Battery Replacement

Step by step repair guide on how to replace an automotive battery. This article pertains to all non hybrid or electric vehicles.

Difficulty Scale: 2 of 10

Tools and Supplies Needed

  • Baking Soda
  • Wire Brush or terminal cleaner
  • Replacement Battery
  • Small pry bar
  • Wrench Set
  • Protective gloves and eyewear
Begin with the car on level ground, engine off, emergency brake set.

Step 1 - Locate the battery and the negative battery terminal (smaller of the two terminals) which is normally under the hood in the engine compartment, although they can be in the trunk or under the rear seat, if the battery can’t be located refer to the owner’s manual for the exact location. (Note: Record radio stations for re-entry once the battery is replaced. Neutralize any battery acid by sprinkling baking soda over the top and around the battery base, rinse with fresh water to remove any lingering acids.) (CAUTION: Never connect positive and negative terminals with a conductive object such as a wrench. Also, never connect the positive battery terminal to any body, chassis or engine parts.)

Negative Battery Terminal

Step 2 - Once located, use a small socket or wrench to loosen the battery cable.

Loosen Negative Battery Cable

Step 3 - Removing the negative battery cable first avoids sparks, once removed push the cable out of the way of the terminal to avoid accidental connection.

Negative Battery Cable Removed

Step 4 - After the negative cable has been removed, locate the positive battery terminal on the opposite side of the battery which is the larger of the two terminals, it can also have red associated with it.

Positive Battery Terminal


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2015-01-05)