How to Charge the Battery on a 2003 Passat

by Tim Petruccio

The 2003 Volkswagen Passat was available in four sub-models: the Passat sedan, Passat sedan 4 Motion, Passat wagon and Passat wagon 4 motion. The 2003 Passat came with three engine options: a 1.8-liter in-line four-cylinder turbo-charged engine, a 2.8-liter V-6 and a 4.0-liter W8 engine. Charging the battery is essential to the proper operation of the 2003 Passat. Many battery tests require a fully charged battery. If the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, move the battery to a warmer area.

Battery Charging Instructions

Step 1

Open the driver's door of the Passat. Insert a memory saver into the cigarette lighter socket to preserve the Passat's anti-theft radio code. If you do not have a memory saver, call the dealership to obtain the radio code free of charged, based on the vehicle's VIN.

Step 2

Open the Passat's hood and set the hood prop rod. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery by using a ratchet and socket. Disconnect the positive cable from the battery.

Step 3

Connect the positive clamp from the battery charger to the positive battery post. Connect the negative clamp from the charger to the negative post. Plug the charger into a power source and turn on the charger. The charger must be unplugged when you are connecting or disconnecting it from the battery. Do not remove the caps from the top of the battery for any reason during charging.

Step 4

Read the charger instructions to determine the amp settings for the particular battery. Set the volt and amp functions on the charger accordingly. Allow the charger to charge the battery for about one hour, then check the status of the battery charge. Allow the battery to charge completely, but do not leave the battery on the charger after it is full.

Turn off the battery charger. Unplug the battery charger from its power source. Disconnect the charger from the battery completely. Install the positive battery cable onto the battery, then install the negative cable. Tighten both battery cables until they are snug by using a ratchet.

Battery Removal Instructions

Step 1

Disconnect the positive cable from the battery by using a ratchet and socket. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery. Remove the battery housing cover by hand.

Step 2

Remove the hold-down bolt and bracket from the battery tray by using a ratchet, socket and extension. There are two types of batteries for the 2003 Passat: one with a gas vent tube and one without. Do not remove the tube from the battery if it has a gas vent tube.

Step 3

Pull the entire battery upward and out of the engine compartment. Set the battery on a bench or table. Do not set the battery directly onto a concrete floor.

Installation is the reverse of removal. Tighten the battery hold-down bolt to 14.75 foot-pounds by using a torque wrench, socket and extension. Tighten the battery cables snugly by using a ratchet and socket after you install the battery cover over the battery.


  • If the battery begins to steam or you smell gasses escaping from the battery, reduce the charging levels of the battery. If the steam or gas smell continues, stop charging immediately and replace the battery.
  • Never charge a battery near an open flame, such as a pilot light on a water heater or a space heater. Do not smoke while you are connecting or disconnecting the charger from the vehicle.
  • Do not leave precision tools near the battery charging area.
  • Charging the battery can emit toxic sulfur fumes. Charge the battery only in a well-ventilated area.
  • A completely "dead" or discharged battery must be replaced. Never try to jump start or "boost" a completely discharged battery, as explosion of the battery may occur.

Items you will need

  • Radio memory saver
  • Ratchet
  • Socket set
  • Battery charger

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