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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:18   #1
HoneyBeetle
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Default Best Battery For My Tdi And Why?

Simple TDI 101 Question:

I have a 2001 New Beetle TDI.....what battery should I use in my TDI Beetle and why?


How do I determine cold cranking amps (CCA), battery size and other things that matter (details), how do I read these things on my battery?

Can I test my battery (easily) and is this a good thing to do to ensure my battery is performing up to par?

Outside of defects & unlikely weird stuff, what are some probable causes for why my Interstate 85 month battery lost it's cranking capacity (strength/power/capacity) within 36 months?

Does this have something to do with the fact my car is a diesel?

These are some questions I have yet to find answers for on this forum. This info may be informative for newbies (like me). Inquiring minds like to know!!!!!

Winter is upon us, I'd like to know how to keep my cranking power in tip top shape!!!!! It's November in New England, hoping...NO WORRIES.....
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:22   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBeetle
Simple TDI 101 Question:

I have a 2001 New Beetle TDI.....what battery should I use in my TDI Beetle and why?

Buy the best Gr 48 battery you can afford. You need a battery to start your car

Welcome aboard, Ms. Honey!
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:31   #3
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An OEM battery will ensure OEM fittment and OEM performance

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRUSSELS BELGIAN View Post
Maybe I should pay MYSELF to do bad work on my car!
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:33   #4
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Alrighty then.........what does OEM mean? Remember, I'm a newb.....lol!
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:35   #5
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72 Ah minimum, 80 Ah preferred.

Your car requires less than 250 amps to crank it so whats with the concern of CCA?

Put down the marketing crack pipe and buy a battery with sufficient Amp Hour reserve.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:37   #6
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By OEM I meant from the dealer.

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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:37   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieseldorf
Buy the best Gr 48 battery you can afford. You need a battery to start your car

Welcome aboard, Ms. Honey!
Darlin' Dieseldorf..........remember, I'm a real newb!

I't be nice if all you wonderful VETS would speak plain english or at least explain what the hyrogliphics and acronyms mean until I get a grip on what's what. Remember, I'm a newb......(really laughing bunches!)

With that said.......what's a Gr 48?

Is this the size of the battery, or something else? Is it cranking amps, volts or what?

Also why a Gr 48? Is this a VW brand battery, Interstate or something else?
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:39   #8
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Now I know.....OEM means genuine VW part! Wow, I've always wanted to know what this ment.......

Perhaps someone should have a list of acronyms and stuff newbs should know so we can understand the TDI language........(giggle)!
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:43   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drivbiwire
72 Ah minimum, 80 Ah preferred.

Your car requires less than 250 amps to crank it so whats with the concern of CCA?

Put down the marketing crack pipe and buy a battery with sufficient Amp Hour reserve.
I'm assuming Ah means Amp Hours? .....HA, marketing crack pipe.....funny....

In case you didn't notice, most of us bite the marketing "bait" if we aren't trained to know any better or understand things intelligently.........how should I know?
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:48   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBeetle


I't be nice if all you wonderful VETS would speak plain english or at least explain what the hyrogliphics and acronyms mean until I get a grip on what's what. Remember, I'm a newb......(really laughing bunches!)

With that said.......what's a Gr 48?

Ms. Honey, no hyrogliphics + acronyms = no fun

Gr. 48 just means Group 48...see chart below for a breakdown of the techno-jargon.

I guess if you prefer to keep it really simple (un-fun), get a battery from a VW dealership and ensure you tell them it's for a diesel (describes your engine and it's greater power requirement when starting )

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Old November 3rd, 2009, 09:01   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBeetle
Simple TDI 101 Question:

I have a 2001 New Beetle TDI.....what battery should I use in my TDI Beetle and why?

A:

I would use the oem specified battery. Since they actually meet the oem specifications, it takes the guess work, "leg work" out of the equation. I have bought two oem batteries from the local dealer. Ask for the preferred customers discount. While there are a few other aftermarket vendors that offer TDI specific batteries, oem batteries are actually competitive in price. So for example, the Interstate product was actually more expensive than the oem dealer price. On almost every car I have ever owned except the VW TDI, I have not bought the oem battery, let alone from a dealer.


