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Old 31st August 2016, 12:11   #1
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Default BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

I recently replaced the battery on my 2012 BMW X1 with an aftermarket exide unit.
All was fine and I sent the car for service to the BMW service centre (Infinity cars, Turbhe, Nave Mumbai) and I get a quotation of Rs. 45,000 for a battery and Rs. 40,000 for a footwell module.

I asked the SA about these and he said that 'local' batteries cause issues with the car's electronics and hence this 'frm' module has to be replaced (it controls the windows, lights, etc.)! He claimed that BMW only uses AGM batteries and I must replace this 'local' battery with a BMW AGM battery immediately. The interesting part is that all these windows and lights worked perfectly well before the car went to the service centre.

I researched and found that BMW indeed uses AGM batteries and that on replacing a battery one needs to reprogram a charge controller on the car. This wasn't done on my car.

However, I fail to understand as to how a new battery (any type) can foul with an ECU on the car?

I am paying them a surprise right now to see if what they claim is correct. Would appreciate if someone with any knowledge of this could shed some light.
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Old 31st August 2016, 12:58   #2
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Default re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

How long have you been driving with the new lead acid battery? BMW Forums say you need to reprogram the charge controller when you change the battery according to its age and type (AGM or lead acid).

Some sources online say battery life is diminished if you dont do it. Can't you ask the service center to reprogram the module for a new lead acid battery?
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Old 31st August 2016, 13:18   #3
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Default re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

wow 45K for a battery!! there was a recent thread about Mercedes owner complaining about 30K for a battery: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...t-rip-off.html (Mercedes: Replacement battery for Rs 30,000? What a rip-off!)

my theory is that they hooked up your car to run diagnostics, software update, etc. and that didn't go well due to after-market battery. it is hard to prove that though. the dealers love to blame after-market stuff when things go wrong.
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Old 31st August 2016, 15:44   #4
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Default re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

Even if you have to put in the AGM battery my suggestion would be order it online from ebay and get it shipped. even with 30% import duty it would still be much cheaper then 45K!. i do this all the time for batteries, i buy anti-gravity 8-12 cell batteries online. If you include the shipping charge it costs about 17k for me for bike batteries.
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Old 31st August 2016, 15:46   #5
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Default re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

Newer models of BMWs/Mercs/Audis use AGM gell cell batteries.

If your battery is placed in the trunk/boot there's a very good chance it's an AGM. If it's in the engine bay it may be a flooded battery.

Consult your owners manual for the correct replacement.

Please do NOT replace AGM with standard flooded lead acid batteries. They have different charge/discharge characteristics and will emit corrosive gas and under some conditions could even leak. You don't want damage to your car's insides.

I am not sure if the charging circuit can be programmed for flooded or AGM. These cars are designed to take only 1 type of battery that is model specific.
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Old 31st August 2016, 16:25   #6
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Default re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

Are these AGM batteries by Amaron ?

http://www.quanta.in/products.asp
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Old 31st August 2016, 16:43   #7
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Default re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

Quote:
All was fine and I sent the car for service to the BMW service centre (Infinity cars, Turbhe, Nave Mumbai) and I get a quotation of Rs. 45,000 for a battery and Rs. 40,000 for a footwell module.
I spoke to a locally known person here and apparently, quotes are correct. There are very high chances of FRM Unit getting damaged in case batteries are not from BMW, as per my contact by his experience. Although I am not abe to understand how BMW OE batteries will be different from aftermarket non-OE. FRM unit acts as kind of fuse to prevent damage to the main control unit and is first to go.
Now if you have sent your vehicle without any defects, your best bet will be to ask for FOC replacement of unit and buy a BMW OE Battery. Do keep us posted here.

Last edited by Turbanator : 31st August 2016 at 16:44.
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Old 31st August 2016, 16:57   #8
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Default re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi22 View Post
Are these AGM batteries by Amaron ?

http://www.quanta.in/products.asp
Yes these are AGM batteries, but do check if the ratings including discharge and cold current et all are same as the OE battery. Generally the finer specs might differ, and that is where these dealers make a killing with OEM battery story.
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Old 31st August 2016, 17:13   #9
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Default re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalsa777 View Post
I recently replaced the battery on my 2012 BMW X1 with an aftermarket exide unit.
Where did you get this battery changed from? Was it at an authorised Exide store? Didn't the guys at that store know that your car requires an AGM battery instead of a regular one?
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Old 31st August 2016, 17:31   #10
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Default re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi22 View Post
Are these AGM batteries by Amaron ?

http://www.quanta.in/products.asp
They are AGM but meant for UPS/inverter and telecom applications. I use them at home in my APC UPSes.

These are deep discharge batteries and are not designed to deliver the short burst of high amp power required to crank engines especially diesels. Even in the outside chance they fit the bracket and battery compartment it is not recommended to use these in an automobile.

Read more here about applications: http://www.quanta.in/application.asp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epic View Post
Where did you get this battery changed from? Was it at an authorised Exide store? Didn't the guys at that store know that your car requires an AGM battery instead of a regular one?
Battery store walas assume all batteries are flooded. Very, very few cars as a %age of the total use AGM batteries.

PS - Some years back the famous Optima range of AGM batteries made by Johnson Controls were available through Amaron. When I contact Amaron's Pune office to enquire about a yellow top or red top for my car they were blissfully unaware of these batteries. Asked them to check their website. Goes to highlight the poor knowledge of the people working there. Why blame the battery dealer then?

Last edited by R2D2 : 31st August 2016 at 17:38.
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Old 31st August 2016, 17:48   #11
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Default re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

Sad to know about the expense you are looking at repairing your X1 but BMW would not be helping you out with this. These cars use absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries and it is recommended to replace only with a AGM battery when your oem one goes bad, have seen many owners go for lead acid batteries but then it depends on your luck. Read on international forums that the charge/discharge characteristics of agm batteries are different from lead acid batteries.

Since every thing was working perfectly fine before the car went for service, replace the lead acid battery with agm one and ask them to replace the frm module in warranty, if some thing goes bad during service, it is their responsibility to fix it. You can shoot a mail to bmw India if you want, there is no reason as to why the frm stopped working after routine service. The car must have thrown some error during the diagnostics scan with the lead acid battery and that is why they are creating a scene.

Last edited by coolboy007 : 31st August 2016 at 17:52.
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Old 31st August 2016, 19:17   #12
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Default re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

I just found something that may be worth looking at. Apparently, there is a way to register lead-acid batteries.

Please have a look here: http://www.bimmerscan.com/bmw-battery-registration/

The first screenshot displays an option for changing the battery type from lead-acid to AGM. The reverse should be possible too I think.

Furthermore, that webpage mentions the codenames of BMWs in which only AGM batteries should be installed, and your car, E84 if I'm not wrong, is not in that list!
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Old 1st September 2016, 18:36   #13
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Default Re: BMW dealer blames after-market battery for fault in footwell module!

I have just came across more information. BMW has battery coding/programming apart from battery registration. Coding allows changing of the "charging map", analogous to an engine map, if I may. Charging maps are different for AGM and lead-acid batteries. Coding involves reinitializing the CAS and FRM modules too.

Sources: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=621420
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=473109
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