How To Register a BMW Battery

Vehicle:   BMW
Difficulty: ⚫⚫⚪⚪⚪
DIY Cost: $65-$165
Est. Time: 30 min

In this guide, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to register and code a BMW battery. 

BMW Battery Scan Tools

To register a BMW battery, you will need an OBD-II scan tool such as:

  • 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.
  • AutoPhix 7910  BMW Scan Tool
    • Similar to Foxwell NT510, and one of the cheapest scan tools able to register a BMW battery. 
  • 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.
  • BMW INPA Software (INPA K+CAN)
    • Require a laptop and familiarity with INAP software. 

Registering a BMW battery is very similar to most of the scanners out on the market. 

How to Register a BMW Battery

These instructions will help you register your new battery on a 2002 or newer BMW vehicle, 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.  We recommend installing a new battery with specs as close as possible to the old battery. 

    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. The last step is to register the new BMW battery. The instructions in this step will vary depending on the scanner that you select. See the instructions in the next section on how to register a battery using various scanners. 

    register bmw 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 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 with the same specs as the old battery is 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.
    • If the new battery has the same specs or very close to the old battery (CCA, CA, Ah, battery type), no coding will be required. 
  • 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 will need to code (program) the DME. Otherwise, the DME may overcharge or undercharge the new battery and, therefore, shorten the battery's life.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 BMW battery registration. Not all OBD-II scanners can register a BMW battery. 

Why register a BMW battery?

A BMW battery needs to be registered so that the engine control module (known in BMW terms as DME - Digital Motor Electronics) can properly charge the battery. Skipping the battery registration procedure can cause the new battery to fail prematurely.  BMW battery registration was introduced in 2002 and most BMW models require that you perform battery registration. If your BMW is older than 2002, you don't need to perform battery registration. 

What is stored 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.

When do I need to register for a BMW battery? 

Every time you replace the battery on a 2002 and newer BMW, you need to register it. If your new battery has different specs than the old battery you need to code the new battery and register it.

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

Yes. This is ok. No damage will happen if you have to drive your BMW for a few minutes. It is the long overcharging or undercharging 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. 

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.
By YOUCANIC Automotive Experts
Nov 2020

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