How to change a Car Battery

by Andrew Automoto21. November 2013 10:01

Weather is a big factor in your vehicle batteries problems, so it is always best before changing the battery over that you open the vent caps and check if the solution inside is frozen or if it simply needs a good clean.  A white cakey build up around the terminals can mean that the right amount of power is not getting to your battery, you can clean this off with water,  baking soda and a scrubbing brush, but just be careful as it is still highly corrosive acid so wearing gloves is recommended.

If your battery  is covered in stains or is corroding, if it has a crack in it and last but not least if your battery smells like rotten eggs or it smells like it’s burning, your battery is going to need changing.  Replacing your car battery can be done with relative ease just remember battery acid is extremely corrosive, don’t let it splash out and don’t spill any on your hands, body, and clothing or even on your car paint.

Remember when you purchase your battery be sure to check the date that it was manufactured. Like your Tomato Sauce, Batteries come with a Best Before date and should be installed into a car engine within six months of Manufacturing. You will also need to make sure it is the same model as your last battery, the make may differ but as long as the rest of the battery is the same you’re ready to start changing you battery.

  1. Make sure the engine is off, actually take the keys out of the ignition just to be on the safe side
  2. Clean the terminals with baking soda and water As suggested above
  3. All Batteries have two terminals a Positive (Usually Red) and Negative (Usually Black) cable. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery by loosening the nut with a wrench  or pliers. An even better tool to use would be battery fliers or a battery wrench. Then do the same thing for the positive cable (red).  Do Not use a screwdriver as a pry-bar. This can break off your battery terminal and cause other damage.  
  4. Now the terminals are loose unscrew the plates that hold the battery to the engine
  5. Get a firm grab on the battery and take it out of the battery tray, batteries are heavy so be sure to grab it from the bottom using both hands, but if the battery has a handle use that instead. Be careful not to spill any acid – especially on yourself.
  6. Carefully place the new battery into the battery tray, spray both terminal ends with anti-corrosion solution however that is optional.
  7. Attach the positive  battery cable, and then attach the negative  cable. Check that all the cables connectors are secured on tightly. If you can move them all then your vehicle may not start.
  8. Now you can refasten the plates that hold the battery to the engine. This can sometimes be tricky so make sure you take your time.
  9. Now try you can put your keys back in the car and try your ignition. If it’s not working, remove the keys and check the terminals are tight. If your terminals are fine your Battery may not be your problem.
  10. This is your most important step: Your dead battery is highly toxic and must be disposed of appropriately. It is recommended you take it to a recycling centre where they will be sure that the material can be recycled!

If you are unsure of any of the above instructions it is recommended you have your authorised Service Centre or Dealership change you battery over for you.

You can find you nearest Authorised Mobile mechanic or service centre at www.carservice.com.au

For information on when you should change your car battery see - How often should I change my car battery?

 

‘The information provided in this article is for general advise only.  It is not intended for instructional use.  Use of the information is at your own risk.  We recommend you seek the advice of a trained professional.  ’