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      07-02-2012, 10:14 PM   #1
primal574
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Outrageous Battery Replacement Question!

Realized today that my e92 battery might be going. Jumped online to find what the replacement involves and am quite 'baffled' by the number of threads/responses I have seen without a concise explanation and I am honestly beyond confused.

Route 1: People are paying / advocating going to the dealer to get the battery replaced and paying (and getting quoted) upwards of $500 - $550 to replace the battery and 'reprogram' it so the car knows its a new battery

Route 2: People buy the bmw battery and the BAV tech tool for $300 and clear out the code themselves.

Route 3: People are replacing the battery themselves but not resetting the code claiming that it is BS that the car needs to be 'reset' for the battery, etc, claiming that is a pile of hoot BMW is pushing on us to squeeze out every last penny.

Now I am not a genius or anything but with an advanced engineering degree and all the basic tools on me I would of never have thought that a battery replacement requires a dealers visit and upwards of $500-$600. Does that not sound INSANE to everyone here or are people blindly handing over their hard earned money to a faceless giant?

My 2 questions are --

1. Is it Necessary to 'reset' the car for the new battery and
2. What is wrong with replacing battery yourself and taking it to the local tech shop (which SHOULD have the bav tech tool) where the total cost of Battery (Walmart R94 battery) + Reset should total no more than $150, which is the option I plan on going. This seems like the 'least' likely route to be advocated by anyone and I am not sure WHY!

Please let me know your thoughts and with a common issue such as BATTERY replacement. I would of never thought I would encounter such diverse answers / opinions / lack of FACTS surrounding this very simple to remedy issue. I will probably be needing a replacement this week so need to figure this out soon!

Do I have to get the OEM battery or is a nearly identical replacement as mentioned on threads (R94) sufficient?

Thanks

Last edited by primal574; 07-02-2012 at 10:21 PM.
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      07-02-2012, 10:41 PM   #2
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The safest, longest lasting, and cheapest solution would be to purchase the largest AGM battery that fits the battery tray (90 ah) for about $200 and have the registration performed by an independent repair shop.
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      07-02-2012, 11:09 PM   #3
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A battery is a battery. Aftermarket battery is fine, there is nothing special about the OEM one. I just replaced mine with a Duralast 49-DL from Autozone. Only issue was having to get a longer vent hose, otherwise it was a perfect fit.

Find a local coder and they should be able to code and register the battery for cheap. I registered it myself since I had a coding cable.

Reports of what happens without registration vary from being absolutely fine to shortened life of new battery to electrical gremlins. Up to you if you want to do it or not. But if you can get a coder to do it cheap, then no reason not to.
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      07-03-2012, 12:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbernielu View Post
The safest, longest lasting, and cheapest solution would be to purchase the largest AGM battery that fits the battery tray (90 ah) for about $200 and have the registration performed by an independent repair shop.
You could do that OR: Check dealer prices with BMWCCA discount--I payed $279.00 (installed) plus tax at the Dealer.
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      07-03-2012, 07:18 AM   #5
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Not that insane .....batteries are not cheap...and it lasts long. The less frequent the service is, then more it costs

$280 is cheap
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      07-03-2012, 12:13 PM   #6
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Not sure why people pay $500, that's crazy. I am not a BMWCCA member, and I paid $280 last Dec., plus $10 core because I wanted my old battery back (which is perfectly fine, I load tested it).

Load test the battery, why replace if not necessary? I dunno, I keep saying to load test the battery and I might as well be speaking martian. Nobody seems to want to do that.

Anyhow, I'm comfortable with $280, yes, you can go to wal mart and maybe get something for $80 and DIY without registering it. I'd rather do it right and have the dealer do it, since I have an extended warranty for another 1 1/2 yrs. To each his own.
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      07-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbernielu View Post
The safest, longest lasting, and cheapest solution would be to purchase the largest AGM battery that fits the battery tray (90 ah) for about $200 and have the registration performed by an independent repair shop.
There's a difference, at least what was explained to me. If you're putting in the same type of battery (lead acid) it's coding. If you're going from lead acid to AGM, it's programming. Whatever. In other words, the dealer wanted $280 for OEM, same as what I had, but they wanted $440 for AGM. The battery was only $60 more. The rest was because they said it ties up their bay for longer as it's not as simple as coding. So they said.

If lead acid lasts 6 years, what's the benefit of AGM anyway? Wife's cousin has 2 AGMs in his RAM 2500 turbodiesel, so what? Brother has 1 in his RAM 1500.
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      07-03-2012, 12:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbernielu View Post
The safest, longest lasting, and cheapest solution would be to purchase the largest AGM battery that fits the battery tray (90 ah) for about $200 and have the registration performed by an independent repair shop.
+1. This, but make sure to get the vented one, since the battery is in the trunk.

