Q:

How do you replace a car battery?

A:

Quick Answer

Replacing a car battery requires disconnecting and removing the old battery and replacing it with a new one. The steps are simple, and it is a job that only takes a few minutes.

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Full Answer

Changing an automobile battery must be done when the engine is off and only requires a few tools.

  1. Gather the equipment
  2. To change a car battery, gather the following equipment:

    • New battery
    • Terminal puller
    • Box wrenches or a socket set
    • Safety glasses
    • Gloves
    • Auto battery connector cleaner and brush
    • Connector protector (optional)
  3. Be sure the car is off before beginning
  4. Turn the engine off and open the hood. Locate the positive and negative cables on the battery. They will be marked with an "+" (positive) and a "-". (negative) symbol. The positive cable may be red and the negative, black.

  5. Disconnect the negative cable
  6. Using a wrench or socket, loosen and remove the negative cable first. Do not allow metal tools to touch the battery posts.

  7. Disconnect the positive cable
  8. Remove the positive cable from the battery.

  9. Remove the retaining system
  10. Most cars use a hold-down strap or some kind of retaining system to keep the battery in place. Remove this strap.

  11. Remove the battery
  12. Remove the old battery, being careful not to bang it around. Remember, car batteries are extremely heavy, so ask for help if necessary.

  13. Insert the new battery
  14. Carefully insert the new battery into the car and attach the hold-down strap or battery restraining system.

  15. Clean the cables
  16. Before attaching the cables, check to make sure each is clean and free of corrosion. Remove the battery's safety caps.

  17. Connect the cables
  18. Connect the positive cable first and tighten. Connect the negative cable next. Check to be sure the battery doesn't move around in its compartment.

  19. Start the engine
  20. Once the battery and its cables are secure, start the engine.

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