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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 06-16-2005, 09:46 AM   #1
HOMEP1
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Difficult to Replace Battery?

Hey, I'm not car inclinded, but I would like to know how I can replace my own battery (without going to the dealer). Assuming I buy a Duralast 48 or 49 DL at Autozone. If anyone has the instructions, or just a pointer, please let me know. Thanks...
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:05 AM   #2
Tim30250
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Not too much to it...

Go into the trunk and lift out the spare tire cover. Look all the way to the right and note the plastic battery cover. Remove the two plastic screws holding it down with a flathead screwdriver. Then lift the battery cover off. Battery will now be exposed. Remove the plastic cover over the positive terminal. You should be able to do this with your bare hands. Using a wrench or a socket (10mm IIRC) loosen and remove the negative cable from the battery, and then the positive cable. Finally, there will be a tall screw that attaches the battery to the bottom of the battery tray. You can loosen this with a phillips head screwdriver. Lift out battery, and reverse directions for installation.

It's not a bad job at all. It shouldn't take any more than about 15 or 20 minutes tops, and you'll save over $100 vs. letting the dealership rip you off.

EDIT: I almost forgot, there is a rubber vent tube that will need to be disconnected between the part about the tall screw and lifting out the battery. This just simply pulls off, and you can just simply push it back on the new one. My tube was semi-hidden behind the battery, but it became clearly visible when I tilted the battery just before I lifted it up to remove it.
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Last edited by Tim30250; 06-16-2005 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:33 AM   #3
HOMEP1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim30250
Not too much to it...

Go into the trunk and lift out the spare tire cover. Look all the way to the right and note the plastic battery cover. Remove the two plastic screws holding it down with a flathead screwdriver. Then lift the battery cover off. Battery will now be exposed. Remove the plastic cover over the positive terminal. You should be able to do this with your bare hands. Using a wrench or a socket (10mm IIRC) loosen and remove the negative cable from the battery, and then the positive cable. Finally, there will be a tall screw that attaches the battery to the bottom of the battery tray. You can loosen this with a phillips head screwdriver. Lift out battery, and reverse directions for installation.

It's not a bad job at all. It shouldn't take any more than about 15 or 20 minutes tops, and you'll save over $100 vs. letting the dealership rip you off.

EDIT: I almost forgot, there is a rubber vent tube that will need to be disconnected between the part about the tall screw and lifting out the battery. This just simply pulls off, and you can just simply push it back on the new one. My tube was semi-hidden behind the battery, but it became clearly visible when I tilted the battery just before I lifted it up to remove it.
Great information Tim, I really appriciate it. What did you end up using as your replacement battery, OEM?
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim30250
Not too much to it...

Go into the trunk and lift out the spare tire cover. Look all the way to the right and note the plastic battery cover. Remove the two plastic screws holding it down with a flathead screwdriver. Then lift the battery cover off. Battery will now be exposed. Remove the plastic cover over the positive terminal. You should be able to do this with your bare hands. Using a wrench or a socket (10mm IIRC) loosen and remove the negative cable from the battery, and then the positive cable. Finally, there will be a tall screw that attaches the battery to the bottom of the battery tray. You can loosen this with a phillips head screwdriver. Lift out battery, and reverse directions for installation.

It's not a bad job at all. It shouldn't take any more than about 15 or 20 minutes tops, and you'll save over $100 vs. letting the dealership rip you off.

EDIT: I almost forgot, there is a rubber vent tube that will need to be disconnected between the part about the tall screw and lifting out the battery. This just simply pulls off, and you can just simply push it back on the new one. My tube was semi-hidden behind the battery, but it became clearly visible when I tilted the battery just before I lifted it up to remove it.
Great information Tim, I really appriciate it. What did you end up using as your replacement battery, OEM?
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Old 06-16-2005, 11:03 AM   #5
slow323ci
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The Duralast 49-DL from Autozone is a perfect fit and only about $70. Don't ask them if it will fit, they will say it won't because it's not listed in their all-knowing computer. But they, and their computer, are morons. It's an easy DIY job.

