In this article, you will learn how to replace a BMW battery yourself. These step-by-step instructions contain pictures, videos clips to help you safely replace your BMW battery and perform BMW battery registration which is required on 2002 and newer BMWs. It is important to perform battery registration when you change the battery in a BMW. On 2002 and older BMWs you don't need to perform battery registration procedure.
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Signs that you need to replace a BMW battery:
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- BMW won't start
- Battery doesn't hold a charge
- High battery discharge warning on instrument cluster
- Engine struggles to turn over
2. BMW Battery Replacement Cost
The total cost to replace BMW battery yourself is about $350. You will spend about $200 on a new battery. For more information read this article on Choosing the best aftermarket battery for BMW. Plus you will need to spend around $100-$150 for a BMW scan tool. Some of the best scanner for BMWs are Carly for BMW and Foxwell NT510 for BMW. At the end of this process not only will you spend less money, but you will end up with a BMW scan tool that you can use to troubleshoot your BMW in the future.
Note that battery registration is required for most 2002 and newer models. BMW battery coding is only required if you change battery type, capacity or cranking amps rating.
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3. Getting started
Here are a few tips that will help you with the battery replacement process.
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- To save the memory functions on your BMW, you can use a jump starter as a backup. You connect the backup battery at the ground and positive terminals under the hood. This is the terminals used to you jump start your BMW. Lithium jump starters work great for this purpose.
- If you don't use a battery as a backup, you will need to perform synchronization of radio presets, seats, windows, steering wheel, sunroof etc. Re-syncing a BMW take only a few minutes. When using a backup battery be extremely careful so that the positive terminal doesn't short to ground or the body once you remove them from the battery. Cover the positive terminal with tape so that it doesn't accidently touch any other metal body parts.
- Always remove the key from the ignition and keep it removed during the whole process of replacing a BMW battery.
- Remember to always perform battery registration using a BMW scan tool. We can't stress enough the importance of battery registration.
- Perform coding if you changed battery capacity or battery type.
4. What you will need
- BMW Battery
- A new BMW battery will cost you around $150-$250. Your options are to either go with an OEM BMW Battery or use an aftermarket brand that meets BMW battery specifications. If you choose to install an aftermarket battery read our article on Choosing the best battery for BMW.
To change the battery on a BMW you will need a few basic tools such as:
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5. Instructions on how to change BMW battery
DIY instructions on how to change a BMW battery and registration. Don't skip the battery registration step. If you replace a BMW battery but ignore the registration procedure not only will your new battery fail prematurely but you may experience electrical issues or warning on your instrument cluster. These instructions are meant to help all BMW owners who have a 2002 and newer BMW.
Step 1: Locate the BMW battery in the trunk
In newer BMW you will find the battery in the trunk.Typically they are on the right (passenger) side of the trunk.If you have a station wagon BMW, the battery is typically under the cargo compartment floor cover. You will need to remove a couple of retaining clips and remove the cover to access the battery.
Step 2: Disconnect negative battery terminal
Start by disconnecting the negative battery terminal. Loosen the 10 mm nut but do not remove it. Pull the cable away from the negative battery terminal.
Step 3: Disconnect positive battery terminal
Next, disconnect and remove the positive battery terminal. You will need to lift up the red plastic cover. Under this you will find the 10 mm nut you need to loosen up.
- Be careful to not damage the Intelligent Battery Sensor (IBS) attached to the battery cables.
- It is important to use common sense and avoid any shorts between the positive terminal and the negative or the body.
Watch a video on how to disconnect the battery terminals on a BMW.
Step 4: Remove battery bracket
The battery is held in place with a bracket on the side and a top bracket. First, remove the top bracket by removing two 13 mm bolts.Remove the side bracket held in place with a long 10 mm bolt.
Before you pull out the old battery remove the brackets, strap if applicable and vent hose.
Watch a video on how to remove the battery on a BMW.
Step 5: Remove the old battery
Now it is time to remove the old battery. These batteries are extremely heavy. If you have someone nearby, ask for help.If the battery falls it will damage your car or it could cause injuries. Be careful!
Step 6: Install the new battery
Lower the new battery in place and make sure it is sitting properly.
Reconnect the bracket brackets. Do not over tighten them or you will crack the battery housing.
If you are installing a lead acid battery make sure to connect the vent hose. This is necessary so that gasses from the vent hole don't build up inside the trunk.
Step 7: Clean the battery posts.
Use a battery terminal brush to clean the battery clamps.
Step 8: Connect the battery terminals.
Connect the positive battery terminal first.Connect the negative terminal last.
Step 9: Register the new battery
Now it is time to register the new battery. The BMW battery registration process resets your vehicle’s battery charging history. It deletes any stored battery and temperature statistics for the previous battery. Vehicle odometer reading won’t be lost during the process. Current odometer reading which indicates when the battery was replaced will be stored in the DME module. The easiest scanner to use that allows you to register a BMW battery is Foxwell NT510 for BMW, but Carly for BMW is also a popular choice. Note that both scanners cost is in the same price range. With the Carly setup, you will need to buy the Pro app and also an add-on to register the battery. In the end, you are looking at close to $150.
