How do I Jump-start a Car With a VW?

Updated March 23, 2017

A car whose battery has run down can be started by boosting its battery with a Volkswagen's battery. Jump leads transfer electrical charges from the good battery to the dead battery. A battery that has run down because of headlights having been left on can usually be started in a few seconds, while an older battery might require you to run the VW's engine longer before attempting to start the other car. Most VW's have their battery in the front engine compartment. The exception is the Beetle, which has its engine compartment at the car's rear.

Park the VW near the dead car and turn off the engine. Open both car bonnets and locate the batteries. Move the VW if your cables are not long enough to connect both batteries.

Clamp one end of the red cable to the dead battery's positive post. The positive post will have a small plus (+) sign imprinted next to it. Clamp the other end to the VW's positive post.

Clamp one end of the black cable to the VW's negative post. The negative post will have a small minus (-) sign imprinted next to it. Clamp the other end to any unpainted metal in the dead car's engine compartment, as far from the dead battery as possible, but away from any moving parts.

Start the VW and allow it to idle for a few minutes. Start the dead car and allow both cars to idle for about a minute. Remove the cables in reverse order.


Scrape away any corrosion from the dead battery before attaching the jump leads.

Things You'll Need

  • Jump leads
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About the Author

Robert C. Young began writing professionally in 1989 as a copywriter for an advertising specialty company. From 2000 to 2007 he operated a real-estate development and construction company. His work has been published online at SFGate and various other websites. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in economics from Georgia State University.