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      04-27-2018, 09:44 PM   #1
mko9
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DIY & Lessons Learned from replacing your own battery

This past week I replaced my battery, and I thought I would post up a DIY and some lessons learned from the experience. This is not a hard job to do at all, and probably well worth your while to do yourself. More on that later. In addition to what I am writing here, YouTube is your friend.

I have a 2011 535i base model, with a manual transmission. Also of note, I have the factory rear seat entertainment center. This is one of the very early build cars, with a build date of July 23, 2010. I have just over 71,000 miles on that car. As near as I can tell, this is the original battery. It is a BMW battery, and it is marked for 80Ah and 800 Cold Crank Amps (CCA) (see pics). My current service adviser says there is no record of a battery change. It has been ailing for several months. Symptoms include:

- a lot of slow starts this winter, when it was really cold. The car sits in the driveway, and overnight temps down in the 20s did not make it happy.
- a couple of no starts after being away for Christmas, and another time after sitting for a week after 13" of snow.
- Fuel economy was down probably 3-4mpg?
- after changing the battery, it is now obvious the car was running less smoothly (not rough though)

BMW wanted $300+ for a new battery, my local indy wanted about $280 for a battery. Then installation and coding on top of that. So, final price probably near $500. F that. So I also shopped the auto parts stores. There are only so many factories producing car batteries in the US. An "OEM BMW" battery at the dealer is just a regular battery with a BMW sticker on it. In the end, I bought a Autocraft Platinum AGM battery from Advance Auto Parts online. I did a little google-age, and came up with a 30% off code, too. They will deliver free to your door, or you can pick up at your nearest store. Price was $182, including a $22 core charge, so my final price is going to be $160 for the battery.

LESSON LEARNED: All the online sources I looked at showed a H9 battery as being a viable alternative. I initially bought one for the higher Ah and CCA, because of the rear seat entertainment center that gets run sometimes well after I have turned off the car. AN H9 BATTERY WILL NOT FIT IN A 535I. (see pics) I can't speak for a 528i or a 550i, but I assume they have the same floor as the 535i. Maybe the battery in the 550i is oriented differently? The manager at AAP, when I was returning/swapping the H9 for an H8 said his wife has a 7 series, and the H9 fits in a 7 series. Dunno.

To get at the battery, there are 2x 10mm nuts at the base of the flap that covers the little storage compartment. Lift the whole trunk floor up by the flap, then pull to the rear, and the whole ting comes out. For the remaining little storage compartment, lift the front end off the 2 bolts, the pull the whole thing towards the front of the car. The rear edge will slide out from under the trunk trim and you can lift it out.

Take a look at the picture below to see the battery with all the lining out of the way. There is a tie down bracket, which has 2x 11mm nuts. On the left edge of the battery is a metal bracket, on the right is a black plastic block with a 13mm bolt though it. On top of the battery, the two terminals are 10mm. The positive (red) terminal has a little plastic flap over it. There is also a plastic flap over the power distribution chunk in the middle. It covers another 13mm nut. There is also a metal band that clips onto the front and back of the battery. Reassembly with the new battery is the reverse. Personally, I was careful disassembling this stuff, and I wore rubber gloves.

Once the battery is out, you can see that there are three bolt holes for the black plastic hold down block on the right side of the battery (pic below, rotated 90deg left). My original battery (H7?) was in the middle hole. The H8 battery I ended up with is in the outboard (right) hole. Presumably you could fit an H6 battery?

The second important step to a battery change is registering the battery to the car. I found a Foxwell NT510 scanner on sale for $145. As far as I can tell, this is the same as the Schwaben scanner you might also see. Since that was probably about what I was going to pay the dealer to register my battery, seemed like a deal. And I should also be able to reset my service interval, read SES lights, etc. Works for my e46, too.

LESSON LEARNED: As you go through the battery registration process, the registration options are "I am replacing my battery with one of the same capacity" or "I am replacing my battery with one of lower/higher capacity". I assumed it would allow me to put in the new capacity (95Ah and 900CCA), but no. So then I made arrangments with my indy for them to put that info in on their system. Turns out, they can't/don't have any way to put that info in either. According to them, by telling the car it has different capacity, it will then figure it out. Whatever, my car is running better now.

Other side effects of this were my sun roof went wonky, but there is a thread on fixing that. Takes about 1min. http://f10.5post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=730393

It also zeroed out my trip computer info, and the time and date. By the time I put the time in, it was already updating the date off GPS (I assume).

If you don't buy the wrong battery, then have to drive another car to Advance Auto Parts in the middle of the job, and you don't drive to the dealer for no reason, because they can't put in capacity data either, then the whole job is easily less than an hour. Total cost to me including scanner and battery is ~$315.

