scardeal Reader
Dec. 13, 2010 4:10 p.m.

Okay, I'm anticipating needing a new battery for the e36 after the new year. If it sits more than 3-4 days, it's usually a little weak to start. I think a week will kill it.

It looks like nobody lists a replacement battery for it. What's the deal, and where can I find one that's not a ripoff?

Is it safe to say that a battery from a 350Z won't fit?

rjones33 New Reader
Dec. 13, 2010 4:45 p.m.

huh? I got my e46 battery at autozone down the street.

Josh Dork
Dec. 13, 2010 4:57 p.m.

The only one I could find locally a few weeks ago listed specifically for an E36 was from Napa and it was $240. I brought my old one in to Advance and one of their off the shelf batteries matched up size-wise. Luckily all mine ended up needing was a charge. The battery that would have fit from Advance was around $90 IIRC. I'd recommend just bringing the old one in to a parts store and matching it up to the batteries in stock.

Cone_Junky Reader
Dec. 13, 2010 5:01 p.m.

Just because it physically fits, doesn't mean it's the correct battery.

Be careful, some e36 batteries are glass-mat and are not interchangeable with off the shelf batteries.

Smack35 Reader
Dec. 13, 2010 5:45 p.m.

I would put it on a charger for a while before I buy anything. I've had my battery in my E36 for a really long time and it easily starts after sitting for over a week. After an hour on the charger it should start like a champ. If you do get a new battery look at the CCA's on the E36's battery. It's something like 440. Buy a battery based on that, you can always make a strap of aluminum that bolts in to secure the battery.

Steven

aussiesmg SuperDork
Dec. 13, 2010 5:53 p.m.

My E46 battery was off the shelf from Advance and was listed for the Bimmer

bludroptop SuperDork
Dec. 13, 2010 6:13 p.m.

I think the expensive BMW listing is because of the venting - the little rubber hose on most Manny, Moe and Jack batteries will piss on your spare tire well and take the paint off, at least.

That said - I run a tiny (think Civic) battery for the lighter weight and the car starts after sitting for three weeks.

triumph5
triumph5 Dork
Dec. 13, 2010 6:35 p.m.

My Sears diehard battery has sat for a month on my Spitfire, stock CCA and size, and never failed to turn it over at rotating speed, and fired it right up.

What you might want to look into is a battery shutoff switch--attached directly to the battery. Shuts off all ancillary drain from the battery. I don't use one, and it still fires up.

In recharging your current battery, look into a charger that desulfates the battery by pulsing. Doing so gets the--for lack of the scientific term--built-up crud off the plates off the battery, and adds life to it.

DO NOT make a strap out of aluminum or steel. One slip with a jumper cable or charging cable, and you've got arching and a rogue welder on your hands....use a proper non-conductive hold down. Even if you have to use a marine hold-down strap.

I have never heard of having to do anything to any auto when switching from a wet cell to an AGM. Switching the type of off-auto charger orthrowing the switch from wet cell to AGM ON the charger yes, but that's it. I've dealt with AGM and Wet cells on boats for years.

Check your cables ends and the cables themselves. Old, OEM cables, replace. They can corrode internally and you'll never see it. Also the body ground attachment bolt.

Today, there's no reason a battery shouldnt be able to hold a charge for 3 weeks with no problem (yes, temp will lower its cranking ability..but that's physics).

Dec. 13, 2010 6:38 p.m.

Autozone will get you one with a 7yr warranty for about $100

Josh Dork
Dec. 13, 2010 6:55 p.m.
triumph5 wrote: What you might want to look into is a battery shutoff switch--attached directly to the battery. Shuts off all ancillary drain from the battery. I don't use one, and it still fires up.

That would be a nightmare on an E36, Unless you don't mind going through the reset process for the computer and audio every time you use the car.

triumph5
triumph5 Dork
Dec. 13, 2010 6:59 p.m.

In reply to Josh: You're right! UGH. My bad. I do recall seeing a device (9volt battery) that plugged into the cigarette lghter that would hold codes, audio, etc.. when changing out or disconecting a battery. Or will that not apply with the E36?

curtis73 HalfDork
Dec. 13, 2010 7:04 p.m.
Cone_Junky wrote: Just because it physically fits, doesn't mean it's the correct battery. Be careful, some e36 batteries are glass-mat and are not interchangeable with off the shelf batteries.

I politely disagree. A battery is a battery in most ways. As long as its CCA, reserve, and size are a fit, it will work.

AGM batteries have the benefit of less H2 outgassing.

With the exception of obvious engineering differences, it doesn't matter any more than putting energizers, duracells, or Panasonic batteries in your vibrator. Buzz on my friend.

Cone_Junky Reader
Dec. 13, 2010 7:13 p.m.

AGM and regular batteries have different charging rates. In fact, late model Bimmers have to have the charging system reset via the control unit when the battery is replaced because it changes the charging rate.. If not, it will fry batteries in a matter of days.

PeterAK Dork
Dec. 13, 2010 10:28 p.m.

I replaced the battery for my E36 at Batteries Plus. They had several options in stock.

nderwater HalfDork
Dec. 13, 2010 11:29 p.m.

Thankfully, my E36 and E39 don't have the overly sensitive electronics which the late model BMW's have, so they do just fine on parts store batteries. I've got an Advance, Auto Zone, Napa, O'Reilly and Pep Boys all within two miles of my house. Parts Quest and Batteries Plus are a few minutes farther. After calling them all to get the best price, I picked up a battery for my E36 at O'Reilly for $70.

pimpm3 New Reader
Dec. 14, 2010 12:50 a.m.

I just bought a BMW battery from the dealer and it was around $130.00 for a 1995 325is. Check with the dealer it may be less then you think and it is the correct part.

miatame Reader
Dec. 14, 2010 8:02 a.m.

It could be an old battery, but I would check for a drain on the system. I had, I recall, about half an amp of drain in my E36 M3 that my buddy traced to the trunk light. It was turning off when the trunk closed but still a drain. It must be a bad ground somewhere in the bundle of wires that goes to the trunk lid.

Like you after a week or so my battery would be dead. We pulled the lamp in the trunk light and now it goes for months without draining.

7pilot Reader
Dec. 14, 2010 8:24 a.m.
triumph5 wrote: In reply to Josh: You're right! UGH. My bad. I do recall seeing a device (9volt battery) that plugged into the cigarette lghter that would hold codes, audio, etc.. when changing out or disconecting a battery. Or will that not apply with the E36?

$4 or so at Advance Auto.

m

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