How to Replace a Battery in Volkswagen Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Volkswagen car cars, vans and SUVs come with handy Volkswagen car fobs that feature a flip-out Volkswagen car and buttons for Volkswagen car entry. These Volkswagen car fobs are fitted with little batteries like those used in watches. Like any battery, Volkswagen car fob batteries sometimes die and need to be replaced. If your Volkswagen car fob doesn't seem to be working very well lately, or if it doesn't work at all, it may be time for a new battery. Instead of taking the Volkswagen car fob to a Volkswagen car dealer, save yourself some time and money by replacing the battery yourself.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Battery in a 2002 VW Jetta TDI

Open the hood to access the engine compartment. The battery is located inside the black housing behind the driver's side headlight. Squeeze the latch and lift the lid of the battery cover.

Loosen the nut on the negative terminal connector and disconnect the cable from the negative terminal post. The negative terminal is located on the left side of the battery and is marked with a minus sign. Securely position the cable end to prevent it from accidentally touching the negative terminal post during the rest of the procedure.

Open the cover of the fuse box, which is on top of the battery between the terminal posts, and remove the nut securing the cable that connects the fuse block to the positive battery terminal. Disconnect the cable and fuse box cover. Position the fuse box and the battery cover lid off to the side.

Loosen the nut on the positive terminal connector and disconnect the cable from the positive terminal post.

Release the positioning tabs for the battery cover and remove it from the vehicle.

Remove the bolt from the battery securing clamp and remove the clamp. The clamp is beneath the battery itself, with the bolt visible from the side of the battery.

Lift the old battery from the engine compartment. Remember that batteries are heavier than they look. Position the new battery in place.

Secure the battery in place with the clamp and install the bolt. Replace the battery cover. Connect the positive battery cable to the positive battery terminal and tighten the nut on the terminal connector.

Position the fuse box and battery cover lid. Connect the positive cable to the fuse block and reinstall the securing nut. Close the fuse box cover.

Connect the negative battery cable to the negative battery terminal and tighten the nut on the connector. Close the battery cover and hood and clean up.

Items you will need

  • Wrenches

  • Ratchet and sockets

  • New battery

 How to Change the Battery in a 2003 VW Jetta Key Fob

Battery Removal

Open the key by pressing the chrome button on the corner of the key fob. Look inside the bed where the key lies when it is closed and find the small gap near the center. Insert a small, flat-head screwdriver into this gap, and twist it to separate the key side of the key fob from the transponder side -- the one with the buttons on it. Pull the key side of the key fob from the transponder side. Pry the backside of the transponder side of the key fob -- the side opposite the buttons -- from the key fob, using the small, flat-head screwdriver, exposing the key fob circuit board and battery. Carefully pry the battery from its bed, using the small, flat-head screwdriver.

Battery Installation

Set a new No. 2032 battery on its bed with its marked negative side facing up. Press the battery into its bed until the metal clips secure it in place. Align the backside of the transponder side of the key fob with the button side, then press the two sides together until they snap into place. Line up the key half of the key fob with the transponder half, then slide the two halves together until they click into place. Close the key, then test the key fob.

 How to Change the Battery in a Volkswagen Jetta

Plug the 9-volt battery into the car computer memory saver and then plug the saver into the power source or cigarette lighter socket.

Remove the ignition keys from the Jetta.

Put on the safety goggles and then open the hood and locate the battery box cover. It has a light bulb insignia stamped on the top of it. Remove the four screws of the battery box cover with a ratchet and socket. The box casing is two pieces. To separate the pieces, twist one side slightly down and the other slightly upward.

Remove the battery casing bolt located in the front center with the ratchet and socket.

Remove the battery hold-down bolt using the ratchet, extension and a socket.

Loosen the retaining nut on the negative battery terminal clamp using the ratchet and a socket. You do not need to remove the nut: just loosen it enough to allow the terminal clamp to wiggle off of the battery post. The negative battery terminal is indicated with the black wire and a negative slash "-" stamped on the battery housing.

Loosen the retaining nut on the positive battery terminal clamp in the same fashion. The positive battery terminal is indicated by the red wire with a plus sign "+" stamped on the battery housing.

Slide the battery slightly forward to release it from under the rear retaining lip. Remove the battery and battery insulation cover if applicable. Place the battery insulation cover onto the new battery before installation.

Use the wire brush to clean any noticeable corrosion inside the battery tray. Use the battery terminal/post cleaner tool to clean the battery terminal clamps.

Insert the new battery into the battery tray and reverse the procedure to reinstall it. Be sure to push the new battery back under the retaining lip at the rear of the casing. Also be sure to attach the positive terminal to the battery first and the negative last. Before replacing the battery casing cover assembly, spray the battery posts and terminal clamps with anti-corrosion battery terminal spray.

Start the Jetta to ensure proper operation and then remove the car computer memory saver. Remove the 9-volt battery from the saver until the next time you need it.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet, extension and metric socket set

  • Car computer memory saver with 9-volt battery

  • Wire brush

  • Safety goggles

  • Terminal/post cleaner tool

  • Replacement battery

  • Anti-corrosion battery terminal spray

 How to Change the Battery in a New 2005 Volkswagen Beetle

Removing the Old Battery

Pop the hood and use the prop rod to hold it in place so that it doesn't fall on you while working.

Locate the battery by looking directly under the hood, facing the car. The battery is in the front on the right side, under the hood.

Loosen the negative battery clamps first (fender side/black) using the 10mm socket and turning counterclockwise. This will allow you to work the clamps side to side on the terminal until they come loose.

Add the extension to the socket wrench so that you can reach the next few screws.

