BMW Clock Showing Wrong Time: Quick Fix Guide

Understanding the Issue

Occasionally, you might face an issue where the clock in your BMW is repeatedly showing the wrong time. This can be frustrating, but understanding the underlying causes can help you solve the problem.

One possible reason for the clock resetting is the deactivation of the memory power supply to the radio or iDrive head unit. This problem is more common in E-Series BMWs (E6x, E7x, E9x, etc.) and very rarely occurs in F-Series models. You might be wondering why the power supply would be deactivated; there could be several reasons for this, such as a weak or dying battery. A battery at the end of its life may struggle to maintain power for the clock’s memory, thus causing it to reset1.

Aside from battery issues, a problem with the vehicle’s iDrive could also be behind the clock issue. The iDrive is responsible for managing various functions and settings, including the time. If there is a software glitch, an update might be necessary to fix the problem. In some cases, a factory reset of the iDrive system may resolve the issue.

Another potential cause could be related to your car’s time synchronization settings. Your BMW might have a setting that automatically adjusts the time according to GPS signals. If the system receives incorrect time data or loses connection, it may result in an inaccurate clock display.

To address this issue, you can try the following steps:

  1. Check your car’s battery and replace if necessary.
  2. Verify your iDrive settings and perform a software update or factory reset if needed.
  3. Confirm your vehicle’s time synchronization settings to ensure they are correct and up-to-date.

By understanding the possible reasons behind your BMW clock displaying the wrong time, you should be well-equipped to troubleshoot and fix the problem. Remember, sometimes a simple fix such as replacing the battery or updating the iDrive settings can be all it takes to get your clock back on track.

The Role of Sensors and Batteries

Battery and Clock Performance

The performance of your BMW’s clock is closely tied to the battery. A weak or malfunctioning battery can cause the clock to lose time or reset itself. When the battery is running low or is failing to hold a charge, it can directly affect the clock’s ability to keep accurate time. It’s crucial to regularly inspect and maintain battery terminals to ensure optimal electrical connectivity.

Additionally, a car’s alternator plays an essential role in maintaining battery health. Ensure your alternator is functioning correctly to avoid battery issues that may impact your BMW clock’s accuracy.

Role of Sensors in Time Display

Sensors, such as BMW’s Intelligent Battery Sensor (IBS), are critical components in the vehicle’s electrical system. The IBS monitors the battery’s state, charging current, and energy consumption, affecting not only the clock’s performance but also other features in the car. If something goes wrong with the IBS, it can disrupt the clock’s time display, leading to resets and inaccurate time readings.

Conducting an energy diagnosis can help determine if a sensor issue causes your BMW clock to show the wrong time. The energy diagnosis tests for the vehicle’s sleep mode, excessive standby current, and other related problems. Using this analysis can pinpoint the issue and help you determine the best course of action to resolve it.

Clock Resetting Procedure

Resetting Through iDrive

To reset the clock on your BMW through the iDrive system, first turn on your vehicle and navigate to the iDrive main menu. Locate the “Settings” option and select it. Under the “Settings” menu, you will find the “Time and Date” setting. Select this option and proceed to adjust the current time. Ensure the time is set accurately to prevent further issues with your clock. Once the correct time is set, confirm the changes and exit the iDrive system.

Manual Clock Reset

For older BMW models without the iDrive system, you still have the option to manually reset the clock. To do this, turn on your vehicle and locate the clock in your dashboard. Press and hold the button or knob dedicated to adjusting the time settings. Holding down the button will cause the clock to enter time-setting mode. While in this mode, you can adjust the hours and minutes as needed. Make sure to set the time accurately to maintain synchronization with the real time. Once the correct time is set, release the button to finalize the changes and continue driving.

By following the appropriate clock resetting procedure for your BMW, you’ll have accurate timekeeping as you drive. Remember to adjust the time during daylight saving time changes or when traveling to different time zones to keep your vehicle’s clock in sync with the correct time.

BMW Warranty and Potential Issues

Understanding BMW’s Warranty

BMW offers a comprehensive warranty for its vehicles, covering you against manufacturing defects and any potential issues that might arise. This warranty generally protects you for a specific period or mileage, whichever comes first. With a BMW warranty, you can have peace of mind knowing that your car’s components, including the clock, are covered in case of any issues. However, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your warranty to ensure that your vehicle remains eligible for coverage and support.

Common Clock Related Issues

Occasionally, you may encounter issues related to your BMW’s clock, such as it resetting itself or showing the incorrect time. This can often be attributed to a few common issues, including a weak or dying battery, or an electrical malfunction within your vehicle’s systems. If your battery is on its way out, you may find that the clock needs resetting regularly. Replacing the battery will likely resolve this issue, and as mentioned in this Bimmerfest BMW Forum, it might be necessary even if your car is just a few years old.

Another possible reason for a malfunctioning clock is an issue with the engine control module (DME or DDE), which monitors the standby current and battery condition, as mentioned in this Bimmerist article. If the clock issues persist after replacing the battery, it may be related to an electrical problem in the vehicle, and you should contact the BMW service center for assistance.

