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Hello all. A month or so ago I posted asking about replacing a possibly dying battery. I decided just to wait as the battery continued to perform well after I cleaned it. But, the past few times I drove it this weekend it seemed to be struggling a little on start up. Additionally, the best I could tell it was the original battery (couldn't find any date markings or codes on the battery, but it had BMW stickers on it and nowhere in my extensive service records did I see a new battery; the car is an '02) and the indicator showed "black" indicating it was getting weak.

I had already researched batteries last month and decided a Bosch one from Pep Boys seemed like a good deal. I did a little more searching last night but again decided the Bosch one seemed like the best one for me. I went and picked it up this evening after work.

Part number at Pep Boys is 49-850B, rated at 850 CCA, 120 RC. It has a 3 yr replacement warranty and 96 month pro-rated warranty, and cost me $105 after tax. It fits quite nicely in the battery well. The front/back width and height are very close to the original, allowing the styrofoam top to fit back on the battery. The side-to-side width is ~1.5 to 2 inches less than the original, but an old folded-up towel filled the dead space and made it nice and secure. Also, it has vent holes on both sides so I used the (+) side hole and left the one on the (-) side capped.

One other thing. Just out of curiousity I called the local BMW dealer this morning to see if I could get an OEM battery for even close to the cost of this one. The parts guy quoted me $280 plus tax. I literally chuckled (couldn't help it) over the phone, and I could tell I offended him a little, but I was expecting more like $180-$200, at the most, from what I had read on here. That's a hell of a dealer mark-up.

I'm sure some folks out there will tell me that I should go OEM and that that's not a bad deal for a genuine BMW battery. You could also argue that getting 8 yrs out of the original battery makes it a given that I should go back to another BMW-branded one. But, I just couldn't justify spending 3 times as much on a battery when the one I got has a decent warranty and is made by a reputable company. I guess time will tell.
 

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A battery is a battery. Good to hear you got a good price for an alternative to the OEM battery.
Just be glad the e39 does not require dealer programing of the ECU to 'register' a new battery as the e90's do, otherwise the battery can be overcharged.

BTW, the battery production date is usually stamped on the battery terminal as xx-yy, where xx is the week of production in the year, and yy is the year of production.
 

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awesome! thats what I'll probably end up doing - my battery is original too and the car is an 02
 

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I just bought a new battery yesterday. A Blue...crap...Blue something. Was quoted $294 by BMW, then $219 Napa, $209 Carquest. A friend got me some kinda wholesale deal on this one: $172. $105 is so cheap I'd have to wonder if it'll be ok. Will put mine in sometime this AM
 

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>>>

Can you summarize? How is a Blue Max?
As long as the specs match up to factory, it shouldn't matter very much. I believe CCA is 875, although a lot of folks end up with 850. I don't think that is material on a new battery. The other thing to note is how long will it last with a load on it (like leaving lights/radio on).

At $105, if it only lasted 3 years, I would be pretty happy!

Regards,
Jerry
 

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He was commenting that a "battery IS NOT just a battery." If a battery were a battery then we could all get cheap lawn mower batteries and use those. No, instead we need a battery that is capable of outputting a minimum amount of energy for a given time without dropping below the low ICV for the battery to get our cars started and also have enough reserve capacity to run auxiliary loads in the event of an alternator failure or with the engine secured.
 

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I've been having weird electrical gremlins since I bought the car, and it was only recently someone told me that some (all??) of them could be traced to a weak battery. It just completely died, so we'll see. Need to get offline so I can deal with it.ouich
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
$105 is so cheap I'd have to wonder if it'll be ok.

I was thinking the same thing when I found it. But, its a good name-brand and has the right specs, so I figured it was worth a shot, especially with the 3 yr warranty.

As long as the specs match up to factory, it shouldn't matter very much. I believe CCA is 875, although a lot of folks end up with 850. I don't think that is material on a new battery. The other thing to note is how long will it last with a load on it (like leaving lights/radio on).

This was my thinking. The BMW battery I removed from the car had a 850 CCA rating and a 110 RC (reserve capacity). The Bosch one I bought also has an 850 CCA rating but a 120 RC. Plus, it has the vent hole just like the OEM one. Should work well and so far it has. :)
 

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Look at it like this, any fresh, strong battery must be better than an old, weak battery, oem or not. How you percieve value is up to you, warranty, price etc. If it works and you're happy with what you paid, there can't be much wrong.

