Tips For Replacing Car Battery Terminals
Replacing car battery terminal ends is quite easy. Cut the old terminal end from the wire, strip the insulation, insert and tighten. Those are the basic steps for changing car battery terminal. In the following paragraphs youll be given a list of tricks to help you perform this operation more quickly and easily in such a way as to ensure a long life for the new terminal ends. Youre going to need the following tools for this quick project:
- Wrench-Usually 7/16, but sometimes also ½
- Light sandpaper-100 to 200 grit
- Wire cutters
- Utility knife
Car battery terminal ends are made of a very soft lead. Repeated opening and closing of these terminal ends can cause the lead to weaken, crack and then break. If you see cracks in the car battery terminals or if youre unable to tighten them enough to prevent movement of the terminal end on the battery post, its time to replace them.
Remove Negative End from Battery
Always remember, when working on car batteries to disconnect the negative terminal first to decrease the chances of shorting the battery when removing the positive terminal end.
Remove Positive End
After the positive cable end has been removed and moved out of the way, loosen the nut on and then remove the positive cable from the battery. Use some light sandpaper or a battery terminal brush to thoroughly clean the battery posts.
Cut and Strip
Insert and Secure
Attach to Battery
Cleaning The Battery Terminals
If you have disconnected your car battery after a long time, you might have noticed that the terminals have corrosion on them. The good news is that you dont need any expensive cleaner to clean the corrosion as you can easily do it with stuff at your home. The things you would require are:
Disconnecting The Old Battery
Provided your cars battery is in an easy-to-reach location such as the engine bay or the trunk, removing it is a fairly painless process.
Disconnect the negative terminal first and then disconnect the positive terminal, Hines tells us. The reason it should be done in that order, he says, is to mitigate the risk of electrocuting yourself. Lets say you have the battery connected in the vehicle and the battery still has voltage, and you put a wrench or a ratchet on the positive terminal and then touch the body of the car. Then youre welding, he says, laughing.
After youve successfully disconnected the battery from both terminals and moved the connection points to places where they wont accidentally reconnect themselves, you can disconnect any tie-downs and remove the battery from its tray. Some batteries may also have a small vent tube for expelling gases attached to their frame; simply pull it off before taking the battery out of the car.
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Disconnect The Battery Cables
- Use your socket wrench or adjustable wrench to loosen the nut holding the cable onto the negative battery terminal. The terminals will be marked positive and negative. Make sure you disconnect the negative terminal first.
- Lay the disconnected negative cable carefully to one side, making sure it’s well away from the battery terminal.
- Disconnect the cable from the positive battery terminal in the same way, then lay it to one side.
- While loosening the cables, be sure not to touch your wrench to both terminals at the same time, because this will allow electricity from the battery to flow through your wrench.
Remove The Battery If Necessary
At this point, your battery should be entirely disconnected. However, you may need to remove the battery from the tray to perform maintenance or replace it with a new battery.
Your battery likely has a securing clamp over the top of the unit that holds it in place. The clamp will be secured with nuts of its own. Use a socket wrench to remove the nuts, then remove the securing clamp or lift it away from the battery.
You should be able to lift the battery out of the tray using your hands or with the handle attached to it . Most people who have never replaced a car battery are surprised to find out how much they weigh. Car batteries are pretty heavy, with most weighing anywhere between 30-50 pounds.
At this point in the process, the battery is disconnected from the engine and cannot power your vehicle. Youre free to perform maintenance or swap it out with a new battery, depending on your needs.;
If you needed to remove your battery to perform a charge, you may now do so.
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Removing The Old Battery
When removing the old battery, remember to first disconnect the cables from the negative terminal, which is usually black and has a minus sign then disconnect the cables from the positive terminal, which is usually red and has a plus sign. Take caution at all times to never touch a metal object to both terminals of the battery at once.;
After disconnecting the terminals, unhatch the clamps securing the battery in place and slowly lift it out of the battery tray.
