Changing a battery on a VW Golf
April 13, 2005 9:25 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to change the battery on my VW Golf. I've done this several times on my old Honda Accord, but with the Golf, I can't seem to find the mounting screws or clamp device after I disconnect the battery cables. Does anyone with this car know where it is?
posted by corpse to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
Hell yes, and it's a bitch. There's a bracket that hooks into the front lip of the battery (at its base) just behind the headlight. If memory serves, you need to loosen off a big bolt in the middle of that, though there may be some other bolts too. You'll need about a 6" socket extension, but not too long an extension, because the bolt head is at a bit of an angle and you'll run into the headlight.
posted by cardboard at 9:57 AM on April 13, 2005

There's also about 4 bolts holding down the battery box that need to be removed.
posted by cardboard at 9:59 AM on April 13, 2005

Thanks, I'll try that and report back.
posted by corpse at 10:01 AM on April 13, 2005

This is a pretty common battery attachment method. If you look at the bottom of the battery you'll note a ridge/tab sticking out on both of the long sides. One of the tabs fits in a groove on the battery tray and the other is held down by cardboard's bracket. Make sure to have the battery in the tray groove before clamping down the bracket. Running tow truck we'd see quite a few loose batteries when boosting because they were only held down on the bracket side.

Once you get the battery out it's a good idea to clean the tray with some baking soda and hot water. Then unbolt the retaining bracket all the way and coat the bolt with a bit of anti-seize paste before putting it back together.
posted by Mitheral at 11:17 AM on April 13, 2005

Try this do-it-yourself guide. I used this to change the battery in my Jetta, and it helped a TON.
posted by superboy422 at 12:31 PM on April 13, 2005

superboy422, the info at that link seems pretty thorough, but it says to always disconnect the negative terminal before the positive. I was always told to disconnect the positive terminal first, for safety reasons.

Anybody know which is the correct way, and why?
posted by veedubya at 12:59 PM on April 13, 2005

The headlight thing is just a cover? That would certainly give more wiggle room for the wrench. Oh well. Live and learn.
posted by cardboard at 1:59 PM on April 13, 2005

Got the fucker out. Took me awhile though, because I don't have a ratchet extension, but taking off the cover helped alot. Thanks all.
posted by corpse at 4:34 PM on April 13, 2005

Negitive first always veedubya. The reasoning is while both terminals are still connected if you slip with the wrench on the negative side nothing happens. If you slip on the positive side and the wrench makes contact with both the positive terminal and the car body you get a sparky light show or worse.

Worst case: the battery explodes from the hundreds of amps it's being asked to provide via the short and sprays boiling hot sulphric acid, plastic shards, and molten lead all over the engine compartment and the person holding the wrench. This by the way is why a secure battery is so important. I've seen the aftermath of a loose top post shorting out against a hood. It wasn't pretty.
posted by Mitheral at 11:54 AM on April 14, 2005

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