How to Replace a Car Battery in Five Easy Steps

After owning your car for a few years, there comes a point when it’s necessary to get your car battery replaced. Getting the battery replaced can extend the lifespan of your vehicle and improve its performance. Unfortunately many car owners give themselves headaches trying to do the replacement themselves. However, learning to do it yourself isn’t too hard and it’s a good skill to learn.

Identify If You Need a New Battery

Car batteries can be expensive to purchase. So before you decide to purchase a new car battery you have to make sure you need one. You must give your battery the chance to properly recharge. You can do this by driving for 30 minutes to ensure that there is no blue residue around the battery’s terminal. Another option is to have a mechanic give your car a thorough check to determine if you need a new battery or not. If you do need a new battery then you can hire a mechanic to change it, or you can save money and change it yourself. The ladder option is what we are about to explore.

Purchase the Best Replacement for Your Vehicle

It’s important that you purchase the best replacement battery for your car. You need to find the correct size for your car and then look at potential models. You need to look in your car’s manual to find the correct dimensions for the battery. This information will narrow down your search so you can find batteries that are compatible with your car. Once you’ve bought you new battery then all that’s left is to install it.

Make Sure It’s Safe to Remove the Old Battery

It’s important to follow the proper safety procedures before you begin to remove your battery. This will ensure that everything will go smoothly and there will be no damage. Here are the guidelines:

  • Create a safe environment to work in. First make sure that your vehicle is parked on a level surface and away from traffic. Remove anything from the area that could potentially cause a fire (cigarettes, sparks and fire). It would be appropriate to inform your neighbors that you are replacing your battery. Therefore they won’t be alarmed if there happens to be any smoke.
  • Consider the fact that batteries not only use electricity, but also sulfuric acid which is corrosive and will cause harm if it contacts your skin. In addition, sulfuric acid is highly flammable which is why it’s important to isolate your vehicle from anything that could cause a fire.
  • Always wear safety goggles and a pair of thick gloves to avoid harming your eyes or skin.
  • Remove the car’s cigarette lighter and make a note of your pins and radio settings since these may be erased when you remove the battery.

Remove the Old Battery

First you need to locate the battery under the hood of your car. Your battery should be rectangular with two cables attached to it. You should instantly know it’s the battery when you see it.

Next, you need to examine your battery for any potential issues and identify the positive and negative terminals. This is important since you will need to remove the negative terminal first and the positive terminal last. Removing the terminals in this order will prevent damage to the electric system in your car. The negative terminal will display a (-) sign and the positive terminal will display a (+) sign. You can mark the negative terminal socket so that you know to remove it first.

To remove the negative terminal, use a wrench to loosen the negative cable clamp and slide it off the terminal. It should come off fairly easily. Once you removed the negative terminal you can move onto the positive terminal. After removing both terminals, check for any screws or holds that may be keeping your battery in place. You will need to detach these before you will be able to fully remove the battery. Once everything is detached, hold the battery by the handle (if there is one) and lift it carefully out of the car. Keep in mind that batteries can heavy so ask for assistance if necessary- always err on the side of caution when doing it yourself.

Put in the New Battery

At this stage replacing your battery will be fairly simple. All you need to do is place your new battery in the correct space, attach the battery holds to keep it in place, and attach the terminal cables to the correct terminal socket. Make sure that you can differentiate the sockets because you need to connect the positive one first. Also, it’s recommended that you tighten the clamps with a wrench instead of just doing it by hand.

To finish the job you can apply battery lithium grease to the terminals to avoid any corrosion. You now have to make sure that everything is in place. So all you need to do is shut the hood and start your car. With the car running, check that all of your electronic devices are working properly. If they aren’t working properly then re-check the battery for any obvious issues.

Changing a battery can be a like a puzzle- it can be a little challenging, but also rewarding. The entire process shouldn’t take too long and it shouldn’t be too difficult. The more you do it, the easier it should get. Knowing how to replace a car battery is a valuable skill that can save you a lot of money in the long run.

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