Detach Holding Mechanism And Remove Battery
Most batteries are secured to the battery tray with some type of holding mechanism. This is usually a bracket or strap.;
Find the holding bolts and loosen them so you can detach the holding mechanism. Some bolts are close to the base of the tray, and you may need to reach further down with the socket wrench.
Batteries can be surprisingly heavy, often weighing between 40-60 lbs.;
Keep this in mind when you lift the battery off the battery tray.
If youre removing a flooded lead-acid battery, make sure to lift it straight up to avoid sloshing the battery acid inside.;
Then, place the old battery on a level surface.
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How To Test & When To Replace A Dead Car Battery
- Maintaining Your Vehicle
There are few things more frustrating than sitting behind the wheel of your car, ready to go somewhere, only to find that your carâs battery is dead. But why is your car battery dead and what can you do to fix it? Letâs take a closer look at what can cause your vehicleâs battery to malfunction, how to jumpstart a dead car battery, and car battery replacement.
Remove & Install The New Battery In The Same Way As You Removed It
Once the battery has been disconnected completely, gently lift it up from the tray and carry it with utmost care. You have now completely disconnected and removed the car battery. Batteries are usually heavy, especially if you drive a truck or an SUV which has a battery weighing almost 40 pounds.To install the new battery you can use the same guide but backward. Put the battery in place and fit the bracket or strap. Start with installing the positive terminal and the negative terminal after. Remember that you often have to re-set the clock and radio settings in your car after you replaced you battery.
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Possible Causes Of A Dead Car Battery
The most obvious case of a dead car battery is simple user error. Either youâve inadvertently left an overhead light on, left something charging in the accessory power source, or used too much accessory power when youâve only driven a short amount. That means a lot of your batteryâs power was used when you started your vehicle, but your alternator â which returns power to your battery â didnât have enough time to fully juice your battery up.
Another potential cause of a dead car battery is age. Most car batteries utilize lead-acid, multi-cell batteries. Each cell is filled with a dilute solution of sulfuric acid as well as lead. As your vehicleâs battery ages, it undergoes a natural process called sulfation. This is when the negative plates in your carâs battery are coated in sulfate crystals, which can then build up and reduce your batteryâs ability to deliver power to your vehicle and prevent your car from starting. If your carâs battery is between 2-5 years old, this could be the culprit and it might be time for a replacement.
On occasion, a dead battery could be caused by a defect in your automobileâs battery itself. If you are repeatedly experiencing a dead battery and your vehicle or battery is new, it might be worth bringing your car into the shop to have a mechanic run a battery test to determine if it has some sort of internal defect.
Common Signs A Car Battery Needs Replacing
- Car won’t start
- Car won’t start after being jump started
- Build-up of powdery residue on the battery terminals
- Battery warning light on the dashboard
- Check Engine warning light on the dashboard
If your car fails to start without any warning lights appearing on the dashboard, it’s likely that you have a flat or dead battery. Before immediately buying a replacement battery and getting ready to change it, try and jump start the car.
Once you’ve got the car running, take it for a drive with minimal electrical systems in use to try and recharge the battery and then turn it off. Return to the car in a couple of hours or the next day. If it starts without any issues, the battery was simply drained of power; however, if the car doesn’t start again, the battery is unable to retain a charge and needs to be replaced.
A battery needs a clear electrical current to work properly. If the battery terminals have a build-up of a whitish or blue residue around them, their performance will be affected. To remove this residue mix a solution of baking soda and hot water and scrub the corrosion off with an old toothbrush. Getting rid of the residue can sometimes solve the issue of a faulty battery.
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Shut Everything Off And Find The Battery
- Make sure your vehicle is not running and all electrical components are off before starting the battery disconnection process.
- Open your vehicle’s hood;if that’s where the battery is housed, as it is in most vehicles. If your battery is somewhere else, do whatever you need to do to gain access.
- Remove the red plastic cover from the battery’s positive terminal.
How To Disconnect A Car Battery: 5 Steps Wikihow
Using an old toothbrush, brush the tray and battery cables with a diluted baking-soda mixture and allow them to dry before putting in your new car battery. Place the new battery on the tray and tighten the clamps. Connect the cable for the positive terminal first, then the negative. Remember to securely tighten the nuts on each.
