BMW Battery Registration, Coding, Programming

In this guide, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to register and code a BMW battery using any scan tool.  BMW vehicles going back to the 2002 model year and newer require that the new battery is programmed (registered). 

DIY Cost: $65-$165
Est. Time: 30 min
Difficulty: Easy

What Do I Need to Register a BMW Battery

scanner to register bmw battery

You will need a BMW Scanner to register a BMW and follow the procedure below to program the new battery. A few scanners that can register a BMW battery start in the mid-$100, such as Autophix for BMW, an affordable and popular choice. 

Generic OBD-II scanners can not register or program a new BMW battery. This is one of the main reasons why stores such as AutoZone will not replace the battery on a BMW. 

How to Register a BMW Battery

The following procedure will allow you to program and reset the BMW computer after you change the battery.  These instructions will help you register a BMW battery on 2002 or newer models, including 1, 3, 5, 6, X1, X3, X5 series, etc.

  1. Replace the battery in your BMW. If you need help with this step, see our guide on how to replace a BMW battery.  Find a new battery that matches the old battery. The ratings (CCA, CA, Ah) should be identical or as close as possible to the original. 

    bmw battery

     

  2. Locate the onboard diagnostic port under the dashboard near your brake pedal. The OBD-2 port on BMW cars has a small door that you will need to open. You may also find a cover on the port that you need to pull out. Plug your BMW scan tool of choice into this port. Remember, generic OBD2 scanners cannot perform the necessary BMW battery registration. 

    bmw-obd2-port-register-battery

     

  3. Turn Ignition On. Turn the key to option II. If you have a Push Start button, press it a couple of times. Don't press the brake pedal when pressing the start button. All the dashboard lights should turn on. The engine shouldn't be running. You won't be able to perform the BMW battery registration procedure if the engine is running.

    turn on ignition to register bmw battery

     

  4. Next, select your BMW model, then select the Control Unit. 

  5. Select Power Supply module. 

  6. Select Register a new BMW battery. 

    register bmw battery
  7. Press, OK, and the new battery is registered. In the next section, we show you how to use specific scanners to register the battery. 

How to Register BMW Battery with Foxwell

Foxwell NT510 for BMW is a scanner capable of registering a new BMW battery. This great scan tool is, in fact, capable of reading and clearing fault codes from multiple BMW systems.

For example, you can use this scanner to read and clear codes from modules such as the engine, airbag(s), transmission, ABS, and more.

Procedure

  1. Plug your BMW scan tool into the OBD2 port under the dashboard. ...
  2. Turn ignition on, the key to position II. ...
  3. Select BMW. ...
  4. Scroll down to the Body menu 4.
  5. Scroll down to Power Supply (Battery) and press Enter.
  6. Select option 2 for Battery registration.

Notes

  • It can only register a new battery with the same specs as the original.
  • Make sure to update your Foxwell scanner to the latest software via the Foxwell website.

How to register BMW battery with INPA

BMW INPA K+CAN setup requires a laptop. INAP is more complex to set up and can be difficult for many owners. Not recommended if you do not have experience with the INPA software.

  1. Connect OBD-II Cable to your OBD-II port. Turn on your laptop, then run the INPA software.
  2. Select Body>Power Module
  3. Press F6 to Activate
  4. Press F2 to select Control
  5. Press F7 to select Register battery replacement
  6. If registration is successful, you will get the message, 'Register Battery Replacement Activated Properly.'

These steps will enable users to register a new battery with the same desired specs successfully. These steps will not code a new battery with different specs.

What will happen if I don't register a BMW battery? 

not registering a bmw battery

Don't panic! If you don't register a BMW battery, the car will NOT catch fire. The engine will start and the car will drive even if you don't register the battery. 

If you don't register the BMW battery, the most likely outcome is that the battery will not last as long. So instead of the battery lasting five years, it may only last two or three years due to over or undercharging. 

bmw electrical problems due to not registering programming coding battery

We have seen very few cases were not registering the battery leads to electrical issues, but that is usually because the replacement battery's specs (CCA, CA, Ah) are significantly lower than the OEM battery. 

We do not recommend skipping battery registration on a BMW just become some guy on Youtube replaced the BMW battery without programing it. 

What is the Best BMW Battery Registration Scan Tool?

To register a BMW battery, you will need an OBD-II scan tool. Here are some of the most popular scan tools used to program a BMW battery. 

