One of the most annoying situations one can ever be in is when we get in our car, and we realize our car battery is dead. It feels like this only happens when we’re in a rush or somehow in the middle of nowhere. And the question pops up: “How to replace a car battery?”
Hopefully, we’re lucky enough to be somewhere we can leave our car while we go to an auto shop and buy a car battery. But, you don’t have to go to a mechanic and charge you an arm and a leg to replace the battery. You can do this all by yourself.
Here we will show you the steps on how to replace a car battery.
When to Replace Your Car Battery
Some of the signs that you should look out for include:
■ A buildup of residue on the battery
■ The car doesn’t start
■ The car doesn’t start up right away
■ Swollen battery case
Although these are some of the most common signs that you need to replace a car battery, other issues can lead to a replacement of a car battery, such as an abnormality in your car’s electrical system or extreme temperature changes.
If you’re unsure your battery has one of these signs, then you can go and get a free battery check in your local auto shop.
Read the Owner’s Manual
If you’re not familiar with the battery’s location within your car, you can find this information by reading your car’s manual.
Manuals are normally located in the glove compartment of your car. If it’s not there, then you can always go online and find the digital version.
Go to Your Local Auto Shop
Depending on which auto shop you go to, such as Pep Boys, Auto Zone, or even your dealership, you must tell them that you need a replacement battery.
They will ask for your car’s general information, such as make, model, and year. If you are unaware of this information, you can take a picture of your VIN and show it to the clerk.
There are many types of replacement batteries you can get, so make sure you do your research and pick a good car battery that will last.
When in the shop, ask them if they will take in your old car battery so they can dispose of it themselves.
Sometimes they will charge a fee of $5 or $10. This is the good choice, so you don’t have to find a place to throw out the battery yourself.
You can also order new battery from Amazon, you can always find the best brands and good price there. After you read this article you should learn how to replace a car battery by yourself.
Get Your Tools Ready
Before you try and change your car battery yourself, you will need to make sure you have the tools and safety equipment to do the job.
The tools you need include:
■ Eye goggles
■ Closed-toe shoes
■ Protective clothing
■ A wrench, socket, or pliers
■ Baking soda and water or Coca-Cola and a toothbrush or a wire brush to clean off any corrosion
How to Replace a Car Battery
Now that we have all the tools we need and we’ve taken the appropriate safety precautions. Are you ready to learn how to replace a car battery?
Go ahead and pop the hood.
You will need to turn your car off immediately before trying to go under the hood and make sure the vehicle is cooled down as well.
Normally, there will be a lever located on the bottom left of the driver side to open the hood. If you cannot find it refer to your owner’s manual.
Pull-on the lever and go to the front of the car, and slide your fingers under the hood so you can release the safety mechanism and lift the hood.
Locate the Battery and Remove the Cables
To locate your battery, it will have two cables on the top of it. One cable is marked positive, which will be in red most of the time, and the other cable marked negative will be normally black.
You will need to put on your gloves, grab your wrench, and loosen the bolts of the NEGATIVE cable FIRST. Once you detach the cable, you can loosen the bolt of the positive cable.
If there is any type of residue on the cables, you must grab water, put baking soda, and let the cable sit there for 10 minutes. If you don’t have baking soda, you can use Coca-Cola as well.
Once the cables have been sitting in the baking soda solution or Coca-Cola for 10 minutes, please remove them and scrub the residue off with your toothbrush or wire brush. Then dry the cables.
Remove the Old Car Battery
When you remove the positive and negative cables of your old car battery, sometimes the battery will have a protective latch attached to the battery to keep it from moving.
You will need to loosen and remove the latch that is holding the car battery.
To do this, simply get your screwdriver and locate the screws on the end of the latch and unscrew them.
Now that everything is removed, slowly take out the car battery. Be aware that some car batteries weigh a lot.
It’s best to remove the car battery when you are wearing old clothing. Just in case some battery acid spills on you.
Place New Car Battery Inside
To replace your car battery, you will need to reverse all the steps you’ve done to take out the old car battery.
As always, remember to wear gloves when handling a car battery.
To put in the new car battery, you will need to:
■ Put the car battery inside the slot and make sure it is positioned correctly.
■ Screw-in the safety latch once more.
■ Attach the Negative cable first to the car battery, then the Positive, and tighten them with the wrench.
■ Close the hood and start your car.
Go Back to the Auto Shop and Return Old Battery
The final step is to drive yourself to the auto shop where you obtained the new car battery and return the old car battery.
Whether you’re an experienced driver or a new driver having a dead car battery can be stressful. However, you don’t need to pay for a mechanic to look at it and change it, when you can learn how to replace a car battery yourself. All you need is to follow these steps above to do the job.