BMW battery registration updates your vehicle with the new battery’s information.
You should register your battery whenever replacing them on BMWs built after 2002.
This will help them deliver the best performance possible, and they’ll last longer!
But how do you register a BMW battery?
You can register your BMW battery yourself by connecting a BMW scanner to the OBII port and following the prompts on the scanner. BMW also offers an online service, but it still requires your own scanner, so the simplest option for most BMW owners is just to take it to a registered BMW dealer.
For a step-by-step guide on how to register your BMW battery yourself or for helpful tips on what to look for when registering your BMW through a dealer, read on!
Options for Registering a BMW Battery
There are a few ways to register a BMW’s battery.
First, you could try to do it yourself. To do that, you’ll need the proper equipment first, though.
Registering the battery yourself requires a good BMW scanner. You can buy them online for around $100.
For example, the Foxwell NT510 would work for these purposes.
Once you’ve got the scanner, go ahead and replace the battery. After that, you’ll need to hook up your scanner to the BMW’s OBII port.
Typically, you’ll find this underneath the dashboard. It’ll look similar to a VGA port on a computer monitor.
Using the BMW scanner, plug into the OBII port. Then, turn on your car’s ignition.
You should see something pop up on the scanner’s screen at that point.
So, scroll down until you see the BMW option. Click on that, and look for something called battery registration.
After you’ve found the correct option, click on it to enter the next screen. Now, you should see a few more options.
The one you’re looking for should say something like battery registration.
Go to that one and enter the next screen.
At that point, you’ll want to hit the option for new battery registration. It shouldn’t take long for the process to complete.
Your other option would be to use an online service, or you could take it to a dealership.
They’ll use the same methods we’ve described above. But, you won’t have to worry about doing it yourself.
For online registration, you’ve got to connect an OBII scanner to the internet.
Then, an online technician will take care of everything remotely.
What Happens if a BMW Battery Isn’t Registered?
Why does it matter if you’ve registered a BMW’s battery?
Simply replacing the battery without registering it won’t damage your vehicle. But, your battery won’t perform as well as it should!
Registering a battery updates the BMW’s onboard computer. This determines how much current it should deliver to the battery while charging it.
Older batteries need more current to keep a steady charge.
If you’ve replaced the battery without registration, it might receive too much current. That would cause it to degrade faster.
By registering the battery, you’ll prevent it from breaking too soon.
Driving on an unregistered battery could also use more gas.
Usually, the BMW’s electronic control module prevents your alternator from overcharging.
If you haven’t registered a battery replacement, your ECM might overcharge yours.
The more current you’re delivering to the battery, the more fuel your vehicle will use.
That’s because the engine is what generates all that power.
So, you’ll be able to drive on an unregistered battery. But, the new battery won’t last as long. And, your fuel economy will be worse.
How Much Does it Cost to Register a BMW Battery?
Registering a new battery doesn’t cost anything if you’re doing it yourself.
However, most drivers don’t want to go through all that hassle.
Paying someone else to register the battery could cost up to $200. Sometimes, you’ll find somewhere that does it for less, though.
I’d recommend preparing to spend at least $99 on this service.
If you’ve replaced your battery, you might also need to code it.
That’s only necessary whenever the new battery’s specs don’t match the old one’s.
Coding a new battery would add a little more to your service charge.
Can AutoZone Register a BMW Battery?
AutoZone technicians don’t have to register your battery when you’re replacing it.
So, you’ll want to visit a licensed mechanic to get that done.
Registering Your BMW Battery
Registering a new battery helps your BMW perform at its best. You can still drive on a new battery without registering it, though.
However, your BMW’s electronic control module might overcharge it.
Registration lets the ECM know a new battery has been installed.
Properly registering the battery prolongs the new one’s lifespan.
By registering it, your ECM will know how much current it needs when charging.
Unregistered batteries could even lead to decreased fuel economy as well.
Battery registration became necessary when BMWs began using ECMs. Anything built after 2002 should have one of those.
Some BMWs also require battery coding, too.
As long as you’ve replaced it with the same type, you won’t have to code the new battery.
However, if you’ve replaced it with something different, you’ll need to code it.