Troubleshooting A BMW ConnectedDrive Not Working Issue

We have all become accustomed to having almost instantaneous access to the world through smart devices. BMW makes this connectivity a priority with the BMW ConnectedDrive application found in their newer models of automobiles.

However, when the ConnectedDrive application doesn’t work it can be frustrating. If your BMW ConnectedDrive app isn’t working, these tips and suggestions may solve your connection problem.

BMW ConnectedDrive is a proprietary application built into their latest models that brings real-world electronic connectivity to your car. Using BMW ConnectedDrive, you can access advanced navigation assistance and your financial information. Your car will report its condition and any problems automatically. Depending on the model of your BMW, a host of other features may be available.

Your BMW ConnectedDrive system may fail to operate or connect for several reasons. Some are associated with the software that operates the system, and others may be related to signal problems, interference from other devices, or even a failure of a critical part of the electronic systems of your car. This list represents some of the more common issues and the expert’s solutions.

Staying connected to the world is a great feature and extends our modern conveniences to your automobile. However, when that connectivity disappears, the situation can become frustrating, confusing, or even dangerous. Understanding how to keep your BMW ConnectedDrive system operating properly, connected, and communicating is important to any BMW owner.

Start by Rebooting the BMW ConnectedDrive System

If your BMW ConnectedDrive system isn’t working properly or fails to work at all, the first step is to reboot the ConnectedDrive applications. This will often solve your issues and get your BMW ConnectedDrive apps back online.

To reboot the apps in most models of BMW automobiles equipped with ConnectedDrive applications, press the volume button for 20 to 30 seconds to activate the system reboot.

This will often solve your issues, but in some cases, other factors can affect the operation of your BMW ConnectedDrive system that must be explored and mitigated to keep your connectivity operating properly. If rebooting the ConnectedDrive apps doesn’t work, try these solutions to your problem.

Update your Phone

BMW ConnectedDrive depends on a connection to your smartphone for much to connect to the rest of the world. It is imperative that your smartphone have the latest operating system installed to communicate with your ConnectedDrive apps properly.

Follow the instructions on your smart device to ensure that it has the latest operating system versions installed to allow full connectivity with your BMW ConnectedDrive applications.

Reinstall the ConnectedDrive Application on your Smart Device

Your BMW ConnectedDrive apps communicate with your smart device via the Idrive app that you install on your smartphone or another device. If the app on your smart device is out of date or improperly installed, ConnectedDrive cannot communicate.

There are several possible fixes for this. The first thing to try is to reinstall the application on your smart device and make sure that you follow all of the installation steps in order.

Step 1 – Sign out of your Idrive Account.

Step 2 – Uninstall the current version of the Idrive app from your smart device

Step 3 – Depending on your operating system, navigate to the appropriate server to download the latest version of Idrive for your device

Step 4 – Follow the installation steps exactly as they are provided

Step 5 – Log back into your Idrive account and reconnect to your ConnectedDrive system

Your Smart Device May Not Be Compatible with ConnectedDrive or the Idrive App

Under some rare circumstances, the operating system of your smart device may not be compatible with the Idrive application which can prevent your device from communicating with your ConnectedDrive system in your automobile.

This problem is more prevalent with older smart devices that have not been updated. However, in rare cases, older smart devices may no longer be supported by the Idrive application.

If your smart device won’t install the Idrive application or if the device refuses to connect with your BMW ConnectedDrive system, you may be forced to update or upgrade your smart device.

Before you upgrade your smart device, check the BMW Idrive support pages to ensure any device you select is compatible with the Idrive application.

Are there Too Many Users Connecting to Your ConnectedDrive System?

The BMW ConnectedDrive system is limited to the total number of users who can connect at any one time. For most features, the system limits connections to 5 users simultaneously.

Some features in the IDrive app may limit the number of users even further. Trying to connect more users than the allowed number may cause the ConnectedDrive system or the Idrive app to fail to work properly.

To alleviate this problem, disconnect unused devices from the ConnectedDrive system by turning them off or disabling the Idrive application on the device. Often it is necessary to reboot the BMW ConnectedDrive system to mitigate this problem.

