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'14 TDI Execline
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, I've had my '14 since '18, and although it's never not started for me, I did notice it cranking slowly during our winters up here, have had a bunch of codes for low voltage events over the years, have had locks and aux heater codes, and other low voltage hints such as the EMS stepping in and turning things off to ensure it always starts, etc.

I've also been randomly checking it over the years, and have been always seeing it in the 11.6v - 11.3v range after being parked for as little as a few hours or overnight. I suspected the battery was the original, and I feel it had lasted long enough given its environment.

I was very tempted to purchase just a random battery in order to be cheap, but though about he inconvenience of having issues or getting stranded vs saving a few hundos and decided to go OEM.

Prices up here are just stupid on these things.... just for reference.

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Dealership deal, but at least it's a VARTA :confused:

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I was not expecting it to be this gigantic... typical "normal" battery on right for comparison.
Don't skip your Wheaties if you want to put one of these in... she's a pig.
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Removing the driver's seat was a PITA, and there's no hinged seat, so all four bolts need to come out.
Getting the electrical connectors unclipped is even more of a PITA.
Lastly, the biggest PITA is operating the battery cover corner clips to get the cover off.
After a lot of struggling and swearing, I finally got a visual confirmation that the battery was original. An interesting side note... my carpet was already cut which lead me to believe that it had been previously replaced until I saw the details on the battery itself.
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So I wrestled this mammoth out of there, and got the new one in. I hooked up the normal battery with jumper cables on the posts in the engine bay so I wouldn't have to deal with lost memory setting anywhere, etc.
Then I noticed that my new battery is already almost a year old.... oh well... I guess it had to travel over the pond and I'm sure the warranty starts on the purchase date, etc.
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So after all that, the egg started and drove without any drama.
I did take two quick logs of the different starts pre & post change, and I did note that the controller was coded for a VARTA even though the battery was a MOLL brand. Got 8 years out of the "incorrect" coding, so I can't complain.

Here are the stats. I will look at the values again after I drive a little so it gives the system a change to put some more charge into this battery... I'm sure the dealer has had it on the shelf for a while.

Original Batt said:
Mileage: 149606km-92960mi Repair Order:
Address 19: CAN Gateway (7P6 907 530 J)
10:38:49
IDE00019 Voltage terminal 30 11.5 V
IDE01833-MAS03159 Battery version-Manufacturer Varta
IDE01833-MAS04490 Battery version-Size 110 Ah
IDE01839 Battery charge level 54 %
IDE01840 Battery condition for display 50 %
IDE01842 Usable battery charge 15 Ah
New Batt said:
Mileage: 149635km-92978mi Repair Order:
Address 19: CAN Gateway (7P6 907 530 J)
14:12:17
IDE00019 Voltage terminal 30 12.1 V
IDE01833-MAS03159 Battery version-Manufacturer Varta
IDE01833-MAS04490 Battery version-Size 110 Ah
IDE01839 Battery charge level 76 %
IDE01840 Battery condition for display 80 %
IDE01842 Usable battery charge 58 Ah
I didn't bother taking pics of the process at it was actually snowing while I was doing this crap and everything was getting wet as I was doing it outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The first pic was the aftermarket option example. The comparison pic was what went in. As per my post, I wanted the BEM coding, and if you read about the various battery technologies, it appears that the OEM option has a good reputation/track record.

I also have more faith in a German made unit vs some China crap or bargain N/A unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
And because I'm anal and nobody cares, I've checked the battery stats again, after a few weeks of daily duty.

I was disappointed to see them still low.

2 week old battery said:
Address 19: CAN Gateway (7P6 907 530 J)

19:04:38
IDE00019 Voltage terminal 30 12.1 V
IDE01833-MAS03159 Battery version-Manufacturer Varta
IDE01833-MAS04490 Battery version-Size 110 Ah
IDE01839 Battery charge level 74 %
IDE01840 Battery condition for display 70 %
IDE01842 Usable battery charge 59 Ah
So, since I'm not seeing these values higher, I'm suspecting that the dealer didn't keep this puppy fully charged before selling it to me. It appears that my daily commutes aren't providing sufficient charging fast enough, so I busted out my charger and threw it on.