If you are experiencing issues with your BMW’s clock and your vehicle is still under warranty, it is recommended to consult with your local BMW service center to diagnose the problem and implement any necessary repairs. You can also raise your concerns with BMW customer service to receive support, as suggested in this JustAnswer post. Keep in mind that any modifications or unauthorized repairs might affect your warranty, so it’s always best to seek professional help when dealing with potential clock-related problems.

Exploring Electronics and Software Updates

Importance of Regular Updates

In modern BMW vehicles, electronics play a crucial role in overall performance and user experience. The iDrive system, for example, is at the heart of your vehicle’s infotainment and navigation features. As with any technology, staying up-to-date with software updates is essential for optimal performance and functionality of these electronics. By regularly updating your BMW’s software, you ensure compatibility with the latest smartphones, improve system stability, and access new features.

Procedure for Software Updates

To update your BMW’s software, you can opt for an over-the-air (OTA) update or visit a BMW service center. For an OTA update, first, check if your vehicle supports this feature by navigating to the iDrive system and selecting “Software update” in the settings menu. If available, your vehicle will search for updates and offer you the option to download and install them. Keep in mind that your car should be connected to Wi-Fi, or your smartphone’s internet connection for a seamless update process.

For BMW models that do not support OTA updates or if you prefer a manual update, you can visit your local BMW service center and request assistance from a trained technician. They will connect your vehicle to their in-house system and perform any necessary updates to ensure your BMW is up-to-date.

Remember to periodically check for software updates to keep your BMW’s electronics functioning optimally. A well-maintained iDrive system and other vehicle electronics lead to a better driving experience and overall satisfaction with your car.

Guide to Aftermarkets and Upgrades

Opting for Aftermarket Clocks

When facing issues with your BMW’s clock showing the wrong time, you might consider looking into aftermarket clocks as a possible solution. Numerous reliable aftermarket brands produce high-quality clocks that can be integrated into your BMW’s system. These clocks offer various features from basic timekeeping functionality to advanced technical options. In some cases, updating your existing clock or head unit could resolve the issue with the clock resetting or displaying the incorrect time.

When selecting an aftermarket clock, ensure it is compatible with your BMW model and consider professional installation to avoid complications or voiding any existing warranties on your vehicle.

Benefits and Drawbacks

There are several benefits to opting for an aftermarket clock for your BMW. These include:

  • Improved accuracy in timekeeping and potential resolution of incorrect time display issues.
  • Access to advanced features, such as customizable interfaces, GPS synchronization, and more.
  • Enhanced aesthetics, as some aftermarket clocks offer stylish designs that can enhance your BMW’s interior appearance.

However, some drawbacks should also be considered:

  • Compatibility issues: Not all aftermarket clocks might be compatible with your specific BMW model, potentially resulting in further issues with clock functioning.
  • Warranty concerns: Installing an aftermarket clock could void the existing warranty on your vehicle, depending on the terms and conditions outlined by the manufacturer.
  • Costs: The price of aftermarket clocks can vary widely, and professional installation might add additional expenses.

In conclusion, addressing your BMW’s clock issues through aftermarket solutions can be advantageous. However, make sure to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before making a decision. It’s also essential to consult a professional or research the deactivation of the memory power supply to the radio or iDrive head unit, as it can be a common cause for clock reset issues, especially in E-Series BMWs.

Utilizing In-Car Apps and Features

Time/Date Settings in Apps

As a BMW owner, you have access to a range of in-car apps and features that help enhance your daily driving experience. One common issue you might face is the car clock showing the wrong time. Luckily, iDrive, the built-in infotainment and navigation system in your BMW, allows you to quickly adjust your time and date settings.

To update the clock, simply navigate to the “Settings” menu on your iDrive system, and then select “Time and Date.” Here, you can choose to set the time manually or use the automatic option. The automatic option synchronizes the clock with GPS time, ensuring accuracy. However, if you encounter issues with updating the time, double-check the GPS signal to make sure you have a stable connection.

Using Maps and Garmin Express

When it comes to navigating with your BMW, you have the option of using the built-in maps app or syncing your car with Garmin Express, a reliable third-party tool. Utilizing accurate maps can be valuable not just for getting directions, but also for keeping your car’s clock on the right time. This is because the map apps and systems often access the GPS time information.

To get started with Garmin Express, first, download and install the app on your computer. Once installed, connect your BMW’s navigation system to your computer using a USB cable. Garmin Express will automatically detect your navigation system and let you update maps, as well as time and date settings.

Keeping your BMW’s clock accurate is essential for ensuring a smooth driving experience. By using the iDrive system and taking advantage of tools like Garmin Express, you can make sure your time and date settings are always correct.


  1. clock always needs resetting | BimmerFest BMW Forum

Georg Meier

BMW technician since 1996. I began my automotive journey in 1993 as an apprentice mechanic at Automag, the world's oldest BMW dealership in Munich. With years of experience and dedication, I garnered a wealth of knowledge about the intricacies of BMW and MINI vehicles. The love/hate relationship with the brand led me to found BIMMERIST where I share expertise and insights with fellow enthusiasts.

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *