WWYD - 7y old AGM battery still shows 85% of rated CCA

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Oct 6, 2020
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I was quoted $400.00 and change for a new AGM battery installed in my Jeep, from a local dealer here in town. I bought the best AGM battery at Autozone that was an exact fit, with more CCA and a one year longer warranty for $205.00. They even offered to install it for me.

So if he was quoted $550.00 for a replacement battery from a BMW dealership, that's in the ballpark. They don't call these places "Stealerships" for nothing.
The battery has to be registered, too. And there is a ton of stupid connectors to remove and reinstall. And it's BMW. Everything is expensive, because some people will pay that
 
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True, but you shouldn't have to do any of it.
Luddite.

I don’t fault BMW for expecting one to “register” a new battery with the vehicle, only for the difficulty and demand one pay a BMW dealer for the service. Is something that shouldn’t be much more difficult than reset of a trip odometer. But it is BMW so even an oil change is difficult.

Ford does similar, but with free and minimal cost tools such as Forscan we are not at the dealer’s mercy. Plus, there is a better understanding of why Ford does so. The Ford ECU apparently tracks battery life. Will charge an older battery with a different algorithm. It wants to know the approximate Ah of a new battery. And whether AGM or wet. The vehicle works if one simply yanks out an old battery and replaces with new, but then one is deprived of something of value the designers felt worth providing.
 
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Luddite.

I don’t fault BMW for expecting one to “register” a new battery with the vehicle, only for the difficulty and demand one pay a BMW dealer for the service. Is something that shouldn’t be much more difficult than reset of a trip odometer. But it is BMW so even an oil change is difficult.

Ford does similar, but with free and minimal cost tools such as Forscan we are not at the dealer’s mercy. Plus, there is a better understanding of why Ford does so. The Ford ECU apparently tracks battery life. Will charge an older battery with a different algorithm. It wants to know the approximate Ah of a new battery. And whether AGM or wet. The vehicle works if one simply yanks out an old battery and replaces with new, but then one is deprived of something of value the designers felt worth providing.
Oil change is easy. If you have the right tools, it takes about 2 minutes to register a battery. And if you don't register it, the battery won't last long. The alternator will overcharge it.
 
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No. I just don't believe in turning the installation of a new battery into a Moon shot. That's ridiculous.

Every battery I've ever purchased has been "registered to the vehicle". And came with a receipt showing when it was purchased. Nothing more is required.

If BMW wants to over complicate this process so they can try to justify charging over 3 times more for a car battery, they're not going to have me as a customer.

That's not being a, "Luddite". It's called being sensible with money. And not over paying for a bunch of nonsense.
 
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Napa, CA.
Not sure where you heard we only have a $5 core charge. It’s typically about $20 here too.

But I’m not sure why you are so obsessed with getting a Deka battery.

Like, it’s 3x the price but it’s not going to be 3x as good.
 
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....dealer warranty replacement battery PN 61212353812, AGM 92AH 850CCA group 49, installed in 2015.....
How much of the "active material" on the battery plates has been lost to sulfation? In other words how much of that 92Ah capacity is available in your old battery?
 
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The fact of the matter is that it's great you were able to get 7 years out of your old AGM battery. You definitely got your money's worth out of it, that's for sure.

Now the question becomes how much longer is it worth it to keep pushing it before it takes a dump, stranding you? All it takes is for you to get stranded once, and have to call for a jump, and all that economy you gained by pushing a dying battery goes right out the window. Especially if you call a BMW dealer to come and save the day.

I understand it's a BMW, and they for whatever reason, think their batteries should be sold at Tiffany's and Cartier because they're so valuable, but they're still batteries, and they have a finite life of dependability. Regardless of how overpriced they are.

I have a 2018 Toyota that has a flooded acid battery that's slowly going after almost 5 years out here in the desert. I've never had a battery go that long out here. I keep it on a battery maintainer while it sits in the garage. And it's only used for short trips into town and back.

