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#4511767 - 09/09/17 07:14 PM AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM)
97tbird Offline


Registered: 05/09/03
Posts: 9200
Loc: 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.
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#4511778 - 09/09/17 07:34 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird]
JohnnyJohnson Online   content


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2759
Loc: Wet side WA
BMW's are not engineered to let us peons work on them!
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Out: QSUD 5W-30 Purolator One 5030
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Out: T6 5W-40 M1-303
In: T6 5W-40 XG9100 73752 4-22-18

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#4511784 - 09/09/17 07:43 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird]
rooflessVW Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4061
Loc: North Carolina
Your car will be fine with an AGM installed. Make sure you charge it before you pop it in.

No registration required.
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#4511789 - 09/09/17 07:45 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird]
kpatter Offline


Registered: 08/26/11
Posts: 60
Loc: texas
AGM batteries are perfect for bmw's just have it registered and you are good to go. Had 3 of them.

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#4511794 - 09/09/17 07:50 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: kpatter]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 35878
Loc: 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.
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#4511818 - 09/09/17 08:08 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird]
Pajero Offline


Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 867
Loc: 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!
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#4511819 - 09/09/17 08:08 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: kpatter]
rooflessVW Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4061
Loc: 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.
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#4511833 - 09/09/17 08:31 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird]
CharlieBauer Offline


Registered: 03/29/16
Posts: 1177
Loc: 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.
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#4511846 - 09/09/17 08:45 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird]
97tbird Offline


Registered: 05/09/03
Posts: 9200
Loc: 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.


Edited by 97tbird (09/09/17 08:45 PM)
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#4511851 - 09/09/17 08:49 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird]
CharlieBauer Offline


Registered: 03/29/16
Posts: 1177
Loc: 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.
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#4511871 - 09/09/17 09:09 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird]
THafeez Offline


Registered: 08/15/16
Posts: 651
Loc: 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.
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#4511896 - 09/09/17 09:48 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird]
saginawmale50 Offline


Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 66
Loc: 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.

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#4511929 - 09/09/17 10:30 PM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: saginawmale50]
kc8adu Offline


Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 894
Loc: 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.

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#4512019 - 09/10/17 04:23 AM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: 97tbird]
alex_at Offline


Registered: 05/31/16
Posts: 118
Loc: 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.

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#4512022 - 09/10/17 04:45 AM Re: AGM battery in BMW E46 or not? (OE was not AGM) [Re: alex_at]
rooflessVW Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4061
Loc: 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!
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