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joebry
02-17-2011, 03:35 PM
Today I was discussing battery replacement with a BMW service rep and I was telling him how much cheaper a Walmart battery was compared to a BMW dealer battery. He then told me that I would not be able to purchase a battery from anyone other than a BMW dealer in the future.

He said that batteries in the future had to be registered with BMW for the car they were going to be put in. Supposedly, it has to do with the computer-controlled functions in the BMW and only registered batteries could be used. :mad:

Is this real ? Seems to me like it would be illegal, or something.

BruceJM
02-17-2011, 04:08 PM
Dude, say its not so...only BMW could come up with something like that.:yikes:

AzNMpower32
02-17-2011, 04:56 PM
You can buy any battery you want, but you must bring it to the dealer or an indy shop with the equipment to register your battery. Otherwise the vehicle may overcharge the new battery resulting in premature failure of your new battery. The new MOST-BUS system charges the battery differently as it ages.

This includes the E60 and E61, E70, E89, 3er, F01, F25, F10, etc......not the old Z4 3er or X3.

02BMW530
02-17-2011, 05:48 PM
Maybe I'm missing something but what is there to "register?" It's a battery; stacked plates in cells swimming in acid. What can be programmed into it?


Sent from my iPhone using BimmerApp

jsublime
02-17-2011, 07:41 PM
Maybe I'm missing something but what is there to "register?" It's a battery; stacked plates in cells swimming in acid. What can be programmed into it?


Sent from my iPhone using BimmerApp

The post above you is pretty accurate, the battery itself isn't registered, rather the charging system is told how to charge the new battery.

mujjuman
02-17-2011, 08:14 PM
The post above you is pretty accurate, the battery itself isn't registered, rather the charging system is told how to charge the new battery.

Wish there was a way to do it ourselves

jsublime
02-17-2011, 08:27 PM
Wish there was a way to do it ourselves

There is, BT scan tool.

joebry
02-18-2011, 03:40 AM
You can buy any battery you want, but you must bring it to the dealer or an indy shop with the equipment to register your battery. Otherwise the vehicle may overcharge the new battery resulting in premature failure of your new battery. The new MOST-BUS system charges the battery differently as it ages.

This includes the E60 and E61, E70, E89, 3er, F01, F25, F10, etc......not the old Z4 3er or X3.

Ok, this makes more sense. I am supposing that, even with this, you will have to check to be sure the battery you are buying, if not from BMW, is one on a list of approved batteries. This is ok.

By the way, BMW was going to charge me #225 for a battery replacement and I got one from Walmart, installed, for $70. And, the Walmart battery was stronger.

02BMW530
02-18-2011, 07:34 AM
The post above you is pretty accurate, the battery itself isn't registered, rather the charging system is told how to charge the new battery.

This seems highly unnecessary (charging system learning to charge battery). If it's the same size and rating as the outgoing battery, what's the issue?

Billions of cars worked perfectly well without this intelligent charging system, I don't know see any real benefit to this (except for the dealers).


Sent from my iPhone using BimmerApp

bmwadam
02-18-2011, 08:51 AM
I registered mine on my e90 with a Bavarian Technic scan tool. I purchased the tool for about 250, but the tool has already more than paid for itself.

toinkee69
02-18-2011, 03:08 PM
not to thread jack but i'm looking to change the battery of my 2005 X3. so does this mean i can buy a batt from walmart or wherever but still need this to be registered thru BMW?

Luxurytax
02-18-2011, 05:24 PM
not to thread jack but i'm looking to change the battery of my 2005 X3. so does this mean i can buy a batt from walmart or wherever but still need this to be registered thru BMW?

You dont have to, but folks say that it can cause premature battery failure. I also have heard others not having problem at all buying a Walmart battery.

TRS550
02-18-2011, 07:05 PM
I think some of you are misinterpreting the word "registration" here. It has nothing to do with "registering" the battery with BMW.

"Registration" is the term that BMW came up with for the process of telling the computer that controls damn near all the functions within the car, that a new battery has been installed. Once the computer knows that, it will adjust the charging profile it uses on the new battery. If a new battery is installed and the computer doesn't know it, then the computer continues to charge the new battery just the way it would an old battery. End result is overcharging, reduced battery life at best, and a whole host of electronic problems at worst.

"Registration" is a piss poor term if you ask me but that's what BMW calls it.

need4speed
02-19-2011, 06:44 AM
So it's cheaper in the long run to buy the scanning tool and an Auto Zone battery. N4S

JimD1
02-21-2011, 06:16 AM
I hope you wouldn't justify the BT tool on the first battery replacement but you would cover a significant part of its cost. That is what I will probably do. Another consideration is the type of battery. My bimmer came with a "AGM" battery if I remember the name correctly. Instead of the fluid being free inside the battery it is contained in a mat. That helps to avoid sloshing around and supposedly has other advantages. When you tell the car computer you installed a new battery, you also tell it what type. It charges them differently.

