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Batteries always seem to fail at the most inconvenient of times. That’s why knowing how to replace your car battery is a handy skill to have under your belt. Changing a car battery may seem complicated, but it’s actually a fairly straightforward process. However, there are a few important tools that you’ll need to get started and it can be a tad tricky if you’ve never done it before.
At Beaurepaires, our friendly technicians can expertly remove your old battery and install a brand new one, and have you back on the road in no time. Click here to view our latest range of batteries and if you'd like us to fit your new battery, you can find your nearest store here and arrange an appointment either by booking online or by calling 13 23 81.
Of course, if you have sourced your own battery which is compatible for your vehicle (for assistance, click here) and would like to do the job yourself we've created a step-by-step car battery replacement guide to help you get back on the road sooner.
Here are the items you’ll need:
- An adjustable wrench
- A couple of clean lint-free rags
- A battery brush
- Water and baking soda
- A pair of sturdy latex gloves
- Safety goggles
These last two items are for your own protection. It’s essential that you wear your gloves and safety goggles at all times while removing your old car battery and installing a new one. Corrosive battery acid can leak out of cracks in your old battery, so take care not to let it come into contact with your skin.
Step-by-step guide to changing your car battery
- First and foremost, it’s important to properly prepare your car for a battery change. Turn off your engine and ensure that your car is in Park, with the parking brake on. Open the hood and place a blanket or pad over the fender, to protect your car from being damaged by battery acid. Clean the terminals as thoroughly as possible, using some of the water and baking soda solution and your battery brush. Removing the sulfate deposits this way should make it easier to remove your old car battery.
- Begin removing your old car battery by removing the cables from the battery terminals. Consult your car manual to see if your vehicle has negative ground – most do. If so, use the wrench to loosen the nut and bolt on the clamp that holds the battery cable to the negative terminal, before doing the same to the clamp that holds the battery cable to the positive terminal. If your car has positive ground, loosen the clamp on the positive terminal first, followed by the clamp on the negative terminal.
- Once both terminals are loose, remove any devices holding the battery in place. These will likely be plates with the same sized nuts as those you found on the terminal cable clamp. Otherwise, they may take the form of a wing nut you can simply unscrew by hand.
- Remove the battery by lifting it straight up and out of its tray and depositing it safely on the ground. Batteries can be heavy and may have corroded over time, so take care not to let any acid spill out.
- Use your remaining water and baking soda solution to clean the tray on which the battery was standing. Make sure that the tray is completely dry before you proceed with the next step.
- Place the new car battery on the tray, ensuring that it’s facing in the same direction as your old one was.
- Replace the devices that held the old battery in place, ensuring that it is completely secure.
- Replace the battery cables on the terminals in the reverse order from which you removed them. So if your car has negative ground, the positive cable goes back first and vice versa if your car has positive ground.
- Last but not least, don’t forget to dispose of your old car battery in a responsible manner. Batteries are filled with lead and corrosive acid and should be recycled into new car batteries, to prevent toxic contamination to the environment. You can dispose of your old car battery at your local service station or recycling centre for a small fee.