Remove the two small screws near the bottom of the battery: the long screw near the power steering reservoir and the short one that holds the jacket around the battery. Work around the battery in right-to-left order until you find them all. The easiest way to remove the screws is to loosen them all the way and then pull them out with the telescoping magnet. It's very difficult to fit your hands down there to grab them.

Unsnap the plastic shield from the battery by grabbing it near the snaps, and lifting up on the corners. This will reveal one final 13mm bolt. Remove that bolt.

Lift the battery up on its left side. This won't allow you to remove the battery, but it will get you to about a 45-degree angle so that you can slide your right hand under it. Wiggle the right side while holding the left side up to remove the battery. This is very tough on the hands because it's a tight-fitting battery.

Remove the battery cover, and place it over the new battery.

Installing the New Battery

Insert the new battery back in place by angling it just like the old one you removed. Start with the right side down and the left end up at a 45-degree angle. Wiggle it a bit until it drops in place. Ensure that the posts are toward the driver's seat of the car and not toward the front.

Work in reverse order to reinstall all of the screws and bolts that you removed when taking out the old battery. For the spots that are difficult to reach with your hands, hold the screws in place with the telescoping magnet and screw them in with the ratchet in the other hand.

Replace the battery clamps by wiggling them back onto the posts from which they came. Do the positive clamp and post first (engine side/red) and then the negative. Retighten the 10mm screws with the ratchet. Ensure that the clamps form a tight connection with the terminals.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket wrench extension

  • 10mm socket

  • 13mm socket

  • Telescoping magnet pickup tool

 How to Change the Battery in a VW Touareg Key

Take the key fob in your hands and pull it apart. It should come apart in two halves: the half with the buttons on it and the half with the key in it. It may be necessary to pull rather hard.

Take the half with the buttons on it and pry it open using your fingernail or another thin object (like a small flat-head screwdriver). You should be able to see a seam where the plastic will separate.

Pop out the battery using a fingernail or a small screwdriver. The battery is the silver round object sitting in one half of the key fob.

Insert a new battery (type CR2032) into the battery slot. Make sure the positive side (+) faces the correct direction, which should be specified somewhere on the inside of the fob.

Put the two halves of the button portion of the key fob together by lining them up and pressing firmly. Connect the key portion and the button portion of the key fob by inserting the button portion into the slot of the key portion and pressing firmly.

Items you will need

  • Small flat-head screwdriver (optional)

 How to Change the Battery in a 2001 Jetta

Open your Jetta’s hood and remove the plastic battery cover on top of the battery. Simply lift the front of the plastic cover and unhook it from the hinge in back. Place the cover to the side.

Remove the plastic headlight cover directly in front of the battery. This will give you more room to operate. Use your Philips screwdriver to remove the two screws that hold the headlight cover in place and slide it out. Set it to the side as well.

Use the 10 mm socket and ratchet to remove the negative battery cable first. Just loosen the nut enough to release the pressure on the clamp and pull the terminal free of the post. Tuck the cable to the side and remove the positive cable in the same fashion.

Remove the plastic guard at the front of the battery. You will have to use your 10 mm socket, ratchet and extension in order to reach the bolt at the bottom, left-hand corner of the plastic box/guard. After you’ve loosened the bolt, the guard will still be held in place by plastic tabs, located at the bottom corners. Slide the tabs free by pulling the guard forward. You should then be able to lift the plastic piece out of the way.

Loosen the bracket at the front of the battery, at the bottom. Use your 13 mm socket, ratchet and extension to loosen the bolt holding the bracket in place. After the bracket is loose, you will be able to lift the battery out of its compartment.

Clean the terminals on the battery cables if they are corroded or dirty. Use a battery post and terminal cleaning tool if you have one. If not, a wire brush will suffice.

Situate the new battery in the compartment and simply reverse the removal process to complete the installation. Remember to hook up the positive cable before the negative in order to avoid any sparks or damage.

Items you will need

  • Philips screwdriver

  • Battery post and terminal cleaner (optional)

  • 10 mm socket

  • 13 mm socket

  • Ratchet

  • 5-inch extension

 How to Replace the Battery in a VW Beetle

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.

Items you will need

  • Metric socket wrench

  • New 12-volt battery

  • Battery terminal puller

  • Wire brushes

  • Gloves

  • Goggles

  • Old rags

 How to Replace the Battery in a VW Key Fob

Press the button on your key fob to release the key into the open position.

Thread the round key ring through the key ring slot on the end of the key fob, if it is not there already.

Loop one forefinger through the key ring to help give you leverage and a firm grip on the key fob.

Pull the two halves apart, exerting increasing pressure until the two halves separate.

Pry open the remote case at the seam, using a small screwdriver or your fingernail to expose the battery.

Pop out the old battery, and insert a fresh CR2032 battery with the negative (-) side facing up.

Snap the case together.

Press the two halves of the remote together.

Items you will need

  • 1-inch circumference round key ring

  • CR2032 3-volt replacement battery

  • 3 ml flat-blade micro screwdriver, or eyeglass screwdriver

 How to Replace a Battery in a VW Key

Flip the key blade to the "Open" position and place it on its side.

Insert the flat-head screwdriver into the notch (in the slot your key rests in when it's in the "closed" position). Pry open the key, separating the top half (key) from the bottom half (remote).

Pry apart the remote transmitter using your hands. Set the side containing the circuit aside.

Remove the old battery (use the screwdriver to pry it out from the side) from the transmitter. Insert the new battery with the "+" symbol facing down. Push the battery down to secure it.

Snap the remote transmitter halves back together. Position the key half on top of the transmitter and push it down to lock it.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Replacement battery

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.