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How to Change a Car Battery

While car batteries can take a beating and they can be recharged several times once they’ve died, there are times when the vehicle requires a fresh battery. Just like anything in life, car batteries need regular replacement. To reduce the chances of being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a severely damaged battery, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove and replace your old battery with a new one:

You will need:

Adjustable wrench
Lint-free towels or clean cloths
1 pair disposable latex gloves or working gloves
Baking soda
Battery brush
Safety goggles

To Remove Old Car Battery

To begin, park your vehicle in a shaded area, set it to park and shut off the engine. Wear your safety gears before opening the hood. Pop the hood and place a blanket over the fender to protect the finish from battery acid. With your adjustable wrench, loosen the nut and bolt of the battery’s negative ground clamp. If your vehicle has a positive ground, loosen the cable with the “+” or “POS” first.

Now, remove the cable from the post and set it aside in a safe spot. Proceed by removing the other cable and setting that side as well. If say, you don’t want to remove the bolts, just loosen them to release the battery clamps.

After removing the bolt or screw, remove whatever component that’s holding the old battery in place. Make sure to give the wrench a firm grip so the smaller components won’t be lost inside the engine. Once the battery is free, lift it out of the battery seat and set aside. Use baking soda to remove mineral deposits or rust on the battery tray.

To Install the New Car Battery

Make sure the battery tray is completely dry before placing the new battery because whatever’s left on the tray can cause corrosion. Start by planning the new battery on the tray, making sure that it is facing in the same direction as the old battery to keep the cables in order.

Once the new battery is set in the battery case, use new components to hold the battery in place. The same thing goes for battery cables on the terminals. Check if the battery is hooked in place by wiggling it.

For cars with a negative ground, install the positive cable first, making sure the clamps on the battery terminal are gripping the post. Once everything’s put back together, test your car to make sure everything’s in order.

What to do with Old Car Batteries

Because car batteries are filled with toxic chemicals that may pollute the water and the soil, dispose of it properly by taking it to a recycling center. These service centers will make new batteries out of the old ones, which is great for the environment. Some battery shops also offer to take care of old batteries but ask about it first. You can also call your local recycling center for a referral so you don’t have to pay a single cent to get rid of old batteries.

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