How to replace a car battery
How to replace a car battery
- What you will need:
- A replacement battery;
- Gloves and eye protection;
- Socket wrench set or pliers;
- Wire brush;
- Baking soda;
Before you start removing the old battery, open the hood of your vehicle and make a note of the type of battery your vehicle uses, its dimensions, and electrical capacity. This is an essential first step as installing the wrong battery can cause expensive damage. If you are not sure about the battery details, pay a visit to an auto repair shop, the staff will be able to answer your questions and sell you the correct type of battery.
- Park on a flat, level surface, put on the parking brake and make sure that the engine is switched off. Keep in mind that vehicle batteries contain a sulfuric acid electrolyte solution, this is highly corrosive and will leave you with nasty acid burns if it comes into contact with bare skin, so remember to wear gloves and eye protection throughout the replacement process. If you are a smoker, it is highly recommended that you wait until you are finished until having a cigarette. If you really can’t wait, get a good distance away from the vehicle before smoking. This is because the sulfuric acid solution produces hydrogen gas which is highly flammable;
- Open the hood and locate the battery, it is usually towards the sides of the engine bay;
- Identify which terminal is negative and which is positive. The negative terminal will have a small minus sign next to it and the positive terminal will be marked by a plus symbol;
- Disconnect the negative terminal first. Loosen the clamp with a wrench and gently slide it off of the terminal;
- Now disconnect the positive terminal in the same manner as above;
- Remove the battery, carefully. The battery will be held in place by clamps or bars so remove any screws to unfasten the holder. Lift the old battery out, if it has a handle use it but if not then lift the battery from the bottom with two hands. Be aware that vehicle batteries can weigh anywhere from 30 – 60 pounds (13.5 – 27 kilos) so ask for help if you think you will struggle to lift it;
- Prepare a baking soda and water mixture. Use the mixture and the wire brush to clean the terminal ends and battery tray, let the area dry completely;
- Lift the new battery into place, pay careful attention to the position of the positive and negative terminals and make sure they are on the right side. Reconnect the screws in the battery holder and tighten;
- Reconnect the positive terminal and tighten it with a wrench;
- Now reconnect the negative terminal and tighten it;
- Spray both terminals with a battery lithium grease, this is not essential but we recommend it to help prevent corrosion;
- Check the tightness of the terminals again, if they move they are not tight enough;
- Close the hood and switch the engine on, make sure that the electronics all work as expected.
If during the replacement process you notice severe corrosion damage to the terminals or cables contact us immediately so that we can repair the damage.
So there we have it, your guide on replacing your vehicle’s battery. Did we miss anything? Do you any tips or advice about replacing vehicle batteries? Let us and our readers know, we are always happy to hear from you.