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Testing the Battery

When checking your VW battery it is important to know that even if it is a 12v battery and it is putting out nearly 12v on a voltage gauge it still may not be a good battery.  A fully charged good 12v battery will usually actually put out nearly 13v or more.

To properly check the condition of a battery it needs to be completely charged and then load tested.  When the load tester is connected to the battery it may initially show nearly 12v or more.
When a load is applied it should not drop drastically like this.
If it does you need to replace the battery.  Most parts stores or auto service areas like Wal Mart will do this test for free.  Another common problem area is the connection at the battery to the battery cables.  The ends are prone to corrosion that in some cases is not even visible.  When this happens the battery may not be receiving a good charge from the charging system and/or may not be allowing a good flow of power to the starter and other electrical components.  The ends can be simply cleaned with either of two kinds of tools, the brush type, like this one.
Or the scraper type, like this.

If the cable end is too bad to clean replace the whole cable (they are cheap) rather than just the end to be on the safe side.

These two battery tips may very well save you from buying a new starter or other expensive electrical component. We have a lot more help available in our Bug Me Video Vol.10 - Electrical Troubleshooting video on DVD.

Rick Higgins and Crew
Bug Me Video, Inc

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