Original battery - finally died with no advance warning

Tom in PT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Location
Twilight Zone, WA State
TDI
2005 Passat sedan - SOLD; 2013 Passat DSG; both purchased new
My '013 was on its factory battery more than 9 years. Today it finally died, but gave no advance warning that it was about to give out. When it died and I tried to start it, the display went absolutely berzerk and the clock started moving backwards, all kinds of stupid things, and of course the car would not turn over. Fortunately I was in town only 2 miles from my house so was able to go home and get the tools needed to replace the battery, and a parts store down the street had the battery I needed. I will not push my luck next time. Thank goodness it did not happen far from home or down some remote mountain road with no cell service.

So if you are still on your original battery after 8 or 9 years, you might consider proactively changing it or at least testing it.
 

DivineChaos

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Location
Minnesota
TDI
mk6 jetta sportwagen tdi
My '013 was on its factory battery more than 9 years. Today it finally died, but gave no advance warning that it was about to give out. When it died and I tried to start it, the display went absolutely berzerk and the clock started moving backwards, all kinds of stupid things, and of course the car would not turn over. Fortunately I was in town only 2 miles from my house so was able to go home and get the tools needed to replace the battery, and a parts store down the street had the battery I needed. I will not push my luck next time. Thank goodness it did not happen far from home or down some remote mountain road with no cell service.

So if you are still on your original battery after 8 or 9 years, you might consider proactively changing it or at least testing it.
Most of us replace them sooner. I had mine get weak enough to not have the winter cranking cap. Still working fine a year later for my buddies gasser.
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
Got your money's worth.
Usually the issue is the $200 you saved gets eaten by a tow home!
 

Vwkaferman

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Location
Mesa, AZ
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon
Just replaced mine this week (obviously not original, 2003). Just posting because man, I noticed some goofy things too even after replacing it. Windows wouldn’t auto roll up etc, but has cleared up since.

James
 

NSTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2002
Location
Nova Scotia
TDI
13 Passat Sep 12
My battery on my 1963 is a 2003, still works fine and no goofy software problems yet.
 

Tom in PT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Location
Twilight Zone, WA State
TDI
2005 Passat sedan - SOLD; 2013 Passat DSG; both purchased new
I knew I was on borrowed time and thought about proactively changing it many times, but since the car had continued to start instantly I thought - "its still ok." Nope. I think Ragdude is right - the 9 years was the advance warning.
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
My battery on my 1963 is a 2003, still works fine and no goofy software problems yet.
i call boshe
maybe you forgot it was replaced.
batteries die from old age due to cycles. so unless you never drove the thing and have it on a maintainer... then no your wrong in both the deception of that a battery can last that long... being used... or your just strait up foolin...
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
Oh really? Holy cow! My life is changed. God I was so ignorant to even thing to look at a battery let alone maintain my 12 or so of them.....
Thank you my lord for the education.
What Mongler doesn't know is that batteries have date codes on them....
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
You cant even begine to imagine what I don't know.
 

Vwkaferman

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Location
Mesa, AZ
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon
Did someone make a statement spelling a word differently in order to get around the rule of no cursing here? I can't believe it!

James
 

NSTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2002
Location
Nova Scotia
TDI
13 Passat Sep 12
i call boshe
maybe you forgot it was replaced.
batteries die from old age due to cycles. so unless you never drove the thing and have it on a maintainer... then no your wrong in both the deception of that a battery can last that long... being used... or your just strait up foolin...
No boshe, no maintainer, I don’t drive it in the winter. Batteries are probably not as well made today? I also use a battery disconnect all the time.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Heat kills batteries. More die suddenly during summer here than in winter (by probably a factor of five times more or so). Yes, it can take more power to start a cold engine, especially a diesel, but the battery gets its life taxed more in high heat. That's why milder areas of the country, without either temp extremes but especially without extreme heat, will allow for longer battery life.

Also, batteries that are mounted out of the engine compartment, so, away from a major source of extreme heat, last longer too. It is not at all uncommon for cars with trunk-mounted or under-seat mounted batteries to last 8+ years. I had an Audi A6 recently (this past year) that was a 2008 model that had its original battery still kicking. That is an extreme example, but it happens.

On the flip side, the "without warning" thing.... lots of cars DO exhibit some small warning signs, but if you don't catch them or don't know what to look for, you may not see them. We see that a lot, too. I catch probably 10+ batteries a year like that. The owner will say "oh, it is fine, it always starts right up", but what they didn't notice is that slow crank, or the fact that the dash lights dim during cranking, or when any electrical loads are on immediately after a start up the alternator is making an audible loud whine as it goes full-field to try and keep the system level. Another sign I see is when cooling fans after run, they will be noticeably slowing down after a minute or two... then the weak battery recovers enough after sitting to give it enough of a surface charge to restart the engine a couple hours later.

We use a little hand held battery tester that does a quick test for batteries... I find it works reasonably well, but works VERY well to flag a bad battery that is right on the edge, even if it has been reliably starting the car every day.
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
To be fair... the battery in my cayenne was just changed in 2018 from the origional 2004. But it is under the seat and always parked in a garage that is climate controlled.
 

Ragdude

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Location
Phx
TDI
2015 VW Golf SEL TDi
To be fair... the battery in my cayenne was just changed in 2018 from the origional 2004. But it is under the seat and always parked in a garage that is climate controlled.
So you can have a 14 yr old battery but there's no way NSTDi could have an older battery? Do you need to argue with everything?
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
So you can have a 14 yr old battery but there's no way NSTDi could have an older battery? Do you need to argue with everything?
Yes.
Yes.
And yes.
Also I was going through paperwork to add the coolant repair I'm doing to the cayenne and saw that the battery service was then. This was after I said wat I did.
The cayenne battery failed in a better car in better conditions than @NSTDI in 70% of the time he claimed. 14/20... over 75% so I still have heavy scepticism to his claims.
I did not see any other service for the battery on her so I cant lay claim that the origional 2004 lasted 14 years but that's what the records say.
 
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NSTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2002
Location
Nova Scotia
TDI
13 Passat Sep 12
My deceased friend who was a commercial battery supplier and installer said the best place to store a battery was the deep freeze. Which would support the heat killing a battery?
I store mine in a 45-60F basement in the winter on a workbench. Winter is Jan-March most years. I’ve had that battery in 3 different old cars, the first was a 59 and had a generator, very low output one with a power steering pump on the back end of it.
 

x1800MODMY360x

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Location
AZ, USA
TDI
2013 Passat TDI SEL
Before I had my TDI, my 04 Impala battery would just lose a cell in 2 years, drove to work just fine, went to a store after work started and ran fine. But trying to start the car, nope battey was dead. Luckily I had a three year warranty so replacement was free.
 

Ragdude

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Location
Phx
TDI
2015 VW Golf SEL TDi
Before I had my TDI, my 04 Impala battery would just lose a cell in 2 years, drove to work just fine, went to a store after work started and ran fine. But trying to start the car, nope battey was dead. Luckily I had a three year warranty so replacement was free.
I love Costco batteries, but oddly about every 35 months they go bad and I need to return them and get a free replacement.
 

x1800MODMY360x

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Location
AZ, USA
TDI
2013 Passat TDI SEL
I love Costco batteries, but oddly about every 35 months they go bad and I need to return them and get a free replacement.
Funny to say that, the impala battery was also from costco. Only had to buy it once. Warranty it two times before I sold the car.
 
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