OP did get a good price. I paid £80 (about $160 - $170) for one that 'at least' matched the oem specs. IIRC it has a 5yr warranty and is pretty local to me (in fact, it's just next to the dealer!).
 

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Great find Southbound! I don't think anyone here has gone for the Pep Boys battery yet. For $105 I'm on this like white on rice. My battery sight glass is black as well even though the car starts fine.

People don't seem to realize that with that warranty you can't lose. It's probably better than the dealership coverage.
 

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>>>

Can you summarize? How is a Blue Max?
I have never heard of a Blue Max (other than the movie). My point was that you need a battery with 850 CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) or better for an M5. Anything less, will work for a while, but as it ages, it will NOT start the car. And, if you are checking for a bad battery, a regular voltmeter will tell you nothing useful (unless it is totally dead). You must use a device (AutoZone has them for you to borrow) that puts a LOAD on the battery when testing. For example, you can hook 8 AAA batteries to each other (12v) and get a reading on your voltmeter of 12 + volts, but they will NOT start an M5.

Due to the unique size of the M5 battery, for me it is easier to "cough" up the coin for a factory battery ... Porsches have unique battery sizes, too ... than to mess with going all over town to find something that may or may not work for more than a few months. But, that's me.

Since I don't have a dog in this fight, I won't pick battery brands. Just make sure it is a well known brand with 850 CCA.
 

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I have never heard of a Blue Max (other than the movie). My point was that you need a battery with 850 CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) or better for an M5. Anything less, will work for a while, but as it ages, it will NOT start the car. And, if you are checking for a bad battery, a regular voltmeter will tell you nothing useful (unless it is totally dead). You must use a device (AutoZone has them for you to borrow) that puts a LOAD on the battery when testing. For example, you can hook 8 AAA batteries to each other (12v) and get a reading on your voltmeter of 12 + volts, but they will NOT start an M5.

Due to the unique size of the M5 battery, for me it is easier to "cough" up the coin for a factory battery ... Porsches have unique battery sizes, too ... than to mess with going all over town to find something that may or may not work for more than a few months. But, that's me.

Since I don't have a dog in this fight, I won't pick battery brands. Just make sure it is a well known brand with 850 CCA.
>>>

This looks exactly like the OEM but it's, well, blue. Seems to be working just fine. Too early to tell if it's solved any of my gremlins though.
 

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Timely thread, for me anyway.

This past Saturday night, first had issues with display going nuts. (constantly rebooting). Then check rear lights annunciator on display. Got to where I was going, then back home. Next day car wouldn't even unlock with the remote. Opened trunk lid manually, (you know with that shiny thing attached to the car alarm switch); put charger on battery; over 17A draw on 10A max...got all the doors unlocked anyway.

Removed battery, started to charge with charger and fan on charger to keep it cool until it got below 10A. Want to get car started once to make sure that alternator is OK. If so, then off to Pep-Boys for Part number 49-850B.

Interesting that in less than 12 hours the car just would not start. I am sure this is the original battery with the car, or a replacement that is at least 6 years old.

And yes, the most important thing about battery replacement CCA, then terminal location, size etc. You don't want to be kluding up battery connections on this car.
 

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Timely thread, for me anyway.

This past Saturday night, first had issues with display going nuts. (constantly rebooting). Then check rear lights annunciator on display. Got to where I was going, then back home. Next day car wouldn't even unlock with the remote. Opened trunk lid manually, (you know with that shiny thing attached to the car alarm switch); put charger on battery; over 17A draw on 10A max...got all the doors unlocked anyway.

Removed battery, started to charge with charger and fan on charger to keep it cool until it got below 10A. Want to get car started once to make sure that alternator is OK. If so, then off to Pep-Boys for Part number 49-850B.

Interesting that in less than 12 hours the car just would not start. I am sure this is the original battery with the car, or a replacement that is at least 6 years old.

And yes, the most important thing about battery replacement CCA, then terminal location, size etc. You don't want to be kluding up battery connections on this car.
>>>>

Just had similar thing happen. Detailing car, listening to music, when the stereo started sounding real crappy. Shut down. Next AM, car's dead. Charge battery, car starts fine in AM. Next AM, dead.
 

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I got mine at Batteries Plus for something like $179. Exact fit. There is nothing special about the battery from the dealer, other than the extra $100. There are only something like 3 battery manufacturers left in the US. BMW does not ship batteries from Europe to sell through the dealerships. I know nothing about the Pep Boys Bosch battery, but several others available are exact duplicate of the dealer battery, other than the color of the plastic and the lack of the $100 BMW label.
 
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