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aalvi709
02-18-2008, 05:15 PM
Hey guys I'm a new owner of a 2004 BMW X3. I have two questions: What would be a good replacement battery for the X3 and what problems are typically associated with the X3?

Thanks.

SouthernHero
08-17-2008, 12:22 PM
I have the same question regarding the battery. Can I pick one up at Autozone like my E46? What is a good cheap replacement? Thanks!

b-y
08-17-2008, 01:04 PM
Any top-quality maintenance-free Group 48 battery should work. Check first to see if you need the external vent kit.

Be certain whoever install the replacement battery keeps power to the radio etc., so you do have to reset all the codes.

SouthernHero
08-17-2008, 01:26 PM
Thanks brother!

b-y
08-17-2008, 05:45 PM
I just looked at the battery in my 2008. It is the same as was in my 2004 and does require the external vent. My local Autozone sometimes removes the vent kits from the batteries they put on the shelf, but will get one for you if you ask. (I have no experience with Canadian retailers.)

Evlengr
08-17-2008, 07:20 PM
Easy way to keep power to the ECU and other components is through one of the cigarette lighter chargers.

SouthernHero
08-17-2008, 08:19 PM
This is great info. Thanks for the help!!!

PS I have a %20 off coupon for Autozone, PM me if you'd like one (it's good for next week only).

rs6654
08-18-2008, 08:19 AM
Because it's in the passenger compartment with you... you cannot use just any battery.

Here is an excellent post on batteries from BMW Tech.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3408146&postcount=21

SouthernHero
08-18-2008, 08:26 AM
Cool, thanks for the info. So, what battery would you use as a replacement for a 2004 X3?

legalfee
08-18-2008, 09:02 AM
Any top-quality maintenance-free Group 48 battery should work. Check first to see if you need the external vent kit.

Be certain whoever install the replacement battery keeps power to the radio etc., so you do have to reset all the codes.

I think mine is a type 49. I could be wrong though. I'll measure it when I get home. 48s are 12 1/16 long and 49s are 15 inches.

rs6654
08-18-2008, 09:52 AM
Cool, thanks for the info. So, what battery would you use as a replacement for a 2004 X3?

To be honest I would replace it with another OE battery. But if I wasn't I would go with whatever was comparable as long as it was sealed.

SouthernHero
08-18-2008, 12:14 PM
Thanks dude!

AzNMpower32
08-18-2008, 12:25 PM
I was just gonna use an OEM one as well. But the original one is still running well after 4 years.

x3ronnie
08-18-2008, 02:12 PM
I was just gonna use an OEM one as well. But the original one is still running well after 4 years.

What is the estimated lifespan? Do you just wait until you have problems? Winter is coming, I would consider changing that sucker before it gets cold.

AzNMpower32
08-18-2008, 03:33 PM
What is the estimated lifespan? Do you just wait until you have problems? Winter is coming, I would consider changing that sucker before it gets cold.Well, I'm pretty sure it'll run fine for the first 3-4 years........but I do realise that I'm running into winter soon and also the end of the "expected life span". In the past, we used to just replace batteries every 4 years, but that's because they weren't BMWs (Hondas and Toyotas) so it was a simple matter to go down to Sears, pick one out, and be done with it. Probably not as easy with the X3, but I'll take the risk and run it for a lil while longer......:eek:

AzNMpower32
12-02-2008, 03:13 PM
Ok, so I'm back again, resurrecting the thread.

I recently took a peek at my battery, the little dot that is on top and changes colour showing green, black, or yellow. It has turned to black, implying that the battery is not fully charged. It has remained this way the last few days, despite a few long highway trips.

I'm a bit concerned because we're in the heart of the cold weather season, my X3 is over 4 years old (69150mi/ 110700km), and my X3 is particularly electronics-heavy (equipped with heated seats, heated steering wheel, climate automatic, electric folding mirrors, etc....).

