Changing your car battery doesn’t always mean a trip to the workshop! Follow these steps to do it on your own, saving time and money.
Tools: Water with some baking soda dissolved in it, gloves, new battery, rags, standard tools (screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, etc.)
Make sure to first note the location of the positive and negative battery cables.
- Turn off your engine.
Make sure that your vehicle is not on. Double check if the engine is shut off. Remove the key from the ignition.
- Clean the battery terminals.
Wear gloves while doing so because components of the battery is corrosive. Removing the sulfate deposits with a baking soda and water solution so that it is easier to unscrew the nuts from the bolts on the battery. After cleaning, inspect it for cracks where acid might escape when you remove the battery. Remember these places so don’t place your hands near them when you remove the battery.
- Remove the cables from the battery terminals.
Look in your owner’s manual and see whether your vehicle has negative ground. If yes, then use a wrench to first loosen the nut and bolt on the clamp which holds the battery cable on the negative terminal. The negative terminal is the post with the “–” or “NEG” on it. If your vehicle has positive ground, loosen the cable with “+” or “POS” on it first. Remove the cable and lay it somewhere out of your way.
- Remove the devices that are holding the battery in place.
Remove the battery hold-down clamp. Carefully remove the bolts and screws, making sure they don’t get lost or misplaced.
- Remove the battery.
After step 4, lift it out of its seat, taking care to not knock it around too much and place it out of your way.
- Clean out the tray.
Make sure the battery connectors are clean. Use the same baking soda and water solution to clean out the tray in which your old battery was. Again, remember to wear gloves.
- Place the new battery on the tray.
Do not remove the battery caps from your new battery. Place the battery properly with the red (positive) and black (negative) terminal posts are in the right spot for their respective battery connectors. Remove the plastic caps after placing the battery in. Make sure the batter connectors are clean.
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- Clean the terminals.
Clean the terminal posts of the new battery. Apply a thin layer of dielectric grease and anti-corrosion washers to both posts and connectors.
- Replace the devices that held your old battery in place.
Make sure the battery is fully secure. It is not good to drive with an improperly fasten battery.
- Replace the battery cables on the terminals in reverse order from which you removed them.
If your car has negative ground, then the positive cable goes back first and vice versa.
- Take the old battery to a recycling center that accepts batteries.
Because batteries are filled with a toxic, corrosive liquid, it is dangerous to just throw them in the trash. They must be disposed of properly. Take your old batteries to a recycling center or a service station where they’ll take your battery for a fee. Sometimes the store from which you buy your new battery may take in your old. Most car batteries are recycled into new ones, so recycling is good for the environment too.
The battery is the most important component of your car. Ensure your car’s good health by replacing your old battery on time.
Written By: Monica