One of the best items of value in the BMW Aftermarket Parts catalog is the $69 BMW Advanced Battery Charging System which comes with an astounding 10-year warranty. Now, one might question the need for such a toy. However, if you are fortunate to have several cars or leave one parked for a long periods of time, one of these intelligent Battery Charging Systems can prolong the life of your BMW Battery. I am a believer, having purchased one for my 2005 E46 330i ZHP and one to go with this gorgeous Valencia Orange 2011 1M, which is not the BMWBLOG boss’ 1M BTW.
The BMW Advanced Charging system is a 1.25 Amp battery charger and comes with complex BTP microchip technology. This technology tops off your BMW’s lead acid battery charge. Then automatically maintains the battery through “float” voltage which eliminates sulfation which can destroy lead acid batteries. This microchip also has temperature compensate so that optimal charge voltage is ensured. The control box is nicely weighted, at just over two lbs, which is important so it doesn’t get knocked over easily, and is powder coated in black. I would not recommend getting it wet and have only used it inside a garage.
The BMW Advanced Charging system has a long reach from a wall outlet, a remarkable 13 feet! This is important because most electrical outlets are not exactly convenient for charging in garages and the extra length is very helpful. The front panel has two lights to communicate the state of operation, red and gren. Solid red means charging but the charge is less than 80%. Flashing green and it’s almost there. Solid green means is topped up. Flashing red, you’re plugged in to AC wall but not hooked up to the car correctly. Fortunately there’s a label on the top of the charger reminding you how to cipher these light codes.
When you go to buy a BMW Charging system, they are gonna ask for your BMW year and model. The reason for this is that starting with the E90 3 Series era, the method of attaching these changed from a plug-in cigarette lighter style (E46 and older) to an alligator clip style. I like the cigarette style much better because it’s so easy to use. However, modern BMWs no longer have powered cigarette lighters when the keyis out of the car. So plugging it in won’t charge the battery.
The newer alligator clip style requires a little more effort to utilize. For many BMWs, including the 2011 1M, the battery is in the trunk. Expose the battery and hook up the black alligator clip up to the black battery terminal and red to red. Not as easy as it sounds because to get to the red terminal, I had to pop up a little plastic door.
Pictured on the lift is a 2009 Porsche 911 S which is also benefiting from the use of a BMW Battery Charing System – cigarette lighter style. Ask someone with a 911 what happens when the battery goes dead. The front trunk “frunk” won’t open and guess what? That’s where the battery resides. It’s a huge PITA, so much so that many 911 owners have a battery tender. The BMW Battery Charging System works great on this Porsche and will maintain any lead acid battery.
There are several places to purchase the BMW Advanced Battery Charging System. First place is through BMW’s online catalog via part number 82110406881 for the alligator clip style. Another place to purchase is from your dealer’s parts department or from several online parts stores such as Bavarian Auto Recycling.
This is the fourth article in this winter BMW driving and owner’s care tips. To see our first three check out these links.