Mabel Gets A New Battery

New Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelI noticed a few months ago that if Mabel sat for a week or so without being started, the starter struggled a bit to turn the motor. I installed a hard start relay to see if this made any difference. The battery I was using was a Autocraft Silver 42-1 which is perfect for these cars, it has the protective cap over the positive terminal to keep from accidentally grounding out the battery if somebody is sitting in the back seat. Anyhow, I’d throw the charger on the battery for an hour or so and it’d be fine for a couple of weeks, then after she sat for a few days, I’d have the same issue. Voltage out of the battery without the car running was 10.8 volts, that’s low. Should be around 12.6. With the car running, I was getting right at 14 volts, so I knew the generator was working properly. That battery just wasn’t holding a charge like it should. I also tested for parasitic battery drain and everything checked out ok. The battery is almost 5 years old, time for a new one. This time, I decided to go with a Interstate MT-47. It got good reviews even though it cost a bit more compared to other batteries. It doesn’t have the protective cap over the positive terminal, but the case is built to prevent any accidental grounding. For added protection, you can always throw a piece of rubber, such as an old floor mat, over top of the battery as well.

This is also a good time to do a little maintenance on the battery area. Luckily, over the years, Mabel hasn’t experienced the dreaded rot in the battery area that many vintage VW’s suffer. She’s always been well maintained. She’s even got a bit of the original tar paper on the floor pan that the battery sits on. If your ground cable or terminals need to be replaced, now’s a good time to do it. I usually add a little dielectric grease to the terminals, but that’s have to wait since of don’t have any available at the moment. When the battery area is clean and the new battery is installed, be sure to secure it with the “hold down clamp”. For whatever reason, these seem to often disappear from cars because people don’t want to take 2 minutes to put it back on. It’s important because it keeps your battery from bouncing and around and possibly grounding it’s self out on something. Take the 2 minutes and do it right. If yours is missing, they’re readily available at most vintage VW e-stores for just a few dollars. That’s pretty much it! Just double check to ensure that your new battery is secure, terminals are clean and fitted properly to the battery posts. You should be good to go!

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