A car battery is certainly the lifeline of your vehicle, its power unit, and without it, your car is just a useless metal carcass. No matter how well and efficiently you use your vehicle, your car batteries will eventually wear out and require replacement. Fortunately, replacing a battery is a not a long and complicated process and is a skill that will benefit you for life and will save you a great deal of hassle.
However, before you jump to replace the car battery, it is a good idea to first give it a boost with the help of the best jump starter. A jump starter involves cables that act as a means of restoring voltage to a car’s battery, which is unable to store enough power on its own to activate the starter. They function by transmitting a charge from a working battery to a dead vehicle battery. However, if this doesn’t work, you should move on and check for the following signs that will help you check if the battery needs replacement.
Look for sulfate deposits in the form of a blue or whitish residue surrounding the terminal. Removing the build-up can solve the problem at hand.
Make sure you have given enough time to the battery to properly charge by driving continuously for half an hour.
If there is still no hope, read on to learn how to replace car battery the right and safe way. Before getting started, however, you need to make sure you have the right replacement battery (the dimensions). Bring details, such as the model, engine and make of your car, to your local auto parts store and let the staff help you pick the right battery.
Before you begin, you need to prepare your car for the process. Start by parking it on a flat level, away from traffic, open flames or sparks. Pull the parking brake, and make sure no one is smoking around you. Keep in mind that electricity is not the only hazard, but batteries also contain an electrolyte solution full of sulfuric acid, which is extremely corrosive to the skin and produces an inflammable hydrogen gas. This is where your safety goggles and safety gloves come in. Make sure you wear them throughout.
Step #2 - Pop Open The Hood
Once you have opened the hood, use the prop rod for keeping it in place. Keep in mind that not all car batteries are located under the hood. Some may be located elsewhere, such as in the trunk, which means you don’t have to fiddle around with the hood.
Step #3 - Place A Pad or Blanket or Over The Fender (Or Wherever Your Battery May Be Located)
This will protect your car from any corrosive battery acid.
Step #4 - Locate The Battery
You will find the battery in a convenient part on either side of the car frame. A battery is a rectangular box with two cables attached to it
Step #5 - Identify The Terminals
Trace the positive and negative terminals of the dead car battery. The positive terminal is usually red and will have a plus sign and the negative terminal is usually black and will have a minus sign.
Step #6 - Remove The Cables From The Battery Terminals
Use a flexible wrench (typically 8 mm or 10 mm) to first release the nut and bolt located on the clamp that grips the cable on the negative terminal. (Look out for the “_” sign or letters “NEG”). In case your cables aren’t labeled, mark them immediately to prevent ruining the car system. Disconnect the negative terminal socket first and not the positive terminal socket or you will end up short-circuiting the positive terminal.
Now, repeat the same disconnecting process with the positive terminal. Look for a “+” or “POS” sign and remove the associated cable from the column and get it out of your sight. Next, remove the other cable from its column and keep it aside.
Step #7 - Remove The Old Car Battery
Disengage the battery holder and get rid of any screws, bars or clamps that may be supporting the battery. Carefully raise the battery out of the hood. Keep in mind that a typical battery can weigh up to 60 pounds, which is 27 kg, so get a helping hand, especially if you have back problems. If you have a problem releasing the bolt, grasp it with one wrench and the nut with another, and move both the wrenches in different directions. In this case, you do not have to remove the bolts. Just undo them enough to loosen the cable clamps.
Step #8 - Bring In The New Car Battery
Before you put in the new battery, properly clean the battery tray and clamps with a baking soda solution and a brush. If you notice any serious damage to the cables or the terminal ends, consider having it repaired or replaced by a mechanic. Or else, allow the area to completely dry before replacing the battery. Locate the new battery in place of the old dead battery, and pay extra attention to the positive and negative terminals. Connect all the clamps, screws and bars that keep the battery in place.
Step #9 - Reattach The Positive Terminal
Make sure the clamps supporting the cables on the battery terminals are holding the posts firmly.
Step #10 – Reattach the Negative Terminal
Properly tighten the clamps with the help of a wrench.
Step #11 - Apply Lithium Grease Designed For Batteries
Spray the solution on the terminals to prevent corrosion.
Step #12 - Shut the Hood
Properly close the hood and start the engine. Check if all the electronic devices are working fine.
Step #13 - Dispose Off the Old Battery the Right Way
Batteries are full of a corrosive, toxic liquid and must, therefore, be disposed of quickly and properly. Old batteries are typically recycled into new ones, which means simply throwing your old battery in the trash is damaging to the environment. You can dispose the battery at an auto supply store, a recycling center or a service garage, but never just throw it away in the garbage.
You may be charged a certain fee by most battery recyclers, so try not to negotiate too much. Be sure to ring your local recycling center for a price quote or a recommendation.To help you understand the process of replacing your car battery better, here are three helpful sources.