  1. Foxwell for BMW NT510 - One of the most popular BMW scanners. The tool can register a new BMW battery with similar specs compared to the previous battery. Installing a new battery with significantly different specs requires coding, which is not currently available on Foxwell NT510.
  2. AutoPhix 7910  BMW Scan Tool - is one of the cheapest scan tools to register a BMW battery. 
  3. Autel MaxiSys - Professional Level Diagnostic Scanner. It can be used to program and code any battery, including AGM and lead-acid, even if the replacement battery is significantly different than the original.
  4. BMW INPA Software (INPA K+CAN) -  Require a laptop and familiarity with INAP software. 
  5. BlueDriver OBD2 Scanner - An affordable scanner that should register a BMW battery. Not tested yet. More details to come soon. 

Other scan tools can register a BMW battery, but these are the most popular in the DIY community. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need to Register a BMW Battery? 

register bmw battery why

A BMW battery needs to be registered so that the engine control module ( DME - Digital Motor Electronics) knows how much current the battery needs to charge properly.

Skipping the battery registration procedure can cause the new battery to fail prematurely due to over or undercharging. 

BMW battery registration was introduced with a few 2002 model years, and by 2005 most BMW models required battery registration. If your BMW is older than 2002, you don't need to perform battery registration.

Do I need to register a BMW battery every time I change the battery? 

Every time you replace the battery on a 2002 and newer BMW, you need to register it, which is a straightforward procedure but requires a BMW scanner.

If your new battery has different specs than the old battery, you need to perform a few extra steps, known as coding.

What is the difference between BMW Battery Registration and Coding?

Our members often ask what the difference is between BMW battery registration vs. coding. The registration procedure clears the old battery's charging history and tells your BMW that a new battery has the same specs as the old battery installed. The Engine Control Unit (DME) can charge the battery properly.

  • Battery Registration 
    • Registration must be performed every time you change the battery on a 2002 and newer BMW. It lets the car know the battery installed is brand new.
    • No coding will be required if the new battery has the same specs or is very close to the old battery (CCA, CA, Ah, battery type). 
  • Battery Coding
    • You will need to carry out coding if you change the battery capacity or type in addition to the registration procedure. Coding is required if the new battery has different specifications than the old battery installed in the car.
    • For example, if you install a battery with a higher or lower cranking Ampere rating or switch between Lead Acid and an AGM battery, you need to code (program) the DME. Otherwise, the DME may overcharge or undercharge the new battery and, therefore, shorten the battery's life.

Can I use an OBD-II scanner to register a BMW battery? 

  • To complete the BMW battery registration process yourself, you will need an OBD2 scanner to perform the BMW battery registration. Not all OBD-II scanners can register a BMW battery. 

What changes in the ECU when you register a BMW battery? 

  • Battery capacity is set to 80%

  • The current Odometer reading is stored.

  • Delete stored battery statistics such as:

    • Current

    • Voltage

    • Battery Charge Level.

  • Stored temperature statistics are deleted.

Can I replace the battery myself and drive it to the mechanic for the registration?

  • Yes. No damage will happen if you have to drive your BMW for a few minutes. It is the overcharging or undercharging that lasts for months that can shorten the life of the battery or cause problems. 

What is BMW Battery Coding?

  • Ideally, you should avoid installing a battery with different specs, but that doesn't always happen. If you install a battery with a higher or lower capacity, BMW has different charging maps (profiles) for each battery, such as  80Ah, 90Ah, or 110Ah batteries.
  • You will need to perform coding to let the DME module know that you have changed the battery capacity.  If you changed the battery type, you would need to complete battery coding as well.
  • BMW charges lead-acid-type batteries differently than AGM batteries.  You need to perform coding if you: Change battery type from Lead Acid to AGM or vice-versa.  Change the battery capacity. 

Why do I have to perform BMW battery registration?

  • Yes. Don't skip battery registration. If you don't have a scanner, find an independent repair shop to complete the job for you. Some shops may only charge 0.5 hr of labor.

Which BMW models need battery registration?

  • Most 2002 and newer models. 
  • E61, E63, E64, E65, E66, E67,  
  • E70, E71, E72, E81, E82, E84,  E87,
  •  E88, E89, E90, E91, E92,  E93, F01, F10.

Should I reset error codes?

  • If you had a failing BMW battery, a low voltage error code might have been triggered and stored in various systems.
  • Perform a scan of all systems and clear any codes that may have been stored. This procedure should also remove any Safe Modes, including Energy Saving and Transport Modes.

