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Thread: Battery Registration

  1. #1
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    Battery Registration

    I just replaced my 2001 Z8 Battery with a BMW battery. When i picked up the battery from BMW Parts, the person told me after i install the battery i need to bring it back to BMW to register the battery..said something about not overcharging. Do you know what this is about, and is this something I could do? If yes how?
    Here is some information i found:

    BMW Battery Registration

    The electrical system in late-model BMWs is so sophisticated that it tailors charging as closely as possible to both the type and age of the battery. There’s a computer that controls the alternator. When you replace a battery, this computer really needs to know if you’ve replaced the battery or updated the vehicle from a conventional Lead Acid battery to an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) type; it charges the AGM differently than a traditional battery.
    This process of updating the alternator-control computer is called Battery Registration. Ignoring the registration process after replacing a battery won’t necessarily trigger a Diagnostic Trouble Code or Malfunction Indicator Lamp (‘Check Engine’ or ‘Service Engine Soon’ light). However, be warned that skipping the battery registration process can dramatically shorten the life of a battery in these vehicles and- worse yet- damage components within the entire electrical system.
    We have diagnosed some BMWs with failing batteries installed less than a year simply due to failing to have the battery registered! The charging system often shortens the life of an unregistered battery by charging it too aggressively, especially when it is cold, and sometimes damaging other control units. More than once, we have replaced an alternator that failed prematurely because battery registration was not performed when the vehicle’s battery was replaced.
    Battery Registration informs the vehicle that the battery has been replaced. It completes the following operations:
    · Battery capacity is set to 80%
    · Current Odometer reading are stored
    · Stored battery statistics (current, voltage, battery charge level) are deleted

    · Stored temperature statistics are deleted
    Sandy

  2. #2
    I am not familiar with the registration process. However, it would seem to be relevant primarily if you change from a traditional lead acid battery to an AGM type. Do you know if you changed battery type?

    Bill

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    Thank you. I did not change to an AGM battery. This is the original white BMW battery that i got.
    Sandy

  4. #4
    My guess is no further action is required on your part. I changed my Z8 battery several months ago without dealing with the registration process and have had no issues.

    Bill

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    very good. thank you. sandy

  6. #6
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    Heh. Did you miss the part about "late-model BMWs"? I know, I know: I'm surprised to find myself sixteen years into the New Millennium myself!

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    Hi Satch...Yes i did see that...and was not sure what is defined as "late model" or when the article was written. I am taking my car to the BMW dealership in Asheville, NC to be serviced, and the Service Advisor said it needs to be done...but i am going to raise this. Not sure if he really looked into it...there are 2 other Z8's here they service regularly. SB

  8. #8
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    I asked my mechanic and he says
    "Ha, old news.

    Yes it's necessary on just about every BMW from about 2006 and up. It's very clever and ingenious.

    The DME (DME=Digital Motor Electronics, AKA:engine computer) has a computer controlled wire that goes directly to the alternator. The DME makes decisions about how to control the current output (Amp Hr.) based upon input of several variables (inputs to the DME) of battery temperature, current state of charge, current rate of consumption (how many loads are currently on) and engine speed. Following the table in the DME (an algorithm) the DME will control the voltage regulator to have the output fit the vehicles needs, at the moment.

    Doing all of this requires knowledge of what type of battery is installed, AGM or lead acid, size of the battery and age. Lead acid and AGM have slightly different charging needs. Also an older battery will have slightly different charging profiles needed Vs: a newer one.

    So what we have now is batteries that last some 30-45% longer than they used to, because the charging strategies meet the specific needs of the battery at all times! The downside..... the battery can be absolutely perfect on a cold start in the morning on the way to work. You stop for your morning coffee and bagel and come back out to the car and NOTHING! Because you milked every drop out of the bottle. Old cars would give you a warning of several days of slower than normal cranking, which would make you say to yourself, "Hmm I guess it's time I had that battery looked at."

    There is also a side benefit to all of this monitoring. The BMW specific diagnosis machine (which I have) can pull up a test plan called Energy Diagnosis. I can view the customer's driving profile and see the last 30 days of....
    How many trips less than 10Km
    Number of trips between 11-30 Km.
    Number of trips between 31-100.
    Number of trips over 101Km.

    I can also view the battery state of charge at each one of those points, expressed in a % of charge. EG; 78% 55% etc.
    Additionally all of the current (out-into the battery) is controlled by a closed current monitor. If you lock the car and the car has a control module that doesn't go "to sleep" causing higher than normal current consumption (battery drain) it can force that module to turn itself off. That also is viewable in the energy diagnosis test plan. I can see the number of "closed current violations" and the number of "forced shutdowns". Albeit it doesn't tell me which control unit was forced to turn off. Most newer BMW's now go to sleep in three or four stages.

    You lock the car and walk away. The engine and transmission modules go to sleep right away. Just about most of the rest of the car will be in standby mode, whereas the radio, climate control seat/mirror memory will wait for your return. EG: stopping into Starbucks for a cup of coffee. After about 15 minutes, they shut down. Then some other modules additionally will shut down in another 10 minutes. Finally after about another 10-18 minutes the rest of the car, briefly wakes up, and then immediately goes to sleep altogether. Leaving a 18-24 miliamp draw in the car. It takes about 28-48 minutes for a complete shut down (model/equipment options installed dependent).

