How to replace a BMW battery yourself

In this article, you will learn how to replace a BMW battery yourself. These step-by-step instructions contain pictures and videos clips to help you safely replace the a BMW battery. You will also find instructions on how to perform BMW battery registration which is required on 2002 and newer BMWs.

🔺

Symptoms

Signs that you need to replace a BMW battery: 

  • BMW won't start
  • The battery doesn't hold a charge
  • High battery discharge warning on the instrument cluster
  • Engine struggles to turn over
🔺

What you will need

tools needed to change bmw battery

Parts Required

BMW Battery  - A couple of popular aftermarket batteries that fit many BMW vehicles are the ACDelco 94R AGM Battery and DieHard 38217 Battery.  

A new BMW battery will cost you around $150-$200. To learn more about this topic read our article -  Choosing the best battery for BMW.

Choose a battery with similar specs as your old battery. 

Tools you may need

To change the battery on a BMW you will need a few tools such as: 

🔺

Instructions

These instructions are meant to help all BMW owners who have a 2002 and newer BMW.

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 under the carpet on the trunk floor. 

bmw battery replacement reset

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.

disconnect neg - battery terminal first

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.

bmw battery replacement cost vs diy

 
 
 
 

Important

  • 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. 

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.

tighten top bracket to recommended torque secure bmw battery

 

Watch a video on how to remove the battery on a BMW. 

 

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.

bmw battery removed

 

Install the new battery

Lower the new battery in place and make sure it is sitting properly.

remove bmw battery from tray

 

Secure Battery

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. 

tighten bracket on other side

 

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.

disconnect positive battery cable

connect negative battery termnial last

 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. 

diy bmw battery replacement

 

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 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

When 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 warn on your instrument cluster.

🔺

How to perform BMW Battery Registration 

Step-by-step instructions on how to register BMW battery. 

🔺

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. 

🔺

Additional Tips

how to change bmw battery yourself

Here are a few tips that will help you with the battery replacement process.  

  • 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 accidentally 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. 

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.

🔺

Frequently Asked Questions

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: 
  • ACDelco AGM 94R Group Battery
  • Exide Edge 49 AGM Sealed Battery
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 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. 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 an 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. 
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 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
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.

​​​​​

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.

You have a current draw when the car is turned off. Learn more about a parasitic draw.

🔺
DIY Cost
$160-$350
Mechanic
$290-$480
Dealer
$420-$550