How to Fit and Replace a Car Battery
How to Fit and Replace a Car Battery
Whenever the time for car maintenance arrives, the average car owner can become stressed. Not only is car maintenance often difficult for those who aren’t mechanics or who don’t have the knowledge to perform the maintenance, but it can be a costly financial endeavour as well. Depending on the exact situation, repairing, replacing or tuning up various parts of your vehicle could be quick and easy – or expensive and dangerous.
One act of maintenance that is relatively straightforward and affordable is the replacement of a car battery. Over time, the battery wears down and it will inevitably need to be replaced. Even though it’s a pretty easy routine, those who haven’t done it before might be confused.
To help you out, we’re going to walk you through the step-by-step of replacing your car’s battery so that you can save both time and money.
Choosing the Right Replacement
Before you’re ready to fit and replace any existing car battery, you must first decide which battery to install in its place. There are many different varieties of car and auto batteries on the market, each with specific benefits and niches. For example, taking a look at car batteries at hardwarexpress.com reveals dozens of top-of-the-line battery options that can be considered.
How should you pick the right battery? You’ll want to review consumer reports and reviews on all of the batteries on the market before deciding. Additionally, it’s vital that you consider factors such as overall battery life, cold-cranking amps, and reserve capacity. All of these factors can impact what temperatures and under what situations your new battery is guaranteed to perform.
Furthermore, be sure to understand the difference between standard flooded batteries, deep-cycle batteries, and AGM batteries. Each of these has a different performance level and may or may not be right for your exact needs.
Deciding on Protection
Just as important as the battery you select, finding the right level of protection and guarantees for your new battery is crucial. Many people do not consider how well their batteries are protected or guaranteed when buying them, which can result in shorter life-spans and added frustrations.
Firstly, you’ll want to consider the type and length of warranty offered for your battery. In some cases, you may be able to purchase additional warranties that extend coverage over a long period or for additional circumstances than what the OEM warranty provides.
Another consideration to make during the colder and hotter months is physical protection for your battery. Cold weather can drain a battery and reduce its performance; investing in some insulation to help reduce this problem is generally a good idea. During the summer months, make sure not to park in sunny spaces.
Removing the Old Battery
Now that you’ve decided on the right battery and taken steps to ensure its long-term performance, you’ll want to begin by removing the old battery. Make sure the vehicle’s engine is off before proceeding. Next, detach the black cable (negative) from the battery itself; you may need to loosen this with a wrench. Battery pliers and/or a battery-specific wrench are ideal for this situation.
Next, twist and pull up on the cable with your hand. Be gentle when doing this so that you avoid any damage to the battery cable itself. You may wish to also purchase battery terminal pliers built specifically for this circumstance, which will help avoid any potential damage during removal.
After you’ve completely and successfully removed the negative cable from the old battery, repeat this process with the red (positive) cable.
You’ll then need to unscrew the battery mounting/clamp so that the battery can be lifted out of the vehicle. Usually, this can be easily done with a standard wrench or socket set. Once this is done, you’ll be able to remove the old battery from the vehicle and begin the process of installing the new battery.
Prepare the Area
Once the old battery is removed, you’ll want to take this time to clean up any debris in the battery tray and/or prepare to install any insulation for winter protection. A battery cleaning solution is ideal for cleaning the bottom of the tray in the event there is corrosion, but baking soda and water along with a scrub-brush can also be used. Be sure to dry the area once done.
If your battery connectors are corroded, a wire brush should be used to clean them so that the new connection is optimal.
Installing the New Battery
Installing the new battery is very simple: just repeat the process listed above in reverse. You’ll want to make sure to sit the battery firmly in the tray, replace the battery mount/clamps and screw them in, connect the red (positive) terminal and then connect the black (negative) terminal.
Make sure that the connections are tightened and complete, and then test that the battery itself is secure by trying to move it back and forth. Both the battery and the battery cables should be tight and immovable when connected properly.
The process of selecting and replacing a car battery takes some consideration – and a few tools – but is an overall straightforward process. Now that you’re familiar with what needs to be considered and how the replacement process works, you’ll be ready to replace that old car battery whenever needed.