My battery recently died in my 2008 VW Passat and all I have is a key fob (no key), so I'm basically locked out and can't access the battery to charge it.

I've called several locksmiths but they said they don't mess with VWs. So, the options I'm left with are:

  • Towing it from my parking garage to a VW dealer just to get the door open.
  • Breaking a window and replacing it. Which I likely won't do.

I really just need access to the battery.

I came across this video that shows how to release the hood bonnet manually but when I remove the VW logo, I do not see a wire hanging or anything similar.


Is there a way to release the hood manually for a 2008 VW Passat? If so, how can it be done?

  • Look at the part of the video after he opened the hood, where he shows the hook that you need to push back. Then use a long screwdriver or something similar as solar mike said.
    – alephzero
    Oct 28, 2019 at 19:52
  • There is no emergency door key in your fob? Those slotted types usually have a black plastic emergency key inserted into them. I am a bit surprised your have not found any locksmiths for this, these are bread and butter type jobs for most of us. In your case its even just a simple lock pick. Make sure to mention that if you did not before. They may just did not want to make the slotted type key.
    – narkeleptk
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:45

2 Answers 2


I can't address your specific vehicle, but one method I've used on other vehicles in the past is to find a way to charge the battery. On many vehicles, if you jack up the front end, you can reach up through the bottom of the engine bay far enough to clip a battery charger onto something connected directly to the battery. Then, charge it at a low rate until there's enough juice in the battery to allow the central locking mechanisms to operate, at which point you can open the door, pop the bonnet, and replace the battery (or at least give it a proper charge).

Often, the main power lead going to the starter solenoid is the easiest thing to reach. It'll be a thick cable, usually red, and the connection to the solenoid will usually be covered with a little rubber boot. You can push the boot aside, and clip the positive lead from your battery charger on to the terminal. Just make sure it's not touching any nearby metal which may be grounded. The other end of this cable is directly connected to the battery positive terminal, so getting your battery charger on the solenoid end of the cable is plenty good enough to get the battery charged. Then, connect the negative charger terminal to any nearby grounded metal (pretty much any exposed metal will be grounded).

Also, I'm sure you're already aware of this, but the 2008 Passat fob has an emergency key hidden inside it.


I have managed to “trip” the mechanism with a flat screwdriver in the past.

If it has two latches, one on each side then tripping one and having someone hold that side up while you do the other works...

Warning, don’t slip and puncture the rad...


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