My wife and I are both retired, so if it takes a dump she or I can take the other car and come and get the other. I'm getting tired of driving around on borrowed time, so I'm going to bite the bullet and replace it. It's better than crossing your fingers everytime you turn the key with an old, decrepit battery under the hood.
 

FZ1

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Although prices have improved a little since the height of COVID, a Deka replacement for this battery still runs about $550-600 + tax in my market. Winter is coming, and I'm wondering if I *really* need that replacement just yet or if this is one of those cases where a well maintained AGM battery lasts a very long time. Curious WWYD.

Application: BMW F10, dealer warranty replacement battery PN 61212353812, AGM 92AH 850CCA group 49, installed in 2015.

The vehicle overnights in my garage 99% of the time. I have a wall mounted CTEK MXS which gets connected overnight often. The vehicle itself reports that most of its life the battery SoC is >80%, and has never dipped below 60% for any length of time. I do not have an auto start/stop function.

If I top up most of the way with the CTEK, give it a couple of hours and a bit of load to remove surface charge, my Solar BA9 says 12.71V 725-730CCA @ ~70F

Yes, this battery owes me nothing. It's 7 years old. But, $600? Discard something perfectly useful? Because the BA9 is fairly new to me, I don't have readings from when the battery was new. By my math this battery calculates out to a SoH of ~85%. But for all I know it would have read 1000CCA on the BA9 when it was new, making it more like 70% SoH. Assuming the BA9's testing method can really be trusted...

I used the cranking test on the BA9 earlier today as well. If I read it right it stayed above 12V during cranking. I might play with that a little more to be certain. Last November with this battery I performed a maintenance procedure that required oil system priming. It cranked the engine for 60s over a couple of minutes (cool down breaks) with full compression (plugs in, injectors disconnected) and I think it held 11 or better the whole time.
So the charger can only charge the battery to 85%? See if the dealer will pro rate the battery for a better price? The price is waaay too high as pointed out, above. If the battery is not turning the engine over as always, then, you want to replace it for a reasonable price.
 
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I’d run the thing. But then I think this idea of preemptive battery replacement is insane unless it’s mission critical… and by mission critical I mean someone is gonna die if it fails..
 
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Apr 15, 2010
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True, but you shouldn't have to do any of it.
With BMW there's the IBS system which monitors the age of the battery and dictates the amount of charge it receives. That's why we're talking about a 7 yr old AGM at 85% rather than a 5 yr old battery that's dying.

The battery also contains the BST which houses co2 charge to disconnect the starter cable at the battery in the even the front air bags go off.
 
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Luddite.

I don’t fault BMW for expecting one to “register” a new battery with the vehicle, only for the difficulty and demand one pay a BMW dealer for the service. Is something that shouldn’t be much more difficult than reset of a trip odometer. But it is BMW so even an oil change is difficult.

Ford does similar, but with free and minimal cost tools such as Forscan we are not at the dealer’s mercy. Plus, there is a better understanding of why Ford does so. The Ford ECU apparently tracks battery life. Will charge an older battery with a different algorithm. It wants to know the approximate Ah of a new battery. And whether AGM or wet. The vehicle works if one simply yanks out an old battery and replaces with new, but then one is deprived of something of value the designers felt worth providing.
AUTOZONE/Advance AP clerk can register a BMW battery with a scan tool. It's not all that technically difficult.
 
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Joined
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Although prices have improved a little since the height of COVID, a Deka replacement for this battery still runs about $550-600 + tax in my market. Winter is coming, and I'm wondering if I *really* need that replacement just yet or if this is one of those cases where a well maintained AGM battery lasts a very long time. Curious WWYD.

Application: BMW F10, dealer warranty replacement battery PN 61212353812, AGM 92AH 850CCA group 49, installed in 2015.

The vehicle overnights in my garage 99% of the time. I have a wall mounted CTEK MXS which gets connected overnight often. The vehicle itself reports that most of its life the battery SoC is >80%, and has never dipped below 60% for any length of time. I do not have an auto start/stop function.