How do I determine cold cranking amps (CCA), battery size and other things that matter (details), how do I read these things on my battery?

A:

Sentence #2 to the first question above. Realistically at this point, TMI . (too much information)

However assuming you have the correct battery (old) you can read a lot of it off the unit itself. Another is looking for the short hand like 48 G.

Another is check the technical specifications of the oem owners manual, Bentley's (shop manuals) Again dealers and aftermarket vendors have the information to make sure you get the (SIZED") right product.



Can I test my battery (easily) and is this a good thing to do to ensure my battery is performing up to par?

A: Yes and no. Sure you can ask a VW dealer to do it. They sometimes offer specials doing specifically that. Tire stores (that sell batteries) have testers that even give a print out testing your charging system and specifically the condition of your battery. Indeed (my) the local Interstate retailer has the tools and offers that service.

Of course, you can buy tools to DIY. You can even go to a GTG to find out how to use the various tools, like a volt meter. So if root canal and a funeral sounds more appealing....

So for example, my oem battery lasted 33 mo. Tests of the charging systems revealed no issues. So I bought an oem replacement battery and R/R'd the old battery: 2 mins tops & DNDOT (do NOT DROP on TOE) . Then, the old battery was recycled Again DNDOT. So I bought and deployed a battery trickle charger @ $50. (Battery Tender Plus, if you might be interested) 36 mo later, the new battery died with no warning (like the first) and the documentation gave me a cheaper (now) 3rd oem battery and @ less than preferred discount price. (minus the prorated portion)

Outside of defects & unlikely weird stuff, what are some probable causes for why my Interstate 85 month battery lost it's cranking capacity (strength/power/capacity) within 36 months?

A:

The good news is you have 49 mo of prorated or even possible replacement credit (R/R (remove and replace at no charge ) N/C. .The bad news is you have to use it. (or should) I would take advantage of it, if the utimate price you pay is cheaper than the dealer's price on a correct oem battery.

Assuming it is the correct battery with the correct strength, power, capacity, etc. there are any number of causes. They all "conspire" if you will to low or short battery life. It actually starts with the design and DEMAND. The VW charging systems are not designed to renew/replace your battery charge (in usage) close to or @ 100%. So as a result unless you "replace the charge" aka use a battery trickle charger) it just supplies power until... it doesn't supply power anymore (in your case 36 mo, in mine 33 mo) . In addition, you literally have 24/7 demand from a variety of sources. Sure I can tick off the sources, but I will probably leave out many. Is it real cold? Is it real hot?....

Does this have something to do with the fact my car is a diesel?

A:

Yes, glow plugs for example, have HUGE energy demands. Do you use A/C, heater? Do you run a GPS? Got a 75 to 200 watt stereo amplifier? Wash your car with the stereo on, etc. etc. ?

These are some questions I have yet to find answers for on this forum. This info may be informative for newbies (like me). Inquiring minds like to know!!!!!

Winter is upon us, I'd like to know how to keep my cranking power in tip top shape!!!!! It's November in New England, hoping...NO WORRIES.....
Permit me to put the answers in your quote after each one ? I see some of the more veteran members have already assisted.

Last edited by ruking; November 3rd, 2009 at 16:45.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 09:08   #12
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OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer (or Orignal Equipment of the Manufacturer) Basically referring to either what comes on the car from the factory of to genuine replacement parts procured by whatever means.

Gr 48 means a group 48 battery. The 48 is a standardized size designated by whatever the industry association that tries to standardize things for all the manufacturers.

VW supplies a couple of different sized batteries. The trick with a TDI is to get the heavy expensive one that will fit in your car while providing the oomph needed to light up the glow plugs as well as crank it fast enough to start, all while enduring sub-zero temperatures. VW, being a euro-company designates an amp-hour (Ah) capacity rather than cranking amps (CA) or cold cranking amps (CCA) which are common in this side of the pond. This disparity has generated maybe 1/10 the 'discussion' about which is better and what battery to get as the 'discussions' about the proper oil to use, so it is a formidible amount of text, to say the least.

