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Battery and Connection Notes Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Battery and Connection Notes Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$150

Talent:

***

Tools:

Set of sockets, 10mm, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-13)
R56 MINI Cooper JCW Hatchback (2009-13)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Battery, battery vent hose

Hot Tip:

Wear eye and hand protection

Performance Gain:

Car will start well

Complementary Modification:

Replace battery vent hose

The battery in your MINI R56 is an absorbed glass mat (AGM) type. Different from the older style lead acid batteries. AGM batteries house the battery acid in glass mats. Lead acid batteries house the fluid between lead plates. AGM batteries are made of very thin glass fibers woven into a mat. This increases the surface area enough to hold sufficient electrolytes on the cells for their lifetime. Where lead may absorb some of the acid, this shortens battery life. There are positives and negatives when using AGM over lead acid batteries. For example, an AGM may charge faster, but is more susceptible to damage from over-charging. They produce less gas than a lead acid battery, can be mounted in any position (do not leak) and are safer for the environment because of this. One downside is the increased cost. Also, charging systems have evolved along with the battery type, allowing greater control of charging current via sensors and computer controlled adaptation.

PLEASE NOTE: Not all MINI R56 models come equipped with an AGM type battery. Not all R56 models come equipped with the IBS system. To determine if your R56 has this system you will need to look at the terminal end of the negative battery cable.

The battery in MINI R56 models is located in the right side of the wiper cowl, behind a trim panel. When replacing your battery, be sure to use a high quality unit. Replacing the battery can be done in a short amount of time. Read the battery connection notes before disconnecting the battery. Before disconnecting your battery, remove the remote key from the vehicle and store it in a safe place and note the radio presets. When the battery is reconnected or loses its charge, the following items may need attention (depending on vehicle equipment). You may have to reset your clock, enter the radio presets, initialize power windows, initialize the sunroof and normalize the steering angle sensor. Once your battery has been replaced, you will have to register the new battery with the vehicle's computer system. This tells the DME the age and health of the battery to ensure proper charging.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

To access the battery for charging or jumping starting, unclip (red arrows) and open the access the door on the right side of the wiper cowl.
Figure 1

To access the battery for charging or jumping starting, unclip (red arrows) and open the access the door on the right side of the wiper cowl.

Charging battery: You can connect a battery charger directly to the battery positive (+) and negative (-) terminals.
Figure 2

Charging battery: You can connect a battery charger directly to the battery positive (+) and negative (-) terminals. The red arrow points to positive, while the green arrow points to negative. However, I suggest removing the battery from the vehicle during charging. This will avoid filling your wiper cowl and fresh air intake with gas vapor that the battery emits during charging. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on settings and using the battery charger.

Jump Starting vehicle: A vehicle with a discharged battery can be jumpstarted using a good battery or a good battery in another vehicle.
Figure 3

Jump Starting vehicle: A vehicle with a discharged battery can be jumpstarted using a good battery or a good battery in another vehicle. When jumpstarting: Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area. Batteries can produce an explosive gas. Wear gloves and eye protection. If battery acid comes in contact with your skin, immediately flush with water and seek medical assistance. Move both vehicles close together but do not allow then to touch. Turn the ignition OFF in both vehicles. Connect one end of the positive jumper cable to the positive (+) battery terminal of the vehicle with the good battery. Connect the other end of the positive jumper cable to the positive (+) battery terminal (red arrow) on the vehicle with the discharged battery. Connect one end of the negative (-) cable to the negative (-) battery terminal of the vehicle with the good battery. Connect the other end of the negative (-) jumper cable to the negative (-) battery terminal (green arrow) of the vehicle with the discharged battery. Start the engine on the vehicle with a good battery. Allow it to idle. Then raise the engine run rate to 2000 RPM. Next, start the engine of the vehicle with the discharged battery. Once the vehicle with the discharged vehicle starts, shut OFF any electrical accessories, radio, HVAC blower, etc. Carefully disconnect the jumper cable in the reverse order you connected them in. Allow the vehicle with the dead battery to idle to recharge the battery. NOTE: Purple arrow points to the L shaped IBS unit. If yours does not have this unit on the back of the negative terminal, your car does NOT have an IBS unit. 

Replacing battery: Working at the wiper cowl, peel off and remove the seal (red arrow).
Figure 4

Replacing battery: Working at the wiper cowl, peel off and remove the seal (red arrow).

Replacing battery: Move to the right side of the cowl, near the hood strut.
Figure 5

Replacing battery: Move to the right side of the cowl, near the hood strut. Remove the two 10mm fasteners (green arrows).