How do I know if my BMW requires registration?

  • Here is a list of BMW models that require Battery Registration: 
    • 2006 and up 3-series E90 E91 E92 E93
    • 2004 and up 5-series E60 E61 
    • 2003 and up 6-series E63 E54 
    • 2002 and up 7-series E65 E66 
    • 2007 and up X5 series
    • 2008 and up  E70 chassis
    • X6 series E71 chassis
  • Check with your BMW dealer to confirm.

Can AutoZone register a BMW battery? 

AutoZone does not install or register the battery on 2002 and newer BMWs. We have called various AutoZone's, and they will not install the battery in models that require battery registration. If your BMW is older than 2002, AutoZone may be able to install the battery as those models do not require battery registration. 

Visitor, August 24, 2017
Just FYI...as of 02/17/20, Carly will not register E65 batteries. Just discovered this with my Alpina B7...learned the hard way and I am attempting to reach Carly support to ask why.
Visitor, August 24, 2017
I removed a negative terminal on my BMW 116i 2010 battery, after that indicators, lights, and front windows can't be turned on and the dashboard is giving me a certain error.
Visitor, August 24, 2017
Great article..strangely for me though I never had any errors and hence the need to register my battery . Been changing batteries on my 2011 X1 every 3years with non BMW sold batteries..yet never an error on my screen.never any charging or battery trouble. Keep my fingers crossed .
Visitor, August 24, 2017
I replaced my alt (rebuilt) and battery (new) . But now when its cold out and i start it the voltage is anywhere from 10-11.5 v. After 5-20 (depending how cold it is out side) it jumps up to 14v. the battery test good before starting it. do you know what this could be?
Visitor, August 24, 2017
I cannot register the battery in the bmw e60 M5 V10 s85 through INPA. Do you have a tip? I've tried for Machine and power but there is no option !!!! Thanks
Wonderful dyi, however using the Schwaben BMW tool (same software as Foxwell 510) ver 9.51 I was not able to register or code my new battery. I receive the following error code: Schwaben error display "Battery could not be replaced. Possible cause(s) of fault: -No communication with IBS or engine electronics. -DME/DDE program status cannot save battery change. -Terminal 15 was not switch on. (sic) -Engine running Car not running, Terminal 15 active. All other coding and erasing of codes functioning. I cleared all codes before trying the registration. I have seen multiple instances of this same problem in the forums. No one has provided a solution. Any suggestions? Thanks, Jeff
Hi Jeff, What I would do is download the latest software from the Schwaben website. I assume they provide updates just like Foxwell since it is the same scanner, different name. Then try to perform the battery registration procedure again. If it fails, try reading all the system codes. Do you see any strange codes that have popup up since last time you tried the reset? If not, it time to contact the manufacturer or seller and ask them for a replacement unit. Let us know how it goes.
I would like to know if F30 need battery registration. I have replaced a new one last week work nomal and no error code so far Thanks
Yes F30 requires battery registration. You won't notice any issues now but may in the near future and will shorten the battery life.
Can I re-do the registration through a dealer now? Does it cause any problem? Thanks
Yes the dealer can do the registration. The battery doesn't get damaged that quick. It is the repetitive overcharging that can hinder the battery performance. Get the car to the dealer to do the registration. They will need to perform coding as well if you changed battery type (lead acid vs AGM) and capacity.
Visitor, August 24, 2017
My BMW is an E46 2002 M3 Convertible with 3.2L Engine which was built in November 2001 in Germany before shipping to US. This model is not in the list of BMWs indicated above that require Battery Registration. Also I did not see an IBS sensor at the positive terminal of the battery. Do I need to register a new battery? If I do not need to register a new battery, do I still need to code the DME if the new battery has a different specs than the old battery? Thanks in advance
The new one I have inserted should be same type AGM & 90ah. Anyway I will drive to the service and process the registration this weekend. Thanks MB
Visitor, August 24, 2017
Foxwell NT510 are completely useless for this procedure, and generally are unfriendly, wrong, and the customer support is non-existent.
The FOXWELL NT510 battery registration. Will only allow you to register the OEM BMW Battery. If you change the battery to a AGM or higher or lower capacity you must use a GT80 scanner Cost of over $2000.00 THE NT510 will not register battery change, only OEM battery replacement FYI /// BMW E64
