When your vehicle needs a new battery, it’s nice to visit an auto parts store, buy your battery, and have it installed by a knowledgeable employee. If you drive a BMW, you may be unsure whether or not AutoZone technicians can install a battery in your vehicle.
AutoZone technicians can change a BMW battery, however, they may not have the proper tools to register it. Registering the battery updates the BMW’s onboard computer, and helps determine how much current it should deliver to the battery while charging it.
To learn more about this and other related details, here’s what you need to know.
Options for Replacing a BMW Battery
If you need a new battery for your BMW, the good news is that you should be able to purchase it from an AutoZone store and have it installed while you wait.
Although BMW batteries are somewhat tougher to access than batteries in other vehicles, this is usually not a deterrent for getting your new battery installed at the store.
Should you not want to trust the job to your AutoZone clerk, you do have other options.
First, you can choose to replace the battery yourself. While it’s not necessarily an impossible task, you should only do this if you follow the instructions in your car’s owner’s manual and feel comfortable taking on this challenge.
To get what will probably yield the best results, you can buy your battery from AutoZone and then drive to your BMW dealer so that they can replace your battery. By choosing this option, you may have to pay more than you would if AutoZone installed it or you did it yourself.
However, once it’s done, you’ll be able to drive away with peace of mind, knowing the battery was installed by a professional you know and trust.
How Much Does Replacing a BMW Battery Cost?
As for how much it will cost you to replace your BMW battery, this will depend on many factors.
Should you purchase your battery from AutoZone and either install it yourself or have an AutoZone technician perform the task, a typical battery will cost you around $200.
If you buy the battery and then take it to your BMW dealership for installation, you’ll be paying for labor along with what you already paid for the battery.
Depending on the model of BMW you drive, the battery installation may take only a few minutes or closer to one hour, depending on how hard the old battery is to access. When choosing this option, total costs typically range from $250-$350.
Do BMWs Need a Special Battery?
Due to your BMW being classified as a luxury vehicle that’s made by a foreign manufacturer, the question of whether it needs a special battery often arises. Though manufactured at levels that are highly specific in terms of engineering, your BMW does not need a special battery to operate.
However, you should keep in mind that whatever type of battery was originally installed in your BMW is the one you should stick with when buying a new one.
For example, if your original battery was an AGM, use another AGM when replacing your battery. Now common in most modern BMW models, the Absorbent Glass Matt battery will deliver maximum performance.
Should your BMW have an EFB battery, you can upgrade to an AGM if you so choose without damaging your vehicle. When choosing your battery, take some time to think about the type of driving you do on a daily basis.
For example, if you do lots of stop-and-go driving, AGM batteries are better, since they are more powerful and engineered to stand up well to the challenges associated with this type of driving.
Also, if you buy a standard battery from AutoZone or elsewhere, keep in mind that while your BMW can use a standard battery made for most conventional vehicles, batteries such as the EFB and AGM tend to last longer since they come directly from the vehicle manufacturer.
Therefore, if you plan to take your BMW to a dealer for battery installation, you may want to let them choose your car’s battery.
Why is “Registering” My BMW Battery Important?
When you have a new battery installed in your late-model BMW, it is important that it be “registered.” By this, we mean it needs to be matched to your vehicle’s onboard ECU, or Electronic Control Unit.
If you don’t take this step, your car’s ECU will not recognize that you have installed a new battery, and will instead continue operating as if it still has the old battery.
Should this occur, you can expect to have much worse fuel economy when driving your BMW here and there, and you’ll also greatly reduce the lifespan of the new battery for which you just paid hundreds of dollars to buy and get installed.
If you choose to have your BMW battery installed at AutoZone or decide to do it yourself, make sure you or the technician knows how to properly “register” the battery after it’s installed.
While skipping the “registration” probably won’t result in damage to your car’s engine or other parts, it will result in you making more trips to the gas pump, meaning you’ll have less money in your pocket for the fun things you really want to be doing each day.
What’s Really the Best Way to Have My BMW Battery Changed?
Ultimately, it is up to you as to which course you take to have your BMW battery changed. If you purchase it from AutoZone, you will be dealing with individuals who know cars and change batteries on a daily basis.
If you do it yourself, you should be able to complete the process without much trouble, so long as you follow your owner’s manual instructions. By taking it to a dealer, you’ll definitely know the person changing your battery knows the ins and outs of your BMW.
Now that you know a BMW battery can be changed multiple ways, you can decide which is best for you and get the job done.