You shouldn’t panic because of a dead door handle light. The car won’t refuse to start simply because the door handle lights have stopped working. That being said, you are right to show concern because of inactive door handle lights because these components play an important role. They fail because of the following factors:
1). You Turned The Interior Light Switch Off
A BMW’s door handle lights work in tandem with the interior light switch. Usually, the interior light will turn on when you open the door.
But if you disable this feature, the door handle lights will also stay off even though you activated them in the settings.
2). The Firmware Is Out Of Date
Modern vehicles are sophisticated machines whose operations rely heavily on software. This is why vehicle manufacturers send out regular updates. They know a car’s firmware can develop bugs if you neglect it.
When was the last time you updated the firmware? Have you received messages from the dealership warning you about software glitches and the fixes they’ve sent out to patch them? Have they mentioned upcoming versions of the firmware that may solve your problem?
Laypeople always blame dead door handle lights on a hardware defect. They don’t realize that a software issue can create similar challenges.
3). The Fuse Blew
The fuse is the first component mechanics check when an electronic component stops working. In this case, you should determine whether any other part has failed. Have all four door handle lights failed, or is the problem restricted to one door handle? Can you remotely lock and unlock the door? Do the windows work?
It is rare for a manufacturer to assign a separate fuse to each door handle light. If the fuse dies, windows and doors stop working. However, you shouldn’t rule out the fuse. You don’t lose anything by finding the fuse box and testing the fuses.
4). The Battery Is Low
The car will start and run even when the battery is low. However, cars have mechanisms that disable certain functions when the battery is low. This allows the car to start even though the battery’s charge is low.
The door handle light is not a vital function. Therefore, you can understand why the car would deactivate it.
4). The Wires Are Loose
Like every other electronic component, the door handle light uses wires to meet its electrical demands. The light won’t work if those wires break or disconnect.
Naturally, laypeople should consult a mechanic because it takes a skilled hand to access the door handle light.
Eldigitom has a video showing drivers how to access the door handle light on a BMW 228i. As you can see, it takes quite a bit of work.
5). The Light Broke
These lights are delicate. They also have limited lifespans. They will grow dim over the years until they stop working altogether.
You can break them while removing the door panel. If you’ve tampered with the door handle in the past, are you sure the light is still in place? Maybe it fell out or broke.
How To Troubleshoot BMW Door Handle Light That Is Not Working?
Many people ignore dead door handle lights because the components are relatively insignificant. However, if you rely on them, you can apply the following solutions to a door handle light that won’t work:
1). Replace The Blown Fuse
The fuse is unlikely to blame for a BMW with one dead door handle light. You would expect all the door handle lights to fail. Additionally, the windows and door locks would stop working. That said, you can’t expect manufacturers to follow the same rules with every vehicle.
Your model may assign a separate fuse to each door handle light. Confirm this theory by checking the fuse layout. It will show you all the fuses in the vehicle and the components they control.
Find the fuse associated with the dead door handle light and test it for continuity. If it has obvious signs of damage, such as burn marks, replace it. Do the same thing if the fuse fails the test.
Do you know what happens when you disconnect the battery? The car resets. This annoys drivers because it forces them to reconfigure the car’s settings. But a reset can help you if the vehicle has a glitch.
If you’ve ruled out the fuse, the door module could be at fault. A reset can fix a buggy module. But batteries are dangerous. Don’t forget to disconnect the negative terminal first. You should also wear protective gear in case things go wrong.
A mechanic will give you the final word with regard to whether you need a replacement module.
3). Internal Light switch On
Do you know how the door handle lights work? Are you sure you turned them on? Confirm by checking the instructions in the manual. What does the manual say about interior lighting? If it wants you to enable the interior lighting, you should do so.
Make sure the interior lights turn on when you open the door. Otherwise, the door handle lights won’t work.
4). Firmware Update
Do you update your car’s software regularly? BMW sends out updates for a reason. Newer versions of their firmware offer solutions that resolve common bugs and glitches. Talk to your dealership and determine whether BMW has software updates relevant to your situation.
A dealership cannot guarantee that a software update will solve your problem. However, this is the first solution BMW’s personnel will recommend when you consult them. Therefore, you might as well tick this box before talking to them.
5). Charge The Battery
If the lights won’t work because of a low battery, starting the car and driving around for a bit will solve the problem because it allows the alternator to charge the battery. If the car won’t start, connect a charger to the battery.
This won’t help if the battery is defective. Talk to a mechanic. They will determine whether the battery is salvageable or if you’re better off getting a new one.
6). Manage The Wire
Remove the door handle and inspect the light. If the light is dead, get a replacement. If the wires are frayed, replace them. If the connections are loose, tighten them.
Cost To Repair It
A new door will cost you hundreds of dollars. The door handle is cheaper. Your mechanic expects a new BMW 328xi door handle to cost you $429, including labor.
The actual LED is the cheapest component. You can get one for $20 or less. But many mechanics charge an average of $120 per hour for labor. You can limit your expenditure by installing the new light yourself.