If you changed the battery type from AGM to lead acid or you changed battery capacity from 90Ah to 80Ah, you will need to perform coding as well as battery registration. If the replacement battery has the same specs and is the same type as the previous battery, perform battery registration. During BMW battery registration procedure all charging data and history of the old battery are deleted from the CAS module. Read the article on how to perform BMW battery registration.
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6. How to perform BMW Battery Registration
You will need a scanner that can register a BMW battery. Below you will find BMW scan tools that can register batteries on models such as 1-series, 3-series, 5-series, 6-series, X1, X3, X5. These are readily accessible BMW scan tools which can be purchased online and allow BMW owners to register a new battery themselves. There are other scanners that will work such INAP, BMW Scanner etc. If you want to find out about alternative scanners that can register a BMW battery, read our article on Choosing the best scanner for BMW DIY.
Foxwell NT510 for BMW
Foxwell is a stand-alone handheld scan tool that is very easy to use to program the new battery. It can be used to read, clear and diagnose BMW problems as it can read multiple systems.
Carly for BMW
In this video, you will learn how to use Carly to perform BMW battery registration. Carly for BMW allows you to register a new battery on most BMWs. You can also use Carly to code a new battery type (Lead acid vs AGM) or change the battery capacity.
What you will need:
- Carly for BMW (Check Price)
- Carly for BMW App ($60)
- Add-on to register new battery ($10)
Carly is a powerful BMW scanner but don't forget there are a few other scanners worth considering as well. Check out our article on Best OBD2 Scanner for BMW.
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7. Carly Battery Registration Instructions
In this tutorial we will go through all the steps on how to use Carly for BMW to perform BMW battery registration and coding. If you have already paired your Carly, skip through the first couple of steps. We assume that the battery has already been replaced, and now we just need to complete the registration procedure.
Step 1: Power on Carly for BMW
Plug in Carly for BMW into the OBD2 port under the dashboard (driver's side). Press the power button on your Carly if it has one. The red LED light will turn on.
Step 2: Turn Ignition On
Turn ignition to ON position. Don't start the car. You can't register a new battery if the engine is running.
Step 3: Download Carly for BMW Pro
The free version of Carly does not allow you to perform battery registration. You can use the free version of Carly for BMW to see how Carly Battery Registration works but you can't complete the registration. Use the free version to check if battery registration is possible for your BMW model and year.
Besides the Carly for BMW Pro, you will need to purchase the Battery Registration add-on which is another $10. Total cost for the Carly Adapter, Carly Pro and in-app battery registration place this setup in the mid $100-$200 range.
Step 4: Pair Carly adapter with smartphone
- Turn on Bluetooth on your Android or iPhone.
- Search for a new Bluetooth device.
- Select Carly Adapter on your screen.
- Enter passcode such as 1234 or 0000
Next, launch Carly for BMW Pro app. On the bottom of the Carly Bashboard, you need to select the BMW model and then hit connect.
Step 5: Enter Carly Battery Registration menu
Select Battery from the main menu.
Read through all the warnings and scroll to the bottom. Select Continue to battery registration. If you haven't purchased the add-on, Unlock battery registration will appear on this page.
Next, you will see two options. The first is to perform battery registration and the second to code new battery. If your new battery has different specs than the old battery, you need to complete both coding and registration. If your new battery has the same exact specs as the old battery, you will only need to perform battery registration by pressing "Register same battery type"
- Register same battery type (Registration)
- When you install a new battery with the same capacity and type as the old one.
- Register another battery type (Coding)
- Here you can change battery type and capacity. Change from lead acid to AGM. Change capacity between 60, 70 80 90 100 110 etc Ahr.
- Do not stop the app or remove the Carly adapter when you are performing battery registration with Carly.
- Do not start the car. Ignition should be on. All dash light on. Position II.
- Read and clear codes from the CAS module before you perform battery registration with Carly. Clear any stored codes from the CAS module.
You can use Carly for BMW Bluetooth adapter, Carly for BMW Pro app $60 and purchase in-app battery registration for another $10. In all, you will spend about $130-$150 for the Carly setup. Carly requires a few more steps to set up than the Foxwell scanner.
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Replacing a BMW battery yourself is possible. Just make sure to perform battery registration and coding using any of BMW scan tools we mentioned or your favorite BMW scanner.
If your BMW had an AGM battery installed at the factory, stick with AGM battery type whenever possible. Another important factor you need to consider is the battery capacity which is provided in ampere hour or Ahr. If your BMW has a 90 Ahr battery don't switch to 60Ahr battery.
The reason why these specifications are important is that if you change one of them, you will need to code your BMW so that your car knows how to charge the new battery, on top of that you need to still perform battery registration. Battery registration deletes all the charge profile of the old battery. If a previous owner installed the wrong battery call your dealer and ask what battery your BMW requires.
