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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 01-03-2010, 03:30 AM
masscurly masscurly is offline
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Question Cost of replacing a battery

Hi there. I posted this in the new member forum too. Just trying to stay warm here in New England. Yesterday I took my car to the dealership to have them check the battery because starting the car was a little sluggish. I wanted to make sure everything was okay now that it's officially winter. To my surprise, I walked out of there $467 lighter.

Does it really cost over $400 to replace a battery? I was told that it's not covered under the warranty, but goodness it's a battery!!! It shouldn't cost more than $150 so what would type of labor are they doing for $300?

Can someone please enlighten me? I'm new to owning a BMW and I purchased a 2005 CPO.
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2010, 04:20 AM
todd92 todd92 is offline
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Wal-Mart sell the correct battery for $80 and if they have an auto department they install it for free. I have had great luck with Ever-Start batteries on several cars over the years. Surely someone will come on here claiming you have to have the battery from the dealer, that's BS, batteries are batteries. Just checked, Costco has them also. It's a group 48 battery, quite common.

Last edited by todd92; 01-03-2010 at 04:25 AM. Reason: Added Costco
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2010, 04:38 AM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todd92 View Post
Wal-Mart sell the correct battery for $80 and if they have an auto department they install it for free. I have had great luck with Ever-Start batteries on several cars over the years. Surely someone will come on here claiming you have to have the battery from the dealer, that's BS, batteries are batteries. Just checked, Costco has them also. It's a group 48 battery, quite common.
Good advice, IMHO. Lots of the E46 guys buy the DL-49 from Autozone.

Here's a good compendium of batt info on the E46, since the X3 shares a bit of E46 DNA it might be worth looking at:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ighlight=dl+49

Keep warm!
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2010, 08:04 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Batteries are batteries, if it is the right group it will work just fine. I usually get mine at Sears because I have always had great luck with Die Hards (even in boats).
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2010, 08:50 AM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is online now
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If you get an aftermarket battery, be sure it is vented to the outside, like the OEM battery. You can often re-use the vent tube from your original battery.

I think the BMW battery is slightly better than many of the aftermarket batteries. But are you willing to pay the (significant) price difference?

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  #6  
Old 01-03-2010, 10:49 AM
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To the OP,
As previous posters have noted, there are several non-oe batteries, that
match up to the oe, fit fine and it's about a 20-30 min DIY install, even in
colder weather. The dlr ripped you, imo, even for the "convenience factor".
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2010, 11:35 AM
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Yeah, the dealer overcharged you. There is no requirement for an OEM battery. Generally speaking, unless the repair is covered under warranty, I'd just find a good independent BMW shop or mechanic.
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2010, 12:17 PM
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LMC LMC is offline
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There are two items you need to stay away from the dealer on: tires and batteries. Dealer prices on these are way, way high...
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2010, 12:25 PM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masscurly View Post
Hi there. I posted this in the new member forum too. Just trying to stay warm here in New England. Yesterday I took my car to the dealership to have them check the battery because starting the car was a little sluggish. I wanted to make sure everything was okay now that it's officially winter. To my surprise, I walked out of there $467 lighter.

Does it really cost over $400 to replace a battery? I was told that it's not covered under the warranty, but goodness it's a battery!!! It shouldn't cost more than $150 so what would type of labor are they doing for $300?
Masscurly which dealer did you go to, Herb Chambers? I'm in the same boat- my 05 x3 is six months out of warranty and still has the original battery. It has been pretty cold around Boston lately and I've had no problems, but the battery is pushing 5 years I might be on borrowed time (though the light is green, and my cheap voltage reader says it is still good)

Doesn't Batteries Plus sell a bmw compatible battery? There is one a couple of miles from my house? Also if I change it myself do I have to be concerned about the battery being disconnected too long? I've read about people having to reset the sunroof/window controls
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2010, 06:21 PM
hbsocal.slo hbsocal.slo is offline
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From what I heard a battery is a battery, except BMW batteries are a specific size, designed to fit snugly into their designed location. If you can find a battery that will fit then by all means save the extra money for something else.

I replaced mine not too long ago... however I did all the work myself.
- Replacement battery for 04 X3 ($140.00) online dealer price... will-call. I got $12 back for bringing in the old one.

