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Battery Change On Mk4 2.2Tdci


Brigante
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So last night my instrument cluster pinged up telling me my battery was low while I was in a phone call using bluetooth.

The car then ended the call and turned off the head unit, assumingly to conserve the battery.

I have just got back from a semi wasted trip to halfrauds, using my members card to save 15% off a new battery.

I was going to have them fit it, but two of their 'technicians/goons' was completely stumped at how to remove my current battery, or even get to both terminals to test it. Had a quick google and it recommended removing the air filter cover to make getting at the battery easier. i suggested this to them and they said they could not touch it as they are not insured to do that.

So I decided to proceeded to purchase the battery just to save the 15% but now I am at a loss at how to actually fit it.

Could anyone please advise on this?

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Had a quick google and it recommended removing the air filter cover to make getting at the battery easier.

I have the 2 litre and the air filter is different (and it might be different pre- and post- fl), but...

You need (for convenience...maybe you don't actually absolutely need, but it makes it easier) to slide the battery in, more or less horizontally. If you were two people, maybe you could get the battery to 30 - 45 degrees, and then rotate it to level, and then you wouldn't need so much of the clear path in, but the two people would get in one another's way.

The top of the air filter is in the way - at least on a 2 litre - so that needs to go and there are three or four retainers that need to be unclipped. The full air filter does not need to be removed, just the top cover.

The front part of the battery box un-clips, and you need that out of the way, too (you squeeze it in a bit). This is easy, once you suss out the how the clips work, but, if you try to force it, you would just break the cover.

From a safety point of view, disconnect the black/negative terminal first and then the red/positive. There is a 'hold down' at the front of the battery, held down by a single bolt, and that should be removed. The careful will take a photo before removing.

Slide the battery out of the way (easier if it has those folding handles) by pulling it forward and up. At this point, re-fiiting is the reversal of disassembly, as Haynes would say.

Of course, it would be easy if batteries were light, but they aren't.

When refitting the terminals:

  • red first
  • even small amounts of corrosion are bad, so clean carefully, if necessary
  • some vaseline is usually advised to protect the terminals from corrosion; I've also used 'copper grease' on the terminal surface, because I couldn't see what harm it would do, but that's optional
  • tighten up the terminals, but do it carefully; it is possible to break the seal between the terminal post and the battery body (which is bad)
  • there will be a spark as you connect the second terminal; the connection order does not change this; don't have your fingers too close or have anything flammable around the area

The 'hold down' has to be refitted. There is no guarantee that it goes back in the same way that it came out, as the replacement battery might be a different length from the one that came out, and, in that case, you might have to play around with using the alternative mounting hole and/or flipping the bracket over, so that it fits the new battery correctly. A little grease on this bolt might be helpful, too, but won't help until you take this clip out again.

And you'll need the code for the stereo.

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BOF I'm confused slightly by your statement about coating the terminals with Vaseline. I wouldn't advise putting any Vaseline on the terminals until the the connectors are bolted on, anything inbetween the 2 will act as an insulator. Vaseline won't conduct electricity at 12v lol.

Vaseline should be used only as a 'moisture barrier', the same procedure as we use on warship switchboards.

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Sorry, that wasn't really clear enough; I know what I meant, but you wouldn't necessarily know that from reading what I wrote. The vaseline should be put on the terminals after they have been assembled and tightened up.

It isn't, however, a big problem if you do it first (or have some vaseline smeared around from the previous time that it has been done and don't clean it up perfectly) because the excess gets squeezed out and the vaseline just ends up in places where there would otherwise be an air gap. If it doesn't, then you haven't got the terminals tight enough...

You are right that vaseline doesn't conduct electricity, and that's unhelpful, and keeping the contact surfaces apart with vaseline would be bad.

The problem of contact corrosion seems to have become less evident over the years, though, presumably as batteries have become better at keeping any corrosive fumes internally and not venting them. I still do the vaseline thing, possibly as much out of habit as anything else, but you do know that terminals assembled dry are going to be ok, when assembled new, but it is a little less clear how they would be after 4 - 8 years, however long the battery naturally lasts.

