Car Battery Replacement Tools and Tips

January 27, 2012

There are certain tools and precautions to be observed when replacing a car battery. It's imperative to remember that a car battery contains a very caustic acid as the electrolyte. In the following paragraphs you will find a list of the tools required when performing an auto battery replacement and some tips to help you when replacing a car battery.


When installing a new car battery, you will need a wrench, a nut driver or socket and ratchet, and a pair of vinyl or rubber gloves. The gloves are to protect your hands from the electrolyte. To remove the battery terminals on a GM, you will need a 5/16 wrench or socket. For most imports, you will need a 10 millimeter wrench or socket; and for Ford and Dodge, you will need either a 7/16" or 1/2" wrench or socket. All batteries have a clamp at the bottom that holds the battery securely in the tray. Usually, on imports this will also be a 10 millimeter, while on most American cars this bolt will either be a 1/2" or 7/16".


When replacing a car battery, it's imperative to remember that the battery has electrolyte in it which is a very caustic acid. Never tip a battery on its side more than a few degrees. When installing a new car battery, always remember to remove the negative battery terminal before removing anything else. This will prevent an inadvertent shorting, which can cause sparks or even a battery explosion if you don't open the short circuit very quickly. Once the negative terminal is removed, then remove the positive terminal. Lastly, remove the hold down clamp. During the installation portion of an auto battery replacement, the hold down clamp should be installed first, followed by the positive terminal, and lastly, the negative terminal.

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