BMW Battery Registration DIY Procedure

BMW Battery Registration

Updated Tuesday May 29, 2018

In this guide, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to register a BMW battery yourself. You will learn how to use various BMW battery registration tools to register the battery. How to perform battery coding if you are installing a battery with different specifications and ampere ratings. This guide focuses in BMW battery registration. If you need help with battery replacement, follow this guide on How to Change BMW battery.

You must complete battery registration every time you replace the battery on a BMW. Installing a new battery without registering it could shorten the battery life or cause malfunctions in your car's electrical system. BMW uses what is called the Intelligent Battery System (IBS) which monitors the battery charging cycle, charge rate and battery charge level.

If you don't perform new battery registration and programming when you replace the battery, your BMW may over (or under) change the new battery causing it to fail prematurely. Especially when the specs of the new battery are significantly different than the previous battery. In such cases, a BMW battery that wasn't registered only lasts one to two years maximum. Not registering a new battery may also cause unpredictable electrical issues as well. 

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1. BMW battery registration tool

You may be surprised to learn that there are a lot of scanners that can perform BMW battery registration and coding procedure. Here are three of our favorite BMW battery registration tools. 

  1. Foxwell NT510 for BMW - Easy to use
    • Easy to use a handheld device that can register BMW batteries. Easy to use even for beginners. Check compatibility with your model before purchase.
  2. Carly for BMW  - Great Coverage
    • Note that you will also need Carly Pro app (Apple, Android) and Battery Registration add-on. Carly has support and can perform registration for most BMW models. Allows you to change battery type and capacity as well.

What is BMW Battery Registration?

During BMW battery registration process the following happens. 

  • Battery capacity is set to 80%
  • Current Odometer reading is stored
  • Delete stored battery statistics such as:
    • current,
    • voltage,
    • battery charge level.
  • Stored temperature statistics are deleted

These steps are completed by the BMW scan tool that you will use to complete BMW battery registration. Don't need to worry about completing these steps one by one. Just complete new BMW battery programming as outlined below. 

BMW registration is very simple and straightforward procedure as long as you don't change battery type and rating. During the battery registration process old battery charging history gets deleted. Now your BMW DME module knows the battery is new and doesn't require as aggressive chargings as the old battery. This step should be performed every time the battery gets replaced.

If you change the battery rating and type you will need to perform coding as well to let your BMW (IBS / Power Module) know how to handle the new battery.

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2. BMW Battery Registration Instructions

To complete BMW battery registration yourself, you will need a scan tool that is capable of reprogramming your BMW. In this guide, we have provided instructions on how to register BMW using two of the most popular BMW scan tools. These instructions will help owners of BMW models including 1, 3, 5, 6, X1, X3, X5 series.

How to register BMW battery

bmw battery registration instructions required after battery changeStep 1: Replace BMW Battery

 The first step in the process is to replace the battery on your BMW. We strongly recommended that you stick with an AGM (Advanced Glass Mat) battery instead of switching to lead-acid batteries if the stock was AGM battery. Ideally, you would want to install a new battery with the same specs as the factory BMW battery. This also makes the battery registration procedure easier since you can skip the battery coding.

Next, let's move to the process of registering the new BMW battery. 


obd2 port on bmw used for bmw battery registration procedure Step 2: Locate OBD-2 port

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



turn on ignition to start programing of bmw battery Step 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 you press the start button. All the dashboard lights should turn on. The engine shouldn't be running. You won't be able to perform BMW battery registration procedure if the engine is running. 



bmw battery registration coding procedureStep 4: Complete BMW Battery Registration Procedure

The last step is to register the new BMW battery. For this step, you will need a scan tool that can perform BMW battery registration.  There are a few scanners that you as an owner can buy and perform the battery registration yourself. One of them is them is the BMW INPA K+CAN setup which requires a laptop and time to setup and learn. Instead, we will look at a couple of scanners that are a lot easier to setup and can perform BMW battery registration. In the next section, we will show you how to register BMW battery yourself using Foxwell and Carly for BMW.

