Car Maintenance: How to Change the Battery in Your Vehicle

Car Maintenance: How to Change the Battery in Your Vehicle

Your car battery will not last forever.  At some point you will need to replace it.  Replacing the car battery is not complicated at all; in fact if you can lift the battery then you can replace it yourself.  When your battery is 3 to 7 years old, you may begin to notice that it takes longer for the car to start and it may drain when the car is left unused for a couple of days.  If your car battery needs changing, here are the steps to follow to change it.

How to Change the Battery in Your Vehicle

What you need: new car battery, battery lithium grease, rubber gloves, adjustable wrench, wire brush and safety goggles

Step 1: Park the car on a flat surface, preferably a safe distance away from inflammable materials and obstruction.  Switch off the car engine then open the hood and set the wrench (or spanners), the new battery and everything else you will need close by.  Remember to remove the cigarette lighter and read the car’s manual to see if there are nay electric or electronic devices that may be affected by the battery removal.  Put on your safety goggles and rubber gloves.

Step 2: Locate the battery on your car.  The battery should be on the front left corner when you open the hood, but if it isn’t then refer to your car’s manual.  The battery is often in an accessible section of the car’s frame.  Next step, identify the battery terminals – both positive and negative.  You can tell them apart by the positive (+) and negative (-) signs on the battery or by their colors (red for positive and black for negative.

Step 3: Disconnect the terminals, starting with the negative then moving on to the positive.  The terminal may be tightly bolted on the battery so you may need a spanner or wrench to loosen it.  Remember that loosening it takes a little force.  You must never connect the two terminals directly because the short circuit is a fire hazard and could damage electronic components in the car.

Step 4: Carefully remove the car’s battery.  Most car batteries have holders that firmly position the battery in place, make sure that you unfasten it first.  The fastener may be held in place by screws, clamps or bars.  Remember to note where everything goes so as not to have a hard time replacing them when the new battery is in place.

Step 5: Place the old battery aside – do not throw it into the waste bin as it should be recycled.  Now take the new battery and carefully position it where the old battery was.  Remember to note how the battery was positioned as it is crucial that the positive and negative terminals fit properly.  Improper positioning of the battery may cause overstretching of the terminals.

Step 6: Fasten the battery tightly using the fasteners you removed from the old battery.  When the battery is secured in its place, check to ensure that there is no corrosion on the battery and on the terminals.  If there is any corrosion, you will need to clean them off using the brush as required.  When all the corrosion is removed reconnect the battery terminals starting with the positive.  Tighten the clamps using the wrench or spanners.

Step 7: Apply the lithium grease on the terminals to prevent corrosion.  Remember to apply the grease gently avoiding applying on the engine block or the car body.  The grease will help prevent corrosion on the battery terminals.

These are the steps it takes to replace a car battery.  When all is done, close the hood firmly and start the car.  Check to ensure that all the electronic and electric components work properly.  Keep all the tools you used away and find out where you will take the battery for recycling.

James Mcdonnel is a car enthousiast and freelance writer. He writes for My Car Check and his passion is driving sport cars and biking.

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