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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Technical Forum > Car Battery Replacement



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      05-30-2020, 08:51 AM   #1
x77md
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So the 335 has been throwing the increased electrical discharge warnings again. So I took it to the garage and it turns out the car still has the 12 year old original battery in it and it's very weak.

The mechanic recommended I could try charging it up overnight using something like the CTEK to see if it could give it enough of a charge but it's an old horse & will probably need a swap. For the health of the car I'm looking to replace the battery and want to know the best way to go about this.

The BMW specialist I take my car to has quoted me £200+ VAT (not including labour) for the whole thing.

£150 quotes by Halfords including fitting & warranty.

My question is - is this the going rate for a battery replacement (never had to replace one before) & what's the deal with coding batteries that I've read on a few threads. I want to change it over as safely as possible but as economically too - more leftover money for upgrades (and the paintwork repair - If you've read my other thread)

Also, with the whole battery changing jazz - would the fact that the ECU is flashed to MHD stage 1 affect anything at all?
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      05-30-2020, 05:21 PM   #2
therealdb1
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At 12 years old you cannot complain about replacement.

No idea what the going rate is to fit a battery as I would replace it myself but the battery alone is likely to cost around what you are being quoted depending on what you go for.

Do you know if you have an AGM battery?

If you replace the exact like for like then it will need to be 'registered' to the car if you change any of the specifications for eg more Ah or an AGM for non-AGM or vice-versa you will also need to 'code' it to the car.
If you go down the Halfords route make sure that they carry out the programming afterwards it is important. Some branches appear to be more savvy than others.

Regarding your ECU mods that should not make any difference.
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      05-30-2020, 06:53 PM   #3
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I paid around a £100 for the replacement Exide battery in mine a couple or so years ago, fitting & registering was £50, half hours labour.
Although the fitting is easy enough, so you could spend the £50 on a cable & software then you could fit & register it yourself.

There's not much thats 'economical' in running & maintaining a 335i

Edit:
It seems that it was January 2017 that the Exide battery was fitted along with some other work.
Battery is currently still all good, how quickly time goes by
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Last edited by Chappers 71; 06-03-2020 at 12:21 PM..
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      05-31-2020, 02:04 AM   #4
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£200 for a genuine BMW battery is the going rate. £150ish for a decent alternative also the going rate. Registering the new battery is simple, if you have the cable and software...so is fitting. So it's a good time to do it yourself, or won't cost much in labour if you pay someone to do it. MHD won't affect the battery in any way.
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      05-31-2020, 01:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therealdb1 View Post
At 12 years old you cannot complain about replacement.

No idea what the going rate is to fit a battery as I would replace it myself but the battery alone is likely to cost around what you are being quoted depending on what you go for.

Do you know if you have an AGM battery?

If you replace the exact like for like then it will need to be 'registered' to the car if you change any of the specifications for eg more Ah or an AGM for non-AGM or vice-versa you will also need to 'code' it to the car.
If you go down the Halfords route make sure that they carry out the programming afterwards it is important. Some branches appear to be more savvy than others.

Regarding your ECU mods that should not make any difference.
Not sure I've opened up the back to see what I could of the battery and there's this bar across hindering what Ever else is written across the damn thing

Do these pics help in identifying the battery?

12V 80ah RC 800A was what I could conjure up from the writing

Nothing about AGM or non-AGM from what I could see but then I'm an idiot when it comes to this stuff anyway :
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      05-31-2020, 01:57 PM   #6
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Type 019 battery into ebay and you will find countless batteries to fit your car for under £100 some as low as £70 next day delivery. Buy the cheapest one with a 4 year warranty thats Greater than 90ah. Spend the savings on having the car coded to match the battery spec. Never mind brand snobbery, if it out lasts the warranty it owes you nothing.
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      06-01-2020, 02:55 AM   #7
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61217555719
AGM, 80Ah
140RC, 800CCA

Any battery that matches or exceeds these specs will do. If it differs significantly in the type (AGM) or capacity (80Ah) it will need to be coded as well as registered, but that's only a 10min job instead of a 5min job.

