How to change a car battery yourself: Tips to save money

  • Replacing a car battery is a fairly straightforward process and it can be done with just a few tools.
Replacing a car battery is a fairly straightforward process and it can be done with just a few tools.
Replacing a car battery is a fairly straightforward process and it can be done with just a few tools.

Battery onboard a car is responsible for many functions like powering the lights, ignition and other electricals. It is one of the most essential components of a vehicle. Hence, to ensure a vehicle's smooth and efficient functioning, having a well-conditioned battery is a must. Several vehicle functions are jeopardised if the battery is old or damaged and not working properly. In such a condition, replacing the battery is the best strategy.

While you can take your car to the nearest mechanic to do the job, changing the car battery at home is not rocket science and can be done easily. It is a fairly straightforward process and can be done using just a few tools. Also, by changing the car battery yourself, you can save money on maintenance. Here is your guide to do that.

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Also Read : How to know your car needs a battery replacement. Key signs to follow

Find the car battery

Park the car, turn off its engine, and remove the key from its slot. Before locating and touching the battery, ensure the engine has cooled down. The majority of the car batteries are located in the front of the vehicle, under the bonnet, mounted on a plastic or metal tray. However, some cars come with their batteries positioned at the back of the vehicle in the trunk.

Locate and disconnect battery terminals

Batteries come with two terminals where the cables are connected. They may come covered by plastic covers. These include a black one, negative, and a red one, positive one. The terminals may come marked with positive (+) and negative (-). Disconnect the negative cable first, and make sure you are wearing work gloves and eye protection. Use a wrench to loosen the bolt that tightens the negative connector to the battery terminal. Once it is loose, gently twist the cable connector back and forth and lift it up to remove it from the battery terminal. After that, remove the positive cable using the same process.

Remove old battery

Car batteries come secured with a metal bar over them or a metal clamp at the base. Loosen the bolt that secures the holding bar or clamp to remove it and lift the battery out of its console. Car batteries contain caustic liquid inside them. Hence, make sure to keep the battery upright while removing it.

Clean battery tray and terminal connectors

Battery terminal connectors corrode over time, which is normal. Hence, after removing the battery from its console, give the connectors a thorough cleaning. Use a battery cleaner and a wire brush to clean it and the battery tray too. Baking soda paste can be used as well. In that case, make sure to dry everything after cleaning. Examine the cables and connectors to ensure they are not damaged or frayed.

Install and secure new battery

While installing the new battery, ensure the red and black terminals are positioned correctly. Lower the battery into its slot in the car and onto the mounting shelf. Attach the clamp or hold-down metal bar and tighten the bolt to secure the battery in its place. You can consider using protective felt washers or some battery anti-corrosive protection gel on both terminals. Connect the positive cable to the battery first. Push it all the way down on the terminal and tighten the bolt. Repeat the same process with the negative cable. Make sure to check if the battery is working fine by starting the vehicle after the installation.

How to change a car battery
Step 1 :

Find the car battery

Step 2 :

Locate and disconnect battery terminals

Step 3 :

Remove old battery

Step 4 :

Clean battery tray and terminal connectors

Step 5 :

Install and secure new battery

First Published Date: 10 Apr 2023, 12:00 PM IST
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