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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
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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
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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
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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 06-17-2005, 12:20 PM   #8
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I used the Autozone 49-DL also. It was like $100 less than the dealer battery.
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:22 PM   #9
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I've always wondered:

Why do you remove negative terminal first?
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phita23
I've always wondered:

Why do you remove negative terminal first?
If you remove the positive first, and touch bare metal with the wrench while losening the nut, you get sparks.

If you start with the negative and touch metal, nothing happens. Once the negative is disconnected, it doesn't matter any more if you short the post to metal.
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Old 06-17-2005, 01:11 PM   #11
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Lucky guys .. you have Autozone in your area ... I'm not that lucky..
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Old 06-17-2005, 02:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ca1242
If you remove the positive first, and touch bare metal with the wrench while losening the nut, you get sparks.
I learned that the hard way when I was 17.
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Old 07-23-2005, 03:08 PM   #13
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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   #14
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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   #15
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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   #16
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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 08-19-2005, 07:36 AM   #17
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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
Don't forget to thank this site in general, now go get a membership with all the money you saved.
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:54 AM   #18
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Thanks to this thread, I was just about to go to the dealer and have my battery replaced. You guys rock..
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Old 12-23-2005, 11:03 AM   #19
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I just replaced my battery this week. We bought a new one from BMW of Riverside and it was only $130. I just like to have OEM stuff I guess. My vent tube was on the side where the positive was. The only thing is, there is no tube, just the rubber elbow. So I don't even know where the tube would connect. Is this bad? Should I buy a tube?
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Old 12-23-2005, 11:36 AM   #20
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A few concerns:

1. Is the Autozone 49DL a PERFECT fit in the E46 trunk? Are the height & width identical to OEM?

2. To those who bought OEM Battery from BMW dealer: sorry, you got assraped... The Factory Original battery is made by Varta and is a great battery that lasts 5+ years. The "OEM" unit sold in US dealers is made by Douglas and is $hit compared to Varta. Those will die within 2 years.

3. Make sure to top off the battery w/ distilled h2o every year.

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