Picture 1 - a comparison of the H9 battery I initially bought to the OEM battery. Also an overview of the bolts and fittings
Picture 2 - a look at the hold down block on the right side of the battery
Picture 3 - the three holes you can use for the hold down block (rotated 90deg)
Picture 4 - a comparison the the H8 battery I installed to the original battery
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      05-24-2018, 08:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
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Quote:
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Nice post, good job!
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      06-15-2018, 10:21 AM   #3
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FWIW, I just got e-mail from Foxwell that their stuff is all on sale. $159 for a scanner that can read your codes, register your new battery, etc.

http://www.foxwelltool.com/search/?q=Flash+Sale&?f=h0v7
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      01-15-2019, 12:54 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot for the info!

I replaced car battery in my 2011 528i yesterday.
For all the folks in Toronto, Canada and surroundings. I purchased car battery at Canadian Tire. They had 3 AGM batteries (with different capacities 80 vs 92 vs 105) options for my car and i went with AGM 92 ah battery due to the fact that my car is already coded for AGM 90ah and I didn't want to do any re-coding.
Motomaster Eliminator Ultra AGM (cost was $239 CAD)
Product Number: 10-4920-2 Manufacturer’s Part Number: ELU49/L5/H8
SPECS - GROUP #: L5/49/H8 - CCA: 850 - CA: 975 - RC: 170 - GROUP #: 49 - CCA: 850

Physical installation was a breeze as well as new battery registration using Foxwell NT510.
Now Foxwell shows that my new battery has 98% charge whereas my old battery was in the range of 55-63% and didn't held up charge at all after I recharged it using battery charger few times to 90% or so.

Comfort access features (auto adjusting of steering wheel etc) works fine now as well as other electrical features. With old battery due to lower charge % the car for example would sometimes disable comfort access features or disable welcome lights etc.
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      03-11-2019, 10:03 PM   #5
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Many thanks mko9. While shopping and searching for a new battery for my 2012 535I I came across your post. I just ordered up the exact battery from Advance Auto. I could only come up with a 25% off coupon but after getting the core charge back I'll still be at $160.35. Very cool.
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      06-19-2019, 04:26 PM   #6
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just for folks who find this thread, the h9 battery will fit the LCI cars, the pre-lci car requires a new bracket to fit, per SIB.
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      06-20-2019, 06:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thecastle View Post
just for folks who find this thread, the h9 battery will fit the LCI cars, the pre-lci car requires a new bracket to fit, per SIB.
A reference to the replacement part# and SIB# in this thread would be really great, just to sum up all of the relevant information.
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      06-22-2019, 06:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post
A reference to the replacement part# and SIB# in this thread would be really great, just to sum up all of the relevant information.
Gotcha. For reference I have a H9 105ah AGM battery installed in my 2016 550i, which was replaced as part of SIB B61 30 14

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/at...4&d=1421772824

This is the SIB, that references you need a different holder for pre LCI cars, and that LCI cars should be able to accomodate a 105ah. In fact you should have a 105ah H9 battery as stock if it was serviced after 2015

I do verified it yesterday that the dealer installed a h9 105ah AGM battery in my car on December 1st, 2017.
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      06-26-2019, 02:30 PM   #9
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So the hold down looks like part# 61217592923. Thanks.

As a 535 owner, as far as I know I still have the 90Ah AGM battery. It was replaced once under warranty, I'll have to go verify. I'm expecting that I'll probably be replacing it before this upcoming winter as a precaution. The jury is still out, but I'm getting ducks lined up in case I want to go with H9.
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      07-19-2019, 12:29 PM   #10
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Good job. Just don't forget to properly connect the vent hose (downward gradient).

Also, if you change capacity you need to do it via an ISTA retrofit operation or use eSys. If same capacity just registering is fine (which can be done in 5 mins in ISTA btw).
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      11-22-2019, 11:12 AM   #11
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I'm just debating a preventive battery replacement before the really cold weather sets in so I'm actively looking at the H8 vs H9 scenario. I have a pre-LCI 535 (build 3/2011) which had one under-warranty battery replacement performed. It looks like I have an H8, but I already have a 61217592923 fastened into probably the middle hole holding things in place now.

I may try to fit an H9 in place and see if that works properly using the last hole for the hold down. According to the way the SIB reads I should have required a 61217592923 but who knows. I'm not buying one if there's already one in there. I read the part# right off of it with a flashlight.