If I top up most of the way with the CTEK, give it a couple of hours and a bit of load to remove surface charge, my Solar BA9 says 12.71V 725-730CCA @ ~70F

Yes, this battery owes me nothing. It's 7 years old. But, $600? Discard something perfectly useful? Because the BA9 is fairly new to me, I don't have readings from when the battery was new. By my math this battery calculates out to a SoH of ~85%. But for all I know it would have read 1000CCA on the BA9 when it was new, making it more like 70% SoH. Assuming the BA9's testing method can really be trusted...

I used the cranking test on the BA9 earlier today as well. If I read it right it stayed above 12V during cranking. I might play with that a little more to be certain. Last November with this battery I performed a maintenance procedure that required oil system priming. It cranked the engine for 60s over a couple of minutes (cool down breaks) with full compression (plugs in, injectors disconnected) and I think it held 11 or better the whole time.
I would keep doing what you're doing. Interesting on the price.

I think East Penn (Deka) makes the replacement batteries for North American BMW dealers.
 
Last edited:

Craig in Canada

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Apr 6, 2006
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Hello all:

I did ask WWYD, so lots of opinions and discussion is perfectly valid and welcome. I'm going to clear up a couple of things though. The question posed was whether folks thought THIS battery was bad enough to warrant doing something I don't want to do (e.g. buy a brand I don't want, pay a ridiculous amount, or shop in the US and void my battery warranty) or just keep on driving until prices normalize.


1/ $550, $780 and other such prices for a car battery ARE completely ridiculous. I agree with you. That is one of the whole points causing me not to have an obvious path forward. Nevertheless those are the prices being asked in my market whether you think them ridiculous or not. Nowhere am I arguing that East Penn is worth $780, or that BMW batteries are great.

2/ Other than the fact that the current battery was installed under warranty for $0, nowhere have I said I want a BMW battery, ever go to the BMW dealer for anything, or feel that BMW batteries are special. Does my original post, or any of my other posts, sound like I'm a "take it to the dealer for everything" kind of guy? No sure what painted this picture that keeps coming up.

3/ I have no issue with battery registration, re-coding to change the capacity or anything like that. In my opinion, every DIYer's toolbox needs some electronic tools these days or they simply don't have a complete toolbox. I see far too many posts where people are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid using a laptop or smartphone with a $3 cable to do something properly. Complaining about change has been the same generation after generation. If forums existed at the time there would be people grumbling about port fuel injection and how we should have kept carbs. Now port injection is the good old days. Lather, rinse and repeat for every tehnological advance. This stuff doesn't phase me, but I'm not paying someone else to do it for me either. I have (mostly) accumulated the right tech and know-how and none of this factors into the price.

Based on what I know, I bet that the BMW IBS system (and those like it) have saved hundreds of thousands or millions of people from no-start stranding because of leaving the interior light on, faulty modules or whatever other reason. The Internet is full of people posting how "this" happened, now "suddenly" every start there's this error message "discharging while stopped" etc...etc... Lots of these folks were just saved from needing a boost or permanently killing their battery and they don't know it, they're just annoyed by the error message.

4/ East Penn. Yes, I am specifically looking for East Penn, just like droves of other people do here too. I have a lifetime of issues with non-East Penn batteries and I'm shopping with intent. In the 90s I had no choice but to buy a battery from a parts store close to where I broke down - I bought the best they had with the best warranty and had to replace it every year because I'd come out of a store and one cell would be shorted. I think it was an Exide under the label. Threw it out eventually, warranty and all. Another car I put JCI/Interstate in liked to leak in the trunk and caused damage. I got a replacement and it leaked too. I started finding similar stories online about Interstate MTPs. Got an East Penn - no more leaks. Charging system was fine.

This forum is full of threads on finding East Penn, how to pick East Penns out at big box stores by serial number codes or the way the plastic caps are shaped. I'm not the only one shopping for something specific. Remember this is a forum full of people searching for the best POE-based oil to lubricate their cup holders. I know it's also full of people who buy a car for $100 and keep it going for 12 years with tie-wraps and duct tape with one working brake. Sure, I'm exaggerating on both counts, but I'm shopping for what I'm shopping for. And there's lots of people who have had "no problems" with other brands too - I get it.