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How To Disconnect & Replace Car Battery Diy
Make sure you’re connecting the wires to the correct battery terminal ; Replacing Your Battery Procedure. With the engine off, pop the hood and find the battery. Detach the negative battery cable from the battery. First loosen the nut with a combination wrench. A better tool to use would be battery pliers or a battery wrench.
Remove The Battery Hold
Many batteries are secured by a clamp that locks the battery to the tray that it sits on. Before you can lift it out of the vehicle, you’ll have to remove this clamp. This will likely require a socket wrench, possibly with an extension on it, as the bolts that hold the battery can be down low in the battery tray. Congrats, you’ve freed your battery!
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How To Change A Car Battery
Apply a thin layer of grease to the battery posts and terminals before connecting the positive terminal to the positive post first. Special anti-corrosion grease is available to prevent deposits of fluffy greenish-white corrosion that can actually prevent the battery from charging. Using the wrench, tighten the connector until it is snug.
Clean The Battery Terminals And Cable Contacts
- Use your pipe cleaning-style wire brush to carefully clean the inner surface of the battery cable connectors where they contact the terminals. This surface should be smooth and free of corrosion before installing your new battery.
- Clean the battery terminals with the cup-style wire brush, making sure the terminals are free of corrosion and debris.
- To help prevent new rust from forming, apply a little anti-corrosion grease to the battery terminals with your fingers. Wipe off the excess from your fingers with a heavy-duty shop towel.
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What Does The Car Battery Do
The main battery function in the car is to provide a spark to the starter to crank the engine.;
The car battery also provides power for every electrical component in your car from the headlights to the onboard computer.;
When your car is running, the alternator recharges the battery.;
But when the engine is off, your battery is running on its own stored charge. This is why its essential to avoid unnecessary drain from any electrical system when youre not running the car.;
How To Reconnect A Car Battery
This article was co-authored by Hovig Manouchekian. Hovig Manouchekian is an Auto Repair and Design Specialist and the Manager of Funk Brothers Auto, a family-owned business operated since 1925. With over 30 years of experience in the automotive industry, Hovig specializes in the process of auto repair and maintenance. He is also very knowledgeable in common automotive issues and needs including engine repair, battery replacement, and windshield accessory and maintenance. Hovig’s knowledge and hard work have contributed to Funk Brothers Auto winning Angie’s List Super Service Award for five consecutive years.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 52,861 times.
If you’ve had your battery connected to a maintainer over the winter or had to remove it during other repairs, reinstalling it is a pretty simple process. All you need are some simple hand tools and a few other supplies you probably have around the house. It’s important to not only connect the battery, but to make sure the connections are clean and the battery is secure.
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The Basic Steps To Swap Out A Dead Battery For A New One
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The car battery is the thing that makes it all happen in terms of getting a vehicles engine running. If youve ever sat in a parking lot, listening to the car crank and crank to no avail, you know what happens when the battery is out of the equation.;
Thankfully, dealing with a dead battery isnt a difficult issue to address. If you cant recharge the battery you have, the next best thing you can do is swap it out for a new one. The process is simple as long as you take some cautious steps, so heres how to replace a car battery in just a few easy steps. ou need to know.
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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Why Do Car Batteries Go Flat
A battery will lose its charge and become flat if it is not used regularly, or if the car is used for short journeys only when the battery will not have enough time to recharge itself properly. The term for this is under charging. This leads to a hardening of the lead plates within the battery that affects its ability to hold a charge. This is known as sulphation.
As a car battery works on a chemical reaction basis, the environment temperature and humidity can also play a crucial role in battery performance. A battery operates at maximum efficiency at a temperature of 26.7 or 80. Higher temperatures speed up internal corrosion within the batterys cells which reduces the life of the battery. Colder temperatures inhibit a batterys ability to provide sufficient power to start and run a vehicle.
Leaving an interior light on accidentally can be enough to run your battery flat if left on for long enough.