First, let's determine if you need to perform coding. 

  1. Did you change the battery capacity? 
    • CCA, CA, Reverse Capacity, Ah
  2. Did you change battery type? 
    • AGM, Lead-acid

If you answered Yes to any question you will need to perform battery coding. This will allow you to update the battery specs.

If you answered No to both questions your new battery has the same exact specs as the old battery, you can skip the coding. Perform only battery programming.

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3. Register BMW Battery Instructions

Instructions on how to complete BMW battery registration using two of the most popular and affordable scanners on the market today.

How to register a BMW battery using Foxwell NT510

In this video, you will learn how to use Foxwell scanner to perform BMW battery registration and coding. The scanner that we are using is Foxwell NT510, but it has the BMW software loaded on the memory. 


What you need:

The Foxwell NT510 for BMW is one of the easiest tools to use to register a new BMW battery.Foxwell NT510 is more than just an OBD2 scan tool. It is capable of reading and clearing fault codes from multiple BMW systems. You will spend as much on the scanner as it will cost to register the battery at the dealer. If you buy the scanner you get to have your own BMW diagnostic scanner that you can use if in the future you have problems with engine, airbag, transmission, ABS and more. In our opinion, Foxwell is a lot easier and safer to use than most BMW scanners we tested.  


It has been brought to our attention that the software installed on newer Foxwell NT510 scanner is different. Which means the procedure is different than what is shown in this video.  

Carly BMW Battery Registration

Alternatively, you can use Carly and your Android or iPhone. The cost for this setup is nearly the same price as the cost of the Foxwell scanner. 


You will need:

  1. Carly Bluetooth adapter (Check Price)
  2. Carly Pro App ($60)
  3. Carly Battery Registration Addon ($15) 

Carly allows you to perform several coding in BMWs. While Carly is a great BMW scanner, you need to be cautious as you can easily damage your vehicle with this little adapter if accidentally stop the battery registration process. Or if you perform wrong coding.

By the time you get together everything needed for BMW battery registration you would have spent about $130-$150 with the Carly setup.  

While there are other scan tools that can register a new BMW battery, in our opinion the two scanners mentioned here are easy to use even for beginners and reasonably priced. Rember you can't register a new BMW battery using a generic OBD2 scanner. Basic OBD2 scanners are not capable of performing BMW battery programming.

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4. Conclusion 

BMW battery registration was introduced in 2002 and most BMW models after that require that you perform battery registration to avoid shortening the life and avoid electrical issues. If your BMW is older than 2002, you generally don't need to perform battery registration. Registering a BMW battery is very easy especially if you don't change battery types and capacity.

Having the BMW dealer change the battery can cost as much as $500. Why not perform BMW registration procedure yourself? Register a new BMW battery is easy once you follow this step-by-step guide. Even if you need to buy a scan tool that can register BMW batteries, you will still spend less money by installing and registering the BMW battery yourself. 

Learn more about the Top 10 Best scanners for BMW.

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5. Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between BMW Battery Registration and coding? 

Our members often ask what's the difference between BMW battery registration vs. coding. Registration procedure clears the charging history of the old battery and tells your BMW that a new battery is installed which allows the car to charge the battery properly.

What is BMW Battery Coding?

Ideally, you avoid installing a battery with different specs but that doesn't always happen. If you do install a battery with 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 changed battery capacity. 

If you changed battery type, you 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 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 that can complete this for you. Some may only charge 0.5 hr of labor. 

  • Which BMW models need battery registration? 

Here is a list of some BMWs that need battery registration. Always verify with your dealer. 

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 BMW battery that was failing it is possible that a low voltage error codes have been triggered and stored in various systems. Perform a scan of all system and clear any codes that may have been stored. 

This procedure should also remove any Safe Mode including Energy Saving and Transport Modes. 

  • Does my BMW require battery registration? 

Here is a list of BMW models that need the battery to be registered. 

  • 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

You should check with your BMW dealer to confirm.


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