Replacing the battery in your BMW or Mini doesn't have to be confusing. The original batteries are known to last a lot longer than people expect, but when it finally causes a breakdown people often only consider the upfront cost.
Installing the wrong battery may end up costing you more in the long run. Often undervalued, the battery is one of the most important components in your vehicle which can cause more than just a breakdown.
BMWs and Minis can come with a regular wet cell, EFB (Enhanced Flooded Battery), AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) or Lithium battery.
Wet cell regular genuine: Easily identified by a white casing with a white top. Used in most pre-2006 models and pre-2010 Minis.
EFB genuine: Identified by a white casing and black top, sometimes with EFB marked on the top label. These came into circulation with the F series Mini, X1 onwards (roughly 2014 onwards).
AGM genuine: Identified by a black casing with black top
Lithium genuine: Only fitted to selected M cars (F80/82/83)
Whether you replace it with another genuine BMW battery or an equivalent from your favourite auto parts store, the most important things to remember are:
- Make sure you replace it like for like. ie. Replace and AGM type battery with an AGM only
- Make sure the replacement battery is of equal Ah rating
- Make sure the battery is from a reputable brand and has a warranty that covers your type of vehicle (idle stop/start, intelligent alternator control, etc)
- Insist on having the Battery Registration procedure carried out
Yes, you can fit an AGM in place of an EFB and vice versa, but the DME/DDE (Digital Motor Electronics/Digital Diesel Electronics aka engine control unit) must be coded accordingly.
Yes, you can fit a regular wet battery of the same Ah rating in a vehicle originally equipped with an EFB or AGM, but it will likely fail shortly after. The manufacturer's warranty may also not cover use of such batteries in vehicles not specified for it. This is because vehicles that require EFB or AGM batteries place different stresses on the battery.
EFB and AGM are not just for idle stop/start equipped models. BMW Efficient Dynamics strategies reduces alternator load on the engine when accelerating, and instead loads up the alternator when you're coasting. This wouldn't be possible without the correct battery.
No, you don't need to replace it with a genuine BMW or Mini battery but in our experience, they do last noticeably longer than any battery you can get from your local parts shop. Take a look at the negative post on your original battery - the lower row of digits is the last two digits of the year of manufacture.
Not all stores can carry out the Battery Registration procedure - a vital procedure to ensure the control unit knows the battery has been replaced, resets all the battery monitors and ensures it is charged like a new battery.
We offer this as a $79 mobile service in Sydney. We can also replace your AGM or EFB battery with a new genuine BMW battery or Century, SuperCharge, Varta quality equivalent. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to make a booking.