How to turn on/off the preconditioning (heating/cooling) on the BMW iX

2 min read


The BMW iX – along with most EVs and modern cars – comes with cabin temperature preconditioning settings. You can use these to heat or cool the vehicle interior to a comfortable level.
In summer, air conditioning forces cool air into the cabin. In winter, a heater warms the interior. At the same time, the windows, mirrors, seats, and steering wheel will warm.
For the BMW iX, “preconditioning” doesn’t refer to the high-voltage battery-warming process found on some other electric cars. It’s simply about climate control and de-frosting.
This article will guide you through how to turn the BMW iX preconditioning on and off.

What is preconditioning on the BMW iX?

The BMW iX comes with a preconditioning setting. This involves heating or cooling the car before you go to it. There are many benefits to this:

  • Range increases (provided you precondition while your iX is plugged in).
    • The car’s range increases because you’re using the electrical grid to heat/cool it instead of the batteries.
  • Your car is more comfortable to drive.
  • The windshield, windows, and mirrors begin de-misting in winter.
  • The interior is cooler in summer.

Although it depends on your BMW iX’s trim and specification, preconditioning activates the following heating/cooling features:

  • Vents for hot or cold air.
    • This includes the windshield de-mist vent.
  • Seat heating and ventilation.
  • Rear windshield heating.
  • Mirror heating.
  • Steering wheel heating.
  • Armrest heating.

Prerequisites for BMW iX preconditioning

Before you can activate BMW iX preconditioning, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The car must either be plugged in to charge or have sufficient reserves in the high-voltage batteries.
    • If you’ve only just plugged your vehicle in from a badly discharged state, you might have to wait until the batteries have charged to a reasonable level.
  2. The iX must be in either a rest or standby state.
  3. All the air vents should be open (else the cabin won’t warm or cool).
  4. The time and date must be correct.

How to turn BMW iX preconditioning on

There are several ways you can activate BMW iX preconditioning:

  • From the app
  • With your key
  • Using the iDrive infotainment system

Activating BMW iX preconditioning from the app

The simplest way to turn on preconditioning for most people is to activate it from the My BMW (or equivalent) app.
The instruction below assumes your app is already set up, connected to your iX, and working.

  1. Select the option to turn on preconditioning.

As always, your car still needs to meet the prerequisites for preconditioning.

Activating BMW iX preconditioning from the key

Turn preconditioning on from the key by:

  • Pressing the diamond-shaped button.

Of course, your key must have a working battery.
You’ll need to ensure this is enabled before it’ll work. Check the settings in:

  1. Go to Vehicle apps.
  2. Select Doors and windows.
  3. Find Vehicle key.
  4. Choose the right setting.

Activating BMW iX preconditioning from the car

Turn on the preconditioning from the iDrive.

  1. Go to the Climate Menu.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Choose Preconditioning.
  4. Pick your desired settings.

Switching BMW iX preconditioning off

Preconditioning in the BMW iX will switch off when:

  • 30 minutes have passed; or,
  • You switch the car into its drive-ready state; or,
  • You turn preconditioning off from the app.

If the car isn’t charging, it will switch off once it reaches a certain battery level.

Using BMW iX preconditioning with a departure time

If possible, the iX’s departure time setting is the best way to use preconditioning.
Set the departure time by:

  1. In the Climate Menu, select Settings.
  2. Open Preconditioning.
  3. Find Departure plan.
  4. Choose your day and time settings.

Before the departure time works, you need to activate it with respect to preconditioning.

Open the Climate Menu.
Choose Settings.
Select Preconditioning.
Look for Preconditioning for departure time.

Use the BMW iX owner’s manual

Using the BMW iX owner’s manual is essential for all aspects of owning and running a car. See a PDF from it here. Don’t forget to read it yourself.

owners manual

By Ben Kitchen Ben is a qualified car mechanic with experience working in the industry. He now works as an automotive author, writing about all things vehicle-related. He’s excited about the potential held by electric cars of all shapes, sizes, and types.

Ben Kitchen Ben is a qualified car mechanic with experience working in the industry. He now works as an automotive author, writing about all things vehicle-related. He’s excited about the potential held by electric cars of all shapes, sizes, and types.

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