How to Replace a Car Battery

If you are a car owner, then there’s a likely chance that at some point, you will experience a dead car battery. Probably at an inopportune time like when you need to get a big meeting at work! But by learning to change out your own battery, you might be able to at least save yourself the hassle of needing to call a tow truck and can also save yourself some money. Usually the amount of work required to change a car battery is minimal and can be done without any professional mechanical experience.

Please know that these are just general instructions and guidelines for replacing your car battery. Always consult your vehicle’s owner manual first for specific instructions before you begin.


Safety first

Start by making sure that your car is in park, turned off with the emergency brake set. Also, because older batteries can have corrosive acids on the posts, you may want to wear protective gloves and goggles to keep it from getting on your skin or in your eyes which can cause major irritation.

Disconnect the cables

With the engine off, pop the hood of the car and make sure it is propped up securely. Begin by detaching the negative (black) battery cable from the battery; it’s marked with a minus (-) sign. If you see a lot of corrosive substance around the terminal, you may want to clean the terminal first. Add some baking soda directly onto the battery post then take an old toothbrush, dip it in water and scrub the baking soda into the terminal posts and cable clamps. After you wipe away the baking soda solution, loosen the nut with a wrench or a battery wrench. Making sure your tools are one the ground to prevent sparking an electrical charge, carefully twist and pull up on the end clamp to remove it from the post. Once the negative cable has been removed, the same process can be followed for the positive (red) battery cable.

Remove the battery

Most batteries are held in place by a clamp with a nut that can be loosened in order to remove the battery from the tray. Use a combination wrench or a socket and ratchet, loosen the nut then carefully remove that battery. Batteries are heavy so be sure to use both hands when lifting it. Many batteries come with a handle; use the handle to lift the battery straight up—or carefully lift it by its sides, with gloves on—making sure you don’t allow any battery acid to spill out. Place the battery a safe distance from the vehicle.

Finish cleaning

Using the old toothbrush or a battery terminal cleaner, baking soda and water, clean off any corrosion that may still be on the cable connectors. Also check the battery tray and hold-down clamp from sulfates and clean them off using a baking soda and water solution.

Install the new battery

Without removing the colored plastic caps on the terminal posts, carefully lift the new battery into the clean battery tray. Secure the hold-down clamp by tightening the nut with a wrench. Next, you can spray both terminal ends with anti-corrosive solution or smear grease or petroleum jelly on the posts to slow down the formation of corrosive deposits. Cover all exposed metal surfaces on the battery posts, battery cables, and clamps. Starting with the positive (red) terminal, remove the plastic cap, attach the positive clamp to the post and tighten it with your wrench. Repeat with the negative (black) terminal.

At General Power Batteries, our Economy Line Batteries come with a one year free replacement guarantee and fits 93% of all vehicles with 12 volt, 450-460 crank amps batteries. If you’re not sure of what kind of battery is right for your car’s make and model, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

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