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I'll take another reading with VCDS tomorrow after a daily use cycle to see if the stats are higher and if the system keeps them maintained there or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
New stats after charging...
Address 19: CAN Gateway (7P6 907 530 J)

16:23:23
IDE00019 Voltage terminal 30 12.4 V
IDE01833-MAS03159 Battery version-Manufacturer Varta
IDE01833-MAS04490 Battery version-Size 110 Ah
IDE01839 Battery charge level 94 %
IDE01840 Battery condition for display 90 %
IDE01842 Usable battery charge 84 Ah
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've actually been reading about the proper way to charge this type of battery, and it would appear that my charger is not capable of charging to 100%..... apparently they need a charging voltage between 16.1-16.5v to fully charge, which explains my "stats"..... I did look at the voltage my charger was putting out and it was never above high 14s......

I'm not sure that our alternators will regulate the voltage that high either, but I may log the output during a commute just to get a better idea of what the system is doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I've confirmed my suspicions on my commute into work this morning.
I logged the parameters and confirmed that the system does not increase the voltage sufficiently to even fully charge the battery to 100% level. Below is a log showing its exact behavior. I may try to put the charger back on the battery with a manual setting of high current to see if I can forcefully charge the battery to a higher level.... just not sure that would yield any benefits based on what I'm seeing.

Log #565328
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Keep us posted. I'm going to also set my charger on manual to try to force a higher charge through increased current.... Just waiting for all this rain to stop, so not sure when I'll get to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've been searching for a proper battery charger (for this type of battery), and it appears that they more or less don't exist... so unless you pony up big coin for something like a VAS5903 you will never fully charge this type of battery!
WTeeeefffffffffff ????
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Looks like my only option is to get a proper, manual (aka dumb) charger so that I can control the voltage and amperage myself as far as the settings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As per my earlier mention, according to my research, they require a 16.1-16.5v charge at 10% of capacity current. Even your listed charger can't keep up 😉

Check out post 9 to see that I only got 84ah into the 110ah "capacity" with my charger as a result of it not being able to supply the voltage that high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here are two extracts from some of the numerous articles I've been reading on the subject. Depending on how much time you want to kill, you can easily find more with some google searches.

https://a6s.info/en/electronics/146-charge-calcium-battery said:
Calcium battery charging algorithm
If instructions for charging a calcium battery were instructed to write to me, then it would look like this:

Estimate the state of charge of the battery by the rest voltage or the indicator on the case.
If the rest voltage is below 12.3 V (or the indicator is not green), charge the battery using a charger.
Disconnect the battery from the on-board network.
If there are blockages, turn it out.
Connect the charger, having previously set the charge current to 10% of the real capacity, and not from the one that is written on the case.
Charge until the voltage reaches 14.4 V and the charge current drops to 0.1-0.3 A.
If you are going to travel in the near future, then simply connect the battery to the car's on-board network.
If you are not planning to travel, additionally charge the battery at 16.1 V for 40 minutes.
If the density of the electrolyte up to the 8th point is normal, then it is not necessary to charge with a voltage of 16.1 V.
The same is true if the indicator on the battery case turns green.
  Lead-calcium Battery Charging

  The method and the process of charging any battery is always crucial. Never purchase a battery without asking for directions on charging it because you might ruin your battery after a few days. Therefore, you need to be keen on your lead-calcium battery because you cannot afford to destroy it.

  The ordinary lead-acid battery requires a charging voltage ranging from 2.15 Volts per cell to 2.35 Volts per cell. However, the charging voltage of a lead-calcium battery is 14.8 volts. This voltage ensures that the recombination process in the battery occurs appropriately.

  The above-mentioned charging voltage of 14.8 volts indicates that it will be almost impossible to trickle-charge a lead-calcium battery. If you are using the battery on your car and the alternator can charge it, it will always ensure the alternator is actively working.

  However, you need to be careful with this calcium battery because it has a low voltage but a high current. No one can think of making the terminals meet because it will produce a massive fire or explosion.

  The good thing with lead-calcium batteries is a low self-discharge rate, meaning that it will work for an extended period. However, the lead-calcium positive plate can grow because of oxidation caused by battery overcharge. Therefore, you should be careful not to overcharge the battery.

