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AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) #4511767
09/09/17 07:14 PM
09/09/17 07:14 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 9,200
Fayetteville, NC
97tbird Offline OP
97tbird  Offline OP
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 9,200
Fayetteville, NC
Car is a 2005 BMW E46. Factory/regular battery is a traditional (not AGM) battery.
I've read about some advantages of AGM batteries.

Advance Auto and Autozone both have AGM (and traditional) batteries for my car (H7 size).

Are there any disadvantages or problems in using an AGM battery in a car that didn't use an AGM battery from the factory?
Are there any special maintenance requirements when using an AGM battery?


**BTW Both AZ and AA have disclaimers when searching for batteries for my car: IDK if they'll refuse to install this:

"REQUIRES PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION; Battery is vented to outside; Computer must be reset; See manual for safe installation; 30 minute Install; Battery in trunk; DO NOT attempt to install batteries in this vehicle. The battery information must be reset in the power management system.; Please inform customers and recommend that they have their battery replaced at an authorized BMW dealership/shop."

I am pretty sure "The computer must be reset / battery information must be reset in the power management system" part is non-sense, as no such procedure is needed in an E46 (I've had regular batteries installed before at Walmart but not at AA or AZ). I think all that resetting/reprogramming stuff is only for E90 gen and later.


Sufficiently Caffeinated...
Cars: 1997 Thunderbird v8 sports(sold), 2003 Elantra GLS, 2005 BMW 330Ci ZHP, 2014 Mazda 6 Touring
Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird] #4511778
09/09/17 07:34 PM
09/09/17 07:34 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,209
Wet side WA
JohnnyJohnson Offline
JohnnyJohnson  Offline
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,209
Wet side WA
BMW's are not engineered to let us peons work on them!


2004 Corolla 124705
Out: VML 5w-30 TG4967 OCI 5007 Miles
In: EDGE EP 5W-30 Bosch 3311 122537 7-18-18
2006 Duramax 74277
Out: T6 5W-40 M1-303
In: T6 5W-40 XG9100 74705 4-22-18
Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird] #4511784
09/09/17 07:43 PM
09/09/17 07:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
rooflessVW Online content
rooflessVW  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
Your car will be fine with an AGM installed. Make sure you charge it before you pop it in.

No registration required.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird] #4511789
09/09/17 07:45 PM
09/09/17 07:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 66
texas
kpatter Offline
kpatter  Offline
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 66
texas
AGM batteries are perfect for bmw's just have it registered and you are good to go. Had 3 of them.

Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: kpatter] #4511794
09/09/17 07:50 PM
09/09/17 07:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 36,288
Great Lakes
Quattro Pete Offline
Quattro Pete  Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 36,288
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: kpatter
just have it registered and you are good to go.

If his E46 is anything like my E39, there is nothing to register, but he will lose some of his settings (radio, avg. mpg, trip meter, etc.), unless he connects another source of power while he swaps the battery out.


'02 530i (Edge 0W-40)
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Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird] #4511818
09/09/17 08:08 PM
09/09/17 08:08 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 953
Rio Rancho, NM
Pajero Offline
Pajero  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 953
Rio Rancho, NM
AGM are good batteries. I would get a Odyssey battery. They are expensive but are dependable and have a 7 year warranty. Stay away from Auto Zone batteries. Had bad experiences, but that is me.

Good hunting!


Always remember "Planned obsolescence."

1994 Montero SR 3.5 DOHC, 133,xxx
Fram Ultra/ Snorkel with Pre-filter
K-9-Co-pilot
Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: kpatter] #4511819
09/09/17 08:08 PM
09/09/17 08:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
rooflessVW Online content
rooflessVW  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: kpatter
AGM batteries are perfect for bmw's just have it registered and you are good to go. Had 3 of them.

His car does not require battery registration.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird] #4511833
09/09/17 08:31 PM
09/09/17 08:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,226
CA
CharlieBauer Offline
CharlieBauer  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,226
CA
The AAP AGM, which is a JCI, has something in it to limit charging voltage. I think they've recognized this will help it in retrofit situations.

I would get one if the price differential isn't substantially different.

Also, having a trunk location and periodically checking it / making sure it is topped up, raises the possibility of a very long life.


