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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-22-2008, 07:16 PM
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simmonsinc simmonsinc is offline
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Question BMW OEM Battery vs. Auto Zone, Batteries Plus, Advance Auto Parts...

Guys,

I am so mad I can't see straight. Is there a difference between a BMW Battery vs. another brand name battery? Is it the name that you are buying? Or is there actually a performance difference?

I can understand mechanical parts, but this is a battery.
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2008, 07:37 PM
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Autozone duralast 49L (if I remember correctly). $80. Fits and works fine.
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2008, 07:50 PM
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You can return the battery dude after buying one at Autozone.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2008, 07:56 PM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simmonsinc View Post
Guys,

I am so mad I can't see straight. Is there a difference between a BMW Battery vs. another brand name battery? Is it the name that you are buying? Or is there actually a performance difference?

I can understand mechanical parts, but this is a battery.
First of all, calm down Sean, it's not worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krisl
*******>********> *******> ********>
Originally Posted by stilover
chinese battery, autozone battery whats the difference. anything that is not german made might as well be chinese haha and yeah idk i guess i got a deal on the bmw battery

The battery that autozone says our car needs is $140 (94-DLG). The autozone that will fit, has more CCA, and works great (as tested by hundreds of E46ers including myself) is only $70 or $80... the 49-DL. Go ahead and spend $140 if you want though . You do realize that the OEM BMW battery is made by Douglas Battery co of North Carolina, right? It's not German. Autozone batteries are made by Johnson Controls of Milwaukee.

There ARE differences in battery construction but the key to comparing batteries is usually CCA ( cold cranking amps). Typically, the higher the CCA, the better the battery has to be constructed to achieve a higher CCA rating.

Quote:
Is it the name that you are buying? Or is there actually a performance difference?
You are paying mostly for the name. The OEM battery IS a quality battery but it is no better than batteries from other reputable companies like Autozone or Exide.

Last edited by ckleung100; 11-22-2008 at 07:59 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2008, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckleung100 View Post
First of all, calm down Sean, it's not worth it.




There ARE differences in battery construction but the key to comparing batteries is usually CCA ( cold cranking amps). Typically, the higher the CCA, the better the battery has to be constructed to achieve a higher CCA rating.

You are paying mostly for the name. The OEM battery IS a quality battery but it is no better than batteries from other reputable companies like Autozone or Exide.
Thanks Guys!! I just hate it when ppl get over on ppl. Well, can you tell me this, is it true that the alternator would have to work harder to recharge a larger CCA?
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2008, 08:09 PM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simmonsinc View Post
Thanks Guys!! I just hate it when ppl get over on ppl. Well, can you tell me this, is it true that the alternator would have to work harder to recharge a larger CCA?
You get a definite NO from me on that one. I thought I explained it to you in the other thread. I don't claim to know EVERYTHING so I'm not offended if you want someone to confirm what I'm saying.

Quote:
CCA(cold cranking amps) are how much power the battery has in RESERVE. The alternator replaces what is used up during startup and then stops. If not, it will overcharge the battery. The only thing that will wear out an alternator is if you add aftermarket stereo amps and the such that will constantly draw off the alternator.
I don't understand why you tech would tell you something like that unless he is getting a commission from the battery. (or did you pay him cash on the side??)

Last edited by ckleung100; 11-22-2008 at 08:16 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2008, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckleung100 View Post
You get a definite NO from me on that one. I thought I explained it to you in the other thread.
You did, you did, just wanted to make sure - I seriously can't see straight cause I am so mad. I can't believe that he would bs me like that. I mean hell, if there really is no difference between a BMW Bat, and any other bat, why change it. I will be calling up there Monday. That's some shady sh***.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2008, 08:24 PM
slyfocks slyfocks is offline
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Some of the OEM batteries are AGM (absorbed glass mat) type which is arguably a better technology. They are, however, much pricier and have lower CCA than conventional choices that are readily available. For normal environmental conditions and on-road use/vibration, the advantage is probably questionable. If AGM choices were available with CCA equal to something like the 49DL and at a reasonably close price, I would go that way, but I am not aware of any that are domestically available that meet those conditions.

