Car Maintenance: Replacing Your Battery
If you need to install a new battery in your car (see this article for details on when to change your battery), follow these step-by-step instructions below.
Tools you’ll need:
- Rubber gloves
- Adjustable wrench, vise pliers or a socket wrench
- Wire brush
- Solution of water and baking soda
1. Make sure your car isn’t running. Remove the key from the ignition.
2. Open the hood and find the battery (refer to your vehicle user manual if necessary). With your wrench, detach the negative (black) battery cable. Do the same for the positive (red) cable.
3. Remove the battery hold-down clamp, which may be along the top of the battery, or on the battery tray clamped to the side of the battery.
4. Take the battery out of the battery tray. Batteries can be close to 30 pounds in weight so exercise caution, and lift the battery with your hands at the bottom if it doesn’t have a handle.
5. If there are signs of corrosion on the battery tray or hold-down clamp, use the water-baking soda solution to clean the tray. Allow the tray to dry.
6. Clean the battery cable connectors with your wire brush.
7. Place the new battery in the tray and reinstall the hold-down clamp. Attach the battery cables to the new battery, positive (red) first, and then negative (black). Make sure that all cable connections are tight.
8. Put the hood down, start the car, and you’re ready to go!
When to Change Your Car Battery