When mine died I wasn't sure exactly what it was, so the plan was to swap them out myself at the dealer in the parking lot, and if it didn't fix the problem... well then I was already at the dealer. I know for a fact that my local dealer charges $120 and hour for labor. So if I had them do it I wold have paid...

- $120.00 minimum 1 hour
- $200.00 for battery... thats the bitch price
- $160.00 for diagnostics to detect a power drain
===================================
$480.00 Total

I guess I came out on top with a total cost of $108.00 + 10min labor

The batteries are mother ****ing heavy though... lol
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2010, 06:23 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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A. Go to Autozone
B. Give the guy your car's information
C. Give them the $90+tax+core for the Duralast they match for your car
D. Install new Duralast with included vent tube
E. Return to Autozone with old battery to get core charge back.

You can get fancy and get an Interstate sold by Sears, but the Duralast batteries have been fine for my bmws over the years.
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  #12  
Old 01-04-2010, 02:18 AM
ducx3 ducx3 is offline
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Anyone know what voltage the battery should be reading? Mine's been a little slow to start during cold mornings and I had to put it on the charger after it sat for a week or so in the cold. Still under warranty though, but the dealer is 4 hours away, so I want more evidence before taking the drive. Thanks.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2010, 07:35 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducx3 View Post
Anyone know what voltage the battery should be reading? Mine's been a little slow to start during cold mornings and I had to put it on the charger after it sat for a week or so in the cold. Still under warranty though, but the dealer is 4 hours away, so I want more evidence before taking the drive. Thanks.
4 hours away?!! Sorry, just spend the $90 at autozone and do it yourself.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2010, 11:51 AM
ducx3 ducx3 is offline
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Now why would I do that? It's still under warranty and I go there every other weekend or so.
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2010, 11:58 AM
d geek d geek is online now
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it is probably different from car to car, but my VW's drop to around 10V when the starter is engaged.

if you are going to be near the dealer anyways, then just make an appointment to have them do a test on the battery and charging system.
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  #16  
Old 01-04-2010, 12:02 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Originally Posted by ducx3 View Post
Now why would I do that? It's still under warranty and I go there every other weekend or so.
Because its an 8hr round trip drive for a free battery? But if you there already then not a big deal.
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  #17  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:16 PM
Eric Arrow Eric Arrow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluskye View Post
A. Go to Autozone
B. Give the guy your car's information
C. Give them the $90+tax+core for the Duralast they match for your car
D. Install new Duralast with included vent tube
E. Return to Autozone with old battery to get core charge back.

You can get fancy and get an Interstate sold by Sears, but the Duralast batteries have been fine for my bmws over the years.

I agree...I use the Duralast in my motorhome....trailer...and race car. When my wife's X3's battery expires thats where I'll go. I've had excellent luck with Duralast..and have tried many others in the past.
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  #18  
Old 01-04-2010, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masscurly View Post
Hi there. I posted this in the new member forum too. Just trying to stay warm here in New England. Yesterday I took my car to the dealership to have them check the battery because starting the car was a little sluggish. I wanted to make sure everything was okay now that it's officially winter. To my surprise, I walked out of there $467 lighter.

Does it really cost over $400 to replace a battery? I was told that it's not covered under the warranty, but goodness it's a battery!!! It shouldn't cost more than $150 so what would type of labor are they doing for $300?

Can someone please enlighten me? I'm new to owning a BMW and I purchased a 2005 CPO.
Did you go to Herb Chambers? It sounds like it. They have an outrageous markup. I looked at battery prices from them. Better to take a drive to Tulley BMW in Nashua or ask Turner Motorsports for pricing. If you belong to the BMWCCA, you can get a 10% discount too from the stealership. Also, they may have sold you a battery with more cold cranking amps (CCA) than needed. Did you check your original battery specs?
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  #19  
Old 01-04-2010, 07:39 PM
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x3man x3man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codog2 View Post
Masscurly which dealer did you go to, Herb Chambers? I'm in the same boat- my 05 x3 is six months out of warranty and still has the original battery. It has been pretty cold around Boston lately and I've had no problems, but the battery is pushing 5 years I might be on borrowed time (though the light is green, and my cheap voltage reader says it is still good)

