How To Remove A Car Battery
Batteries are a vital component of your vehicles functionality, ensuring that all the electronic parts in your car run smoothly during operation. Sometimes, however, youll need to remove your cars battery to perform general maintenance or replace an old battery with a new one.
But rest assured that you dont have to pay an exorbitant fee at an auto body shop to get your battery replaced. In fact, changing out a car battery is probably one of the simplest, most fundamental automotive tasks that one can undertake.
Heres a short guide on how to remove a car battery.
Reinstall The Battery Or Install A Fresh One
- If you are concerned about rust, spray some anti-rust compound onto the metal platform where the battery sits. This isn’t necessary, but if the platform is exposed steel, it may rust in time if it hasn’t already.
- Lift your new battery back into position on its platform.
- Replace the containment strap or strut over the battery, and tighten the nuts holding it down as required.
- Reconnect the positive cable to the positive terminal, making sure it’s tight.
- Reconnect the negative cable to the negative battery terminal in the same way, and you’re done.
- Reset the digital clock in your vehicle, because it will no longer be showing the correct time.
How To Recondition Batteries A Diy Project
Most shops will not attempt to revitalize a battery, as a simple replacement is less time consuming, and these shops can sell a new battery to the consumer in the process.
Because of this, if you intend to have your battery reconditioned, your only option typically becomes doing so yourself.
Handling batteries, especially when working around acid, can be quite dangerous. Care must be taken to always wear personal protective equipment.
At the bare minimum, rubber gloves of elbow-length and goggles should be worn when attempting a repair of this nature.
If you feel as if you are uncomfortable with the idea of working around battery acid and other corrosive chemicals, or you do not have the suitable personal protective equipment at your disposal, complete battery replacement will likely be your best option.
If you do decide to tackle DIY battery reconditioning, you will likely be saving yourself a considerable amount of money.
The supplies needed to complete this task are no more than basic hand tools, distilled water, and a manual battery charger.
Assuming that you have basic hand tools and a battery charge available to you, the entire revitalization process will likely cost less than $10.
This is a vast improvement over the costs of new battery replacement, especially if done by an industry professional. Typical costs for new battery installation are as follows:
Low End Cost
$75 + $20 = $95
$110 + $20 = $130
High End Cost:
$150 + $20 = $170
Locate The Positive And Negative Terminals
This is one of the most important steps. The positive terminal is marked with a “+,” and the negative is marked with a “-.” Some batteries have plastic caps covering the terminals that will have to be removed for you to gain access to the battery cablesthe wires connecting the battery to the rest of the vehicleand the cable clamps that you will have to remove to disconnect the battery.
Put The Vehicle In Park And Open The Hood
Youve purchased a replacement battery. Now, follow the steps describing how to change a car battery. The first step is to make sure the vehicle is immobile.
- Put the car in park and engage the emergency brake.
- If the vehicle is on an incline, place a wheel chock or wooden block behind the vehicles tires. If the car is in a garage, make sure the garage door remains open.
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Rc Reserve Capacity And Ah Amps Hours
RC or AH Reserve Capacity or Amp Hours indicates the amount of time a new, fully charged battery can supply a constant load of 25 amps without dropping below 10.5 volts. RC means the time in minutes that a new and fully charged battery will provide a continuous load of 25 amps without the battery falling below 10.5 volts. A higher RC number ensures your car can last longer. AH reflects the batterys capacity in amp-hours, which is a measure of how much energy the battery can store. When shopping for a new battery, be sure to compare both RC and AH ratings to find the best option for your needs.
From this information on the old battery, you can get a new suitable one. Effortlessly, you can choose one with similar numbers, type, etc., to your old one. You can decide to get batteries from other brands, or your cars brand is fine.
You Need To Remove The Car Battery To Replace It
The first and most common reason for removing the car battery from its place is to replace it. Your car’s battery is like any other vehicle’s component, and it reaches a certain stage where it needs replacement.
Whether it’s you or a professional mechanic, the old car battery must be removed safely to install the new car battery.
Prepare Your Vehicle And A Working Space
Removing your car’s battery involves some safety issues, especially since you’re dealing with an electrical component that might have a risk of electrical shock.
Therefore, you must prepare your vehicle and your working space and consider safety issues before getting started.
Here are some of the safety issues that you need to include before attempting to replace your car’s battery:
- The first tip that we suggest for all our readers is to use zip ties. These ties are made in a way that prevents your battery cables from touching each other and generating a spark or a flammable situation.
- If you don’t have zip ties, you can use a different alternative, covering them with clothes. Using a piece of cloth, you can cover each end of the battery cables and prevent them from touching each other or causing safety issues.
