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How to replace BMW battery

These instructions will help you replace the battery on any BMW. 

If you have a 2002 or newer BMW you need to register the battery as well. Here you find instructions on how to change and register a new BMW battery. 

Symptoms

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. 

What you will need

tools needed to change bmw battery

  • New Battery  

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.  We strongly recommend that you choose a replacement battery with specs as close as possible to the old battery.

Instructions

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

Locate the BMW battery in the trunk

bmw battery replacement reset

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.  

Disconnect the negative battery terminal

disconnect neg - battery terminal first

Start by disconnecting the negative battery terminal. Loosen the 10 mm nut. Pull the cable away from the negative battery terminal.

Disconnect the positive battery terminal

bmw battery replacement cost vs diy

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.

Important

  • Be careful to not damage the sensors attached to the battery cables.
  • It is important to avoid any shorts between the positive terminal and the body.     

Remove battery bracket

tighten top bracket to recommended torque secure bmw battery

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.

Remove the old battery

bmw battery removed

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

remove bmw battery from tray

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

Secure Battery

tighten bracket on other side

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. 

Clean the battery posts

Video file

Use a battery terminal brush to clean the battery clamps.

Connect the battery terminals

disconnect positive battery cable

Connect the positive battery terminal first.

connect negative battery termnial last

Connect the negative terminal last.

Register  battery

The last step is to register the battery with a tool such as Foxwell for BMW or user your smartphone with Carly Adapter.

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. 

Replacement Cost

The average cost to replace a BMW battery yourself ranges between $250 and $350.

You will spend $150-$200 on a new battery. In addition, you will spend around $100-$150 for a BMW scan tool.

For more information read this article on choosing the best aftermarket battery for BMW. 

Replacing a BMW battery at the dealer typically ranges between $450 and $580.

Notes

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.

FAQ 

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 the 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 volts to 14.3 volts.

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 a 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. 

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 the 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.

Comments

Mike Winters, 2018-05-25

Can you confirm that there is no risk in using my wife’s car in place of a jumper kit to supply power to my BMW while replacing the battery? I don’t have a jumper kit and would rather not buy one if I don’t need to.

Thank you!

Of course there is a risk. You can feed the car from the jump starting terminals in the engine bay. But if your accidently short the positive battery terminal to the body when changing the battery, you risk frying control modules.

I don't know why people insists on keeping a battery source connected when changing the battery. You are going to save yourself five minutes if you keep a battery source connected. There are no other benefits.

Personally I would rather spend 5 minutes syncronizing windows, sunroof, user presets than risk causing electrical problems.

Mike Winters, 2018-05-26

Thanks MercedesMedic.

Can you clarify what it means to "synchronize the windows, sunroof, etc."? Does that just mean to manually reprogram any personal settings (because they get wiped when power is interrupted)? Or is synchronizing more complicated than that?

I've searched quite a bit and I cannot find much information on it... so I assume it just means to reprogram my personal presets.

Thanks for any additional help.

-Mike

Yes manually set any user settings such as radio stations seat position memory for example. Or window one touch feature. All you have to do is to run the window up and down a couple of times and it's done. Set clock etc. Nothing special really. Everything is in the owners manual if you need help. 

Thanh, 2019-03-28

Nt520 pro and my 624 pr0 with one new battery registration

By YOUCANIC on Aug 16, 2019

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