The X5 comes packed with technology, as you’d expect from a premium brand like BMW.
However this also means they are prone to mysterious beeps, chimes and noises.
If you are unsure why you’re BMW X5 keeps beeping, this article is here to help…
1. Trip Time or Mileage Beeps
On some BMW X5 models, you can set a beep to go off after a certain mileage or trip time e.g. 30 minutes.
The beeps are therefore coming from the onboard computer (OBC).
The OBC has various settings such as time limit, speed limit, and mileage limit – and when you set those the computer will beep.
To clear out any settings, simply press the Set/Resume button.
2. Dashcam Beeps
Some X5 owners have dashcams installed, which are prone to beeping for various reasons.
Beeps coming from the dashcam can often confuse owners as its not somewhere they think to look.
Here is what one owner on the forum g05.bimmerpost.com had to say:
“It was my dash cam. I had it installed when I bought the car and I forgot it was there. I unplugged it and the beep is gone.”
3. Dirty, Damaged or Faulty Sensors
One of the most common causes of mysterious beeps on a BMW X5 is dirty or faulty sensors and camera lenses.
Try giving the sensors and lenses a good clean, make sure nothing is blocking them (including ice and water) and see if this stops the beeping.
This can be easily done with a clean, dry, microfiber cloth.
You should clean the front bumper sensor, front, side and rear cameras with just a wipe or two.
It’s a good idea to keep one handy in your garage to give your car a quick clean when you arrive or depart in the wet.
Damaged or faulty sensors are a common culprit for unwanted beeps.
Your dealer should be able to pinpoint the faulty sensor with some diagnostic testing (it may or may not show fault codes) and then it can be replaced.
4. Ice Alerts
A very common cause of unknown beeps from an X5 is the cold weather warning. This may also be accompanied by a message on the instrument cluster. The warning beeps occur when temperatures drop to 37°F (3°C) or below.
This is a common feature on many BMW models.
Here is what owners had to say on g05.bimmerpost.com
“It could be the notification that the temperature has dropped to 37 degrees. I get this shortly after start up from the warmer garage to the cold outside temp. There is a notice at the bottom of the instrument cluster explaining something along the lines of the reduced temp can lead to freezing roads.”
“Yup, sounds like a ice alert.”
5. Speed Limit Warning
A number of X5 owners have testified to hearing warning beeps after accidentally setting the speed warning limit too low.
Here is what one owner had to say:
“I accidentally set that to 5mph once and got a ding-dong chime and a warning in the instrument panel every time I went I exceeded 5mph.”
6. Bluetooth Notifications / App Notifications
If you’re hearing mysterious beeps from your X5, it could be coming from some kind of phone notification, app notification, Apple CarPlay, or Android Auto.
Here is one owner’s experience from the g05.bimmerpost.com forum:
“My phone was not on silent and I had a reply to my thread on here! The noise from the app makes one “ding”, the volume of the car lowers, just like if you were getting a text message notification, and since it’s the bimmer app, it literally is the ding noise of the car.”
You can try disabling Bluetooth on your phone to see if the beeping stops, if it does then you know the beeps are related to your phone.
7. 3 or 4 Beeps Whilst Driving: Hourly Beeps
A common cause of beeping on the BMW X5 is the hourly chime of iDrive, typically this is 3 beeps on the hour.
This is a common feature across all BMW models equipped with iDrive.
Fortunately, this can be disabled.
Simply go to the date/time settings in iDrive and turn off the beeps.
Similarly, the beeps could be coming from the Digital Clock in MID.
Here is what the manual says:
Here is what owners had to say on xoutpost.com:
“The correct answer is…if you hear 3 beeps that occur approx 15 seconds before the top of the hour (check the clock next time you hear it)…its the HOUR MEMO feature that’s turned on.”
“It’s the “30 seconds before the hour” beep. it’s a BMW sound that’s been on the radio function for decades and alerts drivers in case they’d like to switch to the new channel while driving.”
8. Objects On The Passenger Seat
Sometimes a mysterious beep can be caused by weight on the passenger seat.
For example, a bag, a dog, a bottle of water or an iPad.
This can trigger the passenger seat belt warning which detects the weight in the seat.
You can get around this by fastening the seat seatbelt.
Related: 8 Most Common BMW X5 Problems (Explained)
9. Electronic Devices Inside or Outside of The Car
The beeping may not actually be coming from your X5. Do you have any other electronic or battery-powered devices in your vehicle that could be causing the beeping? Usually, it’s their batteries going bad.
For example a garage door opener, a dropped wristwatch, or even the smoke alarm or CO detector in your garage.
Do you have any aftermarket equipment installed, like an alarm or dashcam? These could also be causing the beeps.
10. Low Key Fob Battery
A low key fob battery can cause a myriad of issues from random beeps to triggering the car alarm.
You may need to give your key fob a clean too as this can also cause issues – this can be done with some rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab.
When replacing the battery make sure you buy a good quality one and that the battery is inserted the right way up.
11. Software or Wiring Issue
A more complex reason why you might be hearing random beeps is due to software or electrical wiring issues.
This is common on BMWs which are packed with fancy electronics, although this also means they can develop faults.
It’s best to speak to your dealer or an auto electrician who specializes in German cars to have them run some tests to see if they can pinpoint the problem.
Reset Idrive by pushing radio/volume knob for about 30 secs.
Disconnect the 12V Battery
Disconnecting the 12V battery for 10 minutes or so and then reconnecting may clear out any electrical gremlins that are causing mysterious beeps.
Check the Instrument Cluster
When the beeping occurs can you see any lights or warning messages appear on the gauge cluster?
This can give a clue as to what’s causing the beeping.
Take it to a BMW Dealership
If needed, take your BMW X5 to the dealership.
Tell them you are NOT paying for a check on what the problem might be.
Ask them if they will check it for free.
Most dealerships and other places do quick/initial diagnosis for no money as they plan to make money for the repair of your vehicle.
Check for Recalls or TSBs:
By entering your car’s VIN number on BMWs recall page you can determine whether or not there is a recall for your vehicle and if there is you’ll want to get it fixed.
Similarly, a quick Google search will help you determine whether there is a Technical Service Bulletin for your car, these are less serious but may give a reason why your car is beeping.
Diagnosing Beeps With a Scanner
Another possible option, if you’re hearing a beeping sound, is to use an OBD2 diagnostic scanner tool.
These are fairly easy to use, you simply plug them into your car – there’s usually an OBD2 port under the steering wheel.
Once you have the scan codes you can research these online specifically for the X5.
There are also OBD apps available so you can connect your car straight to your smartphone (either with a cable or Bluetooth) without even needing a scanner.
Test the 12V Battery
How to Test the Battery
- Before testing, remove the surface charge from the battery, this allows for an accurate reading.
- Simply turn on the headlights for 2 minutes then turn off.
- Set the multimeter dial to the ’20 Volts’ setting.
- Make sure the car is turned OFF
The multimeter will have a red probe and a black probe:
- The red probe is for making contact with the positive terminal
- The black probe is for making contact with the negative terminal.
Measure across the battery terminals.
- The meter should display a reading, if the battery is fully charged the voltage should be between 12.2 and 12.6 volts.
- Anything under 12V and the battery should be charged or replaced.