Learning how to change a car battery is just another one of those car maintenance tasks that seems much harder than it truly is. Car batteries are actually the number 1 reason for breakdowns in the UK because they are so easily forgotten about, but with just a little know-how and the ability to change a car battery yourself, you open yourself up to a whole new world of vehicle upkeep knowledge and the ability to deal with and even prevent these sticky situations in the first place.
Before all that though, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re here to learn how to change a car battery after all, not become mechanics. Doing it is actually much easier than most people make out. It takes roughly 6 steps (with a few extras), and we’re here to walk you through the whole thing, from start, to finish.
Let’s take a look
Step 1. Remove Hold
First things first, we need to get your battery ready to be changed. You’re never going to learn how to change a car battery if it’s stuck in your car after all. Here, you’ll need a socket set or even a wrench if need be to get the bolts out and take off the cover that holds your battery in place. That’s what stops any excess movement and keeps things steady, but it may be a little tricky to take off. Don’t lose it either, or the nuts.
Step 2. Disconnect Black/Negative
This is where things start to get ever so slightly technical. You always need to start by disconnecting the negative first. That’s the black in cases with electronics involved. Remove the casing disconnect the terminals carefully. Don’t worry if they are a little corroded, we’ll get to that.
Step 3. Disconnect Red/Positive
This is literally step 2, but for the red, or the positive terminal. Doing this the wrong way round may well explode and cause a huge and terrifying bang, so always remember black first when you’re disconnecting your car battery to change it. It’s a great habit to get into.
Step 4. Remove Battery and Clean Corrosion from tray and Terminals
Next, you need to take out the battery itself. It weights a deceptive amount, but it’s nothing you shouldn’t be able to handle. Take it easy and lift with your legs, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Once it’s out, this is also the perfect time to give it a scrub. Use a wire brush and battery cleaning solution to scrub off any corrosion or erosion and make things nice and clean. This is great for battery health and to stop thing breaking when they shouldn’t.
Place the new battery in your sparkly clean battery tray, and now put things in reverse.
Step 6. Attach Positive
This time, we go backwards. That means we start with the positive terminal or the red. Make sure these are clean too and plug things together nice and tight. Any looseness even slightly can make things go wrong much quicker, if not stop working at all.
Step 7. Attach Negative
Next, we need the black, or the negative, reattaching. Again, this is just like before and is the only potentially confusing part of changing a car battery. Make sure that everything is nice and clean and tightly fixe din place. That’s all you need to do, but it’s essential for a fully working battery
Lastly, all that is left is to reattach the cover. It can be a good idea to test the battery before you reattach the cover to stop any inconveniences, but if you’re sure everything is all good to go, this is fine. Just reattach tightly and then get things started. Make sure everything is working and fixed in place before you go off on your merry way knowing that you changed a battery with no mechanics required.
Watch the Video Demonstration
Now that you have mastered learning how to change a battery yourself it’s also a great time to brush up on your battery life tips too. It’s always smart to be as prepared as you possibly can after all. You don’t want a battery going dead on you in the first place if you can help it.
It’s always essential to learn how best to look after your battery in the long term, and battery maintenance is a great place to start. Especially if things are old or you’re concerned. In fact, one of the biggest worries people have is leaving their car standing for a while without being used, and battery maintenance is a key part of this too.
Battery Testing Kit
It’s always smart to buy yourself a battery testing kit. These are essential to making sure that any battery you have, new or old, is actually what you think it is. Whether it appears faulty but isn’t or appears new but doesn’t work, a battery testing kit is the only way to know. If you’re buying a used car especially, this is a seriously smart investment unless you come to the pros like us.
Lastly, battery charging is a good thing to learn too. Batteries charge via alternators as you run your engine, even without moving. If you’re not planning on running things for a while, trickle battery chargers can be useful too to keep thing topped up. These are both viable ways to keep a battery going longer. If your battery is totally dead, a standard battery charger can be sued too, as well as jump leads to boost your vehicle off someone else’s. These are all incredible things to remember.
Ultimately, learning how to change a car battery is simply a lot easier than it’s made out. There are always some useful tips for you to keep on board but don’t be scared of your car. This is an easy one to do yourself. Always remember though, with a problem this common, it can also be an easy way to coast yourself hundreds of pounds when you buy a vehicle you think is safe. Car inspection services like us operate for just that reason, and we do comprehensive battery tests as a part of our inspections. We’re only a call away. See how to replace cars headlights.