We all know that after some time, out car batteries are going to finally give up on us. You will start to notice that you will be needing new batteries if the headlights start to get dim or if your car has to have a jumpstart every now and then.
Even if you don’t observe these signs, if your battery has served you for a good seven years or more, then it’s time to think about getting a new one. You can have it changed by an expert mechanic, or you can even do it yourself!
In this article, we’ll share with you how to install car battery so you will have an easy time doing it even on your own.
First Things First: Is a New Battery Necessary?
This is the first thing that you have to assess because you may not be needing to spend all that time, money, and energy in having a new battery installed, especially if the problem is not the battery, to begin with.
To replace car battery, cost is not cheap. You can take note of these signs if a new battery is indeed necessary.
Check if there is any build-up of sulfate. This can be bluish or whitish in color, and you will see it surrounding the terminal.
Sometimes, removing this residue can solve any issues you have with a battery that is faulty. When this residue appears, it may be because of a bad seal surrounding the terminals of the battery and the acid leaks out.
Remember not to touch the residue without any gloves to protect your hands with. It contains sulfuric acid that has dried and can burn skin. Another thing to check is if you have charged your battery enough. You can check this by driving around for about half an hour. Do this with just the minimal electrical use.
Lastly, check your car’s alternator. There are cars that have with them a battery meter. When your engine is running, usually, the alternator can maintain a charge with the range of 13.8volts to 14.2volts if the charging system is functioning properly. When the engine is off, and without accessory load, the battery should have a range of 12.4volts to 12.8volts.
Buying The Right Replacement Battery
Know what battery you should replace the old one with. This includes the dimensions to make sure that it will fit. Also, bring with you information about your car’s engine size and model when shopping for a new battery.
This is vital as car batteries differ in the electrical capacity as well as size. You would want to get a battery that will match the battery support or tray of your car.
We provide you the guide to the best place to purchase an auto battery!
Before You Remove The Old Battery
The first thing you need to do before removing the old battery and replacing it with a new one is making sure that you are in a safe working environment. Park your car on a level and flat surface.
Be sure that you are far from open flames, sparks, or traffic. Put the parking brake on. Of course, do not smoke and see to eat that there are no smokers nearby. You have to take note that the danger is not just with the electricity.
The battery has a solution of sulfuric acid electrolyte. This solution is corrosive and can burn skin. It can also produce hydrogen gas which is flammable. Before touching anything put on safety goggles and gloves.
The next step is to take away the cigarette lighter and then plug in the memory keeper. There is usually a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor or CMOS that keeps the PIN codes, radio settings, and the memory of the navigation system.
Take this step so that the memory will not be erased upon the disconnection of the battery. However, if you do not have a memory keeper, see to it that you keep a record of all your PINs for the electronic equipment before starting.
If you are unsure, review your car manual about the devices that may be changed or affected when you change the battery. When you are all set, open the car’s hood. Remember to prop up the rod so that your hood remains open.
If your car is a newer model, it may have a hood that can hold itself up. You also have to be aware that there are some cars with batteries that are located in the trunk. Again, check the car manual so that you are sure.
Removing The Old Battery
For the positive terminal, it is usually red and possesses a plus sign. The negative terminal which is often black has a minus sign. After identifying the terminals, disconnect first the negative terminal. You can do this by loosening the cable clamp using a wrench. You can then slide it off from the terminal.
Check if the cables are marked or not. If they don’t have labels, mark them so that you won’t mix them up. Doing so will damage the electrical system of your car. It is vital that you disconnect first the negative terminal and then the positive terminal. If you do it the other way around, it may cause a short circuit to a part of your car that is grounded.
When you have successfully disconnected the negative terminal, the next one would be the positive terminal. Do the same process as you did with the negative terminal. When both terminals have been disconnected, it is time to remove a car battery. To do this, you can begin by unfastening the battery holder.
Also, remove any bars, clamps, or screws that hold the battery in its place. Lift the battery out of your car very carefully. Take note that it may weight about thirty to sixty pounds or thirteen to twenty-seven kilos. If it’s too heavy for you, ask someone to assist you with it.
Placing The New Battery
Before putting the new battery, clean first the battery tray and the terminal clamps. You can make a baking soda solution and use it with a wire brush. Check if the corrosion is too severe. If it is, you may have to have it repaired by a mechanic. But if it’s still good, clean it and then allow it to dry.
In replacing the battery, make sure that the negative and positive terminals are correctly placed on their respective sides. After that, connect the bars, clamps, and screws so that they will hold the car battery securely in place.
The next question you may be asking is how to reconnect a car battery? We’ll share with you how. You may also wonder when connecting a car battery which terminal first should you reconnect?
The answer is to reconnect first the positive terminal and then the negative terminal. You can do this by tightening the clamps with the use of a wrench. After which, you can apply some battery lithium grease that you can spray onto the terminals. This can effectively prevent corrosion.
Lastly, close the car’s hood firmly and try to start your car. Check all of the electronic devices to see if they are working alright. You can now remove the battery memory saver that you have installed earlier in the process.
Still having doubts about how to install car battery? Don’t worry. If you feel you cannot do it on your own, you can always go to an expert mechanic so that he can help you with it. Hopefully, this guide will give you an idea of how the process works so that if you are feeling confident the next time, you can do it on your own.
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