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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old February 5th, 2004, 10:12   #1
Go North
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

Two questions:

What all needs to be done to get a new battery into new beetles. Looks to me like it isn't simple like most things on a beetle. Some places I have talked to refuse to even install them, the stealer wants $30 to install it.

I have been told it takes a group 48 battery, which is a little hard to find and expensive at places that do have them. ($80 and $115 for 500 and 640 CCA's) But it looks to me like a group 58R Exide/Champion Nascar XLT at Sams club for $50 will fit. (700CCA, 580CA) Has anyone had any experience puting a 58R in a beetle? Will it physically fit? Spec dimensions are 9&7/16 long, 7&1/4 wide(tight), and 7 high. Terminals are in the correct corners on the 'R' version.

If it makes a difference my beetle is a 2001.
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Old February 5th, 2004, 10:30   #2
bbarbulo
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

Optima!!!! they are by far the nicest, craziest batteries you can buy. I have a red top for my daily driver, and I plan to get a yellow top for the other car... Eventually all 6 cars in the family will have Optimas.
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Old February 5th, 2004, 12:39   #3
cattlerepairman
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

[ QUOTE ]

What all needs to be done to get a new battery into new beetles. Looks to me like it isn't simple like most things on a beetle.

[/ QUOTE ]

Do not do it outside, in the cold...you need to preserve a bit of manual dexterity for the job. Do not ask, how I know this.

The trick is to unbolt the power steering reservoir (the black tank with the green cap). Do not disconnect anything - just unbolt the tank. This gives you the decisive wiggle-room.

I strongly advise to have an "antenna" style device that has a magnet at the end at the ready. At some time or other, you WILL drop screws or parts into the abyss of the Beetle's engine compartment...and such a device reduces swearing..... [img]/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Other than that - loosen the clamp that holds down the battery on the forward edge (one nut). Retrieve nut, retrieve clamp (did you use the magnet, yet?)

Remove the battery terminals ("-" first, then "+"). In my NB, I do not need to worry about the radio code..it remembers its code for hours. Make sure you have the radio code..just in case!

If you happen to have the black battery box and the thermo blanket (I think only the cold weather package has that), then you have to take the lid off (clips on the back), and unbolt the black plastic box. Be careful when you wiggle the plastic (semi-)box out so you do not break it. You might have to shift the whole battery in order to get the plastic box out.
To remove the battery, pull it forward a bit (releases the rear edge which sits in a fixed clamp). The you can thread it out, tilting it onto its small side.

All of the above is a tight squeeze and may well seem "impossible" on the first attempt! But..the battery does come out!

While the battery is out, you can remove the battery tray and install a TDI heater! [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Cleaning the crud out of the battery tray is a good idea; install is the reverse of removal!
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Old February 5th, 2004, 13:33   #4
Go North
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

Thanks for the instructions, I do have the black box and blanket. I've been thinking serously about that heater, are you half way there to installing the heater when the battery is out, maybe I can prolong the battery change and do them both at once. (If that dang -15 stuff stays away that is)

On the Optima, I agree it is a good battery technology but the terminal position does not match what I have, are the original cables long enough to make the reach? The price also scares me a bit $130 for red and $180 for yellow. I could go through three of these 58R's on that kind of money.
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Old February 5th, 2004, 15:06   #5
Dana Hanchett
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

Spend the money on the correct Optima which will have the correct positioning for the terminals. They (red top) have plenty of power for diesels left in the cold and do not ever leak (as they are sealed) Which is important as the grounds are under the battery tray (don't want them to ever corode). Also the fuses are on top of the battery and you don't want acid fumes getting at them. If you plan to keep the car spend your hard earned cash correctly and you will prevent alot of agrivation later. You also will never have to check the water level either. That alone is worth it in a NB.
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Old February 6th, 2004, 12:20   #6
cattlerepairman
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

[ QUOTE ]
Thanks for the instructions, I do have the black box and blanket. I've been thinking serously about that heater, are you half way there to installing the heater when the battery is out, maybe I can prolong the battery change and do them both at once. (If that dang -15 stuff stays away that is)

On the Optima, I agree it is a good battery technology but the terminal position does not match what I have, are the original cables long enough to make the reach? The price also scares me a bit $130 for red and $180 for yellow. I could go through three of these 58R's on that kind of money.