If you don't get it registered, bad things CAN happen.
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      07-03-2012, 12:48 PM   #9
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If your an Engineer

Go to the coding board(sub forum) buy the correct cable download the software.
You will be able to reset the battery and do diags on the car.
Also you will be able to recode certain functions like window up with the keyfob amoung others.
Go to the DIY sub forum here for the battery replacement procedure.
Or you could look for an Indy that could do the whole job for about 200 to 300 bucks .
Prices vary wildly on what the dealer will charge depending on if you are in
a large metro area .
Also if the car is not getting regular use or just short trips you need to consider a battery tender to keep the battery happy.
I got mine done at an Indy for 240 total registered .
Interstate mtp 92 (i think) /h8 cost at a auto store 160 to 180
If you do it don't use a battery backup it blow fuses.
No settings are lost except for time of day and trip computer data.

Last edited by ctuna; 07-04-2012 at 03:48 PM.
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      07-03-2012, 09:56 PM   #10
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I love how the coding takes X amount of labor hours but with the bav tech it takes about 5 seconds to reset it.
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      07-03-2012, 11:15 PM   #11
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Walmart batteries don't last more than 2 years. My factory one lasted 5.
My Indy shop wanted more than the dealer for the battery and registration.
I think when the battery starts going bad the CPU begins running higher parameters on the old battery to compensate for the weak battery. When you put a new battery in running higher parameter settings( because this was stored for the old battery) it decreases the life of new battery.
I paid $370 at dealer and a) Got a good battery that should last another 5 years at least. b) got it registered with dealer equipment and not worried if autozones battery tool correctly registered the battery.
This is why I went to dealer.
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      07-04-2012, 04:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaben View Post
Walmart batteries don't last more than 2 years. My factory one lasted 5.
My Indy shop wanted more than the dealer for the battery and registration.
I think when the battery starts going bad the CPU begins running higher parameters on the old battery to compensate for the weak battery. When you put a new battery in running higher parameter settings( because this was stored for the old battery) it decreases the life of new battery.
I paid $370 at dealer and a) Got a good battery that should last another 5 years at least. b) got it registered with dealer equipment and not worried if autozones battery tool correctly registered the battery.
This is why I went to dealer.
I get it, there's this fool and his money are easily parted theory, especially with BMW. I have seen the extreme resistance to paying the dealer for a battery. yes, with my Nissan, I just drove to Sears, bought the battery, and put it in, in a matter of 10 min. (it can be done in 1 if it were a race).

There is no reason to pay more than $280 at the BMW dealer, anything more is simply feeding the SA. It lasts 6 years. Why people are trying to get a worse, or a better battery, is beyond me. Just get what the car came with, it'll be made in USA vs. Germany, but so what. $280 is not the end of the world.
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      07-04-2012, 02:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John 070 View Post
I get it, there's this fool and his money are easily parted theory, especially with BMW. I have seen the extreme resistance to paying the dealer for a battery. yes, with my Nissan, I just drove to Sears, bought the battery, and put it in, in a matter of 10 min. (it can be done in 1 if it were a race).

There is no reason to pay more than $280 at the BMW dealer, anything more is simply feeding the SA. It lasts 6 years. Why people are trying to get a worse, or a better battery, is beyond me. Just get what the car came with, it'll be made in USA vs. Germany, but so what. $280 is not the end of the world.
I should have joined bmwcca to get that deal on my battery !
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      07-16-2012, 09:00 AM   #14
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Unfortunately, the BMW extended warranty doesn't seem to cover anything; it certainly does not cover the battery. My car sits at the $tealership today with a bad battery. BMW's refusal to honor the extended warranty as to the battery is the final straw in my dealings with BMW dealer service. I plan on buying a new BMW battery and installing it myself and then having an independent shop do the necessary programming. 2007 328xi w/ 42,000 miles

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... I'd rather do it right and have the dealer do it, since I have an extended warranty for another 1 1/2 yrs.
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      07-16-2012, 09:10 AM   #15
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Went to the dealer and got my battery replaced and registered with the ECU for about $280 or so. Mine was 5 years old (from in-service date), and at that point, they aren't a warranty item. If your dealer is quoting $500 or more, go to another dealer or find a good Indy shop.
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      07-16-2012, 09:34 AM   #16
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Failing to register your battery won't prevent your new battery from working at all, but yes, it does make a difference as I found out from personal experience. The wife's Mini Cooper S had a sunroof that wouldn't close all the way unless the engine was running; on battery, it didn't seem to be getting enough power to pull that huge pane of glass down to seal all the way shut. New battery didn't solve the issue. New battery after registering it did.

Evidently registering a new battery among other things resets parameters such as how much current the car tries to draw from or deposit back into a battery, so swapping a new battery in and having the computer continue to treat it with parameters for an old battery could kill the new one prematurely.

