How to Replace the Battery in a VW Beetle

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Where you find the battery in a VW Beetle depends on whether you have an old Beetle or a "New Beetle." Since 1998, Volkswagen has been churning out the New Beetle. The engine and battery are in the front of the car under the hood, on the driver's side under a black cover. The battery in the older models from the 1960s was located under the back seat.

Things You'll Need

  • Metric socket wrench
  • New 12-volt battery
  • Battery terminal puller
  • Wire brushes
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Old rags

New Beetle

  • Pop the cover off the battery with a flathead screwdriver.

  • Take off the cables from the battery terminals with a battery terminal puller. Remove the negative cable first. Use a metric wrench to remove a bolt at the bottom of the battery tray to unhook the batter holder.

  • Lift the battery out of the compartment. Safely dispose of the used battery at an auto parts store, which will often take it as a trade-in, or bring it to a recycling center.

  • Use a wire brush to clean the tray that holds the battery. Wipe it off with a damp cloth and let it dry before replacing new battery. Dispose of the rags since they're covered with acid.

  • Clean the insides of the connector cables with a pointed wire brush. Keep your gloves on at all times to avoid getting acid on your hands and wear glasses or goggles to protect your eyes.

  • Place the new battery on the battery tray. Attach the correct cable on each terminal and tighten securely with pliers or socket wrench.

  • Reattach the battery holder and the metric bolt. Replace the cover by pushing firmly down on it over the battery compartment.

Old Beetle

  • Remove the rear seat completely. Pull up from the front of the seat and lift it up. Wiggle it out of the way through the doorway. You can see the battery with the seat lifted partially up, but it is easier to work on if you remove the seat completely.

  • Take off the cables from the battery terminals with a battery terminal puller. Remove the negative cable first.

  • Lift the battery out of the compartment. Safely dispose of the used battery at an auto parts store, which will often take it as a trade-in, or bring it to a recycling center.

  • Use a wire brush to clean the tray that holds the battery. Wipe it off with a damp cloth and let it dry before replacing new battery. Wipe off any acid that may splash on the floor of the car. Dispose of the rags since they'll be covered with acid.

  • Clean the insides of the connector cables with a pointed wire brush. Keep your gloves on at all times to avoid getting acid on your hands and wear glasses or goggles to protect your eyes.

  • Place the new battery on the battery tray. Attach the correct cable on each terminal and tighten securely with pliers or socket wrench. Replace the seat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a long-necked magnet on hand to catch the bolt on the battery tray so it doesn't slip away once you've loosened it.

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