The BMW car is famous for its strength, reliability, and style. And for a car that often costs a small fortune, it’s an investment many people take great care of.
But no matter what kind of car you have, they all have one thing in common. The main part that keeps everything running is its battery – when it fails, the vehicle fails, too.
For this reason, registering a new battery is so crucial for a BMW car. Not only does it ensure your car runs smoother, but it also protects your new investment by avoiding any costly repairs in the future.
Registering your battery allows your car to recognize a new part and support it accordingly. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know to register your BMW battery. We’ll discuss the different methods involved, your options, what happens if you choose not to register, and how much you can expect to pay.
What exactly is a BMW battery registration? And why is it important?
As the above video from BimmerTech explains, registering your BMW battery is important because it lets your car know that a new battery is connected.
Your car constantly adjusts power relevant to the health and age of your battery. The older the battery, the more power it requires. Registering a new battery lets your engine control module, also known as DME (Digital Motor Electronics), reset its statistics and better support your new battery accordingly.
After 2002, BMW’s electronics became incredibly sophisticated, including battery sensors. To help utilize this technology, you need to keep the registration of your battery up-to-date.
Even if your replacement is the exact same battery type, you must let your car know a new, younger version is installed.
BMW battery registration process and cost
There are two ways of registering your new BMW battery – getting a professional dealer to complete it or doing it yourself. An experienced dealer may charge anywhere from $120-240 to register your battery.
It works out cheaper, though, if you do the registration yourself, and most car models are incredibly versatile in the type of equipment you need to program them properly.
Firstly, you will need a scan tool, which ranges in price from $100-$150. These scans, like the Ancel BM700, have a dedicated BMW option and simplify the entire process.
Simply connect your BMW scanner’s USB cable to your car and turn the ignition on. Select your make and model on the scanner, and go to the special functions on the menu.
Then, select Battery Management. You can evaluate battery charging and also register a brand-new battery. Selecting the latter will delete previous battery statistics. And that’s it! Your battery is installed correctly, and your car will now recognize new battery settings and optimize itself.
Certain scanners may require additional equipment, software, and/or computer skills. Research the different brands and choose one that suits your skill level and the battery type you are changing to.
What brand of scan tool is the best?
There are a variety of brands that cater to battery registration. Some come with additional features that can help you improve your car’s capabilities in other ways.
Although you may want to keep costs low and invest in the cheapest option, you must also consider how expensive a BMW battery is in the first place. And spending that little bit more on an advanced scanner can save you long-term, maximize your battery’s efficiency, and prevent early burn-out of power cells.
The most popular brands include:
- AutoPhix: One of the most affordable brands, that is a simple way of registering similar BMW batteries.
- BlueDriver: Another affordable brand to consider.
- Foxwell: Another popular scanner that can compare is useful for installing and registering batteries of similar specs. Different batteries may require additional coding.
- Autel MaxiSys: Efficient, effective and can register a wide range of batteries for BMW cars.
- BMW INPA: Software that requires a laptop, software, and some computer skills.
Which BMW models does battery registration apply to?
Modern BMW cars are equipped with IBS, also known as Intelligent Battery Sensors. This system monitors and measures your battery’s performance and detects whether your vehicle is powered on or off.
Cars with these advanced systems require battery registration so that their advanced technology can captili\e on the new battery. If in doubt, remember newer BMW models require battery reprogramming:
- 2002 and newer 7-Series E65/E66 chassis
- 2003 and newer 6-Series E63/E64 chassis
- 2004 and newer 5-Series E60/E61 chassis
- 2005 and newer X5 E53 chassis *with N62 engine*
- 2006 and newer 3-Series E90/E91/E92/E93 chassis
- 2007 and newer X5 E70 chassis
- 2008 and newer X6 E71 chassis
What happens if you don’t register the battery?
So why is registering your battery necessary? Well, there are several reasons you should do it, including protecting your battery and the electrical system of your BMW.
If you avoid registration, your car might treat your new battery as older and less capable than it is. This, in turn, might lead to overcharging, damaging your new battery’s structural integrity and longevity. It can also adversely affect fuel consumption, adding additional costs to refilling your gas tank and limiting how far and fast your car travels.
Additionally, specific modules might not work correctly, and you may damage your charging system – leading to significant repair costs that can be easily avoided through battery registration.
10 Steps to Replacing a BMW battery yourself
Replacing the actual battery is also quite straightforward, and if you’re researching how to register a battery, you may also want to know how to replace the actual battery.
- Turn the car off and locate the battery placement (usually the trunk).
- Remove the liner covering the battery.
- Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery using a wrench.
- Next, disconnect the positive battery terminal.
- Remove the two brackets that are holding the battery in place. There will be bolts securing them in position.
- Remove the battery.
- Now install the new battery. Take a recording of its make and model for future reference.
- Align the battery properly in place. Reinstall the brackets, ensuring you don’t tighten them too much that they might fracture.
- Depending on the battery you are installing, you may also want to install additional features. E.g., a Liquid Lead-acid battery requires a vent hosing.
- Connect the positive terminal first and then the negative terminal. Ensure you leave the battery clean and free of any debris.
- BMW battery replacement can cost upwards of $400. For that reason, registration is essential to protect this costly investment.
- There are two methods of battery registration– often, a dealer can do it for a fee. However, you can register for cheaper if you invest in a scanner device.
- Familiarize yourself with your future scanner. Some require additional software, equipment, and computer competency. Factor this in when choosing a brand.
- Installing a battery yourself before registration? It’s optimal to install a battery with equal cold cranking amps(CCA) or amp hour (Ah).
- If you’re swapping battery types, e.g., Liquid Lead Acid to AGM battery, etc., registration of your new battery with a sophisticated scanner is essential.
- Newer BMW cars have advanced technology which actively tries to optimize itself around new, installed parts.
- BMWs, especially those made after 2002, will require reprogramming. If in doubt, consult your car’s manual for specific requirements and considerations.
For BMW owners, you want to ensure your car runs smoothly to avoid costly repair work. Registering your battery simply allows your car’s internal systems to recognize a brand-new part and support it with the necessary tools. It’s a straightforward, easy thing to do.
The registration cost is minimal compared to the enormous savings you stand to make in preventing damage, faults, and repairs. By registering, you are supporting your car and letting it know how well it can truly run.
As our article shows, the entire process is relatively simple – once you invest in a scanner. If you’re worried about your skill level, you can hire a professional car dealer to complete it for you.
Regardless of your method, the most important thing is that the registration is done. If you have any questions left unanswered about BMW vehicles and their battery registration, please leave a comment below.
- Do not assume anything – whether it’s old or newer models, the car may still require registering newer batteries.
- Registering your battery lets your car know how to best support and charge the battery.
- Unregistered batteries may increase gas mileage, overcharge your electrics, reduce battery longevity, and cost you significant repair costs.