At the same time, I plan to have the dealer customise a few of the key/vehicle memory functions when I bring it in for the seat mat recall later on this month. What I don't want to happen, is I pay for the customisation, then replace a dead battery a few months later that will erase the settings, then pay again to have the settings redone.

Autozone quoted me $150 for the battery which they would have to special order. I'm waiting a response from the stealership. But I read that dealer replacements are not as good as the OEM batteries that are shipped with the car. Hmmmm........

I have had no problems regarding battery performance or starting. But I'm probably running a bit on borrowed time...........:eek:

You think a trickle charger might solve the problem? Should I just hope that the battery will run another 2 years? Buy a new one now?

Evlengr
12-02-2008, 03:21 PM
Azn, you are living on "borrowed" time. Extreme cold or heat will kill a battery.

One as old as yours has given the best years of its life.

Never asked, but do you know how to use a "Volt meter"? If so while the car is off and while it is running take a reading.

If it's below 11.7 vdc while off and below 14.0 vdc (with no extras on) while running warm it's a good time to change.

Supercourse
12-02-2008, 05:26 PM
There haven't been many threads on X3 batteries reaching the end of their natural life. Several on apparent premature failure in the first year or two though.

A side benefit of having the battery located in the back is that it is not subjected to underhood high temperatures. Nowadays, the consensus is that heat kills batteries more so than extreme cold, and replacement sales are higher in the summer than winter. Because of this, and the fact that O.E. batteries in general tend to last typically 5 - 6 years, I think AzNMpower32 could nurse his battery along for another 6 months or more. All those power consuming options may have extracted a toll, but I think it's worth delaying the purchase of a replacement if possible. Every 6 months or so, I use a Deltran intelligent charger (the one re-labelled as a BMW Advanced Battery Charging System), just to make sure it is fully charged. My little light is still steadily green after 4.75 years.
If we knew an exact replacement for the O.E. (Douglas?) battery was available, same dimensions, no messing around to make sure the vent tube will work, reasoable price, etc., I might not be so bent on extending the life of the original.

incubusfanclm
12-02-2008, 06:08 PM
out of curiosity, why is the battery located in the back?

Supercourse
12-02-2008, 06:26 PM
out of curiosity, why is the battery located in the back?

Sorry, I thought that was well known - to help (in any way) with achieving more of a 50-50 weight distribution. The downside is that it needs to be vented to avoid putting occupant's health at risk.

S93D
12-03-2008, 11:19 AM
The above posts have conflicting information.

Group 48 battery or Group 49?

rotty
12-03-2008, 01:13 PM
I recently took a peek at my battery, the little dot that is on top and changes colour showing green, black, or yellow. It has turned to black, implying that the battery is not fully charged. It has remained this way the last few days, despite a few long highway trips.

Mine has been like that (black dot) since my battery became fully discharged after the Pana roof controller went TU and was draining the battery. It won't now ever go green dispite having one of those safe trickle-chargers that I keep connected and running when the car is parked up for a few days.

The dealer reckons that the battery has been load checked and is OK, but I believe they don't want to replace it under warranty. I keep the trickle-charger on just so it doesn't let me down. Dealer master teck reckons that the colour dot is a waste of time, but I'm not so sure. Be interested to know how it works to understand why it won't go back to green even when it is fully charged.

WHITEX
12-03-2008, 01:31 PM
I would go with the OEM. Somehow after market batteries might not fit properly.
Have it tested periodically for strength. I replace my batteries every 3.5 -4 years needed or not.
I'm disconnecting the battery for a few months. X will be stored. What will I have to reset when I re-connect? The SOS should still be active. I do have sirius also.

AzNMpower32
12-03-2008, 02:02 PM
The dealer reckons that the battery has been load checked and is OK, but I believe they don't want to replace it under warranty. I keep the trickle-charger on just so it doesn't let me down. Dealer master teck reckons that the colour dot is a waste of time, but I'm not so sure. Be interested to know how it works to understand why it won't go back to green even when it is fully charged.
As batteries age, they lose their ability to maintain a full charge, even if you have a trickle charger. It has a lot to do with the chemistry of a battery; when new, any battery has a lot of capacity but it loses that ability to go back to 100% as time goes on. For example, a 4 year old battery may only be able to hold a 75% or less charge tops.

