Regardless of how well your vehicle is performing, if car your battery dies and can’t be charged, you’ll be stuck with a vehicle that you can’t even drive in to be serviced. If you want to avoid this problem keep track of how long you’ve had the battery (write the date in your owners manual or leave the receipt in the glove compartment). If you’re not sure of its age, the battery should have a sticker on it that shows the date of purchase and how long it can be expected to last; be sure to replace it before its recommended expiration date.
Proceed with Caution
Removing the battery is the most dangerous step in the replacement process. Corrosion and cracks in the old battery can cause acid to leak out, getting on your skin and burning it. Another important thing to remember is that even if the car’s ignition is off, the car battery can still generate an electrical charge or worst case an explosion if the terminals are still connected. Bottom line, removing a battery from a vehicle can be dangerous, so make it a point to proceed with caution.
Removing the Terminal Cables
First, use pliers or a wrench to loosen the nut from the bolt that’s holding the terminal cable to the battery’s negative post, turning the nut in a counter clockwise direction. During this process, hold the bolt’s head in place with another set of pliers or a wrench. Next, place the tools you used on the ground on a piece of cardboard (or another non metal surface) which will prevent electrical charge sparking. Once the cables are loose, cautiously remove the end clamp from the terminal post. Once the cable that’s coupled to the negative terminal post has been carefully removed, you can proceed to the positive terminal, following the same steps.
Prepare Remove Car Battery
Once you’ve loosened both terminals you’ll need to unfasten the plates that are holding the car battery in its place. More than likely, you’ll find the same sized nuts that were used on the terminal cable clamp or you may find a wing nut you’ll be able to remove by hand. Once either is loosened, you cautiously remove the battery, keeping in mind that it will be heavy, so keep your body’s position in mind so you don’t hurt your back; lift with your knees, lifting the battery straight up. The majority of batteries today come with a convenient handle attached which makes them easy to carry and lift out of the car and onto the ground. If you notice that the handle is corroded, remove the car battery by carefully lifting it by its sides (wearing durable glove) being careful not to let any acid spill out.
Cleaning the Battery Terminals
Once the car battery is out of the car, use a battery terminal cleaner and brush away all leftover sulfate from the terminal clamps and cable and check to make sure the cables themselves aren’t corroded. If the cables are corroded, purchase new ones at your local auto parts store. It’s also a good idea to purchase and apply a layer of corrosion protection spray to the clamps and cables to protect them from future sulfate deposits accumulating on your new car battery.