True story - my dad needed a new battery for his 1937 Chevy street rod. Went to autozone and they didn't want to sell him a battery without checking in their computer. The idiot at the counter could not comprehend that in 1937 his car had a 6-volt positive ground electrical system with a generator instead of an alternator. But now has a modern small-block Chevy engine and electrical system. So even if the car was in the computer, it is not what he has anyways. So we just picked out a battery that was the same physical size as the old one and had as many amps as we could find. It's been working perfectly for quie some time now.
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Old 06-16-2005, 11:26 AM   #6
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Great, about to pick one up now! Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by slow323ci
The Duralast 49-DL from Autozone is a perfect fit and only about $70. Don't ask them if it will fit, they will say it won't because it's not listed in their all-knowing computer. But they, and their computer, are morons. It's an easy DIY job.

True story - my dad needed a new battery for his 1937 Chevy street rod. Went to autozone and they didn't want to sell him a battery without checking in their computer. The idiot at the counter could not comprehend that in 1937 his car had a 6-volt positive ground electrical system with a generator instead of an alternator. But now has a modern small-block Chevy engine and electrical system. So even if the car was in the computer, it is not what he has anyways. So we just picked out a battery that was the same physical size as the old one and had as many amps as we could find. It's been working perfectly for quie some time now.
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:56 PM   #7
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jw/ if you could let us kno how it went
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Old 07-23-2005, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim30250
Not too much to it...

Go into the trunk and lift out the spare tire cover. Look all the way to the right and note the plastic battery cover. Remove the two plastic screws holding it down with a flathead screwdriver. Then lift the battery cover off. Battery will now be exposed.
How did you remove the plastic battery cover? I removed the two plastic screws but the plastic cover wouldn't come off. I pulled pretty hard with no luck. I didn't want to break anything and gave up. How did you do it?
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Old 07-24-2005, 10:35 AM   #9
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There are two plastic clips near the part where the spare wheel sits, and then you have to lift up the stiff gray lining near the quarter panel, so you can remove the tray.
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Old 07-25-2005, 02:17 PM   #10
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Not to bring up an old thread, but anyone have pics of where the vent tube goes? I can't tell, and I don't think there ever was a vent tube hooked up with the OEm battery??
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Old 08-19-2005, 07:30 AM   #11
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Thanks for the info guys. My battery died yesterday (58,000 mi) and with the help of you guys and 10 minutes work, I have a new 49-DL from AutoZone. Super easy job thanks to tim30250
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim30250 View Post
Not too much to it...
Just wanted to say thanks for the instructions. I finally changed the battery out at about 78,000mi (2002). No issue with the fitment once I removed the little white box. Like others have said, you may need some sort of spacer on top of the battery so the plate on top screws down securely. Also, the vent tube that comes with the battery (Autozone 49-DL) can be cut slightly so that it doesn't rub against the metal bracket on the side.

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Old 09-21-2009, 10:08 AM   #13
ghorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim30250 View Post
Not too much to it...

Go into the trunk and lift out the spare tire cover. Look all the way to the right and note the plastic battery cover. Remove the two plastic screws holding it down with a flathead screwdriver. Then lift the battery cover off. Battery will now be exposed. Remove the plastic cover over the positive terminal. You should be able to do this with your bare hands. Using a wrench or a socket (10mm IIRC) loosen and remove the negative cable from the battery, and then the positive cable. Finally, there will be a tall screw that attaches the battery to the bottom of the battery tray. You can loosen this with a phillips head screwdriver. Lift out battery, and reverse directions for installation.

It's not a bad job at all. It shouldn't take any more than about 15 or 20 minutes tops, and you'll save over $100 vs. letting the dealership rip you off.

