Cars are one of the most essential boons of the 21st century. The way humans travel and get things done using a car has not only made them save time but also made their lives easier. A car has two main components that help it run. They are engine and battery respectively. Both of these work together to get the car running. As a chemical reaction occurs inside a car, it generates an electric charge. This electric charge is then delivered from the car battery to the engine in the form of a spark. This spark allows the engine to kick off the fuel combusting process and get the car warmed up for running.
However, car battery perform optimally only for a certain time. A car battery usually lasts for about 3 to 5 years. This period usually differs based on weather conditions of the location where the car is driven and driving habits that a car owner has. Sooner or later, a car owner will have to undergo a car battery replacement to keep things running smoothly. Failing to change car battery can lead to poor performance and car starting failures down the road. This can prove quite tragic for car owners, especially in a situation when a car breaks down in the middle of nowhere due to a bad battery. Hence, every car owner must know the process of changing car battery which can assist him to get out of such a situation.
With that in mind, here is a guide on how to perform the car battery replacement:
- Caution: Car batteries are highly flammable, heavy, and get corroded over time! Hence, proper precaution for the DIY car battery replacement process is a must.
- Things required for changing car battery: Some baking soda, disposable rubber gloves, clean & lint-free cloth rags, adjustable wrench, and water are used for the core replacement process. A post-processing cleaning tool, battery surface brush, and safety goggles are used for improvising the process.
Step 1: Getting started with basic arrangements.
Before getting started with the actual car battery replacement process, one needs to ensure that all the basic arrangements are done. These basic arrangements largely correspond to activities like parking the car and shutting down the car engine.
Once a car has been parked at a proper location with the parking mode and emergency brake on, prepare for accessing the car internals by spreading protective clothing like a rag or a towel across the fender. This is not necessary but helps to protect car parts from any kind of potential color damage from corrosive acid. Additionally, some cars have different kinds of fittings and configurations that a person may not be aware of. Hence going to the car manual before changing the car battery is a must.
Step 2: Detach cables from connections.
This is one of the preliminary steps in moving towards the car battery replacement process. The process can be initiated after opening the section where the battery is installed. A car battery, similar to AA batteries has two terminals: positive and negative. If a car happens to have a negative ground connection, one can begin the cable disconnection process by loosening the nuts and bolts holding the cables on the battery terminals. This would free the clamps from holding on to the negative terminal. On the other hand, if a car happens to have a positive ground connection, the procedures would involve loosening the positive cable firsthand. Referring to the car manual can help in the identification of what ground connection a car has and the right order of removing them.
Step 3: Fastener and battery removal.
Car batteries are often tightened up to a frame using screws and other fasteners. Once the terminals are free of cables, one needs to loosen all screws, nuts, bolts, and fasteners holding the battery on the frame. Ensure that they don’t fall off hands inside the car assembly. Once all the fasteners are off, one can start the battery removal process by lifting it after wearing the gloves.
Step 4: Tray and connection inspection.
If a car has been extensively exposed to moist weather, chances are that the car internals may have started corroding. It is usually seen that iron-made parts like battery frames and cable terminals often get corroded over time. Dissolution of a basic solution like baking soda can be utilized to clean most of the solid corrosion off such surfaces. This step too involves working after wearing gloves.
Step 5: Installing the new battery.
Once the aforementioned removal and cleaning processes have been completed successfully, it’s time to install a new battery. The installation process begins with the removal of plastic covers stuck on top of the new battery’s terminals. Once the covers are removed, the installation can be done after applying sealing protection of anti-corrosion washers on both terminals. This washer can also be sprayed as a solution on terminal ends for their protection.
Place the battery onto the clean, dry frame inside the car. Once it has been properly placed, begin the alignment process by adjusting red or positive and black or negative connections of the battery to proper cables and terminals. To ensure that the installation is done safely, ensure that the clamps are fixated in the same order they were in before they were removed.
Step 6: Attaching the cables.
After car battery installation is done, it’s time to connect the cables back. Recall how they were plugged in. Their default connection is related to the ground connection and helps stabilize the charge once the cables are connected. Connect the positive or negative terminal first, depending on the ground connection of the car as stated in the manual. Once the ground connection is done, connect the other cable to its corresponding terminal.
As both connections are completed, check if the cables are moving or not by attempting to move the battery around. Tighten the cables if they are moving. Finally, install any battery covers if they were present before, close the external hood of the car and try starting the engine.
Ensure that the old car battery is properly disposed of after changing car battery. This wraps up a small yet easy-to-understand guide on replacing a car battery. It can be quite fruitful for people who are willing to carry out a DIY car battery replacement if they are stuck on a highway.