- If you are wearing any jewelry, we recommend that you take them out because they are considered metals and can transmit electricity, which could also cause fatal situations.
- Make sure to select a place that has enough ventilation. You don’t want to work in a closed garage that doesn’t have enough air because you might be exposed to some harmful gases that could risk your health.
- If you came across a situation if he was terminal, you might need to prepare a specific battery cable removal tool. You can purchase this tool from any auto parts store.
One: Find Your Cars Battery
To begin the battery removal process, start by popping the hood of your car. Once open, locate the battery within the engine bay. It should be easily identifiable, even with modern vehicles. Car batteries are shaped like rectangular cubes and have a pair of thick cables attached to two terminals atop the unit.
While car batteries are almost exclusively found under the vehicles hood, there are a few exceptions. Some cars have batteries hidden out of sight in the engine bay or even in the trunk on specific models. If you are having trouble locating your cars battery, make sure you check your cars trunk and carefully examine the engine compartment to find out if it is in a more obscure location.
If all else fails, simply consult your owners manual to determine where the battery is located.
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How To Utilize The Old Battery You Replaced
What do you do with the old battery that you just replaced? Well, anytime you go buy a new battery, theres an extra charge called a core charge, and you get that money back when you bring back your old battery. If you didnt buy a new battery, you dont have a core charge, but you do have an old battery just sitting around, you can actually recycle it and make some money. Bring it to your local Advance Auto Parts, and theyll give you a $10 gift card. You can bring it to your local scrap yard, theyll pay you for it, because batteries are filled with lead, which is valuable and easily recycled. Did you know, car batteries are one of the worlds most recycled items. 99% of a battery is recyclable, so its a good thing to do, plus you make some extra cash.
Thats all, its one of the easiest things to do. If your car battery isnt in an easy location, comment below, let me know the car and the model, and Id like to hear where that battery is. But for most cars, five minute job and youre good to go.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Car Battery
Replacing the car battery might cost you between $45.00 and $250. The price differs significantly depending on your car’s make, model, and year. That also is affected by the location where you would choose to get your car’s battery replaced.
You can cut your car’s battery on replacement costs by learning how to remove and install a new car battery yourself. This way, you eliminate any labor costs. Labor costs can be very high if you choose to go to some expensive places like a dealership.
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Car Battery Online Deals
If you are looking for a replacement battery for your vehicle, fully fitted then these can be purchased via our website. We stock a wide range of car batteries which can be fitted at your local National Tyres and Autocare branch. We also stock leisure batteries which can be purchased and collected from your local branch. Our branch staff will be unable to fit the leisure battery.
How Do Car Batteries Work
As we mentioned earlier, batteries are made up of a collection of individual cells. These are made of lead and lead dioxide plates encased in a plastic shell. This is then filled with an electrolyte, a liquid that is used to conduct electricity. In most batteries, the electrolyte used is a strong form of sulfuric acid.
When the engine is running correctly, the alternator in the car will send an electrical charge to the battery. This is then stored in the form of chemical energy. Each cell of the battery will produce 2 volts of electricity which is why car batteries are commonly 12 volts. These cells will deteriorate in quality and functionality through use.
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How To Tell If Your Battery Needs Replacing
There is a simple test you can carry out to determine the condition of your battery. First, try starting your car at night with the headlights switched on. If the headlights are overly dim, put the vehicle in neutral or park if automatic, and rev the engine. If the battery is failing, the headlights will get brighter as you press the accelerator. A completely flat or dead battery is easy to identify, it simply wont start at all.
How To Install A New Battery
Before you replace a car battery with the new one, remove the red and black plastic covers on the ends of the posts of the replacement.
- Prepare your new battery for use by installing anti-corrosion washers on both battery posts. Spray the cars terminal ends with anti-corrosion solution or apply a corrosion-resistant gel to the terminals.
- Place the new battery in the battery tray, aligning the red and black ends of the battery with the matching terminals.
- Re-install the clamp the same way you removed them to secure the battery.
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Supplies You’ll Need To Revive An Old Car Battery
The supplies that are needed to complete a task of this nature are minimal. The following are some items that you will need on hand when revitalizing your battery.
- Personal Protection Equipment – At a minimum, elbow-length rubber gloves, as well as goggles should be worn for the duration of this project.
- Wrenches/Small Flathead Screwdriver – You will need a basic set of metric wrenches for removing battery cables, as well as battery hold-downs. A flat head screwdriver will be used to remove caps from the battery’s casing.
- Manual Battery Charger – A battery charger will be needed for cooking off excess sulfation. This requires the use of a manual boost mode. New digital chargers self regulate and typically do not allow the use of this mode at-will.
- Epsom Salts – Epsom salts will be used to produce a mixture for topping off the contents of each cell.