EDIT: I almost forgot, there is a rubber vent tube that will need to be disconnected between the part about the tall screw and lifting out the battery. This just simply pulls off, and you can just simply push it back on the new one. My tube was semi-hidden behind the battery, but it became clearly visible when I tilted the battery just before I lifted it up to remove it.
Thanks for this. Car wouldn't start on Saturday, figured out it was the batt.; got on e46f and found this post within a few minutes. 30 min later, I'm all set! I think it took longer to clean out my trunk than it did to change the batt
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:20 PM   #14
bent00
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E46 Battery replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim30250 View Post
Not too much to it...

Go into the trunk and lift out the spare tire cover. Look all the way to the right and note the plastic battery cover. Remove the two plastic screws holding it down with a flathead screwdriver. Then lift the battery cover off. Battery will now be exposed. Remove the plastic cover over the positive terminal. You should be able to do this with your bare hands. Using a wrench or a socket (10mm IIRC) loosen and remove the negative cable from the battery, and then the positive cable. Finally, there will be a tall screw that attaches the battery to the bottom of the battery tray. You can loosen this with a phillips head screwdriver. Lift out battery, and reverse directions for installation.

It's not a bad job at all. It shouldn't take any more than about 15 or 20 minutes tops, and you'll save over $100 vs. letting the dealership rip you off.

EDIT: I almost forgot, there is a rubber vent tube that will need to be disconnected between the part about the tall screw and lifting out the battery. This just simply pulls off, and you can just simply push it back on the new one. My tube was semi-hidden behind the battery, but it became clearly visible when I tilted the battery just before I lifted it up to remove it.
Our 2002 325i original battery was exhibiting the symptoms described in this forum (headlights flashing when trying to start), so after a jump, we went to the nearest Autozone in Oakland, bought a 49-DL, had the counter guy put it on the charger while I removed the old battery in the parking lot (brought my tool kit with me), took the old one in for the core refund, put in the new one according to the instructions in this thread, cinched a 1/2" piece of wood down to get a tight fit with the battery bracket, we were done in about 20 minutes. Thanks to this forum for giving the confidence and saving us the money over having someone else do it.
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Old 05-30-2010, 03:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tim30250 View Post
Not too much to it...

EDIT: I almost forgot, there is a rubber vent tube that will need to be disconnected between the part about the tall screw and lifting out the battery. This just simply pulls off, and you can just simply push it back on the new one. My tube was semi-hidden behind the battery, but it became clearly visible when I tilted the battery just before I lifted it up to remove it.
I replaced the battery. All went well. The car even seems to accelerate better now. Question.. I accidentally pulled the venting tube right out of the side of the car. And then realizing what I did, shoved it back into the hole it came out of.. Any idea if the end of the tube is attached to anything inside the chassis of the car?? I'm hoping not, as I don't want to leave it like that if it is supposed to be attached to something in there in order to vent properly..
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Old 07-24-2006, 01:15 PM   #16
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I've had my car since november 31, 2001 with currently 45,500 miles on it and I suspect the battery is done. is that about right 4.5 yrs, 45k mile?
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Old 07-24-2006, 01:17 PM   #17
slow323ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bender
I've had my car since november 31, 2001 with currently 45,500 miles on it and I suspect the battery is done. is that about right 4.5 yrs, 45k mile?
If you live in Houston it's a good possibility. When I lived there my cars seemed to eat batteries like crazy. The heat is hard on them.
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Old 07-24-2006, 01:18 PM   #18
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and the dealership wont cover the battery under their 5 yr service warranty? they said they cover everything, even windshield wipers..... i guess a $100 part is considered along the same lines as gasoline when it suits them

Last edited by bender; 07-24-2006 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:05 PM   #19
slow323ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bender
and the dealership wont cover the battery under their 5 yr service warranty? they said they cover everything, even windshield wipers..... i guess a $100 part is considered along the same lines as gasoline when it suits them
Isn't the maintenance service coverage 3 years or 36,000 miles?
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:10 PM   #20
ciello
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convertible has different size of battery compare to coupe
am i right?
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