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Do BMWs Need A Special Battery?

Do BMWs Need A Special Battery?

Most BMWs have a lot of electronics in them, so they’re power-hungry. 

Using the proper battery is crucial, otherwise, some of your accessories might not work. 

So do BMWs need a special battery?

While any battery that fits inside the BMW battery compartment will work well enough to start the vehicle, most BMWs will work best with an AGM or EFG battery. These deliver higher starting voltages, and they’re better at powering the many electronic features found in BMWs.

With that in mind, let’s take a look to learn more about the special battery needs of a BMW.

What Kind Of Battery Do BMWs Need?

Technically, any battery that fits in your BMW should work. That doesn’t mean you should just use anything that fits, though. 

You’ve got to make sure the battery delivers enough volts to keep everything running.

Check out your owner’s manual to see what’s recommended by the manufacturer. Usually, they’ll list specific batteries that would work with your model. 

Enhanced Flood Gate (EFG) batteries are some of the most common. 

However, there’s also the Advanced Glass Matt (AFG).

Enhanced Flood Gate (EFG) Batteries

Enhanced flood gate batteries use the same technology as your standard lead-acid battery. However, they’re built a little more precisely. 

They’ve got special carbon additives in them as well.

These additives allow the battery to deliver more current for longer. As such, they’re great for powering electronic accessories for extended periods. 

As a result, they’re capable of delivering more volts from a cold start. But, they’ll still break down as fast as a typical battery.

EFG batteries deliver the highest voltages whenever you’re cranking the vehicle. 

EFGs don’t always have the longest cycle-life, unfortunately. 

A battery’s cycle life refers to how well you can recharge them.

 Think about your phone. Whenever you first bought it, it’d last for a long time. And, it charged faster, too.

However, the longer you use it, the more the battery degrades. EFG batteries work the same way. 

They’ll hold onto their charge longer when they’re new.

Advanced Glass Matt (AFG) Batteries

AGM batteries became a lot more popular whenever push-start cars hit the market. 

That’s because they’re great at delivering a ton of volts from a cold start.

AGM stands for advanced glass mat, and that refers to how they’re built.

Inside of an AGM battery, there’s a glass separator between the battery’s cells. Using a glass separator helps the battery perform under high pressure. 

When the battery’s acid combines, it’s immobilized in the glass matt.

The glass mats inside of an AGM battery also have valves. 

These control how much oxygen and hydrogen combine inside of the battery. 

Because of this action, AGMs are capable of sustaining their performance for a long time. 

For that reason, they’ve become rather popular in luxury vehicles, in part because they cost more than EFGs.

Advanced glass matt batteries don’t deliver as many volts when you’re cranking the car. But, they’re better at delivering sustained voltages.

That makes them ideal for BMWs with a ton of accessories in them.

And, AGM batteries tend to have much longer cycle lives than an EFG battery. 

That means you’ll be able to recharge them a lot more without impacting their performance. 

In fact, most AGMs last about twice as long as an equivalent EFG.

Can I Put Any Battery in a BMW?

Like we’ve mentioned, most batteries will work to get your BMW cranked. As long as they’ve got enough volts to turn the engine, they’ll get the job done. 

However, past that point, things might be different.

Conventional batteries won’t deliver enough current to power all your accessories. 

So, you might notice the infotainment screen flickering. 

Or, your seat heaters might not work as they should. 

That’s because you’ve got the wrong battery in your BMW.

Because BMWs use so much electricity, you’ll want to use something more powerful. That’s why we recommend using either an AGM or EFG battery. 

Both of them work better whenever you’re powering lots of accessories.

AGMs tend to last longer, though. 

Because they’ve got a better cycle life, you won’t have to replace them as often.

Choosing the Right Battery for Your BMW

Picking the right battery for your BMW might feel a little intimidating at first.

Luckily, it’s not that complicated of a decision. 

Most batteries will deliver enough current to start your vehicle. 

But, if you’ve got a lot of electronics, you’ll want something powerful.

Both AGM and EFG batteries work well in a BMW. The biggest difference between them would be their lifespans. 

EFG batteries won’t last as long as an AGM battery. 

However, they’re not going to cost as much, either.

If you’d like to save money upfront, an EFG battery would make the most sense. 

But, if you’d rather have something that lasts, then an AGM battery would be better.

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Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!