Battery Registration. What?
Battery Registration? What does this have to do with you? No – not a DMV thing, either.
There is an update process that BMW calls “battery registration” when you replace a battery on your later model BMW. Beginning on the 7 Series in 2002 and then later on with the X5’s in 2007 and on down the line with the 3 Series in 2006. (For more details, a complete list can be found in the May 2011 issue of the BMW CCA magazine the Roundel, in Tech Talk)
Basically, this is another one of the reasons that you do not want to change the battery yourself on your modern BMW. The tool required for the “Registration” is BMW professional, specific to BMW and expensive. We know there can be complications if the battery is not registered. It will also make your new battery fail prematurely as the Intelligent Battery Sensor has to be “advised” that you have installed a new battery. We have discussed how smart a BMW battery is before. If the IBS is damaged at the time of a battery install, you can have another problem as this is the unit that is sending info to the ECU. These cable units are very sensitive (believe it or not). It has to be handled with care, both removed and reinstalled. Think Fragile.
We want to remind everyone that shops that work on German cars are not always created equal. Shops and towing services cannot “register” the battery without the correct BMW tool. This is all about our access to information, education, training, and being willing to step up and pay for the tool. Unfortunately, not everyone is doing that. The result can be that you are only paying for part of a battery replacement and one that will not serve you or your BMW well. (BTW…yes, we are “just plugging” it in. But, we have a 35K piece of equipment on one end and a Master Tech on the other)
We can help! We also have a battery tester that gives us a print out of the health of your BMW or MINI’s battery. You will know for sure if it’s time to get a new battery. We also will have the correct battery for your BMW, with the correct capacity, the proper fit and venting. Venting is a safety issue – we’ll cover that in a future post.