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Why Are BMW Batteries So Expensive?

Why Are BMW Batteries So Expensive?

BMWs have long been known as some of the most luxurious cars on the market. That’s why things tend to cost so much for them! When it comes to batteries, you might spend a little more on them for a BMW. However, that’s not always the case.

Getting the battery replaced at the dealership will always be more expensive. They’ve got to charge for labor and parts, so it can be a little pricey. Most of the time, you’d spend less by doing the work yourself. But, you’ve still got to use the correct battery.

Not all BMWs use the same type of batteries. Usually, you can just put any regular car battery in them. However, if your BMW has special accessories that could change things. Certain options increase your BMW’s power requirements, such as a push-start button.

Since those options use more power, you’ve got to have a stronger battery. Otherwise, some of your optional accessories might not function properly.

Are BMW Batteries More Expensive?

Although they don’t always cost more, BMW batteries could cost you a bit more than a standard battery. High-end models typically need stronger batteries. And, they’ll run you a little more than others.

Newer BMWs usually need an enhanced flood battery. Those tend to cost around $199 at the store. They’re able to provide sufficient power for modern car accessories. Without one of them, certain features might not work on your BMW.

Other cars tend to use much less powerful batteries. For example, a Corrolla might have a conventional battery, and those only cost around $99. The stronger the battery, the more it’s going to cost usually. Still, you should be able to crank a BMW with a less expensive battery.

AGM batteries have become more common in newer BMWs. These tend to cost around the same as an EFG battery. However, they’re better at cranking start-stop cars. Plus, they’ve got twice the cycle life. So, you won’t have to replace them as often, either.

Do BMWs Need Special Batteries?

Most modern BMWs require an EFG battery. These deliver more current, so you’re accessories receive enough power. A typical EFG battery has up to 850 cold-cranking amps. That’s enough to keep your infotainment screen and heated seats powered.

Other cars don’t usually have as many electronics working in them. So, your conventional battery only has to produce about 250 cold-cranking amps. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t use one in a BMW, though.

In fact, your modern BMW would likely crank with as little as 250 cold-cranking amps. However, there’s a caveat. Once on, it might not work how you’d like. Using the seat heaters would be problematic for example.

Since BMWs have so many power-hungry devices, you’ve got to use a stronger battery in them. Each device pulls more current from the battery. And, even though it’s charged by the alternator, it might not deliver enough current.

Enhanced flood gate batteries utilize special technology to meet your BMW’s energy needs. Carbon additives enhance charge acceptance, and they’ll help the battery last longer. They can produce over 1000 cranking amps at temperatures above freezing.

Conventional batteries only produce around 250 cranking amps at the same temperature. So, they’ve got about one-quarter of a BMW’s battery overall.

Some BMWs should have an AGM battery in them. Advanced glass matt batteries tend to work best in vehicles with start-stop technology. They’re capable of delivering sufficient voltage, even from a stop. They’ll also last longer than an enhanced flood gate battery, too.

How Long Do BMW Batteries Last?

Most BMW batteries last for at least 3 years, and they’re able to last as long as 5. There are several factors that impact battery life, though.

Using them too much could reduce how long they’ll last. All batteries have something called a cycle life. Just like your phone, their capacities diminish each time your charge them. Eventually, they won’t even hold enough charge to crank the car.

If you’re driving often, they might run through their cycle life within 3 years. Standard driving conditions should make them last about 2 years longer. As such, you shouldn’t be surprised if they’re still going after 5 years.

Still, once 5 years have passed, you’ve got to look for a replacement. Even the best batteries won’t last much longer than that. And, after a battery dies, it won’t catch a charge again. Even leaving them on a charger won’t help at that point anymore.

Taking care of your battery properly should extend its life. Don’t let them sit around without being driven. Most of the time, batteries don’t hold their charges forever. Cold temperatures tend to prolong their useful lifespans, too. 

Caring for Your BMWs Battery

Regularly driving your BMW should help your batteries last longer. That’s because the alternator will charge them each time you’re behind the wheel.

Minimizing your use of onboard electronics could also make a difference. The more energy you’re using, the more load you’re placing on the battery. Higher loads tend to reduce a battery’s lifespan.

As long as you’ve got a working alternator, you don’t have to do anything special for your battery. Just remember to replace them after 3 years. Beyond that, there’s no way to know for sure how much longer they’ll last.

You could use a voltmeter to check their voltage, though. Car batteries should produce around 14 volts at max charge. After using them for a while, their voltage slowly drops. You could charge them forever and they won’t hit 14 volts again.

If you notice the battery is below 12 volts, it’s time for a replacement. Usually, cars won’t work unless their batteries produce more than 10 volts. It takes a lot less time to drop from 12 to 10 volts than 14 to 12. 

What You Need to Know About BMW Batteries

BMWs don’t always have to use special batteries. When they do, you’ll need either an AGM or EFG battery. These both produce more current to power all your onboard electronics.

As such, you won’t always have to spend more on a BMW’s battery. Even high-end batteries shouldn’t cost much more than $200. However, a lot of dealerships charge $300 or more. That’s because you aren’t just paying for the parts. You’re also paying for the labor.

If you’d like to save a little money, you can replace them yourself easily enough. Change out the battery just like you would in any other car.

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Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of VehicleAnswers.com! 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!