Doesn't Batteries Plus sell a bmw compatible battery? There is one a couple of miles from my house? Also if I change it myself do I have to be concerned about the battery being disconnected too long? I've read about people having to reset the sunroof/window controls
I had no problems but bought a BMW battery. It is the right size and has the hookup for the vent tube. When you buy a new battery, they do not give you the tube so don't throw yours away! Also, don't forget that when you remove the battery, you cannot open the trunk. Don't ask how I remember this fact!!!! :-)
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  #20  
Old 01-07-2010, 02:11 PM
rred8748 rred8748 is offline
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Sorry to hear, I know you are a proud owner, CPO doesn't mean that you can walk into BMW service center, nope you should never unless it is in warranty..I am glad they just left you with $460

IMHO you should consider AAA, they would have changed it for free if Battery goes bad
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  #21  
Old 01-07-2010, 03:51 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masscurly View Post
I walked out of there $467 lighter.
Does it really cost over $400 to replace a battery?
By way of comparison, BMW Dealers in Canada that offer the Value Service Package charge $268 + taxes for supplying and installing a battery in an X3.

For U.S. Dealerships, numbers seem to be in the range $200 - $350 installed, but something over $400 is a first.

Maybe they did some testing of the charging circuit, or checked for reasons that your 2005 battery expired a bit prematurely.

Another possibility is that they gave you an AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery which does cost more.
The greater price is partly because AGM's use all new components whereas most wet cell batteries utilize some recycled materials (lead plates, polypropylene cases, etc.).
Maybe no significant difference in performance, but longevity could be an advantage, and no vent required.

So, could be a regular price of $180 for an AGM, dealer markup of $100, $120 for installation, plus taxes?

While "a battery is a battery" was true when they were all the same design and construction, it may not be so true anymore.

With standard wet cell batteries, the wide variation in pricing is mostly accounted for by the differences in warranty.

Nothing wrong with the Duralast-branded batteries from Autozone, made by Johnson Controls, nor the similar ones with a different decal from Walmart, PepBoys, Costco, etc.
You can pay nearly twice the price for a similar battery from the Interstate division of Johnson Controls, in the MegaTronPlus line, or from East Penn/Deka,
labelled as an "exact fit", because its case conforms to European sizing.

East Penn absorbed Douglas Battery who used to supply U.S. BMW dealers with replacements for the original Vartas.

H6 is the German O.E. size for the X3, but BCI Group size 48 or 49 is close enough.

BCI uses "Group size" which specifies only maximum dimensions, not actual dimensions.

So you can't depend on any particular battery conforming to exact dimensions.
Because the battery clamp in the X3 is across the width of the battery rather than the length, width and height of the replacement battery are important, length less so.
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  #22  
Old 01-10-2010, 04:17 PM
Wrangler Wrangler is offline
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I replaced battery on my 2004 X3 myself today. It costed me $108 + taxes + core. It took me approximately 20 minutes to replace it. The engine started without any issues. Had to reset time etc. The thing that is worrying me now is that 4x4 light is on constantly, after replacing the battery. I did not take it for a drive yet. Did anybody experience this? Does the 4x4 light on dash go away by itself or does it need to be taken for inspection?
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  #23  
Old 01-10-2010, 04:50 PM
szee1 szee1 is offline
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Once you take it for a drive the light will go out. At least it did on mine.
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  #24  
Old 01-10-2010, 06:55 PM
enamoured enamoured is offline
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Drive it for a bit, one by one check engine, 4x4, transmission etc all lights will come and go. I had a deep discharge last year when car was parked outside at -50 C and I foolishly kept cranking it, called BMW and they sent someone to give me boost, all lights came on and went off at that time, the guy who gave me boost did tell me about it. It's just system doing initial checks, think on a POST (power on self test) in computer. You would also want to reinitialize the anti trapping mechanism of power windows and sun roof. Open and close the windows completely and hold the switch for more than two seconds upon closing. For sunroof, press and hold the sunroof switch in tilt position till sunroof goes through a complete cycle of opening and closing.
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  #25  
Old 01-11-2010, 01:35 PM
JackalopeZX3 JackalopeZX3 is offline
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Would anyone believe I still have the original battery in my 2001 Z3 and it starts up on the first turn every spring? Hope the X3 battery lasts as long!
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