Your car battery is one of the most important components of your vehicle. Its most important role is to provide power when the vehicle is off so that the engine can start. When your vehicle is running, power is mostly provided by the alternator, but the current still flows through the battery. So, when your battery is dying, you will want to replace it promptly. Otherwise, you may have some significant issues.
As with all car repair and maintenance tasks, replacing a battery correctly is as much about safety as it is about changing the part. Below, you will learn how to do it right.
Which Battery Terminal Do You Remove First?
First, it is helpful to know about the cables that connect to the battery. The positive cable is the one that brings current into the battery. The negative cable, sometimes called the ground, is the one that current flows out of.
You should remove the negative battery cable first. When you remove each cable, make sure to secure it carefully so that it cannot touch the terminal accidentally. This can be very dangerous, so it is important to carefully secure the cables.
Removing Old Car Batteries
Before you begin removing the battery, it is a good idea to think about safety. Wear eye protection, work in a ventilated area, and remove any jewelry or other conductive items that could possibly touch the battery. Also, wear insulated work gloves. These are the steps:
- Prepare: Get the vehicle on a level surface where it is secure. Do not attempt to remove the battery from a vehicle on a jack unless it is on jack stands or a lift securely. Make sure the engine is off. Put on your PPE. Get some ties to secure the cables or a thick cloth to cover the terminals for safety.
- Remove Cables: Starting with the negative cable, remove them from the terminal. This can be done with a wrench (typically 10-millimeter). Always secure the negative cable before removing the positive cable. If you are using a cloth, place it over the positive terminal to prevent an accidental connection.
- Loosen Tie-Down Bolt: Most batteries are secured in place with a bolt or screw. This can typically be loosened either by hand or with a wrench.
- Lift Out Battery: Take the battery out of the vehicle. You are done! If necessary, you can now move the cables. However, you should be careful to avoid creating a circuit or touching the battery when you put it (or a replacement) back.
If your battery is dead, you could connect it to an auto battery charger to see if it can still hold a charge. If not, you may need to replace it. Fortunately, half the work is already done!
Replace Your Old Battery Today
When you need to replace an old battery, you can easily find a working alternative by using a free VIN lookup tool on AutoZone or a similar website. This is one of the easiest ways to find parts that work for your vehicle. You can replace your battery yourself using the above tips.