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 since require that you perform battery registration.
If your BMW is older than 2002, you don't need to perform battery registration.
To complete BMW battery registration yourself, you will need a scan tool that can carry battery registration.
Popular scanners that you can use to register a new BMW battery.
These instructions apply to 2002 and newer BMW models including 1, 3, 5, 6, X1, X3, X5 series.
The first step in the process is to replace the battery on your BMW. Aim to install a new battery with the same specs or as close as possible as the old battery.
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 need to open. You may also find a cover on the port that you need to pull out. Plug the BMW scan tool of your choice into this port. Remember generic OBD2 scanners cannot perform BMW battery registration.
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 you press 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.
The last step is to register the new BMW battery. The instructions in this step will vary depending on the scanner that you use.
See the instructions in the next section.
What we used: Foxwell NT510 for BMW
Foxwell NT510 is more than just an OBD2 scan tool. It is capable of reading and clearing fault codes from multiple BMW systems.
You can use this scanner to read and clear codes from modules such as engine, airbag, transmission, ABS and more.
You can use Carly and your Android or iPhone phone.
Carly allows you to perform registration and coding in BMWs. While Carly is a great BMW scanner, you need to be cautious as you can easily damage your vehicle with this little adapter if you accidentally stop the battery registration process in the middle.
BMW INPA K+CAN setup which requires a laptop. INAP is more complex to setup and can be difficult for many owners. Not recommended if you do not have experience with the INAP software.
These steps will register a new battery with the same specs. These steps will not code a new battery with different specs.
During the BMW battery registration process, the following happens:
Battery capacity is set to 80%
The current Odometer reading is stored
Delete stored battery statistics such as:
battery charge level.
Stored temperature statistics are deleted
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 in addition to registering it.
Yes. This is ok. No damage will happen if you have to drive your BMW for a few min. It is the long overcharging or undercharging that can shorten the life of the battery or cause problems.
Our members often ask what's the difference between BMW battery registration vs. coding. Registration procedure clears the charging history of the old battery and tells your BMW that a new battery is installed which allows the car to charge the battery properly.
Ideally, you should avoid installing a battery with different specs but that doesn't always happen. If you do install a battery with 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 changed battery capacity.
If you changed battery type, you 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.
Yes. Don't skip battery registration. If you don't have a scanner, find an independent repair shop that can complete this for you. Some may only charge 0.5 hr of labor.
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.
If you had a BMW battery that was failing it is possible that a low voltage error codes have been triggered and stored in various systems. Perform a scan of all system and clear any codes that may have been stored. This procedure should also remove any Safe Mode including Energy Saving and Transport Modes.
Here is a list of BMW models that need the battery to be registered.
Check with your BMW dealer to confirm.