How to Change a Car Battery Correctly

how to change car battery

No matter how new the car may seem and how cautious the owner is in ensuring that everything inside is good and functioning, there is always what we call the inevitable end of something and car batteries are one of them. Owners should know how to change a car battery. Being knowledgeable will save you a great deal.

Car battery plays a crucial role in the overall engine. It serves as a force for the electricity to start on making the lights, radio, air conditioner among others operate. Over time, the insides of the battery wear down, and its capacity to generate energy decreases. When this happens, replacing car battery is necessary. 

Read on and learn how to put a battery in a car, car battery removal tips, and installing a car battery, along with which battery terminal to connect first and disconnect. 

Signs You Need to Change Your Car Battery

A regular quick inspection of your car battery goes a long way in avoiding an unannounced dead battery in the middle of the road. This applies whether or not you noticed any signs of battery problems such as:

  • The car engine won’t start
  • The car engine won’t start even after you jump-started it.
  • A powder-like substance that remains on the battery terminals
  • Engine light warning signal (dashboard)
  • Fading headlights

Tools You Need to Change Your Car Battery

To speed up the process of replacing a car battery, it is necessary to collect the required equipment first: 

  • The new battery
  • Socket set
  • Preventive materials such as gloves, eyewear, closed footwear
  • Baking soda
  • 250ml water
  • A used toothbrush or wire brush
  • Rags for wiping down your working space
  • An area with a good atmosphere away from any flaming objects
  • Owner’s manual 

How to Change a Car Battery

Once everything you need to change a car battery is ready, you can move on to the next steps:

Step 1: Turn off your vehicle

Pull up in a flat area and secure a place that is far from any form of hazard. Grab the hand brake. Turn off the vehicle. Take out the keys from the ignition.

Step 2: Put on your safety gear

Batteries are not entirely safe since they contain a chemical that is flammable and can burn one’s skin. Wear heat-proof gloves and spectacles to protect the hands and eyes. Avoid wearing any jewelry to free yourself from any electric zap. 

Step 3: Locate the battery

Look for the location of the battery. It is usually rectangular with two cords attached. It is best to even refer to the owner’s manual to easily identify the battery itself. 

Step 4: Remove the battery from the vehicle

Examine the bracket that attaches the battery in place and separate any wires that connect to it. For this, you need the support of any right-size socket or wrench. Once unfastened, pick up the battery out of the engine bay and put it away on the surface. Here’s a more detailed guide on disconnecting a car battery

Step 5: Clean the new car battery terminals

Mix the hot water with baking soda then, dip the old toothbrush or wire brush and clean the terminal clamps. Ensure that any powdery is wiped out. Use any cloth to deliberately clean decay off the terminals. Be careful not to touch it on your skin or clothes.

Step 6: Place the new battery to the brackets and grease the terminals

Install the new battery in the battery tray and fasten it to the bracket. Make sure that the positive and negative terminals are attached on the right sides. Overlay each terminal with lithium grease to avoid decay. Inspect that all brackets are locked so they don’t shake or move while on mobile.

Step 7: Reconnect the battery cables

Attach the positive cable first to the engine bay. Be watchful not to touch the tip of it to anything metal. Place the cable over the terminal and secure it using a wrench. Then you may connect the negative terminal by repeating the steps of taking off the cable wire and reconnecting the negative cable to the negative terminal. Secure the clamp with a wrench. Set the cover over the terminal, if there is one.

Step 8: Check if the new car battery is working

Enclose the battery and start your vehicle. See to it that all used tools are away under the hood then closed it. The car will start if you have followed the steps accurately. 

Double-check if all the electronic devices are operating. You may set your alarm code again, reset your clock, radio, and navigation system. Then you’re good to go!

Installing a car battery can be made easier if you follow these 8 steps correctly. At the same time, always remember to prioritize your safety. But if you are having a hard time following these instructions, you can always turn to Neighborhood Roadside Assistance to help you out with their fast and reliable battery replacement service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about changing a car battery:

Is it easy to change a car battery?

Replacing a car battery is an easy task and only requires basic tools. If you do it right, it will only take you about half an hour or so. 

How do I properly dispose of the old car battery?

Most batteries, including regular alkaline, manganese, and carbon-zinc batteries are not considered hazardous and can be disposed of along with ordinary trash.

What if I purchased the wrong car battery size?

Vehicle manufacturers usually match their alternators and batteries precisely to the vehicle’s power requirements. Your alternator may overheat or shorten its life when the alternator/battery combo is mismatched. Also, a wrong battery size, either too big or too small, may not fit in the engine bay of your vehicle.