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      12-05-2011, 09:12 PM   #1
Tommeh
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New Battery Registration.

So the old Braille 21lbs battery finally is on its way out. I opted to get a Deka from ebay because its about half of the price of the Braille and practically the same thing. I was told by the dealership and also read online that when replacing the battery you have to Register the new battery?!

Is this something that can be done easily, or is there some kind of DIY that anyone knows about to do this. I know someoen with a cable that could help me out. I really don't want to pay 80$ to the dealership to do some coding if its fairly simple.

Thanks

Deka ETX30L

Braille 21lbs
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      12-06-2011, 03:55 PM   #2
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You can buy a OBD II tool that will let you reprogram your car for the new battery but it is going to cost you $250 or more. The tool would be nice to have so I will probably do this. You need to be careful, however, since there are many less expensive tools that will read and clear trouble codes but which are not sophisticated enough to do this reprogramming. What you physically get is a cable to hook a laptop to the OBD II port of your car and software for the laptop that allows you to interface with the car.

I don't think there is any simple, cheap, easy way to deal with this. The car charges the battery differently dependant on whether it is new or not and what the type of battery is. If it is not charged correctly, the battery tends to fail prematurely.

Here's a link to one device which says it will let us reprogram for a new battery:

http://www.bavariantechnic.com/model...atrix.aspx#e87

$287

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Last edited by JimD; 12-06-2011 at 04:06 PM.
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      12-06-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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^^+1.

And... IF you think you don't need to register the new battery with your car's computer... you better rear this...


Battery exploded in my trunk; Please read so this doesn't happen to your E9X.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ttery+exploded
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      12-08-2011, 09:00 PM   #4
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I recently had a conversation with a very helpful BMW tech about this, and here's what I learned:

There are two kinds of batteries BMW uses - standard and AGM (Advanced Glass Mat, like Optima, Odyssey, and Kinetic).

The white ones are standard, the black ones are AGM.

Each type of battery has a "charging map" that BMW has created from research. This changes the characteristics of the alternator's output depending on how long the battery has been in the vehicle. This "timer" is what starts when you register the new battery.

HOWEVER:

The car can only hold one "map" at a time. If you have a standard battery (which my car came with) and you upgrade to an AGM battery (which is what I did), then the registration process is NOT sufficient. Your car doesn't have the right map to use for an AGM battery!

You need to recode the car to tell it that you have a AGM battery, so that you can download the new charging map into it, and THEN it knows what to do.

This is also true if your car came with a black AGM battery, and you have downgraded to a standard type battery. You now need to get the car coded for the new battery.

An Autologic shop can do this far easier than the dealer.
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      12-08-2011, 09:10 PM   #5
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This is all 100% correct. In addition, the size of the battery is critical as well. If the car came with, say, an 80Ah battery and you install a 90Ah battery (AGM or wet cell) you'll need to have the car recoded to update the charging map to match the battery size.

Registration is a simple service function within the DME (if you have the proper tools), but changing the battery type or size requires coding which typically requires a visit to a qualified shop.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
I recently had a conversation with a very helpful BMW tech about this, and here's what I learned:

There are two kinds of batteries BMW uses - standard and AGM (Advanced Glass Mat, like Optima, Odyssey, and Kinetic).

The white ones are standard, the black ones are AGM.

Each type of battery has a "charging map" that BMW has created from research. This changes the characteristics of the alternator's output depending on how long the battery has been in the vehicle. This "timer" is what starts when you register the new battery.

HOWEVER:

The car can only hold one "map" at a time. If you have a standard battery (which my car came with) and you upgrade to an AGM battery (which is what I did), then the registration process is NOT sufficient. Your car doesn't have the right map to use for an AGM battery!

You need to recode the car to tell it that you have a AGM battery, so that you can download the new charging map into it, and THEN it knows what to do.

This is also true if your car came with a black AGM battery, and you have downgraded to a standard type battery. You now need to get the car coded for the new battery.

An Autologic shop can do this far easier than the dealer.
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      02-14-2013, 09:26 PM   #6
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Wow, Ive yet to get fully to the bottom of the coding.

it is well known within the battery community that AGM batteries charge and float at different voltages than standard flooded batteries. So swapping an AGM in a location where a flooded battery was would yield a slight undercharge, which would induce sulfation, which reduced capacity and life.

Unless of course you manually kept it charged on a maintenance float charger programmed for AGM at home...

