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How to Change a Car Battery

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How to Change a Car Battery

how to change a car battery

There are many advantages in knowing how to change a car battery. Once you are knowledgeable in battery replacement, you will become more self-sufficient in handling one more aspect of your car maintenancemaintenance department and you’ll be able to help others in emergencies or on the road.

Before you begin ensure to write down the settings and PIN codes for any satellite navigation, radios and other electronic equipment, so that you can reset them easily after replacing a car battery.

Ensure wear mechanic gloves and goggles for protection from car battery acid, which is highly corrosive. Have a combination wrench, battery pliers or battery wrench on hand to help you remove the battery cables.

Follow these steps to learn how to replace a car battery

  1. Locate the battery in your vehicle after ensuring your car ignition is off and the keys removed from the ignition. Some batteries are located in the front of the engine compartment, and other batteries are located underneath in the rear of your car. Before changing a car battery read where your battery is located in your vehicle owner’s manual.
  2. Disconnect the ground cable first, then the positive cable. The ground cable has a minus sign on it (-) and is usually black. The positive cable has a plus sign on it (+) and is usually red. Make sure you unhook the negative connection to your car’s battery before the positive connection, to avoid damaging the electrical system in your car. To unhook the cables, use a combination wrench, battery wrench, or battery pliers to loosen the nut, then twist it off and pull up the cable manually. Do not use a screwdriver to pry the cables because it could cause damage to your battery terminal.
  3. Remove any obstructions and brackets that prevent you from accessing your car battery. Some cars have structural brackets that you have to remove in order to get to the battery. In other cases, the fuse box may be mounted behind the battery and need to be unhooked as well, so that you can change your battery easily.
  4. Remove the hold-down bracket that keeps the battery in place, using a socket and ratchet or a combination wrench. Most batteries have a hold-down bracket either across the top of the battery, or in a small ledge at the bottom of the battery. Locate the bracket and remove it.
  5. Remove the car battery from your car, using either a handle if it has one, or by grabbing the battery with both hands underneath the battery. Car batteries are very heavy. You may need assistance from someone to hold the fuse box out of the way or to help you lift the battery out.
  6. Clean the battery compartment after you have removed the battery, making sure to remove any corrosion left on the battery tray. To clean it, use rags or paper towels with baking soda or a battery cleaning solution mixed with water.
  7. Prepare the new car battery by scratching the oxidation from your new battery contacts and battery cables. Apply petroleum jelly or anti-corrosion solution to the bolts and terminals to prevent any more oxidation.
  8. Install the new car battery by placing it in the battery tray, replacing the hold-down bracket. Install and tighten the positive battery cable first (red), then install and tighten the ground battery cable (black). Check that your battery is secure and that the battery cable terminals cannot be moved.
  9. Reset your car’s clock, radio stations and electronic devices with the new car battery in place. Then you are ready to start the car.
  10. Recycle your old car battery at your local recycling centre. Old batteries contain toxic parts and must be recycled.

You can find out how low your battery is when you get your car serviced, and there are often service specials at your dealership that include a battery check.

Check our parts specials for great deals on batteries and other car parts!

Categories: Service, Parts

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