Note that BMW uses white battery cases for lead-acid battery. BMW uses black battery cases for AGM battery type. The battery information that you need is printed on top of the old battery.
If you have tips on how to change a BMW battery, please share them in the comments section to help our readers.
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9. FAQ on BMW Battery Replacement
Can you install an aftermarket battery on a BMW?
The battery can be an aftermarket AGM battery. It doesn't have to be an OEM BMW battery but it needs to meet the recommended specifications. It also needs to be coded and programmed so that DME module knows how to charge it. While the battery type, capacity and cranking amps can vary from the stock OEM battery, battery size needs to be the same. For example, a couple batteries that are in the same group size as the OEM BMW battery and are worth considering are:
How much does it cost to change BMW Battery?
Replacing BMW battery at the dealer
Replacing the battery at your BMW dealership costs anywhere from $400-$550. You can still change a BMW battery yourself, do it right, and still save money.This guide shows you how to change a BMW battery
DIY BMW Battery Replacement
Replacing the battery yourself is a very easy and straight forward. Especially if you install a new battery with the same specs as the original. To change a BMW battery the right way, you will also need a scan tool that can perform battery registration. Read this article to find scan tools that can perform BMW registration.
What is the best battery for BMW?
You don't need to cut corners and install the wrong battery size on your BMW. There are many aftermarket batteries that fit BMW and meet the specifications required by BMW. One important factor to consider besides the group size is the battery type. If your BMW battery has a white casing it means it is a lead acid battery. If the battery casing is black, it means it is a AGM battery.
The best way to identify the battery you need is to look at the label on your existing battery. If your battery is aftermarket, just call your BMW dealer, give them your VIN number and they will tell you the specs.
Here is a list of aftermarket batteries that fit BMW cars. Find the battery that has the same specs as yours. The battery group size used in BMW is Group 49 or 94 or H8 or H9. H8 is slightly shorter than H9. Various battery sizes are found in BMWs such as 1 series, 3-series, 5-series, 7-series, X1, X3, X5. Ensure by checking the battery size that is already installed in your car. What you need to pay attention is the specs in bold below.
Check Battery Prices Online:
Which BMWs require battery registration?
- 2007 or latest X5 E70 chassis/platform
- 2006 or latest 3-Series E90/E91/E92/E93 chassis/platform
- 2005 or latest X5 E53 chassis/platform with N62 engine
- 2004 or latest 5-Series E60/E61 chassis/platform
- 2003 or latest 6-Series E54/E63 chassis/platform
- 2002 or latest 7-Series E65/E66 chassis/platform
- 2008 or latest X6 E71 chassis/platform
Do I need to run battery registration if I disconnect the negative battery terminal?
If you need to disconnect the negative battery terminal to perform maintenance on your BMW you don't need to perform battery registration upon reconnection. Assuming you reconnect to the same battery.
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No, you do not need to register your old battery. The DME module has all the history on this battery and knows how to charge it. You will need to set the clock, synchronize windows, sunroof, and other memory functions.
If you accidentally triggered a warning light, you will need to read the codes and clear them using a BMW scan tool.
Typically a BMW alternator will charge the battery using 13 volt to 14.3 volt.
Typically this is caused due to a bad alternator or a battery that may have a bad cell. Perform a charging system test. Parts stores such as Advance Auto Parts and Autozone will do this test for free.
It could be on for various reasons but the most such as bad alternator, battery, voltage regulator, power module etc.
This is often caused by a loose battery terminal contact. Check and retighten or clean the battery cables that connect to the positive and negative battery terminals.
Yes. Make sure to perform coding to let the DME know you have installed a higher capacity battery. You can also install a lower capacity battery. Just do go to a battery with a much lower capacity eg. from a 110 Ahr to a 60Ahr.
Yes, you can. Make sure to code your BMW so it knows battery type has been changed. Perform battery registration as well.
No. You will need a BMW scan tool such as Carly for BMW, Foxwell NT510, INAP, BMW Scanner etc.
In some cases, you may notice that the airbag light is on after changing the battery. This is often caused by low voltage. You will need to use a scanner that can read BMW airbag codes. See what the codes are. If they are stored codes just delete them.
You can but the OBD2 scanners used at Autozone and Advance are generic code readers and aren't able to read multiple BMW systems. You will need a scanner that can read BMW specific codes.
- BMW slow to turn over
- Engine turns over a couple of times and stops
- Battery warning light on dashboard
- BMW dead, won't start
- Battery Discharge Warning Message
- Engine won't turn over
- Non starting issue
If you are having problems after replacing the battery on a BMW, it is very likely that you may have had a short between the positive and negative terminals during the installation process. Check fuses first and scan for codes using a scanner that can read BMW specific fault codes.
We can't say for sure. Most BMW models starting in 2002 need battery registration. Some models didn't require it up to 2005. Call your BMW and verify.
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