In all likelihood, your car battery
will die at some point during ownership. Batteries will sometimes last as long as five or six years, but two to three years is more common than most of us realize.
Changing a car battery is a fairly straightforward and easy process. You can handle the job yourself, but be warned: that battery may be heavier than you expect and can strain your back if you're not careful.
Let's take a look at the steps you must take to replace your car battery:
1. Put on your gloves - Don a pair of work gloves to handle what can be a dirty job. You'll need these to protect your skin from grease and possibly acid.
2. Pop the hood - With the engine turned off, lift the hood of your car to locate your battery. A few models have batteries in strange places such as under the rear passenger seat or in the trunk.
3. Disconnect the old battery - Loosen and detach the black negative connection first with a battery wrench and pliers. Use a battery terminal puller if the cable connection is stuck. Take care not to pull too hard or the cables can get damaged and will need to be replaced. Once the black negative connection has been detached, do the same with the red positive connection. Black must precede red, otherwise you risk shorting the battery.
4. Detach and remove - Your car's battery is held down by a clamp that must be loosened to separate it from the tray. If your battery has a grab handle, carefully pick it up using it. Otherwise, insert your hands under both sides of the battery and slowly lift it from the tray. Place the old battery on the ground near your car.
5. Prepare for a new battery - Clean the now empty tray to free it of corrosion. A solution of baking soda and water will do the trick, and can be applied with a wire brush. Use a battery cable connection cleaner for the connections. If the tray is excessively corroded, replace it with a new one.
6. Insert the new battery - Carefully pick up the new battery and place it in the now dry battery tray. Secure it in place with the hold down clamps. Spray both the negative and the positive terminals with a battery preserving solution that is available at your auto parts store. Attach and tighten the positive cable first followed by the negative cable. Close the hood of your car and remove your gloves.
7.Start your engine - Open your car door, sit down and activate the ignition. Your car should start up immediately. If not, you have a loose cable or you may have another problem such as a failed alternator. Once the car has started, put your gloves back on and carefully pick up the old battery and recycle it. Put your tools away and discard any debris.
If your battery has enough juice to get you to a local auto parts store, some retailers will replace your battery for free and dispose of your old one. This is an excellent option for the consumer who doesn't have time nor the inclination to do the job himself.
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