Last edited by slyfocks; 11-23-2008 at 01:00 AM.
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  #9  
Old 11-22-2008, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by slyfocks View Post
The OEM battery is AGM (absorbed glass mat) technology which is arguably a better technology. They are, however, much pricier and have lower CCA than conventional choices that are readily available. For normal environmental conditions and on-road use/vibration, the advantage is probably questionable. If AGM choices were available with CCA equal to something like the 49DL and at a reasonably close price, I would go that way, but I am not aware of any that are domestically available that meet those conditions.
Yep, I was just going to mention that. AGM is a superior battery technology, but it's roughly the equivalent of using a quad core machine to do email when it'll fail just like any other battery in 4-6 years. No need to pay more $$.
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2008, 09:07 PM
robj213 robj213 is offline
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Another happy customer of the AutoZone 49DL here. Will be 2 years next Feb with the battery, so far so good!
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2008, 09:25 PM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
Yep, I was just going to mention that. AGM is a superior battery technology, but it's roughly the equivalent of using a quad core machine to do email when it'll fail just like any other battery in 4-6 years. No need to pay more $$.
Well, you guys have the AGM choice if you want it. From all the other owners I've talked to and my dealings with the dealer, back in Mexico we only get the white batteries and the black AGM's are not available. At least we won't be spending unnecessary money...

BTW, what's a thin black rubber hose that plugs into the side of the OEM battery? I'll probably have to change it sometime next year when it gets over the 4 year threshold and was intrigued when I found that little tube sticking out the side. Haven't gone to the local AutoZone to see if they carry the model so highly recommended in the forum.

Don't you all think that battery capacity is a tad small? I mean, for a car that has so many electrical doodads and is so dependent on electrical power, the battery seems almost puny. Or maybe it's because I was used to carrying a monster of a battery on the ole Linc.
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  #12  
Old 11-22-2008, 09:30 PM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcourcoul View Post

BTW, what's a thin black rubber hose that plugs into the side of the OEM battery? I'll probably have to change it sometime next year when it gets over the 4 year threshold and was intrigued when I found that little tube sticking out the side. Haven't gone to the local AutoZone to see if they carry the model so highly recommended in the forum.

Don't you all think that battery capacity is a tad small? I mean, for a car that has so many electrical doodads and is so dependent on electrical power, the battery seems almost puny. Or maybe it's because I was used to carrying a monster of a battery on the ole Linc.
The black hose is the battery vent to vent the gases (h2) outside the vehicle since the battery sits in an enclosed trunk. You don't want hydrogen trapped in your trunk. Think Hindenburg.



The battery only needs to supply enough juice to start the car. All the electrical doodads and doo-hickeys are run off the alternator.

Last edited by ckleung100; 11-24-2008 at 07:34 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2008, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcourcoul View Post
BTW, what's a thin black rubber hose that plugs into the side of the OEM battery? I'll probably have to change it sometime next year when it gets over the 4 year threshold and was intrigued when I found that little tube sticking out the side. Haven't gone to the local AutoZone to see if they carry the model so highly recommended in the forum.

Don't you all think that battery capacity is a tad small? I mean, for a car that has so many electrical doodads and is so dependent on electrical power, the battery seems almost puny. Or maybe it's because I was used to carrying a monster of a battery on the ole Linc.
That would be the vent tube. When batteries dischage, they release hydrogen gas. Not a problem when the battery is under the hood.. but it can be an explosion hazard when in a sealed trunk... so you have to make sure you re-connect the vent tube to the new battery.

OEM capacity is fine.
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2011, 12:44 PM
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Angry BMW Batteries VS Other Batteries

My friend has a BMW X5 and has had problems for the last 2 years with Les Schwab batteries. She bought the "Xtreme power, 84 month battery"; since then the battery routinely dies on her, requiring her to get a jump or get the car towed to a garage where they will charge her battery. I just found out today from BMW that BMW batteries ARE different from the batteries that you might buy at Les Schwab, Chucks or other car parts suppliers. I don't know if this applies to ALL BMW models but what I was told was that since BMW vehicles have so many bells and whistles, there is a constant draw off of the battery. Les Schwab or other batteries are not powerful enough to withstand this constant power drain. Most importantly, BMW batteries are sealed and vented while Les Schwab batteries are sealed and not vented. The venting is important since the battery is buried in the back of the car under the tire. While my friend saved about $79.00 buying a non BMW battery, she has gone through the expense and aggravation of having a non functioning battery for 2 years, paid for jumps, tows and charges. Les Schwab completely denies ANY problem with their batteries or installation, and said that BMW is wrong!
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  #15  
Old 01-06-2011, 02:18 PM
e30_for_life e30_for_life is offline
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^ Sorry dude, BMW power requirements aren't more extensive that an average modern car loaded with bells and whistles. A respected brand will do just fine. Be it Duralast or Interstate. I've heard mixed things about Optimas.
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  #16  
Old 01-06-2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otl100 View Post
I just found out today from BMW that BMW batteries ARE different from the batteries that you might buy at Les Schwab, Chucks or other car parts suppliers. I don't know if this applies to ALL BMW models but what I was told was that since BMW vehicles have so many bells and whistles, there is a constant draw off of the battery.
Your information is partially correct... Your friend's X5 is of the newer generation variety than our E46 and those vehicles require a programming change so the car knows how to charge the battery. If it had an AGM battery from the factory and she installed a standard battery, there's her problem. The computer needs to know what type of battery is in the car.

