Long gone are the days that you could pop down to Millfield Autos (Hello Peterborough!), pick up a £35 battery for your 1985 Fiesta Mk2 1.1 Ghia and swap it out in the car park quicker than it would take to fill up at 62p/ litre (those were the days).
In fact, not only could I be paying over £200 (what the actual f**k?!) for a battery, you might have to get it coded to the car.
With this utter stupidity in mind, we’ve put together an article dedicated to swapping out the battery in your VW / Audi / Seat / Skoda. For the record, I’ll be using my 2015 Skoda VRS DSG diesel (start/stop) as an example. This is quite a common engine in the VAG range (2.0L diesel) so it should be a good insight into what you should expect, both for your wallet and sanity.
What battery do you need?
The battery code should be visible somewhere on the battery. For my VRS, the battery code is 096. You could also check with your main dealer or put your registration number into eurocarparts and it should spit out a battery suggestion and code number.
You should take the measurements of the battery to make sure it will fit if you opt to source one yourself.
Many VAG cars have stop/start technology that demands greater performance and higher CCA (cold cranking amps). For these vehicles, we would highly recommend that you opt for an AGM battery.
What is an AGM Battery?
AGM stands for Absorbent Glass Mat. These batteries were developed in the 80’s for use by the military. They offer greater performance for modern cars compared to “standard” batteries.
An AGM battery has a very low internal resistance and is capable of delivering high currents on demand. They offer a long service life, even when deep cycled and is maintenance free.
AGM batteries are the prefered choice for cars with a start-stop, traditional batteries are simply not robust enough and repeated cycling causes a sharp capacity fade after only two years of use
Should I buy a battery from a main dealer?
That’s a hard NO. My Skoda dealership, Wings Skoda Peterborough quoted me over £293.74 to replace the battery in my Mk3 Skoda Octavia VRS. Yes, you read that right! Nearly £300. I also enquired about having them code a battery if I fit one myself, that was £52.50. F**king crazy!
Where should I buy my battery from?
Once you have the battery code for your battery you’re pretty much free to buy your battery from any supplier. Just make sure it’s the right size (dimensions).
We’ve found that Amazon offers some very competitive batteries with free delivery for Prime members. As with any purchase from Amazon, be sure to check the feedback and reviews for Marketplace sellers. We try and buy from Amazon themselves i.e. “Dispatched from and sold by Amazon”.
You should also check TPS, Eurocarparts and Halfords. Please let us know in the comments any other suggestions
Why are batteries so expensive?
Batteries for newer cars have to deal with the demands for higher loads that are associated with modern cars, thus batteries for modern cars must offer great performance. AGM batteries are more expensive to manufacture and are therefore even more expensive than traditional battery technology.
Why do have to have my battery coded to my car?
ECU keeps a record of the charging history and the state of the battery. This is important for vehicles that have start/stop.
Coding a new battery tells the car the battery is new and to forget the history of charging. It will then monitor the new one from a blank history and help ensure the lifetime and performance of the newly installed battery. This is especially important with AGM batteries as they are sensitive to overcharging and undercharging.
Can I code my battery myself?
Yes, you can code it yourself. We’re still putting together a step by step guide but there are a couple of resources that might help
For my Skoda Octavia VRS Mk3, I reached out to the owners club Facebook group and was humbled by the number of offers from people offering to code it for me. We will be buying an ODBEleven to code this and we’ll be sure to create a guide.
Let’s hear from you?
Have you had a bad experience with swapping the battery in your VAG vehicle? Do you offer battery coding services? How many batteries have you gone through over the years? Let us know in the comments below
This guide might be helpful for owners looking for battery information for their VW Golf, Audi A3, Audi A4, VW Polo, Skoda Fabia, Skoda Octavia, VW Pasat, Audi A6, Audi Diesel, VW Diesel, Skoda Diesel