1996 jetta - battery change help

Hi, Can somebody tell me how to change a battery on a 1996 jetta? - Specifically, when the alarm goes on when I put the new battery in,
all I have to do is turn the key on the driver side door right?
- Do I put radio code after new battery is changed or do I type the code before I remove the dead battery
- do I remove postive or negative terminal first? Which do I put back on first, the + or -.
- Is there anything else I need to disconnect before removing battery?
thanks in advance for any help...
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Don't know.

After. It will ask for it when power is restored,

Remove negative first, and install negative last.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (roshan) wrote:

Yes. Put the key in the lock so that it's ready to turn.

After. However, I have NEVER had to enter the code in my 1995 Golf premium radio after disconnecting the battery. Once, I even had it out of the car and took it all apart to fix the tape player and I still didn't have to enter the code. Perhaps you will also be lucky.

Remove the negative first and connect it last. Make sure it is secured so that it won't flip around and inadvertantly connect (Murphy's Law).

No, but make sure the ignition is in the ON position when you reconnect the battery. This is recommended to minimize the possibility of burning out the airbag module due to heavy current inrush. If the ignition is on the load gets spread around better.
Bill snipped-for-privacy@cvm.msstate.edu 78 Rabbit...10/77 - 4/02 82 Convertibles(s)...since 93 95 Golf GL...since 11/99 02 Passat 1.8T Tip GLS...since 4/02 (Remove the CAT to email me)
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Thanks for the tips.. One quick question. The battery I saw made by Exide has two vent ports on either side and one of them has to be vented. (Same think on Walmart's batteries) What does this mean? On my current VW battery on the negative terminal I see a rubber tube running from it? Is this the venting tube? Does this have to be connected to the vent port on the battery? Thanks
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (roshan) wrote:

I don't know. I put a Wal Mart battery in my 95 Golf. It fits correctly inside the fabric cover and works fine. I didn't notice any vent port.
Bill
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You can get a device with a 9v battery that plugs into your lighter socket that's supposed to maintain any codes. I've not used one. However when I changed the battery in my 99.5 jetta tdi everything was remembered, nothing to reenter or recode. The battery was out about a hour while I cleaned up grounds under where the battery sits. Just don't touch both battery leads together and keep the plus away from any/all grounds.
Joe R.
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This is actually a great idea. Unless you have vag tools you may have to take the car to dealer after the computer losts it settings.
Some info from http://www.asashop.org/autoinc/oct2003/techtips.cfm
Starting in 1996 on OBD-II vehicles, Volkswagen began using an electric throttle control module to control the throttle plate. This throttle control module contains an electric motor that actually moves the throttle plate and two potentiometers that monitor throttle plate position and requested throttle position.
The throttle controller is synchronized to the powertrain control module (PCM) electronically. This matching process allows the PCM to memorize the closed throttle, wide-open throttle and pre-start throttle positions.
If power is lost to the PCM or throttle controller for any reason (disconnecting the battery is the most common reason), the synchronization between the PCM and throttle controller is erased!
This synchronization is known as the "Basic Setting." As hard as it may be to believe, basic settings are stored in volatile memory and are erased whenever power is lost from the PCM or throttle controller. In addition to the basic settings for throttle control, Volkswagens with automatic transmissions will have the transmission basic settings erased as well. So you see, a simple battery replacement is not so simple and definitely not something a do-it-yourselfer would want to perform.
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snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net (Patrick) wrote in message

Thanks Patrick, I did change the battery - I have 3 things that I need to do now, but you may have given me a clue to the most disturbing - 1) my radio went to safe mode (don't have code, but will get from dealer, no problem on this) 2) Air bag light came on and stayed on (have heard of this and will have to get reset - I guess it sensed the drop in voltage) 3) I got a check engine light and I found a slight hesitation when I accelerate and a loss of power. Maybe this is due to the throttle controller memory loss. I was concerned about this, as I didn't know what had gone wrong now, so I guess it could be what you are saying.
And I thought changing a battery on a car is simple ....
thanks.. Roshan
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roshan wrote:

I thought it was, too, because I didn't have any trouble when I put a new battery in my 1996 Jetta last January. The car had been sitting dead for a long time, I dropped a battery in, and off it went. However, I did take the car to a good garage for some overdue service, and it's possible the mechanic did all the steps specified in the web page Patrick linked.
Now, the cautionary tale. After responding to your initial message, I contacted my younger brother, who worked as a mechanic many years ago. He told me that you should hook up the positive cable first, then the negative, because you're more likely to get a large spark from hooking up the positive if the negative is already connected than the other way around. The reason you want to avoid sparks is because batteries can emit explosive gasses, as the labels on them warn, and as I learned first hand this afternoon.
My neighbors were trying to jump-start one of their cars from the other, and the old guy already had the jumper cables hooked up, battery to battery. The dead car still wouldn't start, so, because I can screw in a lightbulb and they can't, they came and asked me for help. I had the woman turn the key in the dead car, and as she did, I fiddled with the cable on the negative battery post, as I wasn't sure there was a good connection.
There was a deafening BANG, and when I looked down at my clothing, there was battery acid all over my shirt and pants. I looked at the battery, and it was cracked open. Luckily - *more* than just "luckily", I'd have to say - none of the juice got on my face or in my eyes.
That was about three hours ago, and I still have a headache, and my right ear is still ringing.
Moral of the story: don't mess around with car batteries. If you can't find a mechanic who's paid to do this kind of thing to jump-start your car, be sure you connect the negative cable on the dead car to the car frame, as far away from the battery as possible, and AFTER connecting the positive cable to the positive battery post.
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roshan wrote:

Yes. Actually, either front door lock will operate the security system, but the driver side door is closer to the battery compartment.

I see some people have replied that they didn't have to re-enter the code. I did have to do it. You do it after, of course: it is the disconnection from the battery that causes the code to be erased.

I don't recall. Your owner's manual should say. A site pertaining to car batteries I found, http://uuhome.de/william.darden/carfaq8.htm , says:
8.1.12. After replacing and tightening the hold-down bracket, remove any plastic caps or covers on the terminals of the replacement battery, and reconnect the cables in reverse order, that is, attach the POSITIVE (+) cable first and the NEGATIVE (-) cable last.
I'm not sure it makes that much difference, but better to go with a professional recommendation.

No.
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