If you have a late model BMW and you need to change the battery, it’s vitally important that you register/reprogram/reset the change with the vehicle’s computer system, to let it know it’s a new battery, and to erase its old charging pattern memory clean. The more modern models of BMW now have an incredibly sophisticated electrical system and are fitted with IBS (Intelligent Battery Sensors), which tailors the charging process to the type and age of the battery.
So, what is involved in the registration process?
If you change the battery, especially if you are updating from a conventional lead-acid battery to an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery, it’s essential to register the new battery with the vehicle’s internal computer using an electronic automotive scanner, as it treats these types differently. This process is known as a new battery registration, which recalibrates electrical components, some sensors and erases error codes.
The BMW battery registration scanning process, resets your vehicle’s battery charging system and sets the battery capacity to 80%. It also deletes any stored battery and temperature statistics which relate to the previous battery. It’s important to note that your odometer reading won’t be changed or reset throughout the process.
Important Tip: Never replace an AGM factory-fitted OEM battery, with a conventional lead-acid battery in a vehicle designed for AGM applications only. However, you can replace a traditional battery with an AGM as the new replacement, but don’t forget the registration. Let’s say for example also, if you have a 90AH battery and the scanner only has an 85AH or 100AH setting, always choose the higher AH option instead of, the lower.
Which Series Require The BMW Battery Registration Process?
Your vehicle requires scanning if it’s one of the following:
- 2008 or latest X6 E71 chassis/platform
- 2007 or latest X5 E70 chassis/platform
- 2006 or latest 3-Series E90/E91/E92/E93 chassis/platform
- 2005 or latest X5 E53 chassis/platform with the N62 engine
- 2004 or latest 5-Series E60/E61 chassis/platform
- 2003 or latest 6-Series E54/E63 chassis/platform
- 2002 or latest 7-Series E65/E66 chassis/platform
What happens if I ignore the registration?
Although it may seem like there is no damage, and you may not see a warning light or other indicator of a problem, ignoring the registration process can not only damage the battery but your vehicle’s electrical system as well.
It can also lead to a dramatic shortening of its life and may mean that your battery fails after less than a year and will need to be replaced. Using the wrong charging system can shorten the life of your battery by charging it too aggressively when it’s cold. It can also lead to damage to other electrical components, including the alternator.
So, where can I get my battery scanned and registered?
The registration is best performed by a qualified European and BMW automotive specialist. Fortunately, it is a relatively straight-forward process, and it’s not overly expensive. Taking a bit of time to ensure that your battery is correctly registered can save you a lot of time and expense down the track, and ensure that your vehicle’s electrical and charging systems meet the manufacturer’s warranty requirements and aren’t vulnerable to avoidable damage.
It’s important to note, that somewhere in the near future as Instant-Stop-Start Technology becomes more prevalent in most new vehicles, not just European, battery registration will become a standard procedure.
Car Battery Australia, has a referral network of European Automotive Specialists with the latest electronic scanning equipment, to undertake this particular process with ease.
For the sake of saving a few dollars, and if you value the roadworthiness of your prestige vehicle, your BMW battery registration must not be overlooked.
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