Choosing the best battery for BMW

best battery for BMW

Trying to find out what's the best battery for BMW? While OEM batteries sold at BMW dealerships are a perfect fit they are also quite over priced. BMW replacement at the dealer cost anywhere from $400-$600.

You may be surprised but there are several aftermarket replacement batteries for BMW that work as well as the stock BMW battery as long as they are coded are registered correctly. It is possible to install an aftermarket BMW battery, perform battery registration and coding yourself. To register the new battery, you will need a BMW specific scan tool that can perform battery registration. You can spend less by replacing a BMW battery yourself and registering it versus having the dealer replace your BMW battery.

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List of aftermarket batteries for BMW vehicles. 

NORTHSTAR Pure Lead Automotive Group 94R (L4) Battery - Amazon Top Choice

NORTHSTAR Pure Lead Automotive Group 94R (L4) Battery

Check Price: NORTHSTAR Group 94R (L4) Battery

One of the highest rated batteries that fits BMW vehicles. AGM technology battery which is what most newer BMW use. 2002 and newer BMW that have lead acid battery can use this battery but will need to perform coding to change battery type. If you have a 2002 or older BMW you can install the Northstar and don't have to worry about coding or registration.

  • Pulse Cranking Amps: 1,650 A
  • CA/MCA at 32°F: 1,030 A
  • CCA: 840A @ 0°F
  • Reserve Capacity: 158 min
  • Capacity: 76Ah @ 20 Hour Rate

Excide Edge 94R AGM Sealed Automotive Battery

excide same as oem bmw battery size

Check Price: Excide Edge 94R Battery

Exide has been around for many years. If you are looking for a BMW battery made by a reputable company Exide is an option. Exide is known for putting their batteries through extensive testing. Overall this battery has great specs, in many cases matching the OEM BMW battery closely. 

  • Cranking Amps (CA): 960A
  • Cold CA: 800A
  • Capacity: 80 Ah
  • Reserve Capacity (RC): 140
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 12.38"
    • Height: 7.5"
    • Width: 6.88
  • Applications: 1-series, 3-series, 5-series, 7-series, X1 X3 X5

ACDelco 94R AGM Battery

best battery for bmw 1 3 5 7 series x1 x3 x5

Check Price: ACDelco 94R AGM Battery

  • Cold Cranking Amps: 800 CCA
  • Capacity: 80Ah
  • Reserve Capacity (RC): 140 RC
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Applications: E53 E60 E61 E63 E64 E65 E66 E70 E71 E82 E83 E84 E85 E86 E88 E89 E90 E91 E92 F01 F02 F06 F10 F13 F15 F20 F22 F25 F26 F60 F31 F85
  • Part number: 88864542

XS Power D4900 AGM Battery 

replacement battery for bmw

Check Price: XS Power D4900 Group 49 Battery

XS Power are a less known brand but considering the specs and the above average online reviews, we thought it is definitely worth considering. 

  • Cold CA: 1075A 
  • Capacity: 80 Ah
  • Reserve Capacity (RC): 168 min
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 13.9"
    • Height: 7.6"
    • Width: 6.88
  • Applications: 1-series, 3-series, 5-series, 7-series, X1 X3 X5

AutoCraft Gold 94R Battery - Advance Auto Parts

autocraft battery for bmw battery replacement oem alternative

Check Price: Autocraft Gold 94R Battery

Sold by Advance Auto Parts. These batteries can be purchased online and picked up at a local store the same day. The advantage of completing the purchase online is that Advance usually offers 25% off online purchases including batteries. Plus you get to pick up your battery the same day. 

  • Cranking Amps: 950A
  • Cold CA: 800 A 
  • Capacity: 80 Ah
  • Reserve Capacity (RC): 130 min
  • Battery Type: Lead Acid
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 12 7/16 in
    • Height: 7 1/2 in
    • Width: 6 15/16 in
  • Applications: 1-series, 3-series, 5-series, 7-series, X1 X3 X5

Autocraft Platinum Group Size H8  

alternative battery for bmw

Check Price: AutoCraft Platinum H8 AGM Battery

  • Cranking Amps: 1000 A
  • Cold CA: 900 A 
  • Capacity: ?? Ah
  • Reserve Capacity (RC): 160 min
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 13.94 in
    • Height: 7.5 in
    • Width: 6.94 in
  • Applications: 328i, 323i, 335i, 325i, 550i. 535i, 540i

OEM BMW Battery Specifications

OEM BMW batteries are the perfect choice if you are looking to replace the battery on your BMW. The only problem is that they often are overpriced. Luckily you can now buy cheap OEM BMW batteries online. 

