar. Then we have to ask, “when your battery was weak, how many times did jump start your car?” Then usually the answer is we get is, “a couple of times”.

Why repeatedly jump starting your BMW can cost you

When you jump start your vehicle the electronics systems in your car also receive a jolt. They can withstand these electrical spikes a handful of times before something burns out. We have seen everything from sensors that have failed, computer modules that short circuited, to pricey repairs items such as electric power steering motors all due to the owners jump starting them repeatedly.

The expense of suddenly needing a new battery or the time it takes to get a new one installed and coded to your BMW can be inconvenient and unexpected. Some people resort to jump starting their vehicle as a means of getting to work or to run errands with their car. Older cars without computer controls could withstand the constant boosting without issue due to their much simpler electronic systems, but modern cars aren’t able to withstand constant electrical spikes and doing so will damage or severely shorten the life of many sensitive electronic components. As much of a hassle replacing a battery can be it is best practice to do this as soon as possible at a shop that can code it to your BMW.

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