- Distilled Water – Distilled water will also be used as the other part of the mixture that is utilized when topping off cells.
- Miniature Funnel Or Dropper – A miniature funnel or dropper will be needed to pour liquid contents into each cell.
- Multimeter – A multimeter will be used to verify the successful revitalization and recharge of your battery.
Putting The New Battery In
Once you have the old battery out, place it next to the new one to compare sizing and labeling. Thisll tell you whether youve purchased the correct battery . Even if you bought a battery with the correct specs, it still might not physically fit into your cars battery tray area if its differently sized.
Now that youve determined the battery bought is correct for your car, you can place it into the battery tray. Make sure not to accidentally touch either of the terminals with either of the connections to the car the last thing you want is for sparks to appear. Use tape to block them off if you have to. Once the battery is in place, mount it securely with any tie-downs you may have.
After the battery has been secured into the car, you can begin the reconnection process. Hines recommends connecting the battery to the car in the reverse order you disconnected the old one. So the positive terminal goes first, then the negative. Once youve tightened all of the associated bolts, congrats! Youre done.
Checking on the health of your battery? Always make sure the connections are clean, says Hines. Dirty connections are a force of resistance, and resistance becomes a load on the circuit.
You can safely and easily remove some corrosion yourself with a metal brush or a specialty terminal-cleaning tool like the one shown above, found for sale online or at most auto parts stores.
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How To Check A Car Battery
Test the electrolyte in each cell. Squeeze the ball and draw the solution into the tester. Carefully hold the tester level and write down the reading. Squirt the solution back into the same cell. The testers are calibrated assuming a battery is at 80 degrees F. Add .04 to each reading for every 10 degrees above 80 and subtract .04 for every 10 degrees below. If you get a cell reading that differs from the others by .05 or more, replace the battery. A fully charged battery should have a reading of 1.265 or higher. If all the readings show fair or low but are consistent, recharge the battery.
If you have a no-maintenance battery, check to see if you have a green dot in the sight glass/charge indicator. Green means the battery is good. If its dark, it needs recharging. If its yellow or has no color at all, , replace the battery.
Loosen The Battery Holding Mechanism And Remove Battery
- Find the strap or other mechanism holding your battery in place. On my vehicle it is a steel strut that caps the top of the battery. Use the appropriate wrench to loosen and remove this.
- Carefully lift the battery out of the vehicle, making sure to keep it level the whole time to avoid sloshing the acid inside.
- Lay the battery on a flat surface away from the vehicle.
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Why Would I Need To Disconnect The Car Battery
There are many reasons for disconnecting the car battery from the engine bay.
Here are some of the usual ones:
A. Replacing A Faulty Battery
Putting in a new battery is one of the most common reasons for disconnecting the battery.
Make sure the old battery is disposed of properly.
B. Recharging A Flat Battery
You may want to use a battery charger to recharge a flat car battery.
Sometimes you dont have to remove the battery from the engine bay, but only disconnect the cables and hook the battery to the charger.
If youre uncertain about using a battery charger, get a mechanic to handle the task for you. Youll also have the benefit of asking them to test it for you to find out why theres a battery drain in the first place.
C. Cleaning Battery Corrosion
Corroded battery terminals should be cleaned, as corrosion affects battery performance and can shorten its life.
Its often a good idea to take out the battery from the engine compartment when cleaning to prevent corrosive elements and cleaning agents from falling on engine parts.
D. Performing Car Maintenance
Some engine maintenance may require the battery to be disconnected or taken out of the way to access engine parts.
E. Storing A Car For An Extended Period
If you plan on storing a vehicle for an extended period, its advisable to disconnect at least the negative terminal from your car battery. This prevents unnecessary battery drain, as a fully charged battery can hold its charge for 6-12 months if you do this.
Safety Tips Before Disconnecting The Battery
Here are some important safety tips you need to keep in mind before disconnecting the car battery.
- Batteries store electric charge and might give you a small shock if not handled properly. Before disconnecting the battery, make sure you are not wearing any jewelry such as a ring, watch, or a bracelet. If the battery comes in contact with any metal part it can cause an electric shock.
- Always carry out the battery removal procedure in an outdoor space as the batteries contain acids which release harmful gasses. Working in an open environment will minimize your exposure to any hazardous gas.
- Make sure the area where you are working is completely dry and covered. Never work in an environment which is damp or has water nearby.
- By removing the battery terminals, your settings in the clock or radio may get reset and you also may have to enter the radio code. If you do not have the radio code you may have to go to a dealership for them to unlock the code. You can add a small amount of power to the system while replacing the battery but is only recommended if you are a skilled mechanic because working with the electrics connected can be dangerous and you can damage electronics.
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