It appears that for $287, a BT scan tool can do the reprogram (telling the module it has a new battery of the same size). Now, a larger battery in the place of a smaller one would get charged at a lower rate, which is actually healthy for lead acid batteries of all kinds, but could lead to a perpetual undercharge. Vice-versa, the smaller battery in place of an OE sized one would not overcharge, but it would charge faster, which would cause excessive gassing and dry-out.

So... while re-registeing can be done easily (Im not entirely sure that the economics is there if it is only a battery life issue, as you can buy a lot of batteries for $287 or the $100 a dealer charges each time), has anyone found a straightforward means of re-coding between AGM and flooded batteries? That is where the main importance is.

That said, I put an AGM in my not so smart 2004 saab back in 2008 and it is still in perfect shape though it has theoretically been undercharged... So a comparable Ah capacity AGM registered as a new flooded battery may be OK.

Still, anyone find a way to easily re-program for anew battery type or size?

Also, has anyone been able to verify if any of the electronic modules in the car have adverse issues if the battery isnt reprogrammed? I would have less of a concern with the battery going bad quickly, since batteries are cheaper than the dealer reprogram... but if it creates issues with the modules' operation, that is an issue.

I assume that the smarts in the alternator INCREASE charging voltage with time to overcome the impedance growth in the battery... Within reason. It would be interesting to see what the "maps" actually are...
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      02-15-2013, 01:06 AM   #7
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there are less expensive cables that will work but the trick is to find which cable.
Mine only costed about 80 a while ago tho and it works
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      02-15-2013, 01:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dknl View Post
there are less expensive cables that will work but the trick is to find which cable.
Mine only costed about 80 a while ago tho and it works
But if I just buy a cheaper cable, what software will I run?

Isnt the BT software part of the package, and the VINs get coded to the cable?

Thanks!

P.S. Have you registered a battery with it?
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      02-15-2013, 07:31 AM   #9
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yes i've done it b4 using my cable
Search... there are tutorials how to do it
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      02-15-2013, 07:55 AM   #10
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b m w c o d i n g. c o m (eliminate the spaces) will give you the information you seek. I paid about $100 for a cable and downloaded the software. I have not had to replace my battery yet but I've programmed my convertible to lower the top with the key fob (I do not have comfort access), I've programmed my car to unlock the doors when I remove the key, my windows roll up if I hold the "raise" button for the top for a few more seconds, etc..

The primary software is NCSExpert. The process is not very intuitive but it is also not very hard. I downloaded a tutorial which I still use when making changes. It is very important to do the right things in the right order. The changes possible for the battery include switching type (mat or wet) and size. But there are not an infinite variety of sizes available.

You'll also need a laptop capable of running software intended for an old PC operating system. It seems like newer operating systems will run it from the reports I've read.

Coding is very frustrating when you do something wrong and it just won't work. When you get it right, it is pretty quick and easy.

Jim
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      02-15-2013, 12:59 PM   #11
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Thanks... I have a fear of the time commitment and messing something up... But it will give me a reason to keep an old XP laptop around!!!
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      02-15-2013, 03:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimD View Post
I paid about $100 for a cable and downloaded the software.
I've seen similar cables on eBay for about $25... Shipped from China... Hmm.
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      02-15-2013, 06:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw1racer View Post
I've seen similar cables on eBay for about $25... Shipped from China... Hmm.
The cheaper cables are likely not to work, do some reading...
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      02-15-2013, 07:31 PM   #14
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The cheaper cables are likely not to work, do some reading...
Yeah, I'm a bit leery... And returning anything to China would be pricey.
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      02-16-2013, 12:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
I recently had a conversation with a very helpful BMW tech about this, and here's what I learned:

There are two kinds of batteries BMW uses - standard and AGM (Advanced Glass Mat, like Optima, Odyssey, and Kinetic).

The white ones are standard, the black ones are AGM.

Each type of battery has a "charging map" that BMW has created from research. This changes the characteristics of the alternator's output depending on how long the battery has been in the vehicle. This "timer" is what starts when you register the new battery.

HOWEVER:

The car can only hold one "map" at a time. If you have a standard battery (which my car came with) and you upgrade to an AGM battery (which is what I did), then the registration process is NOT sufficient. Your car doesn't have the right map to use for an AGM battery!

You need to recode the car to tell it that you have a AGM battery, so that you can download the new charging map into it, and THEN it knows what to do.

This is also true if your car came with a black AGM battery, and you have downgraded to a standard type battery. You now need to get the car coded for the new battery.

