Let me show you how to replace the battery without actually disconnecting it from the car. You’re not going to lose 12 volts. Your radio stations don’t disappear, your clock doesn’t reset, any presets in your car don’t reset, and the computer of your car won’t reset.
Warning: if you are a beginner and don’t know how to change a car battery at all, and you never did this before, it’s better for you to skip this section and go to the manual for beginners below to avoid some beginner’s mistakes.
First, get your new battery and put it nearby. Next, you’re going to need some high-quality jumper cables. By high-quality, I mean the only parts of the alligator clip that is actually conductive is the tip. You can see the tips are conductive:
The handles here are not conductive, they’re coated. And that’s going to be very helpful, because we do not want these to touch. And it’s also a good idea to have a second person helping.
We take our first cable, the black ground, and connect it to a chassis ground, a bare piece of metal on the car.
Next, grab your red and connect it to the positive side of the battery on the cable if you can. Try not to get it on the post, it’ll make it easier later on, you’ll see why.
Finally, with our last two jumpers, connect the red to the positive post and the black to the negative post. And be very sure not to mix this up.
Disconnect the battery tie down, that way we could easily just pull this battery out. The terminals are slightly loosened, so that we could easily just pull these off. We have our red to the positive, our black to a chassis’ ground. On the other side, we have our brand new battery, and then black to negative, red to positive.
If we disconnect our battery, we still have juice going to the car with our new battery. So basically, now we just transplant it.
When your helper comes in handy to remove the positive wire from the battery, and you can remove the negative wire, and then remove the old battery from the car. Make sure that the positive wire is held in place and doesn’t come in contact with any metal parts, otherwise it could short out. With the new battery still remotely connected to the car, carefully put it into the holder. Then we can connect the negative cable first. Don’t remove the jumper cable until the negative cable makes good contacts. Same for the positive. Make sure you get good contact and slide the positive cable the rest of the way on. Then we can remove the positive jumper cable, and finally remove the negative jumper cable from the chassis ground.
Tighten down the negative cable, tighten down the positive cable, and finally tighten down the tie down. Give that a wiggle to be sure that’s not going anywhere. You could always add a silicone right after this.
You can start your car to check all your settings, radio stations, etc. If you did all right, you didn’t lose any connection at all. That is awesome!
Battery replacing – Guide for beginners
If you don’t know where exactly your battery is located – you can read this article: How to Locate Your Battery – Real Examples and Location Photos
Now we can start!
Old battery removing
This is super easy to do in most vehicles. Have a couple quick tips.
It’s very important, always disconnect the negative terminal first. If you go to disconnect the positive terminal and hit the wrench bare metal to bare metal, it’s going to bridge that gap and it will spark. But if we hit bare metal to bare metal on the ground, it doesn’t matter, it’s just like rounding out.
So just make sure you disconnect the negative terminal first and then we could remove the positive terminal, and that’s the safest way to do it.
All batteries are held in so they don’t become a projectile in an accident. Unscrew the tie down and remove it. Now you could remove the battery.
Next tip: you shouldn’t put your tools on top of the battery because if the two ends of the tool bridge the gap of the battery, it could cause a spark which could create an explosion or a fire. It can also heat this tool up a lot, which could burn you. So never put your tools on top of the battery.
Remove your old battery, and think about cleaning its space. You can vacuum it up, spray it down with some soapy water, and wipe it down to make it nice and clean.
Installing a new battery
Let’s get the tie down in place and tighten it down until it’s snug. Reconnect the positive side first. Get one of the red felt pads on there. Don’t forget to clean the terminal, even though this is pretty clean.
Finally, add some silicone grease to coat the entire metal surface. If you a cover for the positive terminal, put it back. Even though it’s not a perfect fit, it’ll still prevent bare metal from touching it and shorting it out. Do the same exact thing to the negative side. Tighten it down so it’s snug, and coat the terminal with silicone paste like so. Now you can start your car.
How to utilize the old battery you replaced?
What do you do with the old battery that you just replaced? Well, anytime you go buy a new battery, there’s an extra charge called a core charge, and you get that money back when you bring back your old battery. If you didn’t buy a new battery, you don’t have a core charge, but you do have an old battery just sitting around, you can actually recycle it and make some money. Bring it to your local Advance Auto Parts, and they’ll give you a $10 gift card. You can bring it to your local scrap yard, they’ll pay you for it, because batteries are filled with lead, which is valuable and easily recycled. Did you know, car batteries are one of the world’s most recycled items. 99% of a battery is recyclable, so it’s a good thing to do, plus you make some extra cash.
That’s all, it’s one of the easiest things to do. If your car battery isn’t in an easy location, comment below, let me know the car and the model, and I’d like to hear where that battery is. But for most cars, five minute job and you’re good to go.
Chris Magello is an automotive engineer specializing in educating people in fixing their own cars with step-by-step guides. Read More…
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