Step by step repair guide on how to replace an automotive battery, this article
pertains to all non hybrid or electric vehicles.
Difficulty Scale: 3 of 10
Tools and Supplies Needed
- Baking Soda
- Wire Brush or terminal cleaner
- Replacement Battery
- Small pry bar
- Wrench Set
- Protective gloves and eyewear
- 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.)
Step 2 - Once located, use a small socket or
wrench to loosen the battery cable.
Negative Battery Terminal
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.
Loosen Negative Battery Cable
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.
Negative Battery Cable Removed
Step 5 - Next, loosen the cable end using a
small wrench or socket.
Positive Battery Terminal
Step 6 -
Once the cable end has been loosened, grasp the cable end can twist side to side
until the cable becomes disconnected. Push the disconnect cable away from the
battery to avoid accidental connection.
Loosening Positive Battery Terminal
Step 7 - After the terminals have been removed,
lift off the battery cover, though some vehicles omit this step.
Positive Cable Removed
Step 8 - Locate the battery hold down bolt
which is at the lower side of the battery.
Removing Battery Cover
Step 9 - Then, loosen and remove the hold down
bolt, also remove the hold down wedge as well.
Battery Hold Down
Step 10 - Once the hold down bolt and wedge
have been removed, grasp the battery firmly to lift from the vehicle.
Remove Battery Hold Down Bolt
Step 11 - After a firm grasp has been achieved,
gently lift the battery from the engine compartment. (Note: If the old battery
has leaked battery acid, sprinkle baking soda and wash thoroughly with a garden
hose before installing battery.)
Step 12 - Next, compare the old battery to the
replacement battery, they should be comparable in terminal location as well as
cold cranking and reserve amperage.
Step 13 - While holding the battery firmly
gently lower the new battery into position.
New and Old Battery
Step 14 - Once the new battery is in place,
lower the battery hold down into the battery tray.
Installing New Battery
Step 15 - After the battery hold down has been
installed, tighten the bolt to keep the battery securely held.
Installing Battery Hold Down
Step 16 - Next, remove both terminal covers
which are used in shipping to prevent the battery from becoming damaged.
Tighten Battery Hold Down
Step 17 - Then, using a battery cable cleaner,
grasp each battery cable and push and twist the tool until clean.
Remove Terminal Covers
Step 18 - After both cable ends have been
cleaned, install the positive battery cable and tighten.
Battery Cable Terminal Cleaner
Step 19 - Once the cable has been tightened,
grasp the cable and try to twist it, if the cable end moves, re-tighten the
Install Positive Battery Cable
Step 20 - Next, reinstall the positive battery
cable protective cover, this cover helps prevent short circuits.
Test Cable Tightness
Step 21 - Once the negative battery cable is
cleaned, install the cable onto the negative terminal and tighten, also double
check the terminal for tighten and retighten if needed.
Reinstalling Battery Terminal Cover
Once the battery replacement is complete start the engine and
Install Negative Battery Cable End
to ensure proper operation.
Before attempting to replace an automotive battery, make sure the area around
the battery is safe to work. Batteries are filled with acid and they can emit both
powdered and liquid acid on and around the battery. By sprinkling baking soda over
the battery and then rinsing with water will reduce the chance of getting
chemical burns. Gloves are highly recommended along with protective eyewear and
clothing. Knowing the workings of a
can be helpful.
testing an automotive battery, make sure area is neutralized of all
- Never touch a conductive object between the terminals of any battery.
- Match or exceed cold cranking amps when replacing a battery.
Recycle old battery at any an approved recycling center.
Article first published 2016-02-03