We should get better battery life out of this system. Time will tell. BMWs also depend on batteries a lot. My convertible pulls the windows down when I get in and out. That won't work with a dead battery. It is constantly messing with something - I think it is a evaporative control pump. Again it needs a battery. So it makes some sense to me that BMW would work harder to avoid a dead battery.

Jim

Patrick
02-21-2011, 06:18 AM
I just had my battery replaced last week.

The tow to the dealership cost 180 Euros, and the battery + labor cost 400 Euros. :eek:

AzNMpower32
02-21-2011, 08:39 AM
I just had my battery replaced last week.

The tow to the dealership cost 180 Euros, and the battery + labor cost 400 Euros. :eek:
That's not awful considering how much some dealerships here charge for a new battery. When the battery on my dad's X5 failed, the dealer wanted over $600, plus tax.

At least your 400 includes 23% VAT.

Patrick
02-21-2011, 08:47 AM
At least your 400 includes 23% VAT.

And that was with a hefty discount... I am friends with a certain service manager. :eeps:

Removing the battery from an E61 is actually a huge PITA, so I am not surprised that the labor was MORE than the battery itself. "Registering" the battery to the car was also on the bill.

I am only pissed about the tow charge. I have to hassle my insurance company to get that back - they don't cover getting towed, if the tow starts from your own yard. :confused:

However, my E61 had the battery failure at the grocery store down the street. ;)

S93D
02-22-2011, 06:09 PM
If the dealer charges too much for battery registration, then we can become a throwaway society. Buy a cheaper battery for under $100 and change the battery every two years before there's trouble. Or even every year.

If the dealer charges $400 for the battery, there's a chance that the expensive battery will not last 4 years. If you change the $100 battery yearly, it pays off. If you are able to squeeze 1.5 years out of it, then you will come out ahead.

Battery registration seems like a bad design or a design that is purposely impractical. How about oil filter registration? If you don't, the car's electronics will shut down in 5 days. Only the dealer will have the oil filter registration tool and will charge $500 to do it.

DBLAZE
02-23-2011, 06:47 PM
This includes the E60 and E61, E70, E89, 3er, F01, F25, F10, etc......not the old Z4 3er or X3.

E63/E64 also included in the "must register the battery" list... :thumbup:

Ringmaster1
02-24-2011, 08:27 PM
I don't get this whole topic/thread. The alternator on every car made is controled by a voltage regulator that reads the batteries voltage and temperature. These readings control the amount of charge. It doesn't make any difference how old the battery is or what brand it is the regulator adjusts.

TerraPhantm
02-24-2011, 10:57 PM
I don't get this whole topic/thread. The alternator on every car made is controled by a voltage regulator that reads the batteries voltage and temperature. These readings control the amount of charge. It doesn't make any difference how old the battery is or what brand it is the regulator adjusts.

The new cars have a fancier charging mechanism. The car takes into account the age of the battery as well as the type of battery (AGM, lead-acid, etc..) when charging it.

Tom K.
02-28-2011, 02:40 PM
I don't get this whole topic/thread. The alternator on every car made is controled by a voltage regulator that reads the batteries voltage and temperature. These readings control the amount of charge. It doesn't make any difference how old the battery is or what brand it is the regulator adjusts.

Not true with our late model BMWs.

The voltage regulator is part of the alternator on the E90. But it responds to the IBS (Intelligent Battery Sensor) which monitors battery condition and other factors. An intermittent problem with the IBS on my E91 caused the alternator to charge the battery at 17 volts - while a spurious "Low Battery Voltage" warning appeared on the dashboard. After replacing the alternator twice, my dealer finally tracked the problem to the IBS and the electrical system is perfect again, and still on the original, 4 year old battery.

When it comes time for a new battery, I'll have my dealer install and register it.

Tom

DoodleD
04-07-2011, 06:46 AM
First post here after lots of reading and becoming more confused. I need to replace the battery in my 08 E60. I will have this car maybe another year at the most. Since I'm handy and can do a lot myself, I'd prefer to save the money and just install an Autozone or Walmart battery. But whats the bottom line on this registration thing? It appears that opinions are 50/50 on do it or don't do it. If I keep this car another year or even two, will I have electronic issues? I'm very confused and don't want issues and want to do the right thing to get me through the next year or two at most. Thanks for your help!

