Original Battery Replacement

120,600 miles, 22nd October 2010


Original Battery (with red, positive terminal cover from new battery)

I guess I cannot complain when the original battery seemed to be on it's way out after nearly 6.5 years. It hadn't let me down but a few times this year, probably on a colder morning after the car had been left a few days, it didn't turn the engine over quite as effortlessly as previously. With winter approaching I decided to get it changed.

I did a little internet research on what to look for in different car batteries. Capacity seemed important so I only wanted a battery with at least the same capacity as the original battery (72 Ah). Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) - a measure of the amount of current a battery can provide at 0 °F (−18 °C) for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12-volt battery), also seemed important. Most batteries with a capacity of 72 Ah seemed to have a CCA of at least 640. I also checked that candidate batteries had the same dimensions, fastenings and terminals as the original.

I did my usual thing of sending the same email to three local VW dealers asking for their best price for supplying a new battery. As I was happy to fit the new battery myself I also looked at what was the best price I could get online. It looked like online prices started at around the £60 mark for a generic battery but then of course delivery added nearly another £10 on top.

The three local VW dealers I contacted appeared to be giving me two options. A "genuine VW battery" with a 3 year warranty for £117 and a genuine VW battery from a newly introduced Economy Range for £79 with a 2 year warranty. One dealer offered me a 10% discount on an economy VW battery because my car was over 3 (or was it 5?) years old. They were unable to quote a CCA figure for the battery because it was a new product but he assured me that it would have a similar capacity to the original and so I decided to go with that.

Fitting

Swapping the old and new batteries was a doddle. An earlier check of my Haynes manual had suggested it would not be difficult. Just lift off the battery cover, unscrew the one bolt holding the retaining clamp (arrowed), unclip just the front half of the plastic insulator box and disconnect the battery connections. Lift out the old battery, lift in the new and put everything back! Didn't take me more than 10 minutes!


New Battery in position. Mounting Clamp and bolt arrowed. Battery cover not fitted.

Upon starting the car afterwards, I was expecting to see a few warning lights on the dash and have to re-code the stereo. But apart from my trip odometer resetting and having to reset the clock, I had nothing else to do.

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