Replace Your Car Battery Before You Become Stranded


Few experiences with your car are worse than being in the parking lot with your car full of groceries and a dead battery. You'll normally get some signs that the battery is coming to the end of its life. When you notice them, replace the battery before it becomes exhausted. Here is how to spot a dying car battery and how to replace it yourself.

Symptoms of a Bad Battery

Eventually, car batteries lose the ability to hold a charge. When this happens, you'll notice several symptoms before the battery dies, such as:

  • the lights dim after you turn the engine off
  • the engine cranks over more slowly when trying to start the car
  • the radio loses its programming and the clock loses time

At the first sign of any of these, pick up a new battery at the auto parts store and replace it before it goes out on you completely.

Replacing the Car Battery

Materials You'll Need

  • flat-blade screwdriver
  • old rags for cleanup
  1. Locate the battery in the engine compartment near the front of the car.
  2. Remove the strap that secures the battery into the compartment.
  3. Loosen the screw holding the battery clamp with the black (negative) cable onto the post.
  4. Lift the battery clamp off of the post while turning the clamp from side to side to loosen it.
  5. Repeat with the battery clamp to which the red (positive) cable is attached.
  6. Move both cables and clamps out of the way so you can remove the battery.
  7. Before taking the battery out, note its position in the engine compartment. You'll need to put the new battery in the same way so the cables and clamps will reach their correct battery posts.
  8. With both hands, lift the battery straight up out of the engine compartment and place it on the ground out of your way.
  9. Again with both hands, lift the new battery up and lower it into the engine compartment, in the same orientation as the old battery.
  10. Remove any protective covers from the terminal posts.
  11. Slide the red battery cable clamp over the positive battery post on the new battery.
  12. Tighten the screw on the clamp until you can't move the clamp.
  13. Repeat with the black battery clamp on the negative post.
  14. Secure the battery into the engine compartment with the strap.

Take the old battery to the auto parts store where you purchased the new battery. They will give you a few dollars of credit for the old battery and will dispose of it for you.

Problems You May Encounter

If you have any of the following issues, you'll need to take your car to an auto repair shop and have them make the repairs and replace the battery for you.

  • The battery cable clamps won't come off because of corrosion.
  • The wires connecting the battery cables to the clamps are corroded, frayed or broken.
  • The battery is not easily accessible in your car.


25 February 2016

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