Car batteries always seem to die when it’s least anticipated! Your travel or trip plans halt or change if the car doesn’t start due to a dead battery. If you are driving and the battery dies, your only choice is to call roadside assistance. However, if you’re at home and can get a lift to the auto parts shop, you can easily change the car battery.
A car battery normally lasts five years, but this might vary depending on how you drive. You may have to replace it every few years, irrespective of how well you maintain your car. As a car owner, you should deal with it as one of those routine maintenance issues.
So, when do you need to change a car battery? How much does it cost? Know in detail about how to change a car battery via our blog!
What are the signs of a bad battery?
Always test a battery before replacing it. You can measure the voltage of the battery using a multimeter. It will help you in deciding whether you need to change the battery or not. But, it may need a replacement if it shows the following signs.
- When you turn on the key, there will be no dashboard warning lights, or nothing will happen if the car battery’s dead.
- The starter motor struggle; crank slowly or hesitate when you turn the key. These are signs that it’s time to examine the battery.
- Some cars will activate warning lights when the battery is about to die or if dead.
- When the car is off, dim headlights may indicate a weak battery.
- Replace your car battery immediately if it has cracks, leaks, or other damage.
If you notice any of these signs, it is time you study how to change a car battery and change it.
How often to change a car battery?
Before knowing how to change a car battery, it’s important to know how often you need to change it. A battery’s life depends on how well you maintain the car and battery. A car battery should typically last around 4-6 years if you maintain it properly. But, be aware that the life span of a battery will be shorter if you live in a cold region.
In current cars, you must pay attention to the signs listed above or the battery warning light after the battery has been in service for three years. Replace the battery if any warning signs appear to avoid damaging your car’s electrical system. Unfortunately, there is no other way to avoid changing your car’s battery.
Know more on how to check car battery!
How to change a car battery: Safety measures you should take
The risk of an electric shock from a car battery is fairly low. However, that doesn’t imply there’s no risk. So, try to follow these tips when you change it.
- Try to wear long sleeves and pants. A car battery consists of a mild acid that stores energy. If it spills on your skin, it can result in severe to minor chemical burns. Therefore, when lifting, ensure the battery is upright and keep it away from your skin.
- Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses. A thin rubber glove will insulate against electrical arcing and any unexpected acid spills. Your battery is in the engine compartment, which collects a variety of fluids and dirt. Glasses will shield you from any possible acid spills.
- Lift with your legs while changing a car battery. Some car batteries can be as heavy as 40 lbs. Lift with your legs to avoid injury.
Items needed for changing the car battery
These are the items you require for changing a car battery.
- A fully charged battery
- Battery terminal protectors
- Battery terminal cleaning brushes
- Sockets or open or end wrenches
- Battery terminal puller
- Battery carrying strap
How to remove the old battery
So replacing a car battery means you need to remove the old battery. So before learning about how to change a car battery, you must understand about safely removing the existing battery.
- Ensure that the car is locked and parked in a secure area. For instance, ensure the door is open if parked in a garage. Assume the vehicle is in the park (or first gear with manual transmission), with back wheels chocked and the parking brake engaged.
- Depending on the car, open the trunk or hood. Check the owner’s manual to find the battery’s position if it is unclear.
- Then remove the battery hold-down clamp.
- First, unplug the negative cable with a wrench. Then disconnect the positive cable. Always remember that positive is red and negative is black.
- Lift the battery out of the way using the strap, but watch out for any acid spills.
How to change a car battery
After removing the old battery and cleaning the terminals, it’s time to install the new battery.
- Take your replacement battery and place it where it belongs. Ensure the battery is firmly positioned and pay attention to which terminals go where.
- Reinstall the battery’s securing posts if necessary.
- The positive terminal should be reconnected and tightened before the negative terminal. The cables must be immovable and tightly fastened to the terminals. Check again to ensure that the position of the new battery matches the red and black terminals. Consider applying protective felt washers or battery anti-corrosive protection gel to both terminals before reconnecting them.
- Once tightly fastening the cables, start the car to ensure everything is in working order. It should start immediately up if everything is okay.
- Close the hood once you finish the replacement process and remove all of your tools from the engine compartment.
How long does it take to change a car battery?
Ideally, changing a car’s battery takes around 15-30 minutes. However, the duration depends on the car type, the ease of access to the battery, and how effortlessly you can remove it from the car. The experience of the person changing the battery also is a vital factor. For instance, replacing the battery for the first time could take longer than it would for an experienced mechanic.
How much does it cost to change a car battery?
A replacement car battery can cost anywhere between $45 and $250, depending on its power, size, and quality. Since replacing the battery is a simple and not time-consuming one, the major expense for this process comes from buying the new battery.
Does it matter which way you install a car battery?
According to a car battery’s design, it channels the energy from the battery in a single direction. Negative to negative, positive to positive. Any reversal of this could seriously harm the battery or electrical system of the car. Take a photo for convenient reference before removing the old battery.
The bottom line
- Test your car battery to ensure whether it requires a replacement.
- Changing a car battery is a comparatively easy task at home with a few tools.
- Remove the negative terminal with a wrench first while removing the old battery.
- Always connect the positive terminal first while you’re changing the battery.
- Since they are considered hazardous trash, it is necessary to dispose of used car batteries properly.
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