Of the 2 BMWs in my household, I've just replaced the original battery in one after 11 years and 105k miles. The other is starting to get weak, but no issues yet at 13 years and 135k miles. Brand snobbery does count for something. Buy cheap, buy twice, for most things!
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      06-01-2020, 05:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tambohamilton View Post
61217555719
AGM, 80Ah
140RC, 800CCA

Any battery that matches or exceeds these specs will do. If it differs significantly in the type (AGM) or capacity (80Ah) it will need to be coded as well as registered, but that's only a 10min job instead of a 5min job.

Of the 2 BMWs in my household, I've just replaced the original battery in one after 11 years and 105k miles. The other is starting to get weak, but no issues yet at 13 years and 135k miles. Brand snobbery does count for something. Buy cheap, buy twice, for most things!
Thanks! I'll be having a look pretty soon. Curious to know - mines is 12 years and 73k miles, were your 105k & 135k cars generally used for longer distance commuting which might have helped with battery life?
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      06-01-2020, 10:37 AM   #9
therealdb1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x77md View Post
Thanks! I'll be having a look pretty soon. Curious to know - mines is 12 years and 73k miles, were your 105k & 135k cars generally used for longer distance commuting which might have helped with battery life?
It is the age of the battery rather than mileage that counts. They rely on a chemical reaction which weakens with time. 12 years is not an unreasonable life for the original battery regardless of mileage.

My BMW still has the original battery at 13 years and 37k miles but the car lives in a relatively warm garage on trickle charge for a lot of the time.
One thing that is guaranteed to shorten the battery life is to allow them to go completely flat. You might get away with a recharge once or twice but it will knock years off the serviceable lifetime.
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      06-01-2020, 02:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x77md View Post
Thanks! I'll be having a look pretty soon. Curious to know - mines is 12 years and 73k miles, were your 105k & 135k cars generally used for longer distance commuting which might have helped with battery life?
For sure longer distance driving helps a little with battery life, but only because it helps keep the battery maintained (car depleats the battery very little when 'asleep', and short journeys don't allow much time for charging as well as initial electrical usage generally being higher). If you do low miles, invest in a good battery maintainer or smart charger, and let the battery charge when you know the car will be laid up for a few days or a week, etc. Obviously that's only really possible if your car is garaged...

As far as I know, both my cars have had fairly average usage over their lifetimes, though maybe with a bias towards longer journeys. They certainly haven't done crazy annual mileages at all (~10k/year). Both run clean and have no dpf issues, so I guess that's also an indicator of minimal short journeys.

Biggest factor for battery life, as mentioned above, is to avoid fully discharging. Car batteries do not like to be deep cycled!
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      06-01-2020, 05:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tambohamilton View Post
61217555719
AGM, 80Ah
140RC, 800CCA

Any battery that matches or exceeds these specs will do. If it differs significantly in the type (AGM) or capacity (80Ah) it will need to be coded as well as registered, but that's only a 10min job instead of a 5min job.

Of the 2 BMWs in my household, I've just replaced the original battery in one after 11 years and 105k miles. The other is starting to get weak, but no issues yet at 13 years and 135k miles. Brand snobbery does count for something. Buy cheap, buy twice, for most things!
Buy cheap with a 4 year warranty if it fails at 4 1/2 years throw it away and buy another and still costs you less than a big brand battery. How much warranty do you get wirh a snob brand battery?
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      06-01-2020, 07:16 PM   #12
Tambohamilton
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'Snob' brand battery lasts 11 years... Maybe 13+. Costs £200, and one round of install + registering/coding if you're paying for that.

Off brand battery lasts 5 years, maybe, costs £100ish + install, coding.

So in a 10 year cycle that an OE battery can last without any special maintenance, the off brand battery(ies) have cost the same to buy, double the outlay for labour and double the downtime.

I think the economy of your strategy is in buying the worst possible battery to maximise the chance of it failing regularly within its warranty period, thus ensuring a steady supply of 'free' batteries...but also maximising likelihood of getting stranded somewhere, and maximum inconvenience of replacing batteries and messing with warranties. Not to mention the environmental costs.

