Is your car battery dead? Want to save a considerable amount of money
by changing it yourself? I have created this guide and video for you to read and watch
so you can do it yourself and get the job done correctly while using everyday
When car batteries go bad they can expel acid around the mounting box and
cables which you don't want to get on your clothes or skin so it's a good idea to wear
rubber work gloves like you would use to clean your house oven. By sprinkling baking soda over the battery and then
rinsing it with water will help clean the area before you begin working.
If you are not sure if the battery is the problem then you will need to do
some testing which can be done easily without a load tester. Never touch a metal
object between the two terminals.
Here is a list of reasons this unit can fail
It has aged more than 3 years
Alternator is under or over charging
There is an electrical draw (parasitic) on the system
It has been dead for an extended amount of time
I will go over these problems is detail further down in the article and how
to test the charging system once you have completed the job. But for now sit
back and watch our video which gives you an idea on what you are in for when
replacing the battery.
Though appearances may vary for each car the process is the same, the only
differences is the location which can be in the trunk, under the back seat or
hood. Locations under the hood include right rear, right front or left front. If
you cannot find the unit refer to the owner’s manual for the exact location. A
battery box is bolted to the frame, inner fender well or body and is used to
hold the unit in place using a hold down clamp or J bolt with a strap across the
top. There might also be a cover over it which shields the unit from outside
temperatures which prolongs its life expectancy.
Battery cables are used to connect to the electrical system of the vehicle and
the starter. The
positive cable connects directly to the starter solenoid while the ground cable
is connected to the engine block.
Tools and Supplies Needed
Wire Brush or terminal cleaner
Protective gloves and eyewear
Record the radio stations for re-entry as they will be lost once the
electrical power is disconnected. Using a wrench loosen the bolt for the negative cable
end, you might need to give a twisting motion to help remove the cable. Be
careful not to touch the wrench to the positive side of the battery to avoid
short circuits. Always undo the negative side first because the positive side is
more prone to shorting to ground via the metal wrench or ratchet being used.
Then push the cable away to avoid it coming back and reconnecting to the
Next, undo the positive side cable this will normally be a red color and
identified by a positive sign near the terminal connection. Use a wrench or
ratchet to loosen the cable end, at this point there is no chance of creating a
short circuit because the circuit is no longer live with the disconnection of
the negative cable.
Some manufacturers have a cover which now can be removed to gain access to
the hold down bolt. This cover should be cleaned before reinstallation with
water and soap to remove any acid residue that might be present.
Locate the hold down bolt or J bolt nuts which are either at the top or
bottom of the mounting box, if the hold down is at the bottom it with only
require one bolt to be removed while J bolts will require two nuts to be
removed. On a bottom bolt style of mount use a long ratchet and extension to
help the removal. There will be a wedge style of plastic piece that will need to be
removed as well. Also, wash these parts with soap and water before
After moving the bolts and hardware and while still using gloves, grasp the
battery and wiggle it slightly to break it lose from its mount. Then hold
tight as you lift the unit from the vehicle, brace your knees and back for this
step due to the weight of the unit. Now is a good time to use a garden hose to
wash the area free from acid for a fresh install of the new part. This will also
prevent corrosion of metal pieces and wiring which could be routed below the
Now that the old unit has been removed, compare it to the new battery while
checking the size, terminal position, cold cranking and reserve amps which
should be the same or similar. Recycle old unit at any an approved recycling center
or auto parts store.
While holding the new unit firmly,
gently lower the new battery into position. Be mindful of the orientation and
install it the right direction so the electrical cables will be connected the
right way. Never attach the positive cable to the negative side and visa versa.
This will cause major electrical problems such as shorting out the alternator,
main computer or any other controller in the vehicle.
Once the new unit is in place wiggle it to ensure it's down into the box
mount, then lower the mount wedge and bolt into place. This wedge should only be
installed in one direction with the stepped part toward the batteries side wall
while lower it onto the box bolt hole.
After the hold down has been
lowered into position, tighten the bolt securely at this point you
will see and feel the unit get tight within the box.
Next, remove both terminal covers which are used to prevent damaged and
shorting while in shipping. They should be clean and ready for the positive and
negative cable to be installed. Set the cover back into place before the cable
Before re-installing the cables use a cleaner tool with a twisting motion
that will create a fresh metal surface within the cable end to aid in the
transfer of amperage needed to crank the starter over. Take note this
cleaner has a taper fit and will only work correctly in one direction, complete
the operation by doing both negative and positive ends.
Then, install the positive cable and tighten while holding the end downward to help the
connection. Once the bolt is tight, double check the installation by wiggling the end slightly to ensure a proper
Once tight, reinstall the positive
cable protective cover. This cover helps prevent accidental short circuits when
working in the engine bay.
Next, install the negative cable end onto the terminal and tighten wile
holding downward. Check the cable end for tightness by giving it a twisting
motion. Do not connect the negative end before the positive because the circuit will be live while installing the
positive cable which can lead to a system short. Wipe away any dirt or metal
shavings from the cable end cleaner and double check your work, you are all
Once the replacement is complete it's a good idea to check
the alternator voltage output using a voltmeter, also observe the electrical
system warning light or gauge, this will ensure the operation of the new unit.
A new battery can go dead and fail prematurely if there is a parasitic draw which
will occur overnight, the system should be tested for this condition to ensure a
dead in the morning - draw test
If you have any question about the information above please visit our forum
where thousands of battery question have already been answered by our experts.