Home1998-2006 3 Series (E46)BMW E46 Battery Replacement 3 Series - 323i,325i,330i,M3

BMW E46 Battery Replacement 3 Series – 323i,325i,330i,M3

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Repair Summary
This article gives detailed instructions on replacing the battery in a BMW E46 3 series vehicle. Even though we used a 2004 325ci to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any 1998-2006 3 series vehicle with minor modifications to the repair steps.

A BMW E46 battery replacement is very simple and will save you an unnecessary trip to the repair shop.

One of the easiest repairs you can perform on your BMW E46 3 series car is a battery replacement. In fact the toughest part of the repair is lifting the battery in and out of the vehicle. But interestingly enough, many BMW E46 owners still take their vehicles to the repair shop for a new battery.
The batteries in our cars eventually wear out...as sure as death and taxes. The average life span of an automotive battery is about six years, although that number can obviously fluctuate. Extended periods of extreme heat or cold will drastically shorten the life span of your bimmer's battery, as will constant recharging, jumping, and electrical loads whilst the car isn't running (cell phones left plugged in, leaving an interior light on, etc.).
The best place to buy a replacement battery when doing a BMW E46 battery replacement is your local neighborhood auto parts store (including "big box" stores like Walmart and Sam's Club). Don't get sucked into the fallacy that you need to purchase your E46 replacement battery from the BMW dealership. That's complete hogwash. The BMW Repair Guide has been running E46's for years on batteries purchased from our local Advanced Auto Parts store and have never...seriously never...had an issue.
The BMW E46 3 series vehicle was not manufactured with an intelligent battery sensor (IBS). You DO NOT need to register your battery when performing this procedure.
View the video version of this repair.
View the detailed parts diagram for this repair.
Includes detailed part diagrams, part numbers and links to purchase all of the required components needed to complete this repair.
Before starting this repair, you must have the following required parts.
Commonly used in many different models.
9% pure lead AGM battery featuring 2X the power and 3X the life of conventional batteries.
All BMW and MINI vehicles
This Schwaben Battery Charger is designed to work on 6 or 12 volt Lead-acid batteries only, includes WET, MF,AGM and GEL types. Do not use on dry cell batteries commonly used in appliances. Charger features, Charging voltage auto select. Selectable Charging current,8 LED indicators, No risk of overcharging, overheating protection, Short circuit protection.
All BMW and MINI vehicles
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Repair Steps
Section 1 - Removing and Installing the Battery
  1. The battery in your BMW E46 3 series is located in the right (passenger) side of your trunk compartment under the black plastic tray. Remove the plastic tray to gain access to the battery.
  2. To begin the BMW E46 battery replacement, use a 10mm socket wrench to remove the two battery terminals, starting with the negative first. Hold a rag in your hand when removing the negative terminal to avoid any small shocks.bmw e46 battery replacement - loosen the negative terminalbmw e46 battery replacement - loosen and remove the positive terminal
  3. Use a large phillips screwdriver to loosen the top pressure plate.bmw e46 battery replacement - Loosen the top pressure plate
  4. Using a 12mm socket wrench, remove the two bolts securing the roll-over bracket to the body of the vehicle. Remove the bracket.Use a 10mm socket wrench to remove the roll-over bracketRemove the roll-over bracket boltsbmw e46 battery replacement - Remove the roll-over bracket from the vehicle
  5. Remove the battery from the vehicle.bmw e46 battery replacement - Grasp the battery and remove from the vehiclebmw e46 battery replacement - Clean the bottom of the battery compartment
  6. Installation is just the reverse of the above steps.
BMW E46 Battery Replacement Finished
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The Level of Difficulty displays graphically how challenging the repair is, from beginner to expert. Beginner repairs usually require very few tools, have short repair times and are simple to complete for even the most novice of mechanics. As the difficulty level rises expect the repair to demand more time, use more specialized tools, and require a better understanding of mechanics to complete the job.

The Repair Cost graphically displays approximately how expensive the repair will be to perform. The repair cost is defined as the actual money that would need to be spent to purchase required parts and special tools that would not be normally found in the home mechanics garage. Please note that these cost estimates are approximate and can fluctuate based on brand preferences and manufacturer.