Warranty on an OE battery is pretty much irrelevant to me, since by buying a good battery in the first place, I've given myself a fighting chance of not needing it. If you want to go somewhere in the middle, buy a Varta battery for £150...it's probably the same as the OE battery.
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      06-01-2020, 08:00 PM   #13
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What did you replace your battery with? Iíll take my chances with a budget battery as my circumstances are different to your described scenario. I can fit and code my own battery FOC and once every few years is no real inconvenience to me, on top of that i never keep a car more than 5 years so one battery change is likely to be the last one, Depending on your attitude to risk you can buy a suitable battery for 330 for a lot less than £100 with a 4 year warranty. Depending on the attitude and capabillity of the OP iím sure he can take something from either your opinion or mine.
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      06-02-2020, 12:50 AM   #14
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OE battery from eBay, supplied by a dealership in Scotland, if I remember rightly. 90Ah AGM for £195.99. Was only looking for 80Ah, but they were £200+! Like you I fitted, registered, and coded it myself, as well as updating the VO. Unlike you though, my attitude is to spend some extra just to be confident it'll be reliable and not need attention for as long as possible. I don't think that makes me a snob.

If it had been for my car and not my partner's, I would have gone for a Varta equivalent - her car is in fully original condition though, and I was willing to pay the badge tax to maintain that and the reliability.
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      06-02-2020, 05:41 AM   #15
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I think youííre being a little over sensitive, i never refered to you personally as a snob, so please have the last word and iíll make every effort to stay clear of any thread which you may have contributed to. I still love you.
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      06-02-2020, 05:42 AM   #16
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I ebay'd for a battery for mine a few years ago after getting a price off ECP. I ended up getting a bosch which was a higher spec than the original BMW it was to replace. I can't remember the exact prices but ECP was about £150 but ebay was something like £100 for exactly the same battery. Best bit was, the ebay seller was ECP so i could go and collect it from the local branch
I fitted and registered it myself with carly. I will or would have done yours (if you've already done it) if you are near me in Doncaster.
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      06-02-2020, 05:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomiS330d View Post
Best bit was, the ebay seller was ECP so i could go and collect it from the local branch
Yes, strange how that happens considering they need to pay commission to ebay also. I suspect that the ECP website prices are set artificially high so that they can then offer their 40%, 50% or 60% discounts on a regular basis which brings the price down to a competitive level. Nothing against that providing you understand "the game".

In fact I recently purchased a replacement battery for my wife's Smart car from ECP. It was delivered free, by one of their own vans to my doorstep within 4 hours of placing the order online and the price for an Exide brand was cheaper than anything I could find on ebay to do the job once the 60% discount was applied.

BTW that was the original 12 year old Smart battery replaced so no brand snobbery here!
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      06-02-2020, 07:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daviebrown View Post
I think youííre being a little over sensitive, i never refered to you personally as a snob, so please have the last word and iíll make every effort to stay clear of any thread which you may have contributed to. I still love you.
Why use the word snob then? Bear in mind that we all own BMWs here, and they all at least started life with BMW branded batteries!

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Originally Posted by Daviebrown View Post
I still love you.
Aww! [Cuddle emoji]
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      06-02-2020, 12:44 PM   #19
x77md
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Ok so in the end I went with OEM replacement via the BMW specialist. £205 for the part via the Sytner dealer here in Leicester & £50 labour. I don't have the equipment (I probably should and tbh I will have a look into Carly/INPA or whatever it's called for diagnostics work & that jazz).

So far I've had all maintenance work done with these guys and I've never had any issues so far so that's the route I've gone.

New house is due to be completed by the end of summer & has plenty of space to work on the car so I'll definitely be taking the summer to learn a bit of basic car DIY - a necessary skill for 335 owners I've learned
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      06-02-2020, 04:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x77md View Post
New house is due to be completed by the end of summer & has plenty of space to work on the car so I'll definitely be taking the summer to learn a bit of basic car DIY - a necessary skill for 335 owners I've learned
At least you are sorted now.

It is a good idea for all drivers to have a little basic knowledge on car maintenance but the 35 is quite a complicated machine to begin learning on.
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      06-07-2020, 04:18 PM   #21
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I got my car battery replaced at Halfords a few months ago. I bought the HAL AGM BATTERY AGM019 for £184 and paid an additional £25 to have it fitted too. They coded it too to register the new battery to the car.
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