If you buy a new car, it comes with a fresh car battery. The typical battery has a lifespan of about 1.5 – 2 years. However, your vehicle usually lasts longer than that. You will eventually find yourself in a situation where you have to replace your car battery.
Many car owners do not know how to replace a car battery and will seek help from an expert. According to the AA, a car battery replacement is one of the most common solutions when car owners meet up with a car breakdown.
However, this article will show you how to replace your car battery yourself. Fortunately, it is a simple yet precise process. Also, the tools required are not that hard to find. But first, how do you know that your car battery requires a replacement? What car battery brand is the best in the market?
How to tell if it’s time to replace your car battery?
The car battery plays a crucial role because the vehicle cannot move an inch without it. It provides an electrical charge to start the car engine, which is then transferred to the wheels to produce motion. However, the battery will not fail abruptly because the car is in motion. This critical component also powers up your car’s electrical systems, allowing you to use the radio, illuminate your vehicle headlights, and other applications like keyless entry.
While your car battery will start to age and weaken over time and charge holding capability will be less efficient. It would mean that you should replace your car battery. As an attentive car owner, you need to watch for signs that tell you that your car needs a new battery. Some symptoms include being unable to start your vehicle even after you jumpstart your battery and powder-like substance appearing on the battery terminals. The good news is that the car battery will usually not fail without giving you any of these telltale signs.
Also, note that the warning light on your dashboard does not surely mean that you should replace your car battery. It might just be flat and to confirm, you may try to jumpstart the car battery back to life. If it works, you can get more use out of your battery and may choose to replace it
As for the battery terminals, cleaning it might fix the fault with your battery. Clean it by scrubbing the terminals with a mixture of one tablespoon of baking soda and about 250ml of water, using a standard toothbrush. However, sometimes, the battery has come to the end of its life, and you have to replace it.
How to replace your car battery the right way?
To be efficient without wasting time, gathering the equipment you need first is necessary. The items include the replacement car battery, spanners, gloves, eye protection, baking soda and water in the quantities mentioned before, toothbrush or wire brush and your radio code. You might wonder why you need the last item. This is because disconnecting the battery will reset the radio and other electronic systems. The radio code will help you get them running again. You will find the radio code in the owner manual. If you can’t find it in the manual, you can search online or join user-focused groups for your car brand. It is likely somebody in the community that has had a similar experience will help out. So, let’s dive into the steps for replacing your car battery.
Step 1 – Prepare the car to replace your car battery
Turn off the engine and park on an even surface, clearing the area surrounding the car so you can move freely.
Step 2 – Locate the car battery
The car battery is an important component and its location in the car is subjective to the manufacturer. So it might not be where you expect it to be typically under the car’s bonnet. If necessary, consult the owner’s manual or a support group. You might have to remove a concealing cover to access the battery.
Step 3 – Disconnect the battery terminals
This step is crucial, and you must pay attention. Remove the negative connection first to disconnect the battery and make it safe for you to continue. After freeing the negative connection, do the same for the positive terminal. How do you differentiate between the negative and positive terminals? The former usually has a minus or negative sign, while the latter has a plus or positive sign. Also, the negative terminal is typically black, while the positive terminal is red.
Step 4 – Liftoff the old battery
This step requires you to first remove the clamping mechanism used to hold the battery in place. Some cars use a bar running across the top of the battery, while others have a clamp at the base. Using the handles, lift out the battery and gently set it down out of the way. Batteries could weigh more than 25 kg, so be sure to get a helping hand if you have a history of back pain.
Step 5 – Clean the terminal clamps
Since you are working on the battery, you might as well clean the terminal clamps. Use the baking soda solution to clean them with the help of a toothbrush or wire brush. Make sure there are no residues left.
Step 6. Place the new replacement battery
Lift the new battery and set it in place. Again, ask for help in lifting the battery if necessary. Reposition or reconnect the clamp to secure the battery.
Step 7 – Fix the battery terminals
This is the opposite of removing the terminals, and you must reverse the order. Always connect the positive terminal first, then connect the negative one.
Step 8 – Confirm the replacement battery is ok
Your new battery is in place but start the engine to confirm everything is in order. Replacing your car battery may seem daunting and it comes with risks of a short circuit if not done the right way.
If you require professional assistance you may feel free to contact us. Our car battery experts at The Doctor Battery can help you with replacing your battery.