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On the subject of that video -

  • that's the wrong (for the OP) air filter and engine cover; it is pre-fl, but the 2 litre, not 2.2 (the principle is the same, though)
  • I don't think that you have to take the plastic engine cover off (it is easy enough, though)
  • I'm sure I only took the top cover off the air filter, and he takes the whole thing off - not much in it, but you don't have to remove the air intake tube (although his method gives slightly better access; I didn't need the better access, but it might be different with the 2.2 and a heavier battery, if that's what you've got)
  • He wraps the earth connection in electrical tape; I wouldn't do it that way, because you'll leave traces of glue from the tape on the contact surface; put it in a plastic bag and use the tape on that, if necessary
  • He assembles all of the battery terminals completely dry (no grease is used, at all), and I'd rather go with the old fashioned approach of a little vaseline over the top, after assembly; this might be belt and braces with the 'water recycling' of the modern batteries, but I'm in the 'why not' camp here
  • This is the big one; if you watch, at the end, his use of that ratchet on the ground connection gets very close to the other battery terminal; if that touches, you have 500+ Amps and it welds the ratchet in place (and ruins the ratchet and possibly the battery and, of course, your day). This is not a good thing. Put the front of the battery cover on first and be careful not to touch it with the ratchet (it is not the most robust thing in the world), be very careful or use something with an insulated handle (or, if you've got terminal covers on your battery, you could use those). Don't copy the video exactly. Just don't. Even if it takes fifteen minutes more to be careful, be careful (and it probably should be nearer five). It really is worth it.
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...because it can short, somewhere...the only thing that is keeping you from having an issue with a short (eg, dropping your spanner somewhere very unfortunate) or with sparks as it connects and disconnects is that you only have one connection to the battery, so you don't the other connection on the battery flailing about.

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Well should he not be covering the positive terminal then.. There is good reason why the earth terminal is the hard to get at/enclosed terminal at the back.. Disconnect it and push it put the road away from the battery - job done lol. Health and safety gone mad again no doubt

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had to replace my battery recently and it is difficult! Although in the end I made my life easier by removing the "pretty bits".I started off by disconnecting the positive, then seperated the two branches by removing the nut, and then spreading the branches out and down the side of the battery box.

Now, I removed the battery box altogether, just pulled it out and kept it out the way!

now you need to get an extender on the socket wrench, and remove the battery clamp from the bottom of the battery box.

Now, pull the battery up and over the air box (its just as easy to rest the battery on the filter for this bit!) then disconnect the negative.

Then I just reinstalled the battery back in. I was going to reinstall the battery box when I was confident the battery was working, health got in the way and the earth bolt is still bodged on but the car works perfectly. No cosmetic pretty box but it makes things much easier to work with!

Hope this helps!

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  • 5 years later...

I know this is old, but just replaced my battery and no power at all. Although can see 12.7v across + and chassis. Am i missing something? 2010 tdci 2L

Thx

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2 hours ago, Sp8eu said:

I know this is old, but just replaced my battery and no power at all. Although can see 12.7v across + and chassis. Am i missing something? 2010 tdci 2L

Thx

"No power at all"

 

So the central locking is dead, no response to turning the ignition key, no response from the radio when using the key to turn on the electrics?  You're saying that your car currently gives the appearance of not having a battery connected?

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Hi Damian, yes it was. Unfortunately it was user error.....although I connected + and negative, there was an extra cable that wasn't connected - schoolboy error. All fine now on the battery front.

Thanks for your reply.

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1 minute ago, Sp8eu said:

Hi Damian, yes it was. Unfortunately it was user error.....although I connected + and negative, there was an extra cable that wasn't connected - schoolboy error. All fine now on the battery front.

Thanks for your reply.

Nice one, a free fix is always a good fix in my book!  (I suspect the extra cable was probably for the ground/earth)

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Yeah, but I think I missed it because I connected the main one back..or what appeared to be the main one. Out of interest....any idea why there are two thick ground/earth cables?

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