Volkswagen Audi Group cars and MEGALiFe Battery, 'SMART' charging

Feb 04 , 2021

Volkswagen Audi Group cars and MEGALiFe Battery, 'SMART' charging

Volkswagen Audi Group cars and MEGALiFe Battery

Almost all of the things we love (and some of the stuff we hate) about our modern cars has to do with the amount on onboard electronics and computing power available.  While this takes car of some powerful performance, convenience, and safety-based features of modern motoring, it can sometimes pose some issue for the car tuning and modification crowd.

For most cars/bikes/boats out there, our MEGALiFe lithium battery line-up is a direct, ‘no mods’, drop in performance gain in the form of weight reduction, increased CCA, improved lifespan and convenience of the reserve cell feature.  For some late model cars, like the Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) vehicle line up, there is just one extra step we need to take to ensure all the above-mentioned electronics and onboard computers know about the mod we have just completed.  The below run through is a reprogram of a Mk 7 (2016), VW Golf R to accept a lithium battery but this procedure is pertinent to all of the VAG group cars (VW, Audi, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Seat, Porsche, etc) that uses the VCDS software and were delivered stock with a lead acid/AGM battery.  Enjoy!

Background on lithium and ‘smart’ charging.

‘Smart charging’ in modern has become a term a little like a ‘smart phone’.  It gives some indication on what is happening, but every manufacturer and car model has a slightly different application to the term.  Toyota Landcruiser’s, for example, technically have a ‘smart charging’ system as the alternator limits output current/voltage when the alternator is getting too hot.  As much as this is a very simplified version of it, it is not completely ‘dumb’ alternator. 

Flash forward to more complicated systems, the control modules of certain brands/models can monitor myriad of parameters and modify the charging of the starting battery in just as many ways.  An obvious visual indicator is a shunt on the battery terminal that measures current, but other electrical characteristics like internal resistance, temperatures, voltages can be measure from multiple system components (modules throughout the car, battery, alternator, etc) and go into complex programs written to take care of not only the battery condition but other constantly changing conditions in the vehicle (think fuel efficiency and engine start/stop, etc).  For this reason, a complex ‘smart charging’ system needs to be aware of the battery chemistry and often the capacity of the starting battery installed.

VAG VCDS

VCDS is a tool for VAG cars that all dealerships and maybe ‘Euro’ workshops will have.  It has been developed to fault find, update, and modify the control systems of VAG vehicles.  You may even have a version yourself or be a member of a club/group that shares a copy?!  

Without making the control systems aware that a lithium battery has been installed in your VAG car, the charging profile will not function correctly flattening the battery and potentially causing damage to the battery itself.

Worked example: 2016 Volkswagen Golf MK7 R.  This is a 4 step process to enter the capacity, chemistry, manufacturer and serial number of the battery being installed.

When program opens, click “Select” to allow selection of control module.

Click “19 – CAN Gateway” followed by “Adaptation – 10”

When the pop-up window opens, type “IDE03256” into the Search box.

Using the drop down Menu, 4 settings will need to be adjusted:

IDE03256-MAS060105-Battery adaptation-Rated battery capacity

IDE03256-MAS060106-Battery adaptation-Battery Technology

IDE03256-MAS060107-Battery adaptation-Battery Manufacturer

IDE03256-MAS060108-Battery adaptation-Battery Serial Number

 

The process to adjust these settings is as follows:

 

IDE03256-MAS060105-Battery adaptation-Rated battery capacity

 

Enter the new value into the text box for the main cell of the MEGALiFe Battery, for example our MV-072 Battery for the VW Golf R is rated at 40Ah on the main cell.

Click “Do It!”

When the prompt shows asking you to replace the value, click “Yes”

A confirmation message will display, click “OK”

The Stored Value, shown in Green should now match the value you entered.

 

 

IDE03256-MAS060106-Battery adaptation-Battery Technology

 

Using the drop down menu, select “Lithium ions”

Click “Do It!” and follow the on-screen prompts

 

 

IDE03256-MAS060107-Battery adaptation-Battery Manufacturer

 

Enter “MEG” into the New value box

Click “Do It!” and follow the on-screen prompts

 

 

IDE03256-MAS060108-Battery adaptation-Battery Serial Number

 

Enter the last 6 numbers from your batteries serial number (found on the side or top of the battery) into the New value box.

Click “Do It!” and follow the on-screen prompts.

 

AND THAT’S IT!!  From here, the VAG control systems change their approach to battery charging and ensure a long life of performance and safety from your MEGALiFe installation.