In this guide, you will find step-by-step instructions, with photos and videos, to help you successfully replace the battery in a BMW.
These instructions are meant to help all 2002 and newer BMW owners replace their car battery.
What you will need
- Group 94R Battery (Match old battery)
How to replace BMW battery
The following instructions will help you change the battery on your BMW.
Park your BMW. Turn off the ignition and remove the key.
Open the trunk and locate the BMW battery in the trunk. In newer BMW you will find the battery in the trunk, on the right (passenger) side. If you have a station wagon BMW, the battery is in the trunk floor. Remove the liner to expose the battery.
Use a 10mm wrench to disconnect the negative battery terminal. Rest the cable away from the negative battery terminal.
Disconnect the positive battery terminal. Next, disconnect and remove the positive battery cable. You will need to lift up the red plastic cover to find the 10 mm nut you need to loosen up.
Remove the 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 indicated by the white arrows shown below.
- Now it is time to remove the old battery. These batteries are extremely heavy. Ask for help to lift up the old battery.
Install the new battery. Carefully lower the new battery in place and make sure it is sitting properly.
Secure Battery. Reinstall 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.
Clean the battery posts. Use a battery terminal brush to clean the battery clamps. Connect the battery terminals.
- Connect the positive battery terminal first.
- Connect the negative terminal last.
- Follow instructions on how to register the battery if your BMW is the model year 2002 or newer.
The last step is to register the battery with an OBD-II scan tool. You will need an OBD-II scanner that is able to register a BMW 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.
When you replace a BMW battery but don't register the battery, your new battery may fail prematurely. In some cases, you may experience electrical issues or warnings on the instrument cluster.
Learn more about the procedure by following these instructions on how to register a BMW battery.
Here are a few tips that will help you with the battery replacement process.
- NOT RECOMMENDED: To save the memory functions on your BMW, you can use a trickle charger to keep the car powered up while you change the battery. You connect the backup power at the ground and positive terminals under the hood. This is the terminals used to you jump start your BMW. When using a backup source 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 accidentally touch any other metal body parts.
- Always remove the key from the ignition and keep it removed during the whole process.
- 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.
Does my battery need to be registered?
The following BMWs need to have the battery registered.
- 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 the 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
This list is not all-inclusive. See the owner's manual.
Common symptoms indicating that you need to replace the BMW battery:
- Clicking sound when you turn the key
- Dim headlights
- BMW won't start
- The battery doesn't hold a charge
- High battery discharge warning on the instrument cluster
- The engine struggles to turn over
If your battery is less than five years old, try charging the battery first. Driving the car for at least 1 hour will charge the battery or you can use a 12-volt smart trickle charger to charge it using the outlet port in your home.
- 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 the 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 of 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 the BMW Battery?
- Replacing BMW battery at the dealer - Replacing the battery at your BMW dealership costs anywhere from $250-$450. 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
- Replacing the battery yourself is very easy and straightforward. 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.
- 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 an AGM battery.
- 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.
- If I disconnect the negative battery terminal to perform tuneup, do I need to use BMW scan tool to register the battery?
- 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.
- I disconnected the battery and connected it a few minutes later. Now I have a warning light.
- If you accidentally triggered a warning light, you will need to read the codes and clear them using a BMW scan tool.
- What is the typical charging voltage on a BMW?
- Typically a BMW alternator will charge the battery using 13 volts to 14.3 volts.
- I get a charging malfunction when I start my BMW, what could it be?
- 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.
- Why is the yellow battery charging light coming on?
- It could be on for various reasons but the most such as a bad alternator, battery, voltage regulator, power module, etc.
- I replaced the battery on my BMW and now I have intermittent starting problems.
- 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.
- Can I change the battery capacity eg. from 90 Ahr to 110Ahr.
- 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.
- Can I change battery type from Lead Acid to AGM?
- Yes, you can. Make sure to code your BMW so it knows the battery type has been changed. Perform battery registration as well.
- Can I register a new BMW battery without a scan tool?
- No. You will need a BMW scan tool such as Carly for BMW, Foxwell NT510, INAP, BMW Scanner etc.
- The airbag warning light is on after changing the battery on a BMW.
- 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.
- My BMW doesn't start. Can I read the codes with a scanner from Autozone or Advance Auto Parts?
- 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.
- What are some signs of old BMW battery?
- BMW engine slow to turn over
- Engine turns over a couple of times and stops
- Battery warning light on the dashboard
- BMW dead, won't start
- Battery Discharge Warning Message
- Engine won't turn over
- Non-starting issue
- Changed the battery now I have problems with lights, accessories, cluster, starting, etc.
- 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.
- I don't have IBS sensor, do I need to register my battery?
- 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 it.
- I replaced my BMW battery. Battery dies overnight or every couple of days.
- You have a current draw when the car is turned off. Learn more about a parasitic draw.