Batteries are classified by shape and size as a particular "Battery
Group". What you need for a 98 7 series is a battery Group 95R
It is a pretty big sucker at 15-9/16"L x 6-7/8"W x 7-1/2"D and about 800
(or more) CCA.
Douglas makes it under the model #95R-675
You should do an open-circuit voltage test of your battery after a good
long drive - at least 30 minutes at highway speeds. If it reads 12.4V
or better then it's fine. If it reads below 12.4V but above 12.2V then
it's likely marginal. If it's lower then I would bring the car in to a
garage and have the charging system and battery tested.
If you just need a replacement battery, your car probably needs a
Douglas battery. Douglas is the official supplier for the original as
well as the replacement BMW battery. The battery they will sell for
your car is actually rated higher in performance than the one they make
for BMW. Try their webpage for import car batteries:
I have a 540i and it has the same engine as your car and probably uses
the same battery - yes, it's a rectangular battery. I believe mine was
the 49-675 (BCI Group 49). I bought mine from a Douglas Battery
reseller for about USD 100. If you call the toll-free Douglas number
(1-800-368-4527) the customer service agent will look up the closest
dealers in your area.
You can experiment with other makes of batteries but why would you want
to experiment if you can buy a guaranteed correct or better battery at
the same price? It's not trivial to be stranded by a dead battery.
If the eye is green that is good. Why do you think you need to replace
it? Did you fully trickle charge it? The fact that it went flat may
have more to do with a slow discharge due to something remaining on when
you shutdown the car than with the battery.
BMW batteries are made by Douglas. You should be able to buy one
directly at a reduced price if you search for a Douglas dealer near you.
Actually, I'm pretty sure they are a supplier to BMW in the US. It
would make sense they would source from different companies on different
continents. The OP was in the US and we do not get Varta batteries in
Douglas may not be well-known in Europe but Varta is also not
well-known in N. America.
BMW makes Z4 and X5 cars in South Carolina and N. American sales make
up a healthy part of BMW's total volume. It also makes sense to have a
local supplier to reduce costs of transportation. Douglas is the
official battery supplier for BMW over here.
Pretty much anywhere that sells automotive batteries. The size of the
battery defines most of the electrical specifications. Go to a battery shop
and have them test the current battery and install a new one if needed.
At Costco, the book listed BCI group 95R, cold cranking 950Amp.
But there is none of this type of battery in any Costco store in the South
SF Bay Costco stores.
I called Interstate, they do not have this either. None in any battery or
repair shops. Cannot find any Douglas in Northern California.
Only available at the BMW dealer, asking $260 a piece.
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