Is Your Subscription Current?

To enjoy the full range of features of the BMW ConnectedDrive system, you must maintain a current subscription through BMW Idrive.

If your subscription has lapsed, your ConnectedDrive features will be seriously limited. If you purchase your car new, the first three months of Idrive service are free. After the first three months, you must purchase an annual subscription.

Your billing information on your subscription may also have changed, or your credit card has gone out of date.

You can access your account through the Idrive app and check your subscription status. If your subscription is not current, you can reinstate the service. Check the status of your billing and credit card information as well. This should bring your ConnectedDrive system back into full operation.

Are Your ConnectedDrive Services Out of Date?

BMW strives to continually improve all areas of the performance of its automobiles and customer service. The software and components that make up the ConnectedDrive system are no different.

The software is often revised to ensure customers get the best services and connections when using the ConnectedDrive system. You must make sure that your BMW ConnectedDrive system has the latest revisions installed.

This is a relatively easy procedure if you understand the basic steps to downloading and installing the current software revisions from BMW.

How To Install The Current BMW Software

Step 1. Find the APPS section on your ConnectedDrive System

Step 2. Locate the OPTIONS button inside the APPS section, Press this button.

Step 3. The ConnectedDrive system will display several options. Locate the option labeled “UPDATE APPS AND SERVICES.”

Step 4. Press the UPDATE APPS AND SERVICES BUTTON and follow the instructions. The update process may take several minutes to complete. Don’t turn off your cellphone, the car, or the ConnectedDrive system during the updates.

Step 5. When the update indicates that it has completed the download and installation, hold the power button down for 45 seconds. This will ensure that the ConnectedDrive system is completely off,

Step 6. The ConnectedDrive system should restart twice on its own before it comes to life completely. This is normal and nothing to worry about.

Step 7. Access the ConnectedDrive App on your smart device and log out of your account completely. Log back in and reconnect your device to your car.

Your BMW ConnectedDrive system should now have all of the latest enhancements and updates available, giving you the best of privacy, security, and services BMW has to offer.

Is Your Smart Device Completely Charged?

Many people don’t consider the problem with their ConnectedDrive system may really be with the smart device they use to connect to the ConnectedDrive system.

If your smart device, such as a smartphone, isn’t fully charged, the ConnectedDrive system may not be able to connect properly with your smart device or with the world.

You can connect your smart device to one of the USB charging ports available in your BMW to ensure that the battery is well charged.

There May Be a Bug in The ConnectedDrive App

No one is perfect, and no software system is perfect. Bugs, errors, and problems creep into even the best-designed systems from time to time.

The BMW ConnectedDrive app is no without its known problems. There are some things you can do to ensure that your ConnectedDrive App performs at its best.

  • Make sure you have the latest revisions and updates by performing a system update as described above.
  • Perform a system reset to force the ConnectedDrive system on your BMW to restart a fresh application instance.
  • If all else fails, contact BMW customer support for help and advice by calling BMW USA Support at 1-800-578-5000.

Consider the Weather Conditions

Unfortunately, local weather conditions can be a big factor in how well your BMW ConnectedDrive system operates. Several issues can be weather related.

Unfortunately, there is not much we can do to control the weather. However, understanding how weather can affect your ConnectedDrive system operation will allow you to mitigate some of the effects.

The ConnectedDrive system communicates with your smart device using Bluetooth technology which is radio-based. In some cases, local weather conditions such as thunderstorms or high static electricity situations can interrupt Bluetooth communications.

Your cellphone depends on radio waves to connect to the internet and your cell phone provider. These radio systems are basically line-of-sight systems, and anything that interrupts the radio signals can cause your cell phone to lose its connection which will interrupt your ConnectedDrive systems. Lightning is one chief causes of signal problems.

Check the Storage Capacity of your Cell Phone

The Idrive App that connects with your BMW ConnectedDrive system uses storage space on your smart device as part of its normal operation.

Suppose the available storage on your smart device is low. In that case, the Idrive system may not be able to operate properly, which can impact how it shares information and data with the ConnectedDrive system.