By part number:

  • PN: 61 21 6 919 342 OR 61 21 6 924 022 OR 118668
    • CA: 700 A
    • CCA 900 A
    • Reserve Capacity: 160
    • Capacity: 90Ah
    • Type: AGM
  • PN: 61 21 8 381 765 / 61 21 8 381 764
    • CA 720A
    • CCA 720 
    • Capacity 90 Ah
  • PN: 61 21 8 381 749 729905 - 10
    • CA 640 A
    • CCA 640 A 
    • RC 140
    • Capacity 80 Ah
  • PN 61 21 7 566 302 / 61 21 8 381 726
    • CA 570 A
    • CCA 570
    • RC 120
    • Capacity 70 Ah
  • PN: 61 21 8 381 720 
    • CA: 540 A
    • CCA 600 CA
    • RC: 110 
    • Capacity: 65Ah
  • PN: 61 21 6 946 33
    • CA 720 A
    • CCA 720 A
    • RC:  160
    • Capacity: 90Ah
  • PN: 61 21 7 583 642
    • CA: 720 A
    • CCA: 720A
    • RC: 160
    • Capacity: 90 Ah 
  • PN: 61 21 7 607 983 / 61 21 7 615 853
    • CA: 900A
    • CCA: 900A
    • RC:160
    • Capacity: 90Ah
  • PN: 61 21 8 381 749 
    • CA: 640 A
    • CCA: 640 A
    • RC: 140
    • Capacity: 80Ah
  • PN: 61 21 7 586 932 / 61 21 7 586 975
    • CA: 720 A
    • CCA: 720 A
    • RC: 160
    • Capacity: 90 Ah
    • Type: Lead Acid

OEM BMW Battery Size

The most common battery on BMW vehicles including 3, 5, 7 series, X3 and X5 are BCI Group 94 49 H8 batteries. These batteries have the nearly same dimensions and are interchangeable. 

Group Length Width Height
Group 49 Battery / H8 13.9" 6.9" 7.6"
Group 94R Battery  12.4" 6.9" 7.5"

BMW battery specs vary between models. If you know the part number, you can find the specs below. 

  • Capacity: 65-110 Ahr
  • Cold Cranking Amps (CCA): 540-900 A
  • Cranking Amps (CA): 600-900 A
  • Reverse Capacity: 120-160 

Tips for choosing a BMW battery

In order to choose the best battery for BMW, you need to know a few key facts. BMWs 2002 and newer require that the new battery be registered so that your car knows how to charge it.

If you choose a battery that has the same specs as the original battery you can get away with only the battery registration. If you choose a battery that is the same physical size (group size) but has different specs, you will need to perform coding and also battery registration. 

If the old battery is still on your car, the battery specs will be printed on top of the battery. If you have an OEM BMW battery with black casing, it is an AGM battery. If you have a battery with white casing you have a lead-acid battery.  The ampere-hour is printed as a number and Ah behind, like this 90Ah.   

What's next? 

after you buy bmw battery

The first step is to install the new BMW battery which is very easy and straightforward procedure. If you need help with replacing the battery, read this article on How to replace a BMW battery.

Then, you will need to register it and maybe code it too. In other words, if you changed from AGM battery type to lead-acid battery or the capacity from 90 Ahr to 110 Ahr, you will need to perform coding as well. This tells your BMW how to charge the new battery. If you skip this step your BMW will overcharge the new battery shortening its life. Read this article on how to register a new BMW battery. 

Regardless of whether you buy OEM BMW battery or an aftermarket battery, you will need to perform BMW battery registration process if you BMW is 2002 or newer

Conclusion

To say that the OEM BMW battery is "absolutely" the best battery for Bimmers is an exaggeration unless you don't mind paying $500+ for a car battery. You can always install an aftermarket battery that's a lot cheaper than getting the battery replaced at the BMW dealer.

Have the dealer or an indy BMW shop program the battery. Most BMW shops will charge 0.5-1 hours labor to register the new battery. Or if you are looking to do it yourself and save money invest in a good BMW scanner and check out the article on BMW Battery Registration Coding DIY Procedure.

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Patrick Boyd made a comment.
1 week 1 day ago

My battery was changed without being coded, and it won't hold a charge; what can I do about this situation ???

 

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