Introduction: Changing a Car Battery

Changing a car battery on a 2002 Ford Mustang


  1. Battery specific to your vehicle (ask your local parts store for help), we used a 59 group size battery
  2. Ratchet
  3. Extension rod
  4. Small ratchet adapter
  5. Ratchet sockets specific for terminals and bracket (we had a 1/2 in. socket and an 11mm socket)
  6. Gloves (we used Mechanix brand gloves)

Step 1: Locate the Battery Compartment

  1. Make sure the car lights are off and the key is out of the ignition
  2. Look under the hood and locate the battery

Step 2: Attach Socket

  1. Take your socket (1/2 in.) and attach it to the ratchet

Step 3: Take Off the Positive Battery Terminal

  1. CAUTION: ENSURE NO METAL makes contact with the battery post directly as it can cause sparks and fry the battery.
  2. Find the red battery terminal (if not labeled by color, the battery is marked with "+" for positive)
  3. Connect socket to the nut and turn ratchet counterclockwise until loose enough to take off (You do not need to take the nut and screw completely off)
  4. Move terminal off the post and out of the way.

Step 4: Take Off the Negative Terminal

  1. CAUTION: ENSURE NO METAL makes contact with the battery posts, it can cause sparks and can fry the battery.
  2. Locate black terminal (if not colored, the negative terminal is marked with a "-" symbol on the battery)
  3. Using same socket (1/2 in.) and ratchet, connect socket to the terminal nut
  4. Turn the ratchet counterclockwise until terminal is loose enough to take off (you do not need to take screw and nut completely off)
  5. Move terminal off post and out of the way

Step 5: Prepare to Take Off Bracket

  1. Locate bracket at the bottom of battery
  2. Detach socket (1/2) from ratchet
  3. Attach the small adapter to the ratchet
  4. Attach the extension rod to the small adapter
  5. Attach the new socket (11mm) to the extension rod

Step 6: Take Off Secure Bracket

  1. Connect socket to the bracket bolt and turn counterclockwise until the bolt is loose
  2. Take the bolt and bracket completely off and set aside

Step 7: Take Out the Battery

    WARNING: batteries can be heavy; do not lift with your back and ensure you have a good grip

    1. Put on gloves (old batteries may have some acid leaking out from the top)
    2. Grab the battery from both sides with both hands and lift out of the compartment
    3. Put it off to the side out of the way

    Step 8: Put New Battery in Compartment

    WARNING: This battery may be heavier than the old one; lift with caution

    1. Lift battery with both hands and carefully set into compartment so that both posts match with your terminals (positive with positive, negative with negative)

    Step 9: Attach Battery Bracket

    1. Take gloves off
    2. Insert the bolt with the bracket back into its place
    3. Grab the ratchet and turn the black knob (or lever) on the ratchet the opposite direction to change the setting
    4. Turn bolt clockwise by hand as much as you can
    5. Secure it by turning with the ratchet

    Step 10: Attach Negative Terminal

    1. Detach the 11mm socket, the extension rod and the small adapter.
    2. Attach the 1/2 in. socket to the ratchet
    3. Ensure negative terminal is matched with negative post on battery
    4. Set the terminal on the post and push down until the post and socket are aligned or the post is slightly higher
    5. Screw in nut by hand to secure it
    6. Connect socket to the terminal nut and turn clockwise until tight

    Step 11: Attach Positive Terminal

    1. Set positive terminal on positive post and push down until post is aligned or slightly higher than the terminal
    2. Turn the terminal nut by hand until secure
    3. Grab ratchet and attach the socket to the terminal nut
    4. Turn the ratchet clockwise until tight

    Step 12: Check Your Work

    1. Grab one terminal and gently shake
    2. Ensure the terminal does not move around or come completely off the post
    3. Repeat on opposite terminal

    Step 13: Recycle Old Battery

    Ensure the old battery gets recycled properly; you can take it to your local parts store and ask them to properly dispose of it