  If your battery discharges significantly lower levels, you can connect it to a charged battery using jumper leads. You will need to connect the smart charger to the discharged battery, and it will start charging instantly. Leave the batteries connected for about 15 minutes, after which you can disconnect them, and the smart charger will continue charging the battery.

  It is advisable to charge your battery several times a month regardless of the season. Also, a calcium battery requires a special battery charger, unlike other batteries. You can fully charge a lead-calcium battery with a charger producing a voltage between 16.1 and 16.5 volts.

  Using a charger that supplies a voltage below 16.1 will mean that your battery will be partly charged. This means that a car alternator will not charge the battery fully unless it can supply the required voltage for an extended period.
If you have sources to share, or if you can otherwise explain why both my current charger and the vehicle's system aren't bringing the battery up closer to its full potential, I'd be all ears!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Hey Ian,
This is why I'm "chasing" the correct information\procedure\specs.....
I'm not necessarily saying that the mentioned 16v+ is the correct way.... but I am clearly seeing that my battery with a fairly new\recent\modern smart charger has not brought up to anywhere near its 100% values.
I can't explain this phenomenon unless I go ahead and believe the 16v+ requirement..... OR unless I assume that my new battery has already aged and it has lost 23% capacity while in transit\sitting on vw's parts shelf, etc.

As such, I'm leaning towards the 16v+ charging\reconditioning requirement.......

Maybe it's just me........ would you be OK with your new $400 battery only having 77% rated capacity?
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I will contact the dealer to see what they have to say, but I'm quite certain they will tell me to go pound salt....
Realistically, there's no real issue at the moment, and there's a good chance that it won't even come into play until 5 years from now if it actually becomes a thing, but they should do better, especially when charging these kinds of dollars for "premium" tech.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I'm not going to sweat it right now.... I just looked up the warranty policy, and it appears that I have 12mo\20k to monitor and see if I feel I'm good with it..... I probably won't be OK with it, simply because I'm anal, so I'll head back towards the end of the year and ask them to test it which will lead to a free replacement after some arguments. I will keep all my scans and periodic logs as ammo when it gets to that point, but I'm fairly confident that I will end up with a replacement at no cost to me based on this document.

Warranty Policy said:
4.2 Aftermarket Vehicle Battery
4.2.1 Coverage
Volkswagen factory aftermarket replacement batteries (batteries purchased after the NVLW period has expired, manufactured by
Exide or Interstate Battery Systems of America) sold after June 1, 1998:
• Are warranted to be free of defects in material and workmanship for 12 months or 20,000 km, whichever occurs first.
• After 12 months or 20,000 km of battery service, Volkswagen will absorb a prorated percentage of the battery
replacement cost, the remainder of the cost to be paid by the customer (including labour). This proration policy applies
until the battery has been in service for 60 months (5 years), after which time the customer must bear the entire cost for a
new battery.
Labour is not reimbursable in the following situations:
• On prorated batteries.
• On wholesale purchases or installation by an independent repair facility.
• On over-the-counter purchases.
The battery is to be replaced with a new replacement battery of comparable capacity.
Refer to Vehicle Battery Testing for Midtronics battery tester requirements for all warranty claims for batteries.

Battery policy guidelines
• Full 100% reimbursement for parts and labour up to 12 months or 20,000 km.
• No labour reimbursement for battery replacement after 12 months or 20,000 km.
• This warranty does not apply to batteries that were placed in commercial or marine use.
• Customer charge is based on Volkswagen suggested retail parts prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Check your specs.... I managed to keep my original going for a few years even though it gave me plenty of notice of upcoming issues.... I was never left stranded..... finally caved and bit the bullet.

Looking up reference...
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Where do you get the battery health report? The only way I found is by advanced measuring.
Yes, in Advanced measuring blocks... I posted the IDEs if you want to show the same ones as I choose.
I just saved my "custom list" so that I can always load up the same one.

The battery should be at rest for 12hrs before taking readings if you really want to know how it's holding up.
Your stats on a potentially original battery are better than my new ones, so I'd suspect it's all because of surface charge (having been recently on the charger)

My battery deal is from walking up to my dealer's parts counter and saying I want a battery LOL.
Careful with the AGM options... those are for start-stop systems from what I know, and you shouldn't have that!
 
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