From my reading around here, both are fine, but without the programming to match, the problems described will result. The E46, the last owner friendly BMW, doesn't care what kind of battery is in the trunk.
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Last edited by jvr826; 01-06-2011 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otl100 View Post
My friend has a BMW X5 and has had problems for the last 2 years with Les Schwab batteries. She bought the "Xtreme power, 84 month battery"; since then the battery routinely dies on her, requiring her to get a jump or get the car towed to a garage where they will charge her battery. I just found out today from BMW that BMW batteries ARE different from the batteries that you might buy at Les Schwab, Chucks or other car parts suppliers. I don't know if this applies to ALL BMW models but what I was told was that since BMW vehicles have so many bells and whistles, there is a constant draw off of the battery. Les Schwab or other batteries are not powerful enough to withstand this constant power drain. Most importantly, BMW batteries are sealed and vented while Les Schwab batteries are sealed and not vented. The venting is important since the battery is buried in the back of the car under the tire. While my friend saved about $79.00 buying a non BMW battery, she has gone through the expense and aggravation of having a non functioning battery for 2 years, paid for jumps, tows and charges. Les Schwab completely denies ANY problem with their batteries or installation, and said that BMW is wrong!
What does your friends X5 have to do with a thread from 2008 in the 3-series forum?
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otl100 View Post
My friend has a BMW X5 and has had problems for the last 2 years with Les Schwab batteries. She bought the "Xtreme power, 84 month battery"; since then the battery routinely dies on her, requiring her to get a jump or get the car towed to a garage where they will charge her battery. I just found out today from BMW that BMW batteries ARE different from the batteries that you might buy at Les Schwab, Chucks or other car parts suppliers. I don't know if this applies to ALL BMW models but what I was told was that since BMW vehicles have so many bells and whistles, there is a constant draw off of the battery. Les Schwab or other batteries are not powerful enough to withstand this constant power drain. Most importantly, BMW batteries are sealed and vented while Les Schwab batteries are sealed and not vented. The venting is important since the battery is buried in the back of the car under the tire. While my friend saved about $79.00 buying a non BMW battery, she has gone through the expense and aggravation of having a non functioning battery for 2 years, paid for jumps, tows and charges. Les Schwab completely denies ANY problem with their batteries or installation, and said that BMW is wrong!
First things first....

Check the dates BEFORE posting !!! You`re responding to a thread that`s been dead for over 2 years.

And, replacement batteries from WalMart or Autozone are perfectly fine, for one-half the price of a dealer`s cost.

Read the E46 Wiki.

Use the SEARCH function....there are probably *at least* a thousand "which battery ?" threads....
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:58 PM
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Buy OEM. It's cheaper in the long run. BMW batteries are superior to DL, in my opinion. I purchased a DL49 and it leaked acid all around the battery console.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:38 AM
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Buy OEM. It's cheaper in the long run. BMW batteries are superior to DL, in my opinion. I purchased a DL49 and it leaked acid all around the battery console.
Sorry dude, I disagree with this one.
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by AlboBMW View Post
Buy OEM. It's cheaper in the long run. BMW batteries are superior to DL, in my opinion. I purchased a DL49 and it leaked acid all around the battery console.
Yeah, Albo, you're so far out on a limb that I fear for your safety.

See the attached comparison.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf battery Sheet1.pdf (25.4 KB, 1053 views)
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  #22  
Old 01-09-2011, 12:26 PM
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Buy OEM. It's cheaper in the long run. BMW batteries are superior to DL, in my opinion. I purchased a DL49 and it leaked acid all around the battery console.
Total fluke.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:34 PM
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Sorry dude, I disagree with this one.
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Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
Total fluke.
I think so....how many `festers (and E46fanatics) have we seen who replaced their ailing battery with a Duralast ? Probably in the *hundreds* at this point, and I have never heard another complaint such as this one. Law Of Averages points to "fluke"....
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:01 PM
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We use the Duralast DL49 over in the E39s also:
- What battery (1) & what battery maintenance (1) & battery replacement DIY (1) (2) (3) & how NOT to change it (1) (2) (3)
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:05 PM
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Found this thread today research battery options for my 325i. Douglas Battery is not far from me, so when I read they were the OEM I gave them a call. I was told they sold that part of the business to East Penn Manufacturing. I contacted the local office and they referred me to a shop in my area that sold their batteries. Expensive compared to the after market units out there. But thought I would share this info in case anyone ran across this post and was interested.
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