A car battery is what makes it all happen when it comes to getting the engine of a car running. If you’ve ever had to sit and wait in the parking lot, listening to your vehicle crank and crank with no success, then you definitely know exactly what happens if the battery isn’t functioning properly.
Fortunately, it’s very easy for you to deal with a dead battery. If you cannot recharge the car battery, the best thing you could do is swap the battery for a new one. The process is pretty simple, especially if you take the right steps.
In this article, we’ve explained how to replace the car battery in very few steps. Here is everything you need to know about changing a car battery. You can also check out our guide for the best car batteries!
It’s always important to remember that you’ll be dealing with electricity whenever you choose to work on a car battery. For this reason, here are some of the safety steps you should take:
- Although it isn’t necessary to remove the car battery, the rubber gloves will add some degree of safety whenever you choose to deal with electricity.
- You shouldn’t connect the cables that should not be connected. This means you should completely avoid swapping the battery posts and cables or even putting your cables anywhere they aren’t supposed to be.
- Always be careful whenever you choose to remove an old battery. Incase it’s damaged or starts to leak, you might want to let professionals do their work.
Things You’ll Need
List of tools
- Battery tester (optional)
- Socket wrench and/or wrench
List of parts
- Replacement battery
Also, you’ll require a flat surface, such as street parking, parking garage, driveway, or garage floor, you should consider checking the local laws to ensure you don’t violate any codes when utilizing the street since you aren’t getting the car from the impound yard.
Arranging The Workspace
Organize your car tool kits as well as a workspace so that all the items you need are easily reachable and will save you many hours of looking for a 10mm socket. You don’t have to waste time grabbing parts or getting up from the worktable or waiting for the handyman to hand you the blowtorch or hammer.
Here are a few suggestions that will make this much easier:
- Open your car’s hood
- Place the replacement car battery closer to you alongside your sockets and wrenches
- Mark the spot where your old battery would go
How To Replace A Car Battery
Without further ado, let’s get into the nitty-gritty!
Removing your old car battery and replacing it is a very straightforward process. You don’t need much with regards to special tools and the replacement process can go very quickly, especially if you have not taken some basic preparation steps before time.
Removing The Old Car Battery
- Remove the battery’s negative cable out of the negative terminal (terminal with a minus sign). Based on your battery’s design, you might need a wrench for loosening the cable.
- Remove the battery’s positive cable from the terminal with a plus sign. Incase you’ve used a wrench; ensure the metal does not contact the terminal because it might spark.
- Loosen your battery’s hold down, fasteners, and/or connectors, which secure the battery.
- Lift the car battery out. The battery’s weight might be more than 50 pounds, so ensure you get all the help you need incase it’s necessary. Place the car battery to the side in a safer spot.
Add A New Battery
- Start by cleaning the clamps. Before adding the battery, try to remove any debris, dirt, or corrosion from the claps. Also, you can clean the terminals from any of the build-up issues. All you need to do this is a skinny wire brush and water. You can also use baking soda instead of water.
- Place the new car battery into the holder.
- Secure the car battery
- Connect the positive (plus sign) terminal
- Connect the negative (minus sign) terminal
- Test your car. You can also try cranking up the car engine or just Turn On the car’s electronics. If everything works out fine, the battery is installed properly and you can get going.
Car Battery Replacement Tips
We’ve done numerous battery swaps. Below are a few tips and tricks for all your mechanics.
- Start by inspecting the car battery to assess the current condition.
- Many car batteries should be replaced or recharged after about 5 years of use
- Ensure you get the right car battery. You can contact the owner’s manual for more information.
- Ensure your car batteries are in an upright position to make sure you avoid any leaks.
One of the most important things you should know is that batteries don’t like cold weather. To ensure your car battery is protected against cold winter, remove the terminals before winter comes, clean them and consider replacing them after you’ve smeared the terminals with some petroleum jelly that can help protect against corrosion and also maintain the spark during the cold weather.
Battery Safety Tips
Correctly Jumpstart With Caution
If you’ll try to buzz your car back to life one more time, ensure you correctly jumpstart the battery. This won’t just produce better results, but it can also help keep you safer from electrocution as well as other hazards.
Avoid Sparks, Flames, And Heat
Any sources of ignition could either burn you, cause an explosion or start a fire incase they come in contact with your car’s battery and other flammable car parts. Therefore, whether or not you are jumpstarting or changing the battery, you should never try doing it by candlelight. Ensure you get away from any ‘sparkable’ items.
Don’t Touch The Battery Acid
The battery acid is corrosive and toxic. When handling the car battery, ensure you wear some clothing that completely covers all your extremities including closed-toe shoes, gloves, and goggles. If you by any chance come into contact with the car battery fluid, ensure you flush the entire area with water and then call a doctor as soon as possible.
What To Do With An Old Car Battery
The old car battery has some recycle value. You can take it to the battery distributor when getting the new battery. You can take the old car battery to any battery dealer, or auto parts store.
Car Battery Replacement FAQs
When and how to change a car battery is one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to AutoCare.
What equipment will I need to change the car battery?
- Rustproof spray paint
- Baking soda
- Latex or rubber gloves
- Safety glasses
How long does a car battery last?
The best car battery usually lasts about 5 years, but this could be as few as two years based on how often you drive as well as the number of accessories you have inside your car. The car batteries usually tend to last longer during cold weather because the warm climates usually increase the dangers mainly because of water loss and sulfation.
When do I have to replace the car battery?
Flooded batteries are very healthy chemical-wise and work pretty well. Once the car battery reaches the end of its shelf life, the car doesn’t crank. If you’re sure you have not left any electrical components on, you should immediately replace the car battery because it has already reached the end of its shelf life.
How do I test the car battery?
Battery distributors, auto parts stores, and car dealers use different battery testers to determine the tested Cold Cranking Amps against the published ratings. Incase the tested value is below 80% of the predefined Cold Cranking Amps (CCA), we strongly recommend replacing the car battery.
Is there any risk to changing a car battery?
There could be some inherent risks to changing the car battery. Corrosion and cracks from an old battery could cause dangerous acid leakage. Also, the battery can still produce a small charge, even when your car is off, so you need to remember that you are working with electricity.
How do you know which side to remove first?
It is always the opposite side when adding vs. removing cables. The negative side usually gets removed first. On the other hand, the positive gets reconnected first.
How do I change the old battery?
You can recharge the old battery before it needs any replacement. In doing so, you will need a car charger and the battery should be able to hold enough charge.
Will changing the car battery affect onboard computers?
It should not, but a few computers might experience memory loss or a reset. Damage could happen if disconnecting the car battery generates a high voltage energy spike.
How should I clean the car battery compartment?
Clean the car battery compartment with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Once first applied to the compartment, the mixture foam shows the presence of the car battery acid. Apply this mixture until the foaming stops, this shows the acid is completely neutralized. You should rinse the compartment with clean water.
Can I charge the car battery?
Yes, you can check out the best car battery chargers to ensure your battery remains well charged.