Have you started noticing problems with your battery, or perhaps it’s dead and you desperately need a replacement? Either way, you’re probably wondering about the BMW 328i battery replacement cost. Thankfully we’re here to help.
We’ll take a close look at what you should expect to pay for your battery replacement, along with the factors that go into the cost. By the end, you’ll have all the info you need, so let’s get started!
BMW 328i Battery Replacement Cost
The cost of paying someone to replace the battery in a BMW 328i can range from $200 to $500. You may think that’s a huge potential price range, but there are good reasons for that. The price you pay will depend on various factors, and it’s important to know these so you don’t end up paying more than you should.
If you want to do the job yourself, you will only have to pay $100-$200, depending on the quality of the battery that you buy. However, as we’ll explain later, changing the battery yourself is not advised unless you have experience.
For a battery replacement at a local independent auto repair shop, you can expect to pay around $200-$350. This is due to them having a lower price point for their labor costs and potentially not installing a premium-level battery.
The most expensive option would be having it installed by a BMW dealer. Here you’ll pay in the $350-$500 range, with some places even quoting higher than that. Using a BMW dealer gives you security and confidence in getting a good job, but if you want to save money, it’s best to look at other options.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Battery Replacement
Several factors go into the costs of a battery replacement. Let’s have a quick overview, so you know where your money will go.
Repairer – As mentioned, who’s fitting your battery will be the biggest factor in the cost. As a rule of thumb, an approved dealer will be more expensive than a local auto repair shop. It’s always good to get a quote before you greenlight the work.
Model – Just as there are different brands of batteries for your devices at home, there are differences in quality when it comes to car batteries. An official battery may cost over $250, whereas you can pick up a cheap battery for approximately $100.
Coding – To sync up to your electrical systems, any battery in a recent BMW may need to be coded. A repairer may include this in their battery replacement cost or can charge for it separately. If the old battery is replaced with an identical one, coding is most likely not required, but it will still need to be registered.
Does Your Battery Need Replace?
If you’re unsure whether your battery needs to be replaced, it’s good to know that some signs of a bad battery can actually be other issues. If you notice any of these signs, don’t immediately think your battery needs to be replaced.
Struggle to start – You need to be careful with this one, as a car struggling to start can be for several reasons, but a battery is the most common. Along with the battery, it can also be an issue with the starter motor, electrical issues, the alternator, or low fuel pressure, among other reasons.
Electrical issues – As with your car struggling to start, the battery is the most likely culprit for your electronics not working as they should, but it may not be the case. You could have faulty wiring or loose connections, or your alternator belt may malfunction.
A bad smell – It’s often said that the smell of rotten eggs is a sign of a dying battery. While that is true, your catalytic converter can also produce the same smell. A burnt clutch, an overheating car, and leaking coolant are just some examples of non-battery issues that can cause bad smells.
Some people see these signs and immediately jump to the conclusion that their battery is bad and needs to be replaced. However, as we’ve seen, there may be another issue that isn’t battery related. So before you go ahead with battery replacement, be sure your battery actually needs to be replaced.
Difference between Franchise and Independent Repairs
When getting a new battery, you can use either a BMW-approved service center or an independent auto shop. There are clear pros and cons between the two, which you need to know to make an informed decision.
Cost – There is a clear winner, and that is an independent auto repair shop. Of course, some out there may take advantage, but using a reputable repairer will save you money. You can always ring around a few places to find the best quote.
Quality – The quality of service will depend on the battery used and the mechanic fitting it. A well-reviewed independent will be able to provide the same level of service. However, with a BMW-approved center, you’ll have more confidence in them doing a good job.
Time – If you choose to go down the route of a BMW center, you’ll need to find the one that’s most local to you. Depending on where you live, this could be a considerable distance from your home, and you’ll also need to hope they have an appointment available.
Choosing a non-approved BMW center almost certainly means more choices and less distance to travel. The winner here is clear: you’ll most likely get your battery fitted sooner with a non-approved auto shop.
Peace of Mind – Many people will take their cars to a BMW service center as they find it less stressful. There is comfort in knowing that your car will be dealt with by BMW technicians that have worked on 328is countless times before.
For those without knowledge of cars, finding an auto repair shop can be stressful. However, there are many great ones out there, and it’s always good to look at reviews to ease your mind. But for the ultimate peace of mind, a BMW service center wins.
Warranty – Before you decide, it’s always a good idea to consider the warranty. If your BMW is under warranty, replacing its battery with a non-approved center may void your agreement. If you’re unsure, then check your paperwork.
How Often Does a Battery Need Replacement?
When it comes to battery replacement in a vehicle, there can be a big difference between what you should do and what people actually do. Many drivers will use the same battery in their cars until they notice issues, which can cause problems.
For the best battery performance, changing your battery every three years is recommended. All batteries lose performance over time, and car batteries are no different. While three years is ideal, drivers often don’t want to have this expense so frequently.
If you want to stretch out your battery life for a little longer, changing it every five years should be fine. Many drivers leave it longer than this, but you risk your battery failing, affecting other components, such as the alternator, and not getting the performance required from your electronics.
Can I Replace My Own Battery?
Changing your own battery isn’t the most difficult task in the world if you know what you’re doing. It’s just a case of removing the bar securing the battery, taking out the wires in the right order, and then reversing that process with the new battery.
However, if you’re the type that struggles with DIY tasks, then it’s often best to leave it to a professional. Of course, if you do it yourself, you also have the added stress of trying to work out which replacement battery you should get.
Then there is also the registration and coding process. All new batteries need to be registered and possibly coded too. Coding may not be required if you are replacing your battery with an exact replica, e.g., replacing an AGM battery with another AGM battery.
Registering is fairly simple, but coding adds a whole new level of complexity to the process. It’s important to weigh that up when thinking about whether installing it yourself is a good idea.
Why Do I Need To Register and Code My BMW Battery?
BMW uses algorithms to ensure that your battery is charged at its optimal level. To do this, it needs to know the type and age of your battery.
Let’s use an example where you remove a 5-year-old wet-cell battery from your BMW and replace it with a new AGM one. In this scenario, your BMW will still charge the battery thinking it’s an old wet cell, when, in fact, you have something completely different.
This isn’t good for two reasons. Firstly, your BMW may under or overcharge the battery, which can lead to overheating and shortening the battery’s lifespan. Secondly, incorrect charging may affect the functionality of your electronics.
Coding isn’t really required when switching batteries of the same types, but you should always register the battery. If you do this yourself, it isn’t too complicated, and you’ll find plenty of help online.
The cost of replacing your battery will depend on the model you buy, who you ask to replace it, and whether or not it needs to be coded. On average, you should pay around $250-$300, but this may be more if you use a BMW-approved dealer.
For those looking to save money, you can install the battery with some basic know-how, as long as you’re buying the same battery as before. Before you replace that battery, it’s always good to double-check that it needs to be replaced and there are no other issues that need to be addressed.