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.


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.

Visitor comments
Posted by mrjnthompson, Tue 9 Feb 2016 1:49 pm
Thanks for posting about this. I'm not very handy with cars, etc. but your post encourages me that I can change the battery on my 2005 Golf Plus. My local (London) garage is asking a small fortune to change the battery, but it doesn't look too tricky for me. Can you advise on which tools I need for the job? And what are the main safety issues I need to look out for? [Plus I need to find my radio code just in case!] Thanks, James
Posted by StuartDalby, Tue 9 Feb 2016 5:22 pm
Hi James,

Changing the battery is pretty easy but having the right tools makes it really easy. Ideally you need a 10mm (I think) spanner to unscrew the connections to the battery terminals and a 13mm (I think) socket spanner with an extension to release the battery retaining clamp (which is on the driver's side). There is not much room around the battery even if you unclip the detachable front half of the battery housing and that is why you will need a socket extension.

The only safety issues are pretty obvious: 1) Be careful not to short the battery when releasing the connections and 2) the battery is typically quite heavy so take care when lifting it out. Fortunately they usually have handles which help.

Your radio should continue to work after you fit the new battery. I believe you only need to enter a code when pairing a radio with a vehicle for the first time.

I just fit my Mk5's 3rd battery a couple of month's ago. I ordered a similar spec but non-OEM battery online for about £50 delivered free to my door. Can't get much easier than that.

Hope this helps. Please let us know how you get on,
Posted by mrjnthompson, Fri 12 Feb 2016 2:49 pm
Thanks, really helpful. All is on hold for now I'm afraid as garage spotted we need a new turbo! They found this when doing a cambelt replacement and wondered where all of the leaking oil is coming from. Gutted. Quote to fix is £1k+. Now looking at whether to buy new or buy reconditioned.

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