Skip to Content

BMW X5 Gesture Control Not Working

BMW X5 Gesture Control Not Working

BMW X5 is equipped with gesture control as a standard feature. Cameras and sensors are mounted on the roof of SUVs to identify the movement of your hand. These cameras and sensors emit infrared radiation to detect the presence of objects.

BMW X5 gesture control not working can be due to faulty cameras, broken wires, the issue with the iDrive screen, incorrect recognition area, dirty hands or gloves, glare due to ambient light, and a disabled system.

I also faced the issue with gesture control while I was driving on the highway last night, and my wife called me. I swiped my finger to attend the call, but it stopped functioning. I received the phone by touching the screen. I became worried and thought it could occur because of a faulty system. However, after a few hours, I realized I did not activate it while driving. I turned it on from the settings menu, and it started working.

Causes Solutions
Faulty camera Clean camera with a soft cloth
Broken wires Hire expert mechanic
Issue with iDrive screen Reset the iDrive system and gesture control
Dirty hands or gloves Clean your hands and remove gloves
Incorrect hand placement Keep your hand in front of the center console
Interference due to ambient lighting and sunlight Turn off ambient light and park away from sunlight
Disabled gesture control Activate gesture control from the settings menu

Faulty camera

Vehicles with gesture control features contain cameras on the roofs or dashboard for recognition of your hand. The onboard computer of your SUV has pre-saved information about these gestures, and they start functioning accordingly.

It becomes non-responsive because of faulty cameras or modules mounted on the roof. You can face issues because of dust and dirt accumulation on these cameras or sensors.

They do not recognize hand movements when dust accumulates on their lens. In addition, the issue arises because of the poor electrical connections of these cameras.

These cameras are connected to a touch screen so they can function accordingly. Broken and frayed wirings do not allow these to activate the touch screen and perform function.

Camera issue also comes because of cracks on their lens during road impacts and accidental cases. Sometimes, harsh objects can also unintentionally hit their lens and produce scratches, which leads to poor identification.

People commonly use harsh cloth for cleaning their lenses, which leaves scratches and scuff marks on their surfaces. However, I always use alcohol swabs to remove the dust from their surface.

Moreover, you can also replace the damaged and cracked camera with a new one.

Broken wires

Gesture control features in your SUVs require proper electric connections for their functioning. These are connected with a center console unit that controls the information on the display screen.

BMW X5 center console unit is connected to the touch screen to perform functions according to your hand movement.

Sometimes, the wires that connect these parts can break and make the system non-responsive. You cannot attend phone calls and increase or decrease the volume by swiping your hand in different directions.

Wires can break because of age-related wear or tear or vibrations from the road. Moreover, the issue also comes because of their loose connections with respective circuits.

It is necessary to call the expert mechanic for wiring inspection because it is a complex procedure, and you cannot do it. Mechanics can trace the broken and loosely connected wires to fix the issue.

Issue with iDrive screen

Gesture control allows you to operate the feature that comes on your touch screen. You can use your hand to attend to and reject phone calls from your friends and spouse while driving your BMW X5.

In addition, you can also skip forward and backward, adjust the volume setting, and rotate the rear-view camera to 360 degrees. Sometimes, the touch screen becomes irresponsive because of an error in the iDrive system.

Moreover, the issue comes because of hardware damage that controls this feature. You can face touchscreen problems because of software glitches and non-updated systems.

You have to calibrate or reset the iDrive system for its proper functioning. Press and hold the volume button for 25 to 35 seconds until the screen turns off.

In addition, you can also reset it by disabling it from the settings menu and enabling it again after a few minutes.

Dirty hands or gloves

Infrared radiation from the cameras cannot detect dirty hands because they cannot reflect for signaling.

In addition, the issue also comes when you operate the gesture control while wearing rubber or fabric gloves. Many people wear fabric gloves during winter for a better grip on the steering wheel.

It is necessary for you to keep your hands clean if you feel any dirt and grime.

Remove the gloves while swiping your fingers in front of the touch screen.

Incorrect hand placement

Correct hand placement while using this feature is necessary. Infrared radiation from the camera cannot detect the presence of your hand when it is away from the center console unit and gear selector.

Many people do not have enough knowledge about correct hand placement and face the issue. In addition, the problem also comes because of incorrect distance.

It is necessary for you to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between your hand and the center console unit. Keep your hands over the gear selector and center console unit so the camera and sensors can recognize the presence of objects.

It is better to read the owner manual to get information about the designated recognition area. It is in front of the center console unit and over the gear selectors.

In addition, you should not quickly move your hand away because it can also lead to misinterpretation.

Interference due to ambient lighting and sunlight

Ambient lights or direct sunlight exposure affects the functioning of the cameras and sensors.

They cannot recognize the hand movement because of the glare of ambient and sunlight. The issue comes when you turn on the ambient lights in your SUV to find something or give aesthetic appeal.

In addition, you can also face problems when you park your BMW X5 in open areas. Direct sunlight from the windshield produces glare and interrupts the infrared radiation.

Moreover, electronic devices can also interfere with the functioning of sensors and lead to poor identification.

I experienced this issue last morning when I parked my vehicle on the road to do some groceries. I moved my hand to lower the volume, but it was not working.

I moved forward, tried it again, and it started functioning correctly. I realized that it was early morning and my SUV was parked in the direction of sunlight.

You should park your vehicles away from the sunlight while using this feature. Moreover, it is better to turn off the ambient lights while using this to reduce the chances of glare.

Disabled gesture control

The issue usually comes when you forget to activate the system from the settings menu.

One of my friends also faced the same issue and became worried. He thought that it could occur because of my car’s weak battery, and he checked the battery voltage, but it was fine.

He reset the iDrive system to remove software errors, but the problems remained the same. He called me because I have been using BMW X5 for years.

I told him to open the settings menu and check the activation of the feature. He told me that he forgot to activate the system before driving.

You should ensure that gesture control is enabled in your vehicle before moving toward the dealerships. Open the setting on your touch screen and activate the feature for its correct use.

Related Articles:

BMW X5 Glow Plugs Not Working