DIY F30 Battery Replacement (Helpful) Info
I went to the dealer for a routine checkup and my SA informed me that itís time to replace the battery. What? Really? Seemed strange to me since all of my electronics were working pretty stellar along with the fact that I routinely forget to turn my lights off when I walk into a store or restaurant and when I return, Iíve never had a problem! I wondered why I had seen no indication that the battery was on the outs.
In any event, my SA insisted that diagnostics revealed that the battery absolutely needed to be replaced and that it would be $540 to do it at the dealership. Seemed crazy excessive to me, but he went on to explain that it is a special kind of battery designed for modern cars with tons of electronics and the ECO start/stop feature, blah, blah, blah. He further explained that after the new battery is physically installed, it must be registered - which basically means you have to tell the carís computer that it is a new battery so that itís power management will readjust to the new, more robust source of power. He further explained that registration is done via computer. So, he says that THAT is what justifies the $540 price tag. Of course I wasnít biting. So I set off to buy a battery and do the installation myself. This posting details how I did it myself for less than $200. I am hoping it will help someone else with an F30 (which is what I have - 335i Sports to be exact). In the end, I replaced the battery and registered it myself and it was ultra simple! Öbut finding the right battery wasnít! Hereís my experience:
Although the install and registration was truly a breeze, finding the right battery and the tools (software and ODB2 adapter) to do the registration was an utter nightmare! A couple of days of scouring the internet and forums as well as making a bunch of phone calls resulted in my getting everything I need, so to start, my OEM battery was BMW branded and had 2 part numbers on it listed as follows:
S: 61 21 7 575 327
AW: 61 21 6 924 022
Not sure why it has 2 part numbers, but thought Iíd share that for reference. The battery has a rating of 12V - 90Ah - 900CCA and is an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) type.
Iíll spare you all the details of my arduous hunt for the right replacement, but will say that I discovered that there is only a small hand-full of auto battery manufacturers out there and BMW is not one of them. Like many other companies, BMW simply chooses a battery manufacturer, purchases the batteries from them and then slaps a BMW label on the battery and then neatly tuck it into the trunk of our cars. Turns out that my battery with the part numbers I listed above is manufactured by Exide. But BMW has since discontinued that battery and replaced it with a battery of slightly different specs. The battery they are now using to replace the above listed part number is made by EastPenn. The power ratings on it is 12V - 92Ah - 850CCA. The EastPenn part number is 9A49. EastPennís exact branding is EastPenn Intimidator 9A49. BMWís part number is 61 21 2 353 812. I searched high and low for the EastPenn battery and could not find it for less than $214. So I bookmarked it and shopped for alternatives with the exact same specs.
I wound up finding a Bosch battery, made by Exide with the exact specs of the EastPenn (12V - 92Ah - 850CCA) at PepBoys. To be exact, it is the Bosch Premium AGM Battery, part #49-850BAGM. 4 year warranty/guarantee - It was on sale (25% off)! So, I pulled the trigger! (I know the Bosch battery is made by Exide because I called Bosch customer service and they told me as much) I Installed it in less than 15 minutes and then registered it with the BimmerLink app on my iPhone!
To register the battery, you will need an app fro your iPhone or Android AND a compatible ODB2 adapter. I decided to go with the BimmerLink app instead of the more popular Carly app because with Carly you have to pay $50+ a year if you want to keep the full version working. Personally, I am just not cool with the whole annual fee bit. I mean, I hear from many that the Carly app is truly awesome! Iíd gladly pay $100 or more for it - ONE TIME - because of all that it offers. But having to pay a $50+ fee every yearÖ I dunnoÖ Itís just me I suppose. And I am not cheap at all, but somehow I am rubbed the wrong way being forced to pay an annual fee for an app. Surely, some of you may be inclined to flame me for my position there. Flame on, but please be civil. Maybe thereís a stellar justification for the annual fee that I am unaware of or have not considered. Make the case Ömaybe Iíll be persuaded.
In the meantime, as I mentioned above, I went with BimmerLink which is $26 one time and a Veepeak OBDCheck BLE OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter for $27 on a flash sale at Amazon. (If you go with Carly, you will have to buy their adapter, which is $75 I believe).
I registered my battery with BimmerLink in less than 2 minutes!
NOTE 01: If youíre using Carly, when you go to register the battery, since the original battery was 90Ah and the new one is 92Ah, you might be inclined to select the REGISTER OTHER BATTERY TYPE option. Donít do that. The Carly app does not have a 92Ah option. Just select REGISTER SAME BATTERY TYPE. If in your own research you find a battery that that you want to purchase and itís 80Ah or 105Ah, in that case select REGISTER OTHER BATTERY TYPE, then, when presented with the different amp options, select the appropriate one.
NOTE 02: With the BimmerLink app, you basically have no choice but to register same battery type. So if you get a battery thatís 90Ah or 92Ah, youíre fine. But if you have anything other than those 2 values, you cannot use BimmerLink to register your battery (at least that is the case as of the date of this writing). But in my opinion, I donít think you should deviate from the specs BMW is using and recommends. Ana again for your reference, they are - as of this writing - using the EastPenn 12V - 92Ah - 850CCA battery to replace BMW batteries in F30s with the following part numbers on it:
S: 61 21 7 575 327
AW: 61 21 6 924 022
If you go the BimmerLink route and get the same adapter I got (Veepeak OBDCheck BLE OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter) and have a penchant to forgo reading instructions, do not try to pair the adapter by going to SETTINGS / BLUETOOTH. Instead, Just plug the adapter into the carís OBD2 port and confirm the little light that come on on it. Then open BimmerLink on your phone and go to the SETTINGS option. The adapter will be auto detected in the ADAPTER TYPE category.
Bosch battery @ PepBoys
Info on EastPenn intimidator AGM (chart shows the 9A49 specs) - This is the battery that BMW is using to replace battery in our car.
Veepeak OBDCheck BLE OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter
I really hope this post is helpful!