    Sometimes water in a control unit will wake one up during the night, or the alarm wakes up for an erroneous reason, like a bad hood switch. The car monitors it, tells me that there was a closed current violation of xxx Ma and followed on by a forced shutdown. Albeit not which control unit or system. That we still have to figure out.

    So onto what I know is your burning question. What happens if you don't register the battery, or put the wrong type of lead acid in when it came with a AGM? The alternator/DME will charge the battery wrong, based on he original registration type/size and you end up with a battery that only lasts the old normal 4 or so years. I am continually amazed sometimes what we pull out of cars these days. Last week we had a Z4 in with a original battery that was 10 years old!

    There you go, more than you ever wanted to know.

    P.S. Some of the newer 7 series and M5's have a new twist on the charging strategy, it's called Efficient Dynamics. The alternator has a one way clutch and a very heavy rotor assembly. The alternator spins up and charging takes place on the coast down. Foot on the gas = low charge, lift off and the alternator freewheels and maximum charging takes place. Rev the car hard (neutral) in the shop and hear the alternator whine as it takes about 30-45 seconds to spin down. This results in about 1-2 more MPG.

    BUT..... here in the USA many people work a very short distance from home and the batteries go dead frequently. Now BMW has what's called the "Customer Care Package". With every oil change (about 15,500 miles) a new battery is installed for free.
    Why? Because if they rewrote the DME software (computer update) to charge the battery on acceleration, they would be afoul of the EPA's mileage statistics. A very HEAVY fine would be levied on them. It's actually cheaper for them to change the batteries (for free) once a year!"

    Joe

  9. #9
    Wowza, now that's a tale to tell!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  10. #10
    Team Z8 Satch's Avatar
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    Indeed! Impressive and very useful information!

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    He is a really good mechanic!

    Joe

  12. #12
    I just replaced my 2002 battery with an AGM battery. They did have to "reprogram" something. The unit was a $500 plus reprogramming cost++.

    One my annual service of my 2015 M6 they replaced the battery as mentiond above. That battery is a $1000. unit! I am happy it was no charge!

  13. #13
    Z8 Guru 2112's Avatar
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    I am curious to know what they Reprogrammed. I have gone thru 2 small Odessey AGM batteries in the last 12 years.
    2000 Red over black
    heavily modified for performance. Although, not to the level of GM's car

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2112 View Post
    I am curious to know what they Reprogrammed. I have gone thru 2 small Odessey AGM batteries in the last 12 years.
    See Post #8

    Joe

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOEA2 View Post
    See Post #8

    Joe
    I saw post # 8 and figured my 2000 MY wasn't included. Then I saw post # 12 and thought, well, maybe it does have something to do with our cars.
    2000 Red over black
    heavily modified for performance. Although, not to the level of GM's car

  16. #16
    I will ask them what they programed for $200...........

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BearZ8 View Post
    I will ask them what they programed for $200...........
    Mucho Gracias
    2000 Red over black
    heavily modified for performance. Although, not to the level of GM's car

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    To add to the confusion on my 2001 Z8, the dealership first said i need to register the new battery then told me it was not required.

  19. #19
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    I'm on my 3rd or 4th OEM battery for my '03 Alpina. This desert eats batteries. I've found the best thing to do here is to change it every 3-4 years BEFORE it dies whether you want to or not. I've had that experience before with this car and it's no fun (long story). Anyway, no one mentioned anything about registering any of those batteries so I think ours don't fit the "late model" definition.
    I've considered changing my battery to AGM. Other than items mentioned in Post #12, any other drawbacks or advantages? Mostly...Will they last longer in the desert around Phoenix than the normal OEM lead acid battery?
    Thanks,
    Terry
    ALPINA #480/555
    62502
    Jet Black/Crema-Black

  20. #20

    Question Programing AGM???

    As for the programing: I talked to the service advisor and did not get a straight answer on what it was they "programed". The shop foreman and service manager are back on Tuesday. I need to go over there so I will see them in person and ask...
    I did install the AGM $$$ battery. I do not think they really changed any programing...for my 2002 Z8.

    I read about the AGM batteries and they seem like they may be a worth while installation. But with all the Z8's a battery tender is really necessary. IMHO

  21. #21
    I replaced my battery at Batteries+ a few years ago and there certainly was no programming involved. No issues (other than having had the first battery replaced free as it died an untimely death, but that could have not had anything to do with a programming). Fine since then.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  22. #22
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    I just remembered something. Buffy got a battery replacement two years ago last April. Then six months or so later, when it was in transit to Amelia Island, that battery was replaced under warranty in Reno. It was an Interstate battery, and all has been fine so far.

    Last year, in addition to the @#%%^! fuel pump, BMW of Greenville (SC) installed a new battery in Nancy Drew. If they had wanted a fee to reprogram anything, I would have slapped somebody.

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