There is nothing worse than getting into your car, turning the key, and hearing the sputtering sound of a car that won’t start. More likely than not, a dead car is due to a dead car battery. And while you can invest in a battery charger for when your car is parked at home, if you find that your battery keeps dying, it may be time to replace the battery altogether. Replacing a dead or dying car battery isn’t a difficult task, but it will be easier if you are prepared with the right tools.
Properly Changing Your Car Battery
Safely changing a car battery requires attention to detail. If you don’t install the new battery properly, your car will not work. And there are some safety considerations and precautions you will want to take in order to safely remove and discard your old battery. But don’t let this scare you — with the proper knowledge, you can easily tackle this process. In this article, we’ll focus on how to safely remove a car battery and replace it with a new one, and answer your questions about how to dispose of the old battery properly.
How To Remove And Replace A Car Battery
1. Gather Tools And Set Up Work Space
First, you’ll want to ensure you have all the tools needed to remove and replace your car battery. You will likely need a wrench or socket wrench to loosen the battery’s bolts and nuts — the correct size will be based on your currently installed battery. You may also want a pair of rubber gloves for added safety, especially if you notice any cracks or corrosion that could lead to leaking battery acid. Another optional tool you may want to have on hand is a battery tester. You can use a tester to make sure the new battery is working properly. And, of course, you’ll need to have the replacement battery.
After gathering the tools you’ll need for a successful battery replacement, you’ll want to set up a safe area to proceed with the battery change. Ideally, you’ll want to park your car on a flat surface, such as a garage, driveway, or parking lot. Make sure you know where the battery is located — though it is in the engine compartment on most vehicles, some cars have the battery in the trunk or behind a wheel well. If you can’t find your battery, consult your owner’s manual. Once you’ve got your car situated and your tools at the ready, you are ready to remove the old car battery and replace it with a new one.
2. Remove the Battery Cables, Connectors, And/Or Fasteners
First, you’ll need to remove the negative terminal cable. That terminal should be clearly marked with a minus sign (–). You may need to use a wrench to loosen the connector in order to remove the cable. Make sure that when you remove the cable, you do not set it down on any metal part of the engine bay or touch the metal wrench as this could create a spark. Then, you will do the same thing for the positive terminal cable, the side marked with the plus sign (+).
Next, you will need to loosen the battery hold-downs so the battery can be lifted out of the engine. To do this, loosen whatever is holding the battery in place, which could be either a connector and/or a fastener. Some batteries have one or the other, while other batteries have both. Once this is loosened you now should be ready to lift the battery out of the car.
3. Lift The Battery Out Of The Car And Set It In A Safe Spot
Next, you’ll want to remove the battery from the vehicle. If you have rubber gloves, put them on for this step. Make sure you have a secure hold on each side of the battery and lift it up. A car battery can weigh anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds, so make sure you have a good grip on it as you lift it out. If you feel you may not be able to lift the battery by yourself, ask for assistance. Then, carefully place the battery on a level dry spot that is out of the way.
4. Clean The Battery Tray And Terminals
Before you get your new battery in place, you’ll want to make sure the area where the battery will be sitting is clean. Clean any dirt, debris, or corrosion from the battery tray. Another area to focus your cleaning on is the battery clamps, to remove any corrosion or debris.
5. Place And Secure New Car Battery
Once the area and connections are clean, you are ready to put the new battery into the car. First, carefully place the battery into the battery tray. Make sure it is oriented the correct -same as the battery you removed- way before you move on. Next, secure the battery by refastening the connectors and fasteners on your battery’s hold-down. Finally, you’ll reconnect both the positive and negative terminals, starting with the positive one first.
6. Test Your New Battery
Now it’s time to give the new battery a test! Hop in your car and either power up the engine or just turn on the electronics. If they both work, then the new battery is installed and working well. You have successfully installed your new car battery and are ready to hit the road.
Steps To Remove and Replace a Car Battery:
- 1: Gather Tools And Set Up Work Space
- 2: Remove The Battery Cables, Connectors, And/Or Fasteners
- 3: Lift The Battery Out Of The Car And Set It In A Safe Spot
- 4: Clean The Battery Tray And Connections
- 5: Place and Secure New Car Battery
- 6: Test Your New Battery