Walt White Coupe
04-07-2011, 10:38 AM
OK, I understand that the new system should be told that you have a new battery installed. So I put in a $100 battery and take it the dealer to do his "registering." How much is that simple operation going to cost?

DoodleD
04-07-2011, 11:38 AM
OK, I understand that the new system should be told that you have a new battery installed. So I put in a $100 battery and take it the dealer to do his "registering." How much is that simple operation going to cost?

Are you having any electronic issues since installing the $100 battery?

Walt White Coupe
04-07-2011, 11:42 AM
Originally Posted by Walt White Coupe View Post
OK, I understand that the new system should be told that you have a new battery installed. So I put in a $100 battery and take it the dealer to do his "registering." How much is that simple operation going to cost?


Are you having any electronic issues since installing the $100 battery?

My car is brand new and this was just a hypothetical question to a situation that will happen some time in the future. Again how much can or does this cost?

DoodleD
04-07-2011, 11:44 AM
I've read as little as $55 to as much as $200, depending on dealer and location.

damyankee
04-07-2011, 02:05 PM
This was discussed in Tech Talk in the latest Roundel. Welcome to the world of $500 battery replacements! Mike Miller writes that failing to "register" a new battery will likely cause the loss of various electronic gizmo functionalities. They also take the opportunity to "re-program" all the software during the visit. Hey, you gotta justify $500 somehow, right? The good news is that a new BMW battery should last 8 or so years.

I personally know nothing about the tech details; just parroting what I read in Roundel.

Carnivora
04-07-2011, 07:38 PM
I wonder if this has something to do with Efficient Dynamics. As I understand it, the alternator doesn't charge continually, rather it charges during coasting and deceleration and not while accelerating or maintaining? This would mean that, in order to keep charge levels adequate, it would have to charge at a much higher rate than a system that operates continually correct? Maybe older batteries have trouble with the higher charge rate? :dunno:

Walt White Coupe
04-07-2011, 08:07 PM
I could be wrong but I don't think that's it. This is what I've surmised. An old battery needs a higher rate of charge than a new battery. They system adjusts to the rate of charge that is appropriate for the age of the battery. When your battery dies it's old and the system has been giving it a high rate of charge as it's performance has dropped. Drop in a new battery and the system apparently can't tell that you now have a new battery and maintains the high charge rate and that overcharging damages the battery. "Registering" the battery just tells the system you have a new battery and to start the cycle over again.

tturedraider
04-07-2011, 09:33 PM
Buy your correct size and type battery any where you darn well choose at the best price you can get. If the battery fails under warranty/maintenance, generally it won't cost you anything. (There are some issues with folks who drive their cars very little. The car needs to be driven regularly or be put on a battery tender.) A dealer should not charge more than a half hour labor to register the battery. Or take it to a qualified indy and get them to register the battery. www.bimrs.org It cost me $40 at my indy. I got my battery at Wally World for about $70. My car was 4 1/2 years old before it needed a new battery.

tturedraider
04-07-2011, 09:35 PM
I wonder if this has something to do with Efficient Dynamics. As I understand it, the alternator doesn't charge continually, rather it charges during coasting and deceleration and not while accelerating or maintaining? This would mean that, in order to keep charge levels adequate, it would have to charge at a much higher rate than a system that operates continually correct? Maybe older batteries have trouble with the higher charge rate? :dunno:

That is correct for the new 5er. I don't think that technology is on any other models yet, but I could be wrong about that. I'm about 99.98% sure I have that right.

sno_duc
04-07-2011, 11:21 PM
That is correct for the new 5er. I don't think that technology is on any other models yet, but I could be wrong about that. I'm about 99.98% sure I have that right.

My 11 135 has the "Efficient Dynamics" decal on the window, so I can assume that it also plays computer driven games with the battery charging. Meaning the computer must know the age (number of charge/discharge cycles) on the battery in order to play its games well.

Yorgi
04-08-2011, 11:39 PM
Variable charging technology has been used by BMW for a while, at least since 2004. All 6 series cars require the battery to be registered.

You will not see "electronic gizmos" failing due to a lack of registering the battery. The only thing that will happen if you fail to register is a shortened battery life. Probably 2 years non-registered vs 4 years if you register.

If you work on your own car often I would recommend you figure out how to get DIS working on your laptop (free +$110 for a cable (http://www.one-stop-electronics.com/shop/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=16)). Then you can then register batteries yourself. Or you can buy the Bavarian Technic Diagnostic Tool (http://www.bavariantechnic.com/) for $290 which has everything included in one easy to use package. You can also read and clear codes with these tools.