Its the same reason mobile phone batteries seem to run out much quicker as it ages. My one-year-old mobile phone holds its charge for 3 days tops, even if I seldom use my mobile phone and BT is off. :mad:

incubusfanclm
12-03-2008, 04:00 PM
Sorry, I thought that was well known - to help (in any way) with achieving more of a 50-50 weight distribution. The downside is that it needs to be vented to avoid putting occupant's health at risk.

oh okay.. that makes sense but i heard once that it was to detter carjackers because the battery would be harder to get to.. maybe, maybe not? :dunno:

Supercourse
12-03-2008, 11:56 PM
Dealer master teck reckons that the colour dot is a waste of time, but I'm not so sure. Be interested to know how it works to understand why it won't go back to green even when it is fully charged.

He could be right - I suppose the "magic eye" feature still works the same as when it first appeared decades ago (on a Delco? if anyone remembers). It just gives an indication of one of the six cells. If the other 5 each had an eye of their own, they might all be green - with one black eye, your battery could still be considered O.K. Of course, the reverse is also true - hence the tech's evaluation of this feature is valid.

Andrew*Debbie
12-04-2008, 04:28 AM
Sorry, I thought that was well known - to help (in any way) with achieving more of a 50-50 weight distribution. The downside is that it needs to be vented to avoid putting occupant's health at risk.


Here are a few more reasons for not putting the battery in the engine compartment. Not all apply to the X3.


Lower center of gravity. Putting the battery under the back seat or else where low in the car generally helps Lower CG.

Under hood temperatures can get very high. Moving the battery elsewhere helps.

Not enough room. Sometimes there is just more room with the battery elsewhere.

Lower moment of inertia. A car will handle better if the weight is more towards the center. Relocating the battery towards the center of the vehicle will help handling.

===================================

Moving the battery aft can increase weight. They need to run large heavy cables back to the battery. It is perhaps better to use a small battery closer to the motor. Mazda did just this when they moved the MX-5 battery back into the engine compartment to save on overall weight.

incubusfanclm
12-05-2008, 05:35 PM
i'm guessing the battery isnt in the back for all BMW's right, just the X-series? i remember having to help one of my friends jumpstart his old 3-series, and the battery was in the front..

X3-terrestrial
12-05-2008, 06:05 PM
E46 batteries are in the trunk as well. Not sure about others.

rs6655
12-05-2008, 06:15 PM
E46 batteries are in the trunk as well. Not sure about others.


E90 too.

X3-terrestrial
12-05-2008, 06:19 PM
Yes! now that you mentioned it, I remember seeing it in one of the loaners.

Andrew*Debbie
12-06-2008, 01:48 AM
6 cylinder e34's have the battery under the back seat.

abakos
12-06-2008, 05:34 AM
6 cylinder e34's have the battery under the back seat.
Yep E34s are under the back seat. My E46 has the battery stored in the trunk.

The OEM battery was still running strong after 11yrs in my E34. I changed it when I was troubleshooting and electrical problem but it still cranked fine-

Supercourse
12-06-2008, 11:57 AM
The OEM battery was still running strong after 11yrs in my E34.

Yes, keep hearing about O.E. batteries lasting over 10 years. I suppose part of the reason is that they consist of all new components, whereas most replacement ones are basically remanufactured even if they are not labelled as such - and never seem to last as long as the originals. Exceptions might be newer types like Optima.

AzNMpower32
12-10-2008, 08:31 PM
Good news! Used the trickle charger at home, charged it up some more, and now it's green again :)

minicrazy592
12-10-2008, 11:08 PM
I just replaced mine on my 04 X3. It was a tad premature, due to me leaving the ignition on the whole time I was installing my input jack. Before then though it was hard to start, so I figured it was time anyway. I also found out that the battery isn't covered under the warrenty for those wondering. During this time I also learned how to jump start it, pos and negative don't like each other lol.

