Over time, your vehicle’s battery will run down, and you’ll need to know how to change it. MTA notes that a car battery has a life of between four to six years. If you bought a used car, chances are the battery’s been in there for about three to five years already. You might notice that your headlights are a bit dim or that it takes a little longer to crank your car into a start. All of these are warning signs that your battery may be failing. If you have roadside assistance, you might get away with getting mobile car battery replacement. However, if you have to do it yourself, this handy guide should help you successfully change your car battery without damaging the components.
Step 1: Disconnect the Old Battery
Not all cars have their battery in the same place. Pop the hood and look for where your car battery is. You’re going to start your removal with the negative (black) terminal. Use a combination wrench or pair of pliers to loosen the nut on the contact until you can move the clamp freely around the pole. Next, unhook the negative connection and move it off the battery pole. Please don’t use a screwdriver or pry-bar since it could damage the battery and leak the acid inside. Once you’ve got the negative terminal off, do the same for the positive (red) terminal. Make sure the terminals don’t touch each other. Unhook the battery clamp and carefully remove it from the stand.
Step 2: Clean the Terminals
During regular usage, battery terminals get oxidized, and this may affect their performance. Use a battery cleaning solution or a baking-soda-and-water mixture to clean the connections thoroughly. You can use the same combination to clean the clamp and battery stand to ensure that no old corrosion remains before you slot in the new battery. Use a wire brush to finish cleaning the terminals. This additional step helps to remove any rust or fine particles left inside the terminals. If you need to remove heavy corrosion, a higher concentration of battery cleaning solution will work.
Step 3: Install The New Battery
Fit the new battery into the stand, and ensure that the battery clamp holds the cell securely. Use a spray bottle to spray a bit of the anti-corrosion solution on both poles. Attach and tighten the terminals, starting with the positive one (red) and then the negative one (black). Go through the connectors and make sure that they’re held securely and won’t pop out if the car jumps. If you can mode the terminals, the chances are that they aren’t tight enough. Having loose connections will lead to battery draining or, in some cases, improper charging.
Doing It Yourself is an Option
You may need to visit a mechanic or the dealership for several things, but you can do some maintenance yourself. Replacing the battery is, luckily, a simple and straightforward procedure. However, if you don’t correctly tighten your battery poles, you might find yourself stuck without a way to start your car. Ideally, you should always have a jump-starter or cables somewhere in your vehicle to help you get up and running if the worst happens and your battery discharges.