5/ I'm not shopping based on warranty - I'd rather not need it at all in the routine lifetime of the battery. If I am in dire need of a replacement, then I might need to bend on my brand choice from East Penn, to something that "might be" East Penn. I would like a warranty to cover true manufacturing defects and infant mortality. I am not seeking an "insurance policy" style warranty for 84 months or similar. I would like to buy quality and take good care of it, not pay just for longer warranties. My Exide from the 90s had a fantastic warranty and died annually.

6/ @FZ1 To clarify: 85% was state of HEALTH, not state of CHARGE. The BA9 asks you to enter the rated CCA of the battery before performing the test and does a cheesy SoH calculation. In that test I quoted SoC was 95% and SoH was calculated at 85% (720 CCA measured / 850 rated)

7/ @BMWTurboDzl The BST is in the positive terminal so not a factor in battery shopping. Interesting you heard the dealer network's batteries were EP, but I see no way to confirm that. They used to be Douglas once upon a time. They're a different colour, have no specific markings, and don't seem to share the same cap style. Plus, I can't just walk into a dealer and browse at the shelf. Maybe I'll ask if they have them in the shop and they aren't "special order", but I bet their price is terrible too. This isn't a personal attack, but lots of people seem to "think" this label or that label is actually East Penn. In most cases I've found that what's under the label changes from time to time and at one time in the past it was "probably" an East Penn but now it's something else. I talked with someone else who thinks Canadian Tire batteries are East Penn right now. I went and looked at one and there's no indication (like there is at Walmart in the US with the serial numbers).

8/ Absolutely - a road trip to the US to buy a battery over the counter is one of my possibilities, and EXACTLY what I was entertaining doing if I decided to get one right now. One catch is - I will have NO warranty unless I drive back down there to claim. Not preferable, but they are a lot cheaper down there.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
8,738
Location
Atlanta,GA
Hello all:

I did ask WWYD, so lots of opinions and discussion is perfectly valid and welcome. I'm going to clear up a couple of things though. The question posed was whether folks thought THIS battery was bad enough to warrant doing something I don't want to do (e.g. buy a brand I don't want, pay a ridiculous amount, or shop in the US and void my battery warranty) or just keep on driving until prices normalize.


1/ $550, $780 and other such prices for a car battery ARE completely ridiculous. I agree with you. That is one of the whole points causing me not to have an obvious path forward. Nevertheless those are the prices being asked in my market whether you think them ridiculous or not. Nowhere am I arguing that East Penn is worth $780, or that BMW batteries are great.

2/ Other than the fact that the current battery was installed under warranty for $0, nowhere have I said I want a BMW battery, ever go to the BMW dealer for anything, or feel that BMW batteries are special. Does my original post, or any of my other posts, sound like I'm a "take it to the dealer for everything" kind of guy? No sure what painted this picture that keeps coming up.

3/ I have no issue with battery registration, re-coding to change the capacity or anything like that. In my opinion, every DIYer's toolbox needs some electronic tools these days or they simply don't have a complete toolbox. I see far too many posts where people are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid using a laptop or smartphone with a $3 cable to do something properly. Complaining about change has been the same generation after generation. If forums existed at the time there would be people grumbling about port fuel injection and how we should have kept carbs. Now port injection is the good old days. Lather, rinse and repeat for every tehnological advance. This stuff doesn't phase me, but I'm not paying someone else to do it for me either. I have (mostly) accumulated the right tech and know-how and none of this factors into the price.

Based on what I know, I bet that the BMW IBS system (and those like it) have saved hundreds of thousands or millions of people from no-start stranding because of leaving the interior light on, faulty modules or whatever other reason. The Internet is full of people posting how "this" happened, now "suddenly" every start there's this error message "discharging while stopped" etc...etc... Lots of these folks were just saved from needing a boost or permanently killing their battery and they don't know it, they're just annoyed by the error message.