An Autologic shop can do this far easier than the dealer.
So, does this mean if you replace the old battery with a new one that is exactly the same, then there should be no need of coding? Ie the dealer have no reason to charge the high labour?
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      02-16-2013, 12:48 AM   #16
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A battery's impedance (ability to source or accept charge) will grow as the battery ages. Note in the quoted text that it states that the map works against how long the battery has been in the vehicle.

My guess is that given: Vt=Voc+I*R under charge, and R (resistance or impedance) is a function of aging (time at temperature, cycles of use, capacity fade, deep discharges, etc.), that as the battery ages, it will try to boost the voltage to some extent to overcome this and get sufficient current into the battery. The problem is that as the voltage goes up, the chances of rapid gassing increase (electrolysis of water), and so then what can happen is that you can prematurely age or overcharge a new battery if it is not reset.

My issue with this is that if the battery has a three year warranty, and fails at two because it wasnt registered, then the risk is entirely upon the store selling the battery, not you. So if it fails early, but the replacement was free, why pay to register? Similarly, if the battery just wont be charged "as optimally", the issue is that a $100 battery that takes a $100 reprogramming had better last >2x as long for there to be an ROI for going to the dealer and getting it done.

Now, the caveat is that if some electronics will go haywire due to a registration not being done, then in the interest of everything being in tip-top shape, why not do it?

A BT can do it, and would pay for itself in three batteries. These cars have pretty high drain so three batteries can be as low as nine years. Many dont keep their cars that long, I intend to. So when the time comes, I may buy the tool... But then again I may not register my battery...
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      02-16-2013, 02:37 AM   #17
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What's BMW dealerships getting on average to re-map these new batteries? Say I buy the same replacement battery and drop it in, how much should they charge to do it? My SA told me 2.5 hours to do so. IDK about you, but I am not paying 400 dollars in labor on a 200 dollar battery....WTF are they doing for almost 3 hours?
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      02-16-2013, 03:04 AM   #18
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I thought it was roughly $100 to just reprogram for the battery (why I have no clue, it should be a few buttons like the maintenance computers, which also use an algorithm, have).

$400 sounds to me like the cost to re-code the car for a different battery, e.g. go from flooded to AGM type battery, since the module apparently gets downloaded, adjusted/recoded and then re-uploaded.

These batteries arent that funky. If an AGM, Id say $200ish, but a regular flooded battery should be around or even sub-$100.

I wouldnt cross the maps between AGM and flooded, as the charge and float voltages ARE different. But Id consider just swapping a flooded battery, especially if it were a slightly bigger one. I know for a fact that a group 49 (MB diesel) battery fits in the mounting area.
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      02-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #19
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      02-16-2013, 01:30 PM   #20
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Right, you got an AGM.

A regular group 94 flooded battery made by Deka or Johnson Controls from a parts store will be far less.

IIRC, I paid ~250 for a deka grp 49 for my 318 a few years ago, and the smaller (94, IIRC) for my saab, also AGM was a bit less than $200. So not a bad price.

Apparently the Autozone platinum is AGM, not sure how it is priced.

You did the right thing to reprogram for the AGM. I wouldnt swap one in willy-nilly since they do need a slightly higher voltage. That said, they are working well for MANY years on my non-smart 91 318i and 04 saab 9-3...

AGM is smart IMO for a trunk mount application...
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      02-14-2014, 12:56 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911A145 View Post
What's BMW dealerships getting on average to re-map these new batteries? Say I buy the same replacement battery and drop it in, how much should they charge to do it? My SA told me 2.5 hours to do so. IDK about you, but I am not paying 400 dollars in labor on a 200 dollar battery....WTF are they doing for almost 3 hours?
Eating while the battery is on a charger charging.... Lol haha who knows man. Stealerships are a rip off. That's why I learn to do everything myself plus it's fun that way!
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      02-14-2014, 07:14 AM   #22
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Eating while the battery is on a charger charging.... Lol haha who knows man. Stealerships are a rip off. That's why I learn to do everything myself plus it's fun that way!
I asked about an agm retrofit, and the labor was low (like an hour), $127 as I recall. It was the battery that cost a ton.

Thing that stinks is that now there are lots of H8/Grp49 agm batteries on the market, all around 110Ah, but agm batteries can only be coded to 90Ah which is a fundamental issue and drives you to a smaller battery. Iirc you can code in a 110Ah flooded battery.

But I thought 1 hr was pretty good, though I don't know how long it takes to load, recode and write back to the car. Was under the impression it was a fairly slow process...
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