Why Is It Difficult To Find An Exact Fit Battery For My German Car?


Batteries are typically an easy maintenance item on cars. Most of the time, a vehicle owner can swap out their own battery with minimal technical aptitude

Most auto parts stores now have systems where you as an amateur mechanic can walk in, tell them your year, make, and model, and they’ll recommend a battery size. Easy!

However, if you own anything German (Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, VW) you’ll find that getting that exact fit battery may be difficult.

For 5 decades we’ve stored cars and within the last 10 years or so, what batteries go in these German cars has deviated a little from what my parts suppliers carry.

The problem?

Standardized sizing. US battery suppliers run off of SAE (Society of Auto Engineers) Sizing. For example, most older muscle cars take a Group 24R. The R stands for regular post setup (where the positive and negative posts are).

However German cars use DIN sizing. It’s completely different using metric measurements…therefore when you search for an exact fit Audi replacement battery you can get close but not a perfect substitute.


The solution?

There are a few:

  • Buy an OEM Battery: factory parts are expensive but there’s no replacement like original. With an OEM Battery you’ll get an exact fit.

  • Buy a German Aftermarket Battery: Here in the US, that usually means Bosch. They make many of the batteries for German OEMs anyway.

  • Buy an Interstate Battery: Interstate is sometimes the battery of choice at Porsche Independents and dealerships. They will have options for many of the vehicles in question.

  • Buy An Aftermarket Battery: The easiest thing to do is to just live with an inexact fit battery and just get close enough. Measure your current battery and try to at least get the post arrangement, width, and height correctly matched.

We certainly hope this has been helpful!