Do you drive a car? Then, follow-up question, do you know how to change a car battery?
Like knowing how to change a tire, changing a car battery is on its way to becoming a lost art. Today, almost everyone has a smartphone and GPS or GPS on their smartphone. With Triple-A just a phone call away, a modern driver isn’t too worried about getting stranded on any road due to a flat tire or battery failure.
But what if your car breaks down in an area with no cell coverage? Or think about if, in an unfortunate coincidence, you find both your vehicle and phone batteries dead at the same time?
If you can change the battery yourself before it flakes out on you, then you won’t have to depend on roadside assistance to save you.
Ready to learn a handy new skill? Let’s start!
Things to Prepare Before Changing a Car Battery
Replacing a dead car battery isn’t too challenging, but it does require some preparation.
At the very least, you’re going to need a wrench or a socket wrench and your vehicle owner’s manual. It would also help to put on insulated work gloves and safety goggles before doing work involving batteries.
Removing the Old Battery
First, find a flat, level surface to park and turn off your vehicle. After putting on safety gear, you can pop the hood open and try to locate the battery. Read the owner’s manual if you’re having trouble spotting the car battery, as it’s not always under the hood in newer vehicles.
Whether you have starter batteries or a deep cycle battery, all car batteries have positive and negative posts. It’s essential to identify which is which. The positive post typically has a red plastic cover over it, or the cable attached is red.
Use a wrench to disconnect the negative cable first, then do the same with the positive terminal. Remove the clamp or connectors that hold the battery in place. You can now lift the battery out and set it aside in a safe spot, but be careful since it can weigh over fifty pounds.
Installing the New Car Battery
There are various types of car batteries, so make sure to buy the correct replacement battery. The safest way to do this is to bring your old battery with you to the auto parts store when shopping for a new one.
Before installing the new battery, examine the terminals and clamps for corrosion, and clean any build-up with a stout wire brush. Now, you can secure the new battery with the clamp and connectors removed earlier. Ensure that it’s oriented the same way as the old one.
Grease the terminals and reconnect the positive cable first, and then the negative side right after. Remember the order when removing vs. adding cables. When disconnecting, the negative side goes first, but it’s the positive side first when reconnecting.
And with that, you’ve successfully replaced your car’s battery.
Start It Up!
Changing a car battery isn’t a tricky DIY project, and everyone can do it. Once you’ve put everything back together, all that’s left is to test the car. If you’re getting power where you’re supposed to, then congratulate yourself for a job well done!
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