Here at Ultimate Bimmer Service we get lots of inquiries about battery replacement, and registration in. Here is some helpful info and guidelines to follow.
The important aspects of battery selection when replacing the battery are the physical size, capacity rating, and type of battery. First off it is very important to replace your BMW battery with a battery that is very near the exact same physical dimensions. This is important due to the fact that the original BMW battery hold-down equipment is designed to work with specific size batteries. The purpose is to prevent unwanted movement/jarring and vibrations that can cause the battery to become internally damaged (shorted cell), vastly reducing the life of your battery. From a safety stand point in an accident situation a loose 30lb. battery flying around the rear of your BMW can be very dangerous. So please remember it is paramount that the battery is properly secured for safety and longevity in your BMW.
Next the electrical capacity rating of your battery is important as modern BMW’s have lots of electrical functions and monitoring systems that are very sensitive to low voltage. BMW battery capacities are rated in several ways with the most common methods being CCA (cold cranking amps) and Ah (Amp Hour) rating. Installation of a battery with equal CCA or Ah rating is always recommended. However if a battery of greater or lesser capacity is installed, vehicle coding is available to correct, but adds unnecessary time and cost to battery replacement. If a battery of much lesser capacity is used then some electrical functions may be heavily limited, and battery longevity would most certainly suffer. There are some instances where a slightly change in battery capacity will not require coding, please contact us to find out if your BMW and battery choice will be an issue.
On to the type of battery which is very simple to determine with factory original BMW batteries, a white battery is a standard lead acid battery, and a black battery indicates an AGM (Boron-Silicate absorbed glass mat). When replacing the battery in your BMW it is best to stick with the factory battery type, but if upgrading to an AGM battery, special coding is available at Ultimate Bimmer Service to correctly retrofit your BMW with an AGM battery. Long story short on AGM batteries, they hold a charge for longer periods, are almost completely immune to freeze damage, generate almost zero heat during charging and discharging, are very resilient to shock/vibration, will not leak battery acid if punctured, and have very little out-gassing. But are typically 1 to 2 times the cost depending on application. Contact Ultimate Bimmer Service today to see if an AGM upgrade would be right for you.
Now for some information about BMW’s battery registration process. It wasn’t until 2002 when the BMW 745i was released in the US markets that battery registration came about for BMW’s. Even though it sounds like just some additional paper work, it is not, it is an electrical process handled by BMW specific equipment (GT1 or ISID) connected directly to your car. The purpose is to notify the power management system and intelligent battery sensor that a battery replacement has occurred. Also the battery charge status, current, voltage, history, and temperature are deleted. Without proper battery registration the power management system does not run properly and can lead to function limitations. Limitations like reductions or deactivations of individual consumer circuits for instance the air conditioning blower, seat heaters, and entertainment functions. So please have your battery registered it is replaced in your BMW, it is the proper and complete BMW battery replacement procedure to ensure your hard earned money spent on the battery doesn’t go to waste.
On to BMW’s new battery parts warranty policy that was introduced near the beginning of 2011. BMW no longer offers their excellent 2 year parts warranty on a BMW battery that was installed outside of the dealer. The main reason for this is that lots of batteries were returned to BMW for an “over the counter” parts warranty by customers/shops that either had other problems causing the battery to fail, incorrect installation (battery hold-down or connections loose), or failure to register replacement. So unfortunately no parts warranty can be offered by BMW for a BMW battery installed outside the dealer. Keep in mind the dealer typically charges about $215 in labor alone for replacement and registration (1.5HR at $143.5/HR), whereas we charge half if not less depending on model. Thankfully high quality affordable batteries from superior suppliers like BOSCH, and World Source ONE with excellent 24 month warranties, correct fitment/size, and proper capacity are available. These batteries are proven to perform as good if not better than BMW batteries. Plus with our authorized BMW equipment, and Master Technician’s servicing your BMW at Ultimate Bimmer Service will save you money and get the job done right.
On a final note, you can expect your original or quality replacement BMW battery to last 4-8 years in a properly operating BMW, and 5-10 years with an AGM battery. So when looking for the best BMW repair or service in or around the Dallas Ft. Worth area, contact Ultimate Bimmer Service at 214-254-4470.