[/ QUOTE ]

I replaced my battery with an "Eliminator" from Canadian Tire; I did not have the time to go looking for alternatives. Works fine. Others have put in upgraded batteries and also report to be happy.

Yes, in the Beetle the major work regarding putting in the ZeroStart (as per TDI heater kit or by fitting it yourself, following instructions) is to take the battery and battery tray out. The rest ain't too hard (unless you do it outside at -15 degrees). If you decide to go the DIY route, I can give you some advice.
The "search" is defunct; I would have included the relevant threads.
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Old February 6th, 2004, 13:10   #7
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

Well, I just ordered a heater from tdiheater.com. Thanks for the advice and suggestion that this would be the time to do the heater too, it got me off my waffling about the heater. Guess I will carry a spare battery and jumper cables for a while and postpone the battery replacement until the heater parts come.

Is there a specific model number for the red and yellow Optima's that is right for a new beetle? The stores around here seem to think there is just one of each. I can't find any details like that on the Optima web site either.
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Old February 6th, 2004, 20:12   #8
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

I would like to know what optima battery to use in the NB also. Thanks!
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Old February 7th, 2004, 08:16   #9
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

Bump
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Old February 7th, 2004, 14:14   #10
Mass. Wine Guy
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

Although Optima's Web site lacks up to date model information, the company's customer service reps are up to speed and pretty quick to answer emails. Write them and ask which reversed post model fits your NB. I just installed a Red Top 35 in my 2001 Golf.

Dana raises an excellent point about Optima. The price difference between Optima and the batteries typically sold is pretty small ($20-$25?), and you'll never have to think about your battery again.
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Old February 7th, 2004, 15:06   #11
Octavian
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

Optima, optima optima, nothing other than marketting name. There is half a dozen of other manufacturers who do same quality batteries up to oem dimensions.

I got an Exide Ultra and it is excellent. Nothing switches off when cranking (radio used to and abs would flash), 600cca is more than enough, and it is zero-maintenance.

Believe or not, oem battery cannot do more than 380-450 amps, and is not maintenance free. I have just washed most of the left side inner body after battery started spitting electrolyte. Instant corossion [img]/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img].

I am firmly in VW camp, my next car will be a VW (or more specifically a Skoda Octavia, because I prefer sedan). But the batteries they are putting into our cars are rather antiquated and any maintenance free, high cranking current battery you put in is fine and an excellent upgrade.
Make sure it fits the mounting, as it is a safety issue.

Apologies for the rant, but when you see corroded aluminium gearbox and undershield bolts because of such stupid thing, you tend to get annoyed [img]/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]
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Old February 8th, 2004, 09:50   #12
Mass. Wine Guy
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

I'm sure there are one or two other batteries that work well. It's just that those companies don't send me the nice royalty checks that Optima does. (Kidding! Just kidding!). As far as I know, Optima is the only one using the gel technology, so it won't leak or corrode.
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Old February 8th, 2004, 10:35   #13
rocketman
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

Optima ORANGE Top! [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] Thats what I have and no problem with the cables (posts are oposite Red Top)
...but unfortunately, they are no longer available [img]/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
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Old February 8th, 2004, 10:51   #14
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

I got a group 48 battery from AutoZone or Advance (can't remember, they both had it). It had a tube connected to it that I extended to down to the bottom of the car. I probably didn't need to but I figured that it didn't hurt. Others convinced me that blocking it wasn't the answer!

The battery fit perfectly inside the box.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 18:36   #15
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Default Battery replacement in New Beetle TDI

Thanks cattlerepairman for the great write-up on changing the battery in the new beetles. My new optima 34r came in and I installed it today. I ordered it from www.1st-optima-batteries.com; they are super to do business with. Installation went just as you said, finished in less then one hour. You can really tell the difference on how it starts, no dimming lights, etc. It is so nice to get help with problems when you need it! Thanks again, cattlerepairman !!! Asharpshooter
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