It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so.

- mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain
Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird] #4511846
09/09/17 08:45 PM
09/09/17 08:45 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 9,200
Fayetteville, NC
97tbird Offline OP
97tbird  Offline OP
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 9,200
Fayetteville, NC
Thanks for the comments so far.
(and no, my car doesn't need any type of "registering")

Price difference is about $20 more for the AGM vs regular.

I think I will go with the AAP AGM; I can order online, and I have an AAP close to me. I found an online coupon for AAP too.

I already called the local AAP about the disclaimer and the guy said he has no problem doing it if I can bring the car in with the panels removed that covers the battery area. (which I can do).

However as the car doesn't start at all right now, I have to jump the car using my jump starter/booster pack (The car has engine bay terminals for charging/jumping). If that doesn't work, I might have to go get the battery and install it myself.

Last edited by 97tbird; 09/09/17 08:45 PM.

Sufficiently Caffeinated...
Cars: 1997 Thunderbird v8 sports(sold), 2003 Elantra GLS, 2005 BMW 330Ci ZHP, 2014 Mazda 6 Touring
Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird] #4511851
09/09/17 08:49 PM
09/09/17 08:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,226
CA
CharlieBauer Offline
CharlieBauer  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,226
CA
Go get the battery yourself and hand in the current one while you're at it.

Better not to have the alternator trying to charge a faulty battery and it sounds like you have to do most of the work yourself anyway.

You can also put the new battery on a charger before installing it.


It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so.

- mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain
Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird] #4511871
09/09/17 09:09 PM
09/09/17 09:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 654
New Jersey
THafeez Offline
THafeez  Offline
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 654
New Jersey
I had an 03 325xi whose battery [censored] out too. Engine bay terminals were junk probably from time, if not hack mechanics. Point is, you can install it yourself in 15 minutes. Jump the car from the trunk. Fastest way to do it. I wouldn't risk jumping it and then taking it to the store unless you reallly don't want to install it yourself.


2004 Toyota Solara SE 2.4 2AZFE
182,000 miles
Castrol Magnatec Semi-Syn 5W30
Royal Purple 20-400 oversize 2nd run
Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird] #4511896
09/09/17 09:48 PM
09/09/17 09:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 70
saginaw michigan
saginawmale50 Offline
saginawmale50  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 70
saginaw michigan
I would not. AGM batteries have different charging profiles than regular wet-cells. Its really easy to burn one up by overcharging. Stick to OEM spec.

Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: saginawmale50] #4511929
09/09/17 10:30 PM
09/09/17 10:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 905
dayton oh
kc8adu Offline
kc8adu  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 905
dayton oh
depending in the alloy used they are very close to wet.
some actually want slightly higher voltage.
the optima redtop in my workvan is over 15 years now.and there were no agm auto batteries when it was made.
Originally Posted By: saginawmale50
I would not. AGM batteries have different charging profiles than regular wet-cells. Its really easy to burn one up by overcharging. Stick to OEM spec.

Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird] #4512019
09/10/17 04:23 AM
09/10/17 04:23 AM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 120
Vienna, Austria
alex_at Offline
alex_at  Offline
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 120
Vienna, Austria
be aware that AGM batteries can't hold their charge over long periods of time, I have a 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton which has a regular starter battery and an AGM battery for powering all the extras.

During winter storage, the AGM battery goes completely flat within a few weeks, the regular starter battery still holds more than enough power to start the vehicle even after sitting for a few months.

Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: alex_at] #4512022
09/10/17 04:45 AM
09/10/17 04:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
rooflessVW Online content
rooflessVW  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,738
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: alex_at
be aware that AGM batteries can't hold their charge over long periods of time, I have a 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton which has a regular starter battery and an AGM battery for powering all the extras.

During winter storage, the AGM battery goes completely flat within a few weeks, the regular starter battery still holds more than enough power to start the vehicle even after sitting for a few months.

From one Phaeton owner to another, you may want to look into what is causing your drain. I once let mine sit for almost a month (I forgot to connect the Battery Tender) and both batteries were still at a reasonable voltage. Even now, my VPS battery is original to the car!


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
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