If your battery has died prematurely, or seems like it might not make it through the next winter, the most likely culprit is a voltage regulator that provides insufficient voltage to fully charge the battery. Most people seem oblivious to the fact that with the current batteries being manufactured for automotive use, calcium is used for plate strength. This is so that a low-maintenance or no-maintenance battery won't dry out quickly due to evaporating the water out of the acid. (Actually it is disassociated via electrolysis, but that's another discussion.) These plates require at least 14 volts to give you a full charge. If you only get 13.5 volts from your alternator, the battery will work well for a time, but its life will be shortened due to chronic undercharging.

I don't know why Bosch alternators frequently supply less than 14 volts, since Bosch knows that for 30 years (at least, since no maintenance battereis have been around), alternator supply voltage must be higher. Many times, a regulator that specs 14.5 volts will only supply 13.5 right from the box (Been there, done that - BTDT).

Lots of short trips don't fully charge a battery, either.

If you make short trips, then maybe once a week or so you could plug in a battery charger and hook it up to your battery. Or take a long trip (30-40 minutes) once a week.

Check the voltage with a voltmeter while the engine is running. This will tell you if the alternator has a chance of recharging the battery. It will not tell you if the alternator can produce sufficient amps to recharge the battery in a short period of time.

Check the voltage while nothing is going on. This will tell you if your battery has a full charge or not. If the battery has been on a charger but shows less than 12.6 volts, then it cannot accept a full charge.

Check the voltage while cranking the engine. This will tell you if your battery is the reason for slow cranking. I don't know the exact numbers to look for, but basically, the lower the voltage while cranking, the closer to death your battery condition.

Many shops (e.g. Autozone) will test your battery for free. This test is pretty easy. More difficult is testing the alternator output. But to me, if the alternator can't/won't put out more than 14 volts, then something needs to be done, and usually that means new voltage regulator if it is a separately replaceable item (some of them aren't).

HTH (hope that helps.)
YMMV - your mileage may vary. But it is often used elsewhere such that the real meaning is something like, "this was my experience, and yours might be different."
"marketing crack pipe" - that's DB's loving way of telling you he thinks you know nothing and should do exactly as he says after kissing his feet for deigning to comment in this thread. (BTW-he thinks the rest of us are pretty clueless too, so you're in good company.)
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 10:54   #13
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Just go for the OE dealer battery, you will not be disappointed. They run $90- $110

Whatever you do stay away from a walmart battery.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 11:37   #14
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I would go with OEM Energizer E48 875 CA 700 CCA from SAM's. Can't beat the price and performance.



Why?
-More CCA 700 vs 640
-More CCA/dollar 12.73 A/dollar vs meager 7.11 A/dollar or 5.82 A/dollar
-$35-55 more in your pocket
-3-year free replacement, 8-year prorated warranty

Comforting to know to have battery with CCA vs Ah

SAE Home > Publications > Papers

Requirements and Norms of Sli-Batteries in the North European Climate

Document Number: 890015 Date Published: February 1989
Author(s):
M. T. Loponen - Corporate R&D Neste, Finland
A. Nieminen - Corporate R&D Neste, Finland

Abstract:
SLI battery norms effect the performance of a battery in cold starts both directly and indirectly. The indirect influence is for instance due to the prevailing figure of merit, CCA amps (SAE) or 20 h capacity (DIN). The European norms seem to lead to batteries with insufficient cranking power at low temperatures. The SAE norm encourages the manufacturer both directly and indirectly to lower the battery resistance, which results in a higher cranking power and thus in a battery better suited to northern weather conditions.


OE = Original Equipment parts that you buy from the stealership packaged in VW Audi boxes w/ VW Audi logos etc.
As well as known as Genuine Part - A




OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer parts that you buy packaged in the mfr's own boxes & logos.
I.e. Fram filters sold at Wallyworld, are OEM parts.



Rev. A - Pictures added
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 11:44   #15
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How does the knowledge of CCAs make this superior to the OEM battery? You save money I agree but the engineering behind the OE solution is still exceeds the requirements of the vehicle.

Have you ever had a VW not start in the dead of winter due to an OEM battery in good condition just not having enough CCA's?
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