Replace a Car Battery in [number] Easy Steps

January 27, 2012

If you are planning to replace a car battery, you need to exercise caution. A car battery is filled with sulfuric acid that will release hydrogen gas as it works. The batteries can also be very heavy. Dropping a battery or lighting a cigarette near it can lead to nasty explosions or burns. Here are a few steps that you can follow to get the battery out safely and then replace it.

Step 1: Is Replacement Really Necessary?

The easiest way to find out whether the battery requires replacement is by checking the indicator window that the battery has on it. If the window shows up as yellow or green, then it's time to replace the battery. Sometimes sulfate builds up on the terminals in the form of a white powder and this can also slow down the battery. Take a hammer and tap away the powder. If the car starts up again, then there's no need to replace the battery.

Step 2: Remove the Old Battery


Disengage the terminals and unfasten them. Unfasten the negative terminal followed by the positive one, or you could end up short-circuiting the car and injuring yourself. Then disengage the positive terminal so that you can finally remove the battery. Make sure that the battery is loose from the underlying clamps. Unfasten the battery bolt that holds the battery to the tray. Carefully clean off the old battery with baking soda and water and then clean the battery.

Step 3: Put in the New Car Battery

The new battery has to be placed in a tray that can hold its weight. If the battery tray is old, you should purchase a new one just in case. Make sure that you put negative and positive terminals in the right place when you are seating the battery. These locations are indicated on the battery tray. Then put in the positive terminal and clamp it to the battery. The attachment process is reversed; attach the positive terminal first, followed by the negative terminal. After the battery is firmly seated, check it again to make sure that it won't get dislodged. Remember to give the terminals a good coating of white lithium grease to keep them in top condition.

Use caution when you replace a car battery. Batteries are filled with sulfuric acid that can injure your skin. They can also explode if they are dropped. If you are not sure of how to do the process, find an expert to do the job. Make sure that you hand in the old battery to the recycling station where it can be recycled. Do not keep old batteries lying about, as they can be dangerous.