Nowadays it is hard to imagine not having a car for family or personal use as needed. Cars have become an indispensable mode of transportation for millions around the world, especially in larger cities, or in countries where distances are great and cannot be covered by walking.
Most people also depend on cars as a mode of transportation to and from work. These indispensable “tools” require periodical maintenance, as multiple car accessories wear out in time from too much use, while others are designed with a limited lifespan. Batteries are such accessories. They work at top performance for anywhere between 6 to 48 months, but only about 30 percent of them actually reach the 48-month mark. It is recommended that a car battery is replaced every two years. Unlike other car accessories, a battery can be replaced easily at home by anyone with 30 minutes to spare.
What You’ll Need
- An adjustable wrench
- A new car battery
Removing the Old Battery
Open the hood of the car, the covering over the engine. This is usually done by pulling on a lever inside the vehicle by the driver’s side. Check your car manual for exact instructions on opening the hood of the car. Locate the battery, usually to be found on the periphery of the engine, either on the left or the right side of it. Adjust your wrench to fit the bolt that holds the battery securely in place. Remove the bolt using your wrench and place the device that holds the battery aside.
Adjust your wrench to fit the bolt that holds the cables connected to the battery and starting with the black cable, the negative one, remove the bolt and the cable from the battery. Repeat this step with the red cable, or the positive one. Once the cables are disconnected lift the battery of the platform it sits on and set it aside. Be careful as the battery is very heavy.
Installing the New Battery
Note the color of the caps that cover the small posts on the new battery. You’ll need to keep the color coding the same when reconnecting the cables. Lift and place the new battery on to the platform that holds it within the engine.
Remove the red plastic cap from the small post and attach the red cable to it. Tighten down the cable until it is secure and does not move. Remove the black cap from the small post and attach the black cable to it. Tighten this one securely as well. Replace the device that holds the battery firmly in place and tightens it down.
Testing the New Battery
From the driver’s seat start the car normally using the car key. If all the connections are correct and all contacts good, the car will start easily at this point. If it does not, recheck all connections you worked with, tighten them further, then try again.
Notes and Warnings
Not all vehicles have the battery next to the engine. If you cannot find it there check the Owner’s Manual for the location of your car’s battery.
Never work on your car battery while the engine is running.