Because of an aging or malfunctioning battery, your BMW will require battery replacement at some point. This guide will help you to do it right.
The replacement procedure is simple and does not necessitate sophisticated knowledge. As a result, any DIYer will find it simple.
The replacement battery must be the same type and capacity as the old one. If you buy a secondhand BMW, be aware that the battery may have been replaced with the improper type or capacity. The only way to know for sure is to read the engine control module (DME/DDE) programmed battery type with a BMW ISTA or any other capable scanner or app.
You’ll need to program the engine electronics module if you want to change the battery type, such as from lead-acid to AGM, or the capacity. The factory-installed battery type is best optimized for your BMW, so it doesn’t make any sense to change the battery type in most cases.
BMW Battery Location
In a rear-wheel drive-based BMW (longitudinally-mounted engine) you’ll find the battery in the trunk. Depending on the model, the battery is installed either in the trunk floor center or on the right side behind the trim panel.
For example, in the 3 and 4 Series (E9x, F3x, F8x) and 5, 6, and 7 Series (E6x) the battery is installed in the trunk on the right side behind the trim panel.
In a front-wheel drive-based BMW (transversely mounted engine) you’ll find the battery on the left side of the engine compartment below the windshield.
General Battery Replacement Procedure
Work on the F30 is provided as an example; variations in detail may occur in different models.
- Remove the nut (1). Disconnect the battery’s earth lead (2).
- On the safety battery terminal, fold up the cover (1). Release the nut (3).
- Release the screws (1). Remove the securing bracket (2). Disconnect the vent hose (3) from the vehicle’s battery (4).
- There are two vent ports on the battery:
- A dummy plug must be used to seal one vent hole (1).
- At the other vent hole, the vent hose (3) must be properly connected (2).
- Always connect the vent hose (3) to the exterior with a downward slope!
- Avoid siphon formation!
- Remove the battery holder (2) by removing the screw (1). Remove the battery.
- Install the new battery in a reverse order
- Register battery replacement.
The auxiliary AGM battery is also installed in some BMWs, depending on the equipment or powertrain. On vehicles with dual storage systems (electric/hybrid), the battery is lithium-ion.
Here’s the aux battery of the 7-Series G11 used to power the active steering. This small aux battery does not use IBS, so you don’t need to register the replacement.
Another aux battery of the same vehicle is located in the engine compartment. This one uses IBS, so it requires a replacement register.
Battery Replacement Registration [Programming]
After installing a new battery on BMWs with an intelligent battery sensor (IBS), the service function ‘Register battery replacement’ should be used. The early 2001 and 2002 E65 7-Series,, was the last BMW without the IBS and does not require battery replacement registration.
In order for power management to be notified that a new car battery has been put in the vehicle, the battery exchange must be registered.
If the battery exchange is not recorded, the power management will not work properly. A Check Control message may be displayed, as well as functional limits such as individual consumer reduction or switch-off.
The most common symptoms are clock and trip mileage reset, welcome lights not working, and various malfunction messages including the “increased battery discharge” despite the new battery being installed.
All of these issues can appear right after a battery is replaced, or months or years afterward.
I’ve heard that you can replace the battery without registering so many times. While there’s nothing incorrect with this statement, in the best-case scenario, replacing the battery without registering the replacement will cut the battery’s life in half. In most circumstances, though, you may anticipate several electrical anomalies and malfunction warnings.
How To Register Battery Replacement
You may register the replacement with several aftermarket scanners and apps in addition to the BMW Service ISTA. You have an option to register a genuine BMW part or an aftermarket battery during the registration process.
Register battery exchange via the following path:
- Service functions
- Voltage supply
- Register battery exchange
Retrofitting a more powerful battery
A more powerful battery may be used when retrofitting. AGM batteries with the same specifications can always be used to replace standard batteries.
When adding a different size or type of battery, this change in-vehicle data must be programmed into the vehicle data via the following ISTA path:
- Service functions
- Voltage supply
- Battery retrofitting
Battery Replacement And Registration With BimmerLink App
The price for BimmerLink is $35.99 at the point of writing.
Battery Replacement Registration With Carly BMW App
The price for Carly is $60 annually.
If you don’t have access to this equipment, it may be worthwhile to buy an aftermarket app after learning about the benefits of battery replacement registration.
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