I took a look at the RO for the warranty replacement of the battery and they did not list a 61217592923 as used during the repair.
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      01-13-2020, 04:04 PM   #12
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How has this held for you guys? I ran the same Autocraft Platinum and I started having battery drain issues about 4 months later. I've been told that you need to stick to OEM now.. I think the 95AH difference vs 90AH? (OEM) might be an issue. Curious to hear if anyone else has had issues. Battery failed a load test @ Advanced Auto this morning, so they issued me a new one.
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      01-13-2020, 04:05 PM   #13
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I might add that I also registered the battery with iCarsoft device but it only let me register it at 105AH, so that might be the issue as well. Looking for an alternative way to register at 95.
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      01-14-2020, 08:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylverlee View Post
How has this held for you guys? I ran the same Autocraft Platinum and I started having battery drain issues about 4 months later. I've been told that you need to stick to OEM now.. I think the 95AH difference vs 90AH? (OEM) might be an issue. Curious to hear if anyone else has had issues. Battery failed a load test @ Advanced Auto this morning, so they issued me a new one.
Are "battery drain issues" an "increased discharge while stopped" message? If yes, that almost certainly has nothing to do with the battery itself.
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      01-14-2020, 05:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post
Are "battery drain issues" an "increased discharge while stopped" message? If yes, that almost certainly has nothing to do with the battery itself.
After I changed to a new battery they all went away.. but now still have the issue with running a 95AH while its coded to be 105AH. I'm thinking about just buying a genuine 105AH at this point. You say with the 61217592923, it'll fit a PRE-LCI? I have a 2013 535i. thx
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      01-14-2020, 05:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylverlee View Post
After I changed to a new battery they all went away.. but now still have the issue with running a 95AH while its coded to be 105AH. I'm thinking about just buying a genuine 105AH at this point. You say with the 61217592923, it'll fit a PRE-LCI? I have a 2013 535i. thx
It would be a lot cheaper to use ISTA or Esys to properly code the car to 95AH. I'm sure you can find a coder who'd be willing to do this for cheap/free.
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      01-14-2020, 06:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
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It would be a lot cheaper to use ISTA or Esys to properly code the car to 95AH. I'm sure you can find a coder who'd be willing to do this for cheap/free.
My local dealer actually ended up being pretty reasonable for the 105AH OEM battery $191. My icarsoft codes it to only 105AH, so not too bad. Just need to figure out how to sell this 1 day old 95AH H8AGM.
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      01-14-2020, 07:11 PM   #18
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I also looked for a local coder on craigslist/fb, but was tough to find (this is socal) so quite a surprise. Local specialty shop said hooking up to ISTA would trigger an entire forced update which could cost couple hundred $
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      01-14-2020, 09:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylverlee View Post
I also looked for a local coder on craigslist/fb, but was tough to find (this is socal) so quite a surprise. Local specialty shop said hooking up to ISTA would trigger an entire forced update which could cost couple hundred $
Can the battery be coded with Bimmercode?
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      01-15-2020, 12:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Can the battery be coded with Bimmercode?

According to the developers it can.. but they haven't replied in how to do so. Just that it's possible. After a few hours of screwing with ISTA etc. I kind of gave up haha. I went to a local shop that had an "autologic" device, and that couldn't change the AH, it would keep reverting back to 105.. figured at that point it was easier to upgrade to the 105 battery. Got it for $191 at my local dealership. Fits perfectly.
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      01-15-2020, 01:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylverlee View Post
According to the developers it can.. but they haven't replied in how to do so. Just that it's possible. After a few hours of screwing with ISTA etc. I kind of gave up haha. I went to a local shop that had an "autologic" device, and that couldn't change the AH, it would keep reverting back to 105.. figured at that point it was easier to upgrade to the 105 battery. Got it for $191 at my local dealership. Fits perfectly.
I have Bimmercode... And you're relatively close...
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      01-16-2020, 07:24 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylverlee View Post
After I changed to a new battery they all went away.. but now still have the issue with running a 95AH while its coded to be 105AH. I'm thinking about just buying a genuine 105AH at this point. You say with the 61217592923, it'll fit a PRE-LCI? I have a 2013 535i. thx
Something to note - changing out the battery also fully reboots the car. This often clears software glitches leading to "increased discharge while parked". Lots of people think a new battery was required, when all that was required was the reboot. "Increased discharge" is NOT a battery condition related message.

Regardless - if I were in your shoes, I would just recode for 95Ah. Do not re-register, just code.

I have not replaced my battery yet. It has been replaced once under warranty so it is not the factory battery. Threads online say one needs 61217592923 to upgrade from 95 to 105 on pre-LCI. I already found that I had 61217592923, and there were multiple threaded locations to attach the bracket. I'm guessing, but I expect those are the locations for the three typical sizes 80Ah, 95Ah and 105Ah. Not guaranteed.

I am thinking about getting the larger battery, as long as the supplier will agree to exchange for the normal size if I cannot get the hold down to work properly. (I buy from some small guys, not a big box store)

I looked at the RO from my warranty replacement and they didn't indicate they supplied a 61217592923, but I can't be 100% sure I had 61217592923 from the factory. I could easily see the part# with a flashlight though so it is easy to check.
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