Replacing the battery in your 1999 Volkswagen Passat is a simple and quick project that can be accomplished by even a novice mechanic. By following some simple steps, but carefully taking your time, you can have the Passat's battery swapped out and be back on the road in less than 30 minutes. Once you change the Passat's battery, you'll be able to change a battery in any other car, because the procedure is virtually the same from vehicle to vehicle.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Safety glasses
- Baking soda
- Old toothbrush
- Adjustable wrench
- New car battery
Put on safety glasses and goggles.
Open the bonnet and find the battery. It will be located on the front driver's side, directly behind the headlight.
Pour baking soda in the cup; mix in water until it forms a paste.
Dip the toothbrush in the baking soda-water mixture and then scrub the battery terminals to remove any corrosion. This will remove any blue-green crust that has formed around the terminals.
Fit the adjustable wrench snugly around the negative battery clamp and loosen the bolt until you can lift the clamp off the negative terminal.
Use the same technique to remove the positive battery clamp.
Lift the old battery out of the car. The battery will be heavy, so lift with your legs to prevent injuring your back.
Sweep or scoop out any debris that is in and around the battery compartment.
Dip the toothbrush in the baking soda and water mixture and scrub off any additional corrosion on the inside of the battery clamps.
Place the new battery in the car, being careful not to drop it too fast, which can damage the battery.
Connect the positive battery clamp on the battery and use the adjustable wrench to tighten it until the clamp is snug and doesn't move from side to side.
Use the same technique to connect the negative battery clamp.
Start the vehicle.
Tips and warnings
- Have your battery tested annually to see if it is properly charged. Most auto parts stores will do the test for free, which takes less than five minutes.
- You can either bring your old battery into the store when buying a new one or the store associate can look up the type of battery your car needs with the vehicle's year, make and model.
- Whenever you disconnect a battery, the vehicle's radio presets and clock will need to be reset.
- If the car still does not start once the battery is replaced, the battery was not causing the problem and the vehicle should be inspected by a qualified mechanic to pinpoint the issue.
- Whenever working on the electrical system of a car, the ignition must be in the "off" position.
- Battery acid is corrosive, so always wear proper safety gear.
- Be sure to return the old battery to the store to ensure it is properly recycled.
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