4/ East Penn. Yes, I am specifically looking for East Penn, just like droves of other people do here too. I have a lifetime of issues with non-East Penn batteries and I'm shopping with intent. In the 90s I had no choice but to buy a battery from a parts store close to where I broke down - I bought the best they had with the best warranty and had to replace it every year because I'd come out of a store and one cell would be shorted. I think it was an Exide under the label. Threw it out eventually, warranty and all. Another car I put JCI/Interstate in liked to leak in the trunk and caused damage. I got a replacement and it leaked too. I started finding similar stories online about Interstate MTPs. Got an East Penn - no more leaks. Charging system was fine.

This forum is full of threads on finding East Penn, how to pick East Penns out at big box stores by serial number codes or the way the plastic caps are shaped. I'm not the only one shopping for something specific. Remember this is a forum full of people searching for the best POE-based oil to lubricate their cup holders. I know it's also full of people who buy a car for $100 and keep it going for 12 years with tie-wraps and duct tape with one working brake. Sure, I'm exaggerating on both counts, but I'm shopping for what I'm shopping for. And there's lots of people who have had "no problems" with other brands too - I get it.

5/ I'm not shopping based on warranty - I'd rather not need it at all in the routine lifetime of the battery. If I am in dire need of a replacement, then I might need to bend on my brand choice from East Penn, to something that "might be" East Penn. I would like a warranty to cover true manufacturing defects and infant mortality. I am not seeking an "insurance policy" style warranty for 84 months or similar. I would like to buy quality and take good care of it, not pay just for longer warranties. My Exide from the 90s had a fantastic warranty and died annually.

6/ @FZ1 To clarify: 85% was state of HEALTH, not state of CHARGE. The BA9 asks you to enter the rated CCA of the battery before performing the test and does a cheesy SoH calculation. In that test I quoted SoC was 95% and SoH was calculated at 85% (720 CCA measured / 850 rated)

7/ @BMWTurboDzl The BST is in the positive terminal so not a factor in battery shopping. Interesting you heard the dealer network's batteries were EP, but I see no way to confirm that. They used to be Douglas once upon a time. They're a different colour, have no specific markings, and don't seem to share the same cap style. Plus, I can't just walk into a dealer and browse at the shelf. Maybe I'll ask if they have them in the shop and they aren't "special order", but I bet their price is terrible too. This isn't a personal attack, but lots of people seem to "think" this label or that label is actually East Penn. In most cases I've found that what's under the label changes from time to time and at one time in the past it was "probably" an East Penn but now it's something else. I talked with someone else who thinks Canadian Tire batteries are East Penn right now. I went and looked at one and there's no indication (like there is at Walmart in the US with the serial numbers).

8/ Absolutely - a road trip to the US to buy a battery over the counter is one of my possibilities, and EXACTLY what I was entertaining doing if I decided to get one right now. One catch is - I will have NO warranty unless I drive back down there to claim. Not preferable, but they are a lot cheaper down there.
The US has more information available with regards to SKU, Manufacturing part no, etc.
Even EP corporate website notates which brands they sell under.

FWIW with regards to the battery in question it appears that only EP uses the same case design as the BMW dealer replacement.


Your current battery is fine. Keep running it.

I've tried finding additional information on the dealer replacement battery but it's difficult. These batteries apparently sit at 85% all the time.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
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3,595
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Craig lives near Toronto and it doesn't get very cold there. He's taking good care of that battery. The regular top up with the CTEK is a good idea. The battery is working fine, just getting old.

As my cousin (now dead) used to say. "Keep it going. Think how much longer the new (whatever) will last."

I put a Canadian Tire properly vented, proper size AGM battery in my BMW 528i a few years ago. Not too expensive and did the job just fine. They installed it so presumably they know how to do any required "registering". Canadian Tire has to install a battery for their (very good) warranty to apply anyway. If you're really nervous about that battery, at least wait for a good sale at Canadian Tire. Should be +/- $300 Cdn.

But I'd keep it going.
 
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