If you get a non-OEM battery, you also need to make sure that the battery type (AGM or standard) and Amp-hour ratings match OEM specs. If you switch, you need to code your car to the new type, but be aware there are only certain valid amp-hour values for new batteries, so you can't just plug an arbitrary value into that field to match whatever random battery you pick.
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      07-16-2012, 09:34 AM   #17
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Went to the dealer and got my battery replaced and registered with the ECU for about $280 or so. Mine was 5 years old (from in-service date), and at that point, they aren't a warranty item. If your dealer is quoting $500 or more, go to another dealer or find a good Indy shop.
This is totally accurate--think about it. The battery lists for $199.99--that's a bit high, but not outrageous. Then, there is labor to put it in, plus a software registration. I also paid $280, plus a core because I wanted the old one back--this I believe is state law, to encourage recycling. The core was like $15--but my old battery is fine, I'm thinking of seeing if it can fit in my Nissan but I doubt it as that uses a 24F.

Prices do vary, because some dealers charge over list for work, i.e. $500 for a battery job.

I mean I just recently got my brakes flushed for $125 at a dealer, with a loaner. Another dealer wanted $206. And indie wanted $168. Nobody said you don't or shouldn't have to shop around....
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      07-17-2012, 12:33 PM   #18
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I should mention that my price included a 20% BMW CCA discount from my dealer. But it resolved the problem and insured that it was properly installed and coded.
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      07-17-2012, 01:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
Failing to register your battery won't prevent your new battery from working at all, but yes, it does make a difference as I found out from personal experience. The wife's Mini Cooper S had a sunroof that wouldn't close all the way unless the engine was running; on battery, it didn't seem to be getting enough power to pull that huge pane of glass down to seal all the way shut. New battery didn't solve the issue. New battery after registering it did.

Evidently failing to register a new battery among other things resets parameters such as how much current the car tries to draw from or deposit back into a battery, so swapping a new battery in and having the computer continue to treat it with parameters for an old battery could kill the new one prematurely.

If you get a non-OEM battery, you also need to make sure that the battery type (AGM or standard) and Amp-hour ratings match OEM specs. If you switch, you need to code your car to the new type, but be aware there are only certain valid amp-hour values for new batteries, so you can't just plug an arbitrary value into that field to match whatever random battery you pick.
I bought a Duralast battery at Autozone and took my car to an Indy to have it registered. They removed the battery in an attempt to find Amp Hour ratings and couldn't find any data. They also went to the website to find AH data and couldn't find anything either. So they returned my car and said they couldn't register it as they didn't know the AH rating, didn't want to guess and enter an incorrect figure and risk damage to my car.

I did some research on how to determine AH and found that only the manufacturer knows this number. There is no formula to get the exact figure and most non European manufacturers don't list AH. They will list CCA and Reserve capacity, but there is no exact way to calculate AH based on that info. So I wrote to the manufacturer and didn't receive any response. So far the battery is more than 2 years old and no known problems.
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      07-17-2012, 02:32 PM   #20
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I have CCA and paid $313.99 last year when I had to replace my battery last year.
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      07-17-2012, 06:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Brad from the OC View Post
I bought a Duralast battery at Autozone and took my car to an Indy to have it registered. They removed the battery in an attempt to find Amp Hour ratings and couldn't find any data. They also went to the website to find AH data and couldn't find anything either. So they returned my car and said they couldn't register it as they didn't know the AH rating, didn't want to guess and enter an incorrect figure and risk damage to my car.

I did some research on how to determine AH and found that only the manufacturer knows this number. There is no formula to get the exact figure and most non European manufacturers don't list AH. They will list CCA and Reserve capacity, but there is no exact way to calculate AH based on that info. So I wrote to the manufacturer and didn't receive any response. So far the battery is more than 2 years old and no known problems.
$280 - what you paid = savings. But you can hardly say that what you did is the right way. Personally, I'd rather bite the bullet on the $280 and simply know the battery is good for another 6 years. If your battery fails at 3, imho you didn't save anything. You either got what you paid for, or got less than what you paid for.
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      07-17-2012, 08:03 PM   #22
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$280 - what you paid = savings. But you can hardly say that what you did is the right way. Personally, I'd rather bite the bullet on the $280 and simply know the battery is good for another 6 years. If your battery fails at 3, imho you didn't save anything. You either got what you paid for, or got less than what you paid for.
When I bought the battery, I had no idea that amp hour info was needed to register the battery. From looking at the various threads regarding purchasing non BMW batteries and registering, it appears that other OPs have bought American manufactured batteries and had it registered. What I don't know is what types of tools all of these people are using to register the battery. A description from people using a Bav Tool, say you just go to the screen and click on register and say nothing about needing or entering AH data. I wonder how many people are getting their cars registered incorrectly because the service people are just guessing Amp Hours?
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