Replacing battery: Remove the battery trim panel cover from the cowl.
Figure 6

Replacing battery: Remove the battery trim panel cover from the cowl. Lift it straight up to detach it from the windshield and remove it.

Replacing battery: Using a ratchet and a 10mm socket, disconnect the negative (-) battery cable (green arrow).
Figure 7

Replacing battery: Using a ratchet and a 10mm socket, disconnect the negative (-) battery cable (green arrow). Move the negative (-) cable aside and cover it so it does not accidentally come in contact with the battery terminal (inset).

Replacing battery: Using a ratchet and a 10mm socket, loosen the positive (+) battery cable.
Figure 8

Replacing battery: Using a ratchet and a 10mm socket, loosen the positive (+) battery cable. Lift the positive (+) battery cable off the battery and lay it aside.

Replacing battery: Using a 10mm socket, loosen and remove the battery hold down (red arrow).
Figure 9

Replacing battery: Using a 10mm socket, loosen and remove the battery hold down (red arrow).

Replacing battery: Remove the battery hold down from the battery tray.
Figure 10

Replacing battery: Remove the battery hold down from the battery tray.

Replacing battery: Move both battery cables toward the cowl and away from the battery.
Figure 11

Replacing battery: Move both battery cables toward the cowl and away from the battery. This gets the cables off the battery to make removing it easier. Then disconnect the battery vent hose. The vent hose is located at the side of the battery, near the positive terminal (red arrow). Lift the battery up and remove it from the cowl. Be careful and make sure you have a good grip; the battery is quite heavy. You will have to move cables around and keep them out of the way as you remove the battery from vehicle. Clean the battery compartment and tray thoroughly. Clean corrosion from the battery cable ends if present. Before installing thee new battery, check that the battery vent line (green arrow) is not pinched, in good condition and properly routed. Replace it if needed. Install the battery in its compartment and attach the vent line. Connect the positive (+) cable. Next, connect the negative (-) cable. Install the battery hold down bracket. Then reassemble the trim cover.

Replacing battery: Once installed, you will have to use a BMW scan tool to register (red arrow) the battery.
Figure 12

Replacing battery: Once installed, you will have to use a BMW scan tool to register (red arrow) the battery. A capable BMW shop can do this. I recommend doing it immediately after replacing your battery. In the case you have access to a scan tool and can perform this yourself, use the amp hour rating on your battery (green arrow) to register with the vehicle (red arrow). If the battery is not registered, the charge program will be incorrect, shortening battery life. NOTE: If your R56 is not equipped with the IBS unit you do not have to register it.








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Comments and Suggestions:
Leroy Comments: Why does the battery have a shorter life span if not registered? It seems a bit of a con to me?
November 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The charging plan is adapted to the battery life and needs. It may overcharge the new battery due to the old one wearing out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Barsadave Comments: I should say it's a 2012 cooper S roadster
Thanks
October 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: got it, thanks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Barsadave Comments: I am just removing the battery for winter storage so other than charging it up in the spring all should be fine to just install and go maybe other than the radio presets? Thanks
October 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, should be fine. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ray Comments: Could you possibly recommend a fair priced scanner to use for registering the battery, among other things!
Just bought a 2nd hand R56 Cooper S and just found your site. Amazing site guys. Love it.

Ray
July 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure what is out there, I use Autologic, but that is a pro tool and not affordable. I am not sure what tools can do it. Best bet is to see what is available, then reach out to the manufacturer to see if it does it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
DEELo Comments: My new battery AGM that I installed doesn't have a vent line hook up. Is this an issue?
July 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should have a vent. You may need o get a vent kit from the battery manufacturer. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ace Comments: How can you tell if you have a AGM battery or a lead acid battery?
July 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The battery label will tell you. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tama 123 Comments: What is an IBS unit? and by how long will it shorten the battery life if not registered?.
June 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Intelligent battery sensor (IBS). The battery will fail prematurely. I can't estimate time frame. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ryan Comments: If we replace the battery with one of the exact same specs, would we still need to register the new battery or will the charge cycle etc. be the same?
Thanks
December 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. registration has to do with age of battery as well as size. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Yohann Comments: Ok thanks for your answer!
I tried to register it with Carly and a Wifi OBD2 adapter but my engine isn't compatible yet in the app...
By chance do you know an other way to register it?
November 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Using an advanced MINI / BMW scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Yohann Comments: Hello!

I need to replace my battery but I'm wondering if it's really necessary to register it.
Indeed, my BMW shop doesn't want to do it because I didn't buy it at their shop.
If I replace it by exactly the same is that really possible the battery will have a shorter lifetime?

Thanks for your precious help!
November 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you do not register it, it will have a shorter life time. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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