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

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bmw e46 battery replacement

BMW E46 Battery Replacement – 30 Minutes

repair models difficulty bar

The BMW Repair Guide used this 2003 325ci for the following article. To see other repairs on our site using this actual car, please click on the image below!

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. How easy is it? Well let’s put it this way…the toughest part of the repair is lifting the friggin’ 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.

You don’t need to be an auto mechanic to do a BMW E46 battery replacement; if you can turn a screwdriver you are already halfway through the repair. 

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 logical fallacy that you need to purchase your E46 replacement battery from the BMW dealership. That’s complete hogwash. We have been running E46’s for years on batteries we purchased from our local Advanced Auto Parts store and have never…seriously never…had an issue.

Parts, Tools and Supplies

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Parts
Replacement battery – consult your local auto parts store for the correct model battery.

Tools and Supplies
10mm socket wrench
12mm socket wrench
Screwdriver – phillips
Shop rag

Procedure
The BMW Repair Guide makes every attempt to publish their repair articles with detailed step by step photographs, videos and written instructions. There may be small variations in years and models and your vehicle may be slightly different than what is shown in the following steps and images. Some repairs may also require additional steps not covered in our articles like: removing covers from the engine and undercarriage, moving wires or hoses to access parts, cleaning and lubricating parts associated with the repair and performing general maintenance.
  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 replacementbmw e46 battery replacement
  3. Use a large phillips screwdriver to loosen the top pressure plate.bmw e46 battery replacement
  4. Using a 12mm socket wrench, remove the two bolts securing the mounting bracket to the body of the vehicle. Remove the mounting bracket.bmw e46 battery replacementbmw e46 battery replacementbmw e46 battery replacement
  5. Remove the battery from the vehicle.bmw e46 battery replacementbmw e46 battery replacement
  6. Installation – make sure everything in the car is turned off before installing new battery.

BMW E46 Battery Replacement Finished
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. And congratulations for Doing It Yourself!

The Repair Difficulty Level displays graphically how challenging the repair is, from easy to advanced. Easy repairs usually require very few tools, have short repair times and do not require jacking and supporting the vehicle. As the difficulty level rises, expect the repair to demand more time, specialized tools, and better understanding of mechanics to complete the job.

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