My new Foxwell NT510 did the same to me. I had original BMW AGM battery for over 10 years on my 2007 E93 90Amp 900CCA and changed to Duralast H8-AGM 95Amp 1000CCA. I was not able to register first because my new battery not BMW part. So I start register as new original BMW battery first using numbers from old original battery and it was registered. I let it run car for one hour make sure no check engine or other surprises. After that I start register my battery again and this time I used option: same AGM with different capacity. I was ready to put six digit number i had on my receipt from the store and negative terminal four digit number actual battery production date 1017. I chose option not original BMW battery expecting it will deny registration like before. What was my surprise this time Foxwell didn't ask to fill any battery information, just simply registered. I checked battery registration history and it showed two battery registrations time of registration first battery, which I pushed as the same OEM and time of my last registration not OEM. What I think, on board computer will wipe clean previous settings and will estimate new battery parameters and will adjust charging accordingly. I will check battery charging tomorrow to make sure it's not overcharging. Hope it helps. Just checked my charging system with multimeter. Showed 12.6volt before start the car, drops to 10.8V when crank the starter and went to 14.6 right after, than gradually drop charging to 14.3 in about one minute time and stay that way. I connected Foxwell to check battery parameters and it showed battery cranking 91 Amp. My old battery was 90 Amp and new 95 Amp. I guess Foxwell scanner was programed to 2014 and in that time there was no batteries for E93 with AGM 95 Amp. I looked other scan tools able to register the battery, there is video and showed maximum AGM battery can be programed only to 90 amp. Well, my car charging normal now, battery registered so I will keep my Foxwell NT510 as it has a lot to offer. Loaded with valuable BMW features very usable. I manage to clear other invisible problem and glitches with computer management system. Simply clear all of them and found my car start running much better and some visible problem disappear, like windows was acting erratically when close convertible top, transmission was shifting little hard and i thought it's normal for spot car, but after clearing its shifting smooth like a batter, windows not acting up any more . Even engine get smoother as well, cause throttle body minor glitch was cleared. I think it is great affordable tools to keep if you have BMW, and you can check trouble codes and check engine light on any car in production as well. Hope it helps. Leo.
Visitor, August 24, 2017
Thank you for putting this guide on how to register a BMW battery together. I have been searching on BMW forums and Youtube and I get a lot of different suggestions. One guy on Youtube swaped the battery by keeping a power source connected when swaping the battery. I think what people don't understand is that the registration procedure cleares the charging history of the old battery. When you swap the battery without doing registration, it's not that your BMW will stop working. The problem as stated above is that your battery may not last as long or charge properly. Again, thanks for sharing. I will bite the bullet and get the Foxwell scanner. Based on my research Carly scanner went into a yearly subscription which is not that appealing.
Visitor, August 24, 2017
Should the car start without the battery being registered. Was told battery was bad. Stopped near home and would've crank. Someone brought me a new battery and installed it but it won't turn over.
If your car stopped running and wouldn't crank and&nbsp someone brought new battery and cannot crank engine anyway, you have a bigger problem than battery. Make sure your car is in park position first (would not crank in drive or reverse position do to safety switch). Second, did you hear any knocking noises coming from engine before it shutdown, any engine oil light, engine temperature light on prior shutdown? Check for any oil or ante-freeze leak? If yes, you have engine problem and it will not crank if engine seized. If that is what happen you should hear starter hard bang and not turn over even with brand new battery. Third, if engine dyed quietly and wont start any more but starter keep spinning engine, than you have fuel distribution or ignition problem: possible fuel pump failure or simply no gas in the car (check gas gage), MAF sensor or throttle body. No spark: possible crank, cam sensor, spark plugs or coils but very rare all of them go bad simultaneously. Possible ECM problem car will not start but engine should crank. Forth, but very rare: your timing chain and chain components broke, than starter will spin engine without creating any compression and most likely you did hear a some engine noise prior chain failure. &nbsp Also very important is to check your drive belt, tensioners and alternator bearings. Make sure they are not frozen and spinning free. And last is the answer on your first question: YES, the car should start without battery being registered. Hope it helps and good luck.
Visitor, August 24, 2017
stored 2004 z4 this past winter and battery died and froze. replaced with a new battery which is a bit larger than the bmw battery. now no air or fan and low beam headlamps. only trouble lamp is a bad bulb otherwise all looks and runs well...what sort of reset is needed? thanks.
BMW Battery Registration, Coding, Programming What Do I Need to Register a BMW Battery You will need a