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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once temps started dropping out here (single digits) the NB cranks very slow upon initial start up in the morning, but seems fine the rest of the day.
I think I'm riding on borrowed time. Is there a battery you could recommend for my '05 TDI?

Thanks
-Bob
 

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Spiral cell batteries like Optima brand don't loose as much in cold weather as conventional batteries. I have one in my NB right now. Using 0w- or 5w- synthetic oil will make a big difference in how hard the engine is to turn when it is that cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, red. Which Optima are you running & did it fit fine in the limited space?

Also any issues with disconnecting the power & radio code stuff? I don't have mine.

Thanks
 

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I got a red Optima, but might consider yellow next time. Yellow will handle deep discharge better in case that should ever happen. There is a size available that is compatible with the NB (size 35 if I recall).
 

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red, keep in mind that the op has a TDI. They require a certain oil weight. Since the OP has a PHD engine, he should be running a quality 5w40 rated for his engine. 0 weight oil is not approved for them.

Since you have a TDI, you need to be sure you have the right size battery for your car. The diesels take a lot of juice to get started with the high compression and glow plugs so they are going to be a bigger battery than one for a gas car.

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I have had a few slow crank mornings since the weather got cold. I did have my battery tested just before the cold weather hit and was told my battery was good. I also get a decent puff of black smoke on cold mornings at start up.

Can you take your car to an auto part store and get a free battery test done? You might just need to invest in a battery warmer for the cold months.
 

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One thing that helps in the morning is to cycle the glow plugs three times before attempting to start. VW uses a short cycle on the plugs and in cold weather it doesn't seem long enough.

The one diesel truck I drove I recall waiting two minutes or so for the glow plugs to cycle. The Beetle cycles in what seems like 45 seconds even if it is -40 outside.
 

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Not sure I would suggest a AGM battery for a Diesel in the colder temps.

Between glow plug requirements and the high CCA requirements for the Diesel, not sure the AGM is a good option.

If I had a Diesel and had to deal with very cold temps, I think I would replace the battery every 3 years to avoid problems.

Also agree that sometimes cycling the ignition 2-3 times for extending the glow plug warm up time. Many of the newer cars and trucks try to make the glow plug time very short if there is a wait light to make the car more responsive like a gasoline engine. But when the temps are extremely cold, the glow plugs are important.

Also Diesel starters wear out and start to draw more current as they age.

A battery warmer is also something to consider in extreme environments. The battery relies on a chemical reaction, when the temps drop the available capacity of the battery drops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the tips on the glow plug cycling & the battery warmer. I'll give a try.
I have a charger and connected it up last nioght to see if it was low and it showed that the battery was "fully charged"
 

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Thanks for the tips on the glow plug cycling & the battery warmer. I'll give a try.
I have a charger and connected it up last nioght to see if it was low and it showed that the battery was "fully charged"
Check your connections to the battery and to the starter, if they are dirty/corroded then you will lose power.

I usually take some light sanding paper and clean off the contacts on the battery and cable once a year.
 

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Thanks for the tips on the glow plug cycling & the battery warmer. I'll give a try.
I have a charger and connected it up last nioght to see if it was low and it showed that the battery was "fully charged"
You could have a weak cell in the battery that shows up with good Voltage under no load as well as when tested or checked with something like your battery charger.

You need a Voltmeter connected to the battery and monitor the cranking Voltage. Most cars with a healthy battery will not dip much below 11 Volts while cranking, most batteries are tested for full load Amps to 9.6 Volts. Anything measured between 9.6-10.5 Volts while cranking should raise a concerned.

Also a battery heater may be good idea if the temps drop below 20F. I look at 20F and below as pretty severe duty and everything needs to be in top shape to play nice below 20F. Also depends on how long things have been sitting stationary at temps 20F and below as well. Sometimes you have situations where when parked overnight, the temps only drop below freezing for a few hours overnight, this is very different than 20F for a few days. The battery can even freeze or the electrolyte will start to crystallize in very low temps, this will then put the battery pretty much out of service, many time permanently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the tips. The terminals at the battery are clean.

I've always been "meaning" to buy a voltmeter. I guess I have a better reason now. ;)
 

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The stock TDI battery has worked good for me. I park inside at night and outside during the day, outside at night occasionally during the winter when it's below zero. Never needed a heater. First stock battery lasted 5 years and the second is 4 years old and going strong through this week of temps at zero and below. Also there's some discussion on TDI club if cycling the plugs is really necessary, some said the plugs stay on for 20-30 seconds each time you turn the key.
 

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Wow I'd say you got your money's worth!
 

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Not sure I would suggest a AGM battery for a Diesel in the colder temps.

Between glow plug requirements and the high CCA requirements for the Diesel, not sure the AGM is a good option.
I did some research on the TDIClub site and people there get the best life from OEM batteries. Hard to argue with if the OP got 8 years from one with a TDI. The battery requirement is 640 CCA and 80 AH (Ampere-hours, or battery capacity). The TDIClub people concluded that the AH rating is more important that CCA for the VW TDI engines. The Optima size 35 red battery is 720 CCA but only 44 AH and some there have only gotten 2-3 years service from one.
 
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