PS: to get the tailgate open when the batt. is dead, you have to take out that rear panel covering the battery and push a lever under the tailgate. Found this out later after I did it in the manual.

AzNMpower32
10-16-2009, 01:16 PM
Folks on another forum are strongly encouraging me to change the battery now.........I really ought to think about it. Over 5 and a half years...........but it still works fine and the voltmeter test checked out. :dunno:

Supercourse
10-16-2009, 02:34 PM
......but it still works fine

I'd encourage you to go for another year at least.

I view the battery that came with your new car in the same light as your:

- knee joints, heart, or any other body part

Best to keep the original going for as long as you can - even if seems to be past its best.

Replacement batteries generally are built from some recycled parts (lead plates and polypropylene cases),
which is good for the environment of course, but may explain why there are varying degrees of satisfaction with "new" batteries.

AzNMpower32
12-29-2009, 03:35 PM
I've been checking the voltage of the battery thru the diagnostics menu of the X3. This is the behaviour of the voltage measures:

14,0 - 14,3 V during idle and driving
Dip to 12,1-13 V when vehicle off, parking lights on
11,5-12,0 V when vehicle electronics on (with headlights) but engine not running
A very brief dip to 8,5 V when starting the vehicle (I shut the engine off at an intersection to test).

X3emist
12-30-2009, 09:53 AM
E39 5 series is in the rear, passenger side of vehicle. Reason is for weight balance. The E39 (6 cylinder) has almost perfect 50/50 weight balance front to rear. Improves handling.

My original E39 battery lasted between 7 and 8 years before having to be replaced.

skk001
02-13-2012, 03:26 PM
Hey Guys,
I have a 2004 x3 and am new to this whole battery charging thing! A coldfront just came in and 2 days ago I had to jump the suv but it still takes a little while to start it after the key is in the ignition. The dot on the battery is black and has been for a while now. So i just bought a (diehard battery charger & maintainer-6v/12v). My question is can I attach it with the leads from the car to the battery still attached to prevent having to reset the radio? Or do I always have to take the battery out of the suv and charge it detached?
Thank you very much,
Shaun

AzNMpower32
02-13-2012, 04:32 PM
At your vehicle's age, I would replace the battery. Many owners of 2004-2005 X3s have needed to replace their battery in the past 8 months.

Supercourse
02-13-2012, 05:58 PM
My question is can I attach it with the leads from the car to the battery still attached to prevent having to reset the radio? Or do I always have to take the battery out of the suv and charge it detached?


No need to disconnect the battery.

Just use the supplied lead with the cigarette lighter plug in one of the 3 power outlets your X3 has.
They are all constant live - not ignition switched. (Later BMWs come with some ignition-switched outlets.)

Always use the lowest charging rate/ amp. option whenever possible.

Unfortunately, as your battery has the black dot continuously, it's a bit late for using the maintainer.

It's a sure indication that at least one of the cells is weak/dying and the battery needs to be replaced.

The other cells not monitored by that colored dot could be fine, or they could be as bad, or worse.

As a weak battery can cause strange electronics behaviour in an X3, it's not just a case of risking a no-start event.

PC in Ohio
06-03-2012, 06:11 AM
Going to get my X3's battery checked. I have a 2007 and it has the original battery. Is a battery covered on a CPO warranty? Anyone try Advance Auto btw? Also, H6 or H8? What do dealers charge for a battery? Thanks!

ncord
06-03-2012, 08:45 AM
I purchased the larger #49 at Walmart in Florida.It fit perfectly and had the vent tube.
Approx.$100.

PC in Ohio
06-03-2012, 10:14 AM
I purchased the larger #49 at Walmart in Florida.It fit perfectly and had the vent tube.
Approx.$100.

