When and How to Replace Your Car Battery

1If your car is taking longer than normal to start then it may be time for you to replace the battery. The battery sits under the hood (typically) and is usually right towards the front or right towards the rear of your vehicle’s engine.

Replacing a car battery is not all that hard but it is not the cheapest thing to do either. Some car batteries can run well over $100.00 so before you run out and buy a new one you will first want to be sure that you do indeed need to replace it.

There are battery testers that are sold at the store that you can buy and hook up to the battery to see if it is going bad or not, but there is a much easier way to determine if your car battery is in need of being replaced; let someone else tell you. Most auto part stores these days will be happy to go out and check your battery for free and then will gladly let you know whether or not you actually need a new one. This is your best bet at seeing whether or not the battery actually needs to be replaced.

If you find that you are in need of a new battery be aware that any place you buy the battery from will charge you a core charge. This is usually a nominal fee of around $10.00 or so and this charge will be refunded to you when you bring back in your old battery.  Once you purchase the battery and pay your core charge you are ready to get down and dirty.

You will need an adjustable wrench and some eye protection then you will be all set to go. To change out the battery you need to be in a well ventilated area and:

  1. Locate the battery.
  2. Distinguish the positive terminal (connected with RED black) and the negative terminal (connected with BLACK cable).
  3. Loosen the terminal bolts.
  4. Disconnect the negative (BLACK) battery cable first.
  5. Disconnect the positive (RED) battery cable second.
  6. Remove the old battery from the battery tray. Be careful here as batteries contain acid. Be sure you are keeping the battery level and take notice as some batteries weigh quite a bit.
  7. Place the new battery onto the battery tray.
  8. Reattach the positive (RED) battery cable first.
  9. Reattach the negative (BLACK) battery cable second.
  10. Make sure all the terminal bolts are tightened down.
  11. Return your old battery and get your core charge back.

A good tip to follow is to put dielectric grease on the new battery terminal posts themselves before you reattach the battery cables. This will provide a good electrical connection by protecting against moisture and grime and will also slow corrosion.

Once you have your new battery installed your car should turn over like it did the first time you ever started it up. Just remember that your car battery holds a charge so you need to use extreme caution when changing it. By following the steps provided and using common sense, your new battery installation will be as easy as pie.

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