How to Replace a Car Battery

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Changing a car battery is not something you will have to do often but it is always good to know how to do it. This is something anybody can do by themselves and does not require a trip to a mechanic. Simply follow the steps below and you're good to go.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Car Manuals
  • Baking Soda
  • Wire Brushes
  • Battery Terminal Cleaner
  • Car Batteries
  • Wrenches
  • Latex Gloves
    • 1

      Purchase the new battery recommended and rated for your car (the parts dealer and your mechanic will have that information). Be aware that the old battery is usually exchanged for the new one for recycling purposes, so you can either take it with you or drop it off later.

    • 2

      Open the hood of your car and locate the battery.

    • 3

      Disconnect the cable terminals from the old battery's terminals (negative/black first and then positive/red).

    • 4

      Remove the frame or bracket holding the battery in place, and lift the battery out.

    • 5

      Clean the cable terminals with a wire brush and baking soda and water if they're corroded or dirty.

    • 6

      Use a wire brush or a battery terminal cleaner (a very inexpensive tool) to scrape the inside of each cable terminal to expose new, clean metal to the new battery terminal. If the cable terminals are damaged, they need to be replaced.

    • 7

      Lower the new battery into position, with the positive and negative poles in the same relative positions as before, and secure the frame.

    • 8

      Connect the cables to the new battery securely - positive to positive and then negative to negative. The cable ends should not be able to move at all; any looseness can prevent your car from starting.

    • 9

      Test the battery by starting the engine.

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