Thanks! Is that the Maxx brand?

dogpile
06-05-2012, 08:15 AM
I went with the H8 Auto Zone Duralast Platinum Gel Battery. Doesnt need venting and supposedly last longer... So far so good.. 08 x3. AutoZone will tell you it doesnt fit and try selling you the H6 but ignore and get the H8, exact fit as factory. I caught it on sale for 159.00 installed.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...er=319459_0_0_

codog2
06-05-2012, 09:54 AM
I went with the H8 Auto Zone Duralast Platinum Gel Battery. Doesnt need venting and supposedly last longer... So far so good.. 08 x3. AutoZone will tell you it doesnt fit and try selling you the H6 but ignore and get the H8, exact fit as factory. I caught it on sale for 159.00 installed.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...er=319459_0_0_

are you sure you don't need venting?

Supercourse
06-05-2012, 10:19 AM
are you sure you don't need venting?

Gel Cell batteries have a very low risk of hydrogen gas escaping or exploding because of the solidified electrolyte so I think it is correct that they do not need venting.

Not sure if the same is true of Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) types as they are closer to being a Wet Cell, but they too tend to not have any capability for venting.

For either of those two types of battery, if you use a battery charger at times, make sure it is compatible (they need a slightly higher charging voltage).

codog2
06-05-2012, 12:14 PM
Gel Cell batteries have a very low risk of hydrogen gas escaping or exploding because of the solidified electrolyte so I think it is correct that they do not need venting.

Not sure if the same is true of Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) types as they are closer to being a Wet Cell, but they too tend to not have any capability for venting.

For either of those two types of battery, if you use a battery charger at times, make sure it is compatible (they need a slightly higher charging voltage).

Intersting. I'm on borrowed time on my orginal 05 battery and need to replace this summer. Plan on getting an H8 and hoping it fits. Everytime I go to a website I get differant answers (group 48, 49, H6, H8). I went to a walmart last month to buy an H8 and throw it in and of course the ones on the shelf were over a year old without the vent tubes (I know they are suppossed to be attached to the battery because I've seen them in the past). I ended up walking.

Why couldn't it be just a simple replacement:dunno:

dogpile
06-06-2012, 06:57 AM
No Venting needed for Gel Cell.....

X3-terrestrial
06-20-2012, 08:21 AM
Intersting. I'm on borrowed time on my orginal 05 battery and need to replace this summer. Plan on getting an H8 and hoping it fits. Everytime I go to a website I get differant answers (group 48, 49, H6, H8). I went to a walmart last month to buy an H8 and throw it in and of course the ones on the shelf were over a year old without the vent tubes (I know they are suppossed to be attached to the battery because I've seen them in the past). I ended up walking.

Why couldn't it be just a simple replacement:dunno:

Aftere 7 years, 115k miles, I'm also in borrowed time on my original 05', and the car has been cranking really slow so before it let us stranded, I'll replace it. H8 battery is 159.99 plus tax in my local parts store, called the dealer and my price with the BMWCCA discount is $187.00. No brainer there, will go pick up the OEM battery today!

X3-terrestrial
06-21-2012, 08:14 AM
Update:
Went and got the new battery yesterday, when I got to the dealer, for some reason the price rang up at $199.99, which with the BMWCCA discount it came down to $169.99 +tax! A new OEM battery for $10 more than the Autozone one! I'm a happy camper. :banana:
The BMWCCA membership definitely pays for itself, and then more!

JBasham
06-29-2012, 12:15 PM
So this isn't like an E9X, where you have to "register" the battery through the diagnostic system or the alternator won't charge it?

Supercourse
06-29-2012, 01:43 PM
So this isn't like an E9X, where you have to "register" the battery through the diagnostic system or the alternator won't charge it?

No.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6923324&postcount=12

All registration on the newer models achieves is matching the charging rate more precisely for a new battery.

It is not as though it wouldn't work at all if the registration was not done - just that the new battery might be at risk of over-charging.

sixspeedz
08-10-2013, 08:26 PM
Figured I'd share this... My battery dies pretty easily so i thought it was time to check it out and see what i had back there...

OEM from 2004, 128k, no problems starting up...lol

I'll be replacing with another OEM shortly as you really can't beat that for lifespan!