The obvious fix for this problem is to free up additional storage space on your smart device. This is often as easy as transferring photos, videos, and other data from your smartphone to another device, such as a laptop computer.

Check Your Idrive Account Status

BMW seeks to ensure that its users and customers are protected and receive the best service possible on its ConnectedDrive systems.

To this end, BMW has instituted some strict user protocols to protect the privacy and security of its customers. If you fail to abide by these protocols and rules, your account may be deactivated or banned altogether.

If you find that your account is deactivated, you must contact BMW support to reactivate your account. You can reach the BMW USA Support team, who will give you the instructions you need to reactivate your account. BMW USA is available by calling 1-800-578-5000.

Are the BMW Servers Down?

It is a rare occurrence, but occasionally, the computer servers that operate the Idrive system can go down for various reasons. Periodic updates and maintenance are the chief reasons these systems may be down. BMW tries to perform this type of maintenance at off-peak service times.

There is really nothing you can do to resolve this sort of issue except to wait for the server issue to be resolved and the system to come back online.

Calling BMW support won’t do any good, so your best option is to be patient and understanding. You can be assured that the BMW support team is doing all it can to get the Idrive system back online and serve you as efficiently as possible.

Your Car Battery May Be to Blame

If your ConnectedDrive system is operating erratically or having other problems, the cause may be a bad car battery.

The computers on your BMW that power the ConnectedDrive system require a healthy battery that can deliver full voltage at all times. If your car battery has a weak cell and can’t deliver the required voltage consistently, the ConnectedDrive system will not perform its tasks as required.

Your best bet is to visit your BMW service center or dealership and have a trained technician check the condition and status of your car battery.

If the battery is not performing adequately, it may be time to install a new battery in your BMW. If the battery is still good, the charging system on your BMW may be at fault and your BMW technician and diagnose and fix those problems as well.

BMW ConnectedDrive and 3G Cell Service

As 3G cell services are being discontinued throughout the USA, BMW is also phasing out support of 3G services on its ConnectedDrive systems.

Some older BMW automobiles outfitted with 3G telematics devices will no longer work where 3G cell service has been discontinued. Most of these vehicles lost their connectivity in February 2022.

Some of the services that may be affected by the discontinuation of 3G services include:

  • BMW Online and eMobility
  • MyInfo (information sent to the car)
  • Remote Services
  • Stolen Vehicle Recovery
  • TeleServices
  • Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI)
  • My BMW App

Sometimes, your BMW may be eligible for an upgraded or updated communications service package. If you are experiencing technical problems with your BMW ConnectedDrive system, you can check for these updates and upgraded service using these steps.

Step 1. Open the Options on your system and select” UPDATE BMW ASSISTANT.”

Step 2. Select the option “ALL APPS.”

Step 3. Follow the directions and instructions that follow. This may differ for different versions of Idrive, ConnectedDrive, and BMW models.

Unfortunately, the discontinuation of 3G services is not a function in the control of BMW but are operational decision made by local cell phone carriers and service providers.

Does BME ConnectedDrive Expire?

There is a lot of confusion about when and if BMW ConnectedDrive expires. Many owners of pre-2014 BMWs have information that indicates that the BMW Connect system is good for 10 years.

In 2015, BMW changes this to a 4-year period. Depending g on the model year of your BMW and the version of ConnectedDrive installed in your car, the apps and services that are affected when BMW connect expires may vary.

How Much Does BMW Connect Cost?

BMW ConnectedDrive is free for the first three months. Thereafter, the ConnectedDrive service costs $50 per year.

However, BMW is quick to note that this price may change as new services and new versions of the software are introduced with new model years of their automobiles. If you want to enjoy the full capabilities of the ConnectedDrive system, you must maintain a current subscription for the services.

To Connect or Not to Connect?

The decision to keep and maintain a subscription to BMW ConnectedDrive deserves careful consideration.

If you do maintain a subscription, keeping the system up to date and current is essential to getting full service and satisfaction. The ConnectedDrive system and the Idrive app work together to enhance your driving experience and to provide you with a safer and less stressful driving experience.