Learn how to change a car battery safely with this step by step guide to replacing a car battery.
To change a car battery without losing settings, you will need to connect a memory saver to your vehicle. If you skip this step, you will potentially have problems with your car running rough and not shifting normal. You will also lose your radio code so the radio will not work unless you put the code in.
Most memory saver devices consist of a small 9V battery and some alligator clips that you can clip to your battery cables. Some also plug into various ports on the inside of your car, like the cigarette lighter.
Before changing a car battery, you should always put on work gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from any acid leaks.
Turn off your engine and remove the ignition key. Using an adjustable wrench, loosen the nut on the negative (black "-") terminal first. Once the nut comes off, pull on the end of the cable to detach it.
Repeat the same steps for the postive (red "+") terminal.
There will be a hold down clamp or strap that secures the battery. You will need to loosen or unfasten it so that you can detach the battery from its tray. Slowly lift the battery straight up and out, taking care not to spill any acid in the process.
If you return your old battery and receipt to the shop where you bought it, you will receive a refund on your core deposit most of the time. The last battery I brought back netted me $9.00 - Besides the spare change, you'll also be doing your part for the environment as well.
Before buying a new battery, find out what is your vehicle's year, make, model and engine size. Sometimes you'll even need to know the trim level (for example, EX, LX, DX etc.) - Click here to find the right car battery for your vehicle make and model.
Inspect the battery cables, battery tray and hold down clamps for corrosion and damage. Use contact cleaner with a wire brush to scrub all corroded areas. Baking soda mixed with water works too, but the results won't be as good as it evaporates slower and might leave residue.
After cleaning, it's highly recommended that you coat the battery terminals with an anti corrosion solution.
A new car battery weighs around 40 pounds (18 kg) so be sure to ask for help if you have problems lifting it. Keeping the battery upright at all times, place it on the battery tray and secure with the hold down clamp or strap.
Connect and tighten the positive (red "+") terminal first. Next, do the same for negative (black "-") terminal.
Be sure the cables are tight and the battery is secured properly. Remove
the memory saver. Start your car and check if your ignition and electronics are working well.
Recommended Tools and Parts for Changing Car Batteries
Car Battery: Click here to find one for your vehicle make and model
Adjustable Wrench: Channellock 8WCB 8-Inch Adjustable Wrench
Anti-Corrosion Solution: VHT SP229 Rust Convertor Can
Contact Cleaner: CRC 05103 QD Electronic Cleaner
Memory Saver: VSTM OBDII Memory Saver with Alligator Clips
Safety Goggles: Dewalt DPG82-11C Concealer Safety Goggles
Wire Brush: US Forge Welding Stainless Steel Wire Brush
Work Gloves: Wells Lamont 167L Heavyweight PVC Gloves
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.