Introduction: How to Change a Car Battery

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Video tutorial on how to replace a battery in a vehicle. Battery replacement can be done in the comforts of your own driveway with minimal tools and there is no need to pay a professional for this procedure. Battery locations for the most part are located under the hood. There are other vehicles which will have the battery located under the rear seat or in the trunk as well.

Tools/Supplies Needed:

  • replacement battery
  • socket set and ratchet
  • external power supply
  • soap -water
  • oil spray rust coating
  • rags
  • gloves
  • safety glasses

Step 1:

With some of the modern vehicles, they are equipped with a radio code, so it’s extremely important that you know the code which should be written in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Determine if your battery is actually faulty before replacement. Sometimes you can attach an external battery supply to your vehicle to prevent the radio code from being needed. Ensure the key is off and there are no switched accessories operating such as lights, then locate your battery. Using the appropriate sized wrench or socket and ratchet, loosen the fastener on the negative cable. The negative cable, also known as ground or earth is labelled with a negative symbol and is the black or brown cable. It is important to remove the negative cable first as we will eliminate the risk of causing a short with our tools. If we were to remove the positive terminal first, the wrench or ratchet can touch the terminal and body of the vehicle at the same time causing a short. Once you have loosened the negative clamp, remove it and tuck it off to the side. If you find the clamp can’t be remove, sometimes you can twist it back and forth while pulling up. Do not twist it excessively as you don’t want any added strain on the cable.

Step 2:

Moving onto the positive cable which is labelled with a positive or plus symbol. The cable is red for the positive side and usually has some type of cap protecting the terminal as well. Same procedure, loosen the bolt and then pull the terminal off, then tuck it off to the side.

Step 3:

Remove the hold down clamp, all batteries normally have some form of a hold down clamp to prevent the battery from moving or vibrating. Use a socket and ratchet, wrench, or screwdriver, depending on what is required to remove the clamp. This battery is also equipped with a battery warmer which is used for the winter months. There should be an electrical connector which needs to be disconnected, unplug that first before removing the battery.

Step 4:

Grab onto a secure location of the battery, remove the battery. When lifting up the battery, hold it level as you do not want the acid to dump out. After removed, you may find the battery tray area is excessively dirty or rusty. These are fairly common to rust out as they are a tray which holds any dirt or debris and at times can have acid drip onto it. If they are excessively rusty, then you will need to take the proper steps to repair the area before it gets worse. Clean any built up dirt with soap and water, then as protection or a preventative, apply a rust proofing oil spray coating.

For picking a battery replacement, ensure that is does meet or exceed the required specifications for ca or cranking amps, cca or cold cranking amps, reserve capacity, and dimensions.

Step 5:

Finally install the new battery. Before using the battery, ensure that the battery is fully charged. A battery without a sufficient charge can in fact put added strain on your alternator which will eventually damage it. Install the hold down clamp. These can be a little tricky to install as the battery needs to be in the correct location, so move the battery around if need be, then tighten the clamp. After that install the battery warmer if equipped and plug it back in. Finally the battery terminal clamps, first starting with the positive, again we want to eliminate the risk of creating a short. It’s good practice before installing the new battery to clean up the battery terminal clamps. If they are corroded, use a baking soda and water mixture to neutralize the acid. Then finish up with a brass wire brush. Install the negative battery terminal, apply a coating of dielectric grease if you wish to protect the terminals from corrosion.

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