A car battery
lasts many years and today's' batteries are generally maintenance-free, meaning that from the moment one is fitted, you don't have to touch it again until it needs replacing.
Some car batteries have a battery condition indicator on the top, so get to know when the condition of the battery is deteriorating. Other than that, the only other method for determining the state of your battery is to use a voltmeter to test for voltage and a hydrometer to test the condition of the acid in the battery. The latter method is only required if you have a battery that isn't sealed and has removable cell caps.
However, it's likely that you don't think twice about the condition of the battery until one morning you find your car doesn't start due to a dead battery. During the day, when you keep using your car, the battery is kept warm and gets charged.
However, if you have cell damage; and it only takes one of the six cells, then the temperature at night means that any charge in the cell can dissipate and you are not left with enough voltage to start your car. Unfortunately this tends to happen without warning and it seems to always be on the first really cold morning that it happens.
It's generally a fairly simple process to replace your car's battery and in most cases very few tools or mechanical knowledge is necessary. Importantly, it's also substantially less expensive if you replace the battery yourself, rather than getting a garage to do it.
Firstly, remove both the cables from the battery terminals. You'll need a suitably sized wrench to loosen the bolts on the cable clamps, and then just simply lift them off the terminals and push them away from the battery.
Check around the battery to find the bracket that holds the battery on the battery tray. All car batteries connect differently, so it's a matter of locating the bracket that holds the battery in place. It could be on the side or top of the battery. Use a wrench or screwdriver to loosen the nuts or screws holding the bracket in place. You will find the bracket can be moved, once the nuts or screws are loosened enough. Slide the bracket out of the way.
Lift the battery from the battery tray. Put the new battery onto the battery tray; make sure you have the battery terminals facing the same way as the one you removed. Replace the bracket and tighten the nuts or screws. Check the battery is held tightly in place.
Reconnect the two battery cables to the battery terminals. On the top or to the side of each terminal you will find the polarity of each terminal. One is labeled '+' and the other '-.' Connect the black cable clamp to the '-' terminal and the red cable clamp to the '+' terminal. Tighten the clamps and you're done and ready to get on your way.
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