The heart of any car, the battery provides electrical current to the alternator, which helps start the engine. The battery also runs the electronic components such as power doors, windows, air conditioning, and radio. Sometimes, a battery just needs a jump start or quick charge. However, when the battery is dead and cannot hold a charge, it is time to replace it. By following a few simple steps, anyone can change out an old VW Beetle battery for a new one.
There are only a few tools needed to change a Beetle's car battery.
- Wrench: Size varies by car, but typically an 8mm or 10mm wrench works
- Flathead screwdriver: Necessary if the battery cover needs some leverage to open
- Replacement battery: Type varies by the make and model of the car; consult owner's manual for specifics
- Cleaning supplies: Wire brush and an old, damp cloth
- Safety gear: Rubber work gloves and goggles protect skin and eyes from acid
Most of these items are readily available from hardware stores or online. However, you might already have some of them at home.
Step One: Find the Battery
First, locate the VW Beetle battery. In pre-1998 Beetles, the battery is located in the boot of the car, alongside the engine. In post-1998 Beetles, the battery and the engine are located under the bonnet, which is standard in most vehicles. The battery should stand out when you look at the engine under the bonnet. In the new Beetle models, it is on the right side of the engine.
Step Two: Disconnect the Battery
Once you locate the battery, you can disconnect it. Be especially careful due to the electrical charge and battery acid. Read the safety instructions that come with the battery. Always wear safety goggles and gloves for protection from battery acid and other fluids. A soft plastic cover may cover the battery. If so, you can unhook it so that the battery is exposed; this might require a flathead screwdriver for leverage.
Positive and Negative Terminals
Look to see which terminal is positive and which is negative; they display a + and – sign, respectively. Next, use a wrench to loosen the bolt on the negative battery terminal. Be careful to never touch the wrench across the battery's terminal, and never touch the positive to earth.
Remove the negative cable off the negative battery terminal. Do the same for the positive side. There should be one more bolt in the front of the battery that connects it to the holder; loosen that as well. Then, pull the battery out of the holder.
Step Three: Insert the New Battery
Now that the old battery is gone, it is time to insert the new battery. First, the surface might require some tidying up.
How to Clean the Area
A wire brush can clean the tray, and a damp cloth can wipe down the surrounding area. Discard any rags used when wiping down the area due to battery acid residue. Do not forget to clean the insides of the connector cables; a pointed wire brush is handy here.
How to Insert the New Battery
Make sure the positive side and negative sides are in the right location and that the battery sits flush with the holder. Reattach the appropriate cables and securely tighten using a wrench or pliers. Then, reattach the battery holder with the metric bolt. If it has a cover, replace it by pushing firmly.
How to Properly Dispose of the Battery
Improperly disposed batteries can lead to environmental and health hazards due to the lead, acid, and plastic found in the battery. After replacing the used battery, dispose of it properly at a recycling centre. Some auto part stores offer battery disposal services. Alternatively, take the battery to the local hazardous waste facility for proper disposal.
How to Buy a New Battery on eBay
When searching for a replacement battery, you can browse through the listings on eBay to save money on parts. You can enter the car battery requirement in the search bar, located on any page on the site. Replacing the battery on a VW Beetle should not be a hassle as long as you have the right tools and carefully follow these simple steps. Just be sure to follow all safety guidelines.