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View Full Version : Is it time to replace the battery?


samaurie
12-22-2011, 11:54 AM
I've been reading mulitple threads in the forum and am confused. For the past week I've noticed on cold mornings (20 degrees) that my 2007, BMW-530xi has been cranking very slowly. One morning in particular the clock and date needed to be re-set and the 'Service Engine Soon' light came on.

The car started and after a ride of @30 minutes the 'Service Engine Soon' light went out.

I assumed the above was due to the battery needing to be replaced. Sound reasonable?

I'm somewhat handy and was about to go to Autozone to buy and install a replacement battery myself as opposed to letting BMW hit me with a ridiculous bill, however, I'm seeing comments in the forum about 're-programming', gel top batteries, etc.

So, can I go to Autozone and 'do it myself' OR am I not understanding something and potentially getting in over my head.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Mikez38
12-22-2011, 01:44 PM
Isn't the battery covered under the 50k, 5yr warante?

jadnashuanh
12-22-2011, 05:32 PM
There are devices that can be attached to temporarily hold the memory...essentially a small hold-up battery, often attached to the cigarette lighter. Check with the dealer or a knowledgeable mechanic to verify on that vehicle that it won't hurt anything.

samaurie
12-23-2011, 06:12 AM
Just called the BMW dealer. Battery not covered after the 4th year. Their opinion was because of my very short commute each morning (2 miles) I'm not giving the car enough time to recharge the battery, and suggested I attach a trickle charger. The problem is I park the car in my driveway and not in the garage, so the trickle charger isn't a good option.

I then asked what the cost would be if I put in a battery on my own to save a few bucks and had BMW do the re-programming........cost = $130, which I found obscene. If they do the whole deal I'm looking at @ $500, even more obscene.

gmblack3
12-23-2011, 07:52 AM
What needs to be reprogramed when installing a new battery?

wchewbaka
12-23-2011, 08:28 AM
In lieu of a plug in trickle charger you can try a solar unit. For my old 2002 I would use it if I parked in an airport long term lot and was gone a couple of weeks. Or maybe just put a full charge on the battery every few weeks with a plug in charger.

jadnashuanh
12-23-2011, 12:31 PM
The Bosch battery charger I bought has a mode for memory hold. I bought it instead of the BMW one because of it's greater flexibility.

samaurie
12-27-2011, 06:31 AM
What BMW told me was that the car recognizes the age of the current battery, in my case over 5 years old, and accordingly tries to re-charge it based on its age. They said if I install a replacement battery myself the car will still 'think' it's the 5 year old battery and potentially overcharge it. This is where I become a bit skeptical.

My local mechanic has what a previous poster called a 'hold-up' battery and will let me borrow it to install the new battery myself. He also said if the car really does need to be reprogrammed so that it knows about the 'new' battery he has someone with the proper computer equipment who can do it........cost = $100.

So, in the end it's either pay BMW $500 or I buy the battery myself (@ $125 at Sears) and the $100 for reprogramming. Total = $225.......savings of $275.

Bye-bye BMW Service Center.

Phoenix1
01-03-2012, 12:45 PM
What BMW told me was that the car recognizes the age of the current battery, in my case over 5 years old, and accordingly tries to re-charge it based on its age. They said if I install a replacement battery myself the car will still 'think' it's the 5 year old battery and potentially overcharge it. This is where I become a bit skeptical.

My local mechanic has what a previous poster called a 'hold-up' battery and will let me borrow it to install the new battery myself. He also said if the car really does need to be reprogrammed so that it knows about the 'new' battery he has someone with the proper computer equipment who can do it........cost = $100.

So, in the end it's either pay BMW $500 or I buy the battery myself (@ $125 at Sears) and the $100 for reprogramming. Total = $225.......savings of $275.

Bye-bye BMW Service Center.
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Hope it worked out for you - that total price is towards the low end for a premium battery and reprogramming (yes, it should be done). Some folks have gotten stuck and charged over $700 at the dealership! Your short drives will not charge an E60 battery enough and you should get a battery tender - which should keep you going for many more years.

You actually were posting to the wrong forum - there are many threads about replacing E60 batteries in the E60 forum.

stancv
01-04-2012, 05:35 PM
For my 2004 530i I replaced the battery at PepBoys, and they used a roll-away backup battery to do the installation (hooked it up under the hood), to ensure that the systems were powered at all times and all memories were intact. I had no issues other than the battery being physically smaller and having to stuff some styrofoam to keep it in place.

jadnashuanh
01-04-2012, 07:18 PM
I've not tried to check out the battery for the GT. But, considering how the charging system works (it tries to only charge the battery while decellerating - the clutch to the alternator disengages while under power at speed), it may be a special deep discharge type. This could be a lot messier finding an appropriate replacement than with a more conventional charging system. If you do a lot of short trips, it probably is a really good idea to pick up a small charger and use it, especially in the winter when the loads on the battery are greater with lights, heaters, and starting discharges. Also, it wouldn't hurt to lock it in the garage and ensure you only take the key near it when actually wanting to interface with the vehicle...

samaurie
01-26-2012, 12:06 PM
Sorry for the delay in getting to all who were kind enough to respond to me. First of all I realized after the fact that I posted to the wrong Forum.

As for my battery woes I ended up installing a new battery myself (cost $110) and borrowed a 'hold up' battery from my local garage so that the car was not totally 'dead' once I disconnect the terminals. The battery has been in the car for nearly a month now and works fine. I ended up not going through the expense of having it 'registered' and saved $100. Obviously I didn't let BMW do it either as $500 was a ridiculous price. In the end if what I put in dies in 3 years I'll simply invest another $110 and put in the next one myself, too. I'll still be ahead of the game. In these times saving $400 isn't 'chump-change'.

Phoenix1
01-26-2012, 01:54 PM
Sorry for the delay in getting to all who were kind enough to respond to me. First of all I realized after the fact that I posted to the wrong Forum.

As for my battery woes I ended up installing a new battery myself (cost $110) and borrowed a 'hold up' battery from my local garage so that the car was not totally 'dead' once I disconnect the terminals. The battery has been in the car for nearly a month now and works fine. I ended up not going through the expense of having it 'registered' and saved $100. Obviously I didn't let BMW do it either as $500 was a ridiculous price. In the end if what I put in dies in 3 years I'll simply invest another $110 and put in the next one myself, too. I'll still be ahead of the game. In these times saving $400 isn't 'chump-change'.
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Good job!

What was the brand and exact model # of the battery that worked for you?