Let assume that you’re able to recover dead batteries back to life. But first you need to know how to properly remove the battery. Everything will be much more convenient if you work on a battery removed from your car.
And when you finish your job, you need to know how to put it back into your car.
The purpose of this post is to offer you a safe way to remove your battery out of your car and put it back once the recovery job is done.
The job has 5 sections as follows:
- Essential tools for changing your battery
- Primary safety precautions
- Step by step how to get the battery out of your car
- How to reinstall a battery
- FAQs about battery removal and reinstallation
So, let’s get the ball rolling
What Tools Do You Need to Change a Car Battery ?
Before you start working, make sure you have the following tools:
- Wrench: For loosening the nuts on battery terminals
- Side battery terminal wrench (especially for GM terminals): For GM battery or any batteries having side terminals, the type of wrench will be very helpful.
- Work gloves: The dangerous thing about car batteries is they are lead acid types. If your skin comes in contact with acid , you will get burned very seriously. Therefore a pair of work glove is a must.
- Zip ties: The purpose of using zip ties is to get cables to be organized so that they reduce the chance of generating sparks.
- Safety glasses: Again these are important because you will work with lead acid batteries. You want your eyes to be safe from any acid droplets.
Safety Guidelines About Car Battery Replacement
Working with car batteries requires you to follow the following safety precautions. You must to take them seriously.
- Do Not Wear jewelry: The reason of this is that electric discharge could be generated when jewelry comes in contact with battery terminals. So Take off your watches, necklaces or rings.
- Work outdoors or Use ventilation when you work indoor: Sometimes old rusty batteries could release toxic gas. You don’t want to inhale it.
- Flames & sparks are dangerous: Do not put your battery next to anything like cigarette flames, sources of ignitions.
- Put on safety gloves and glasses all the time: As mentioned above, you need to protect your eye and hands from any possible damages. In addition to that, you need to wear clothes that covers up your body as much as possible.
Step-by-Step Guide How To Remove a Car Battery
I believe this is the most interesting part that you’ve been waiting for. This way of removing batteries is applied for most of car batteries.
*Note: For some batteries, you need to tweak steps a little bit. Below are the examples.
Side Battery Terminals For GM models which has side battery terminals.
Additional Parts Battery housing could be different from one model of batteries to another. There are some parts covering the batteries that you need to remove first.
Diesel Pickups/Two Batteries Some cars have two batteries ( a diesel pickup) the steps of removal will be slightly different.
So let’s get down to the business…
1. Remove the cable from Negative Terminal First
The negative terminal is generally the black one or you might see a negative sign on it. As the negative terminal is located, use the wrench to make the cable loose from the terminal.
When you finish the job, use a zip tie to secure it.
2. Remove the cable from the Positive Terminal
The positive terminal is the one with red cable for most of the time. There might be a plus sign on it.
After you remove the cable , you also need to secure it with a zip tie away from the negative one.
if the two cable touch each other, a spark could be generated and you don’t want to see that.
3. Remove Securing Bracket
The next step is remove the bracket that holds down the battery. For this job, you need your wrench to undo the fasteners.
4. Lift the Battery Out of the Car
Now at this stage, you have a battery with “no string attached”. All you need to do is lift it out of the car. Car batteries are typically heavy. You should be careful with it.
Additional Steps For Side Mounted Terminals (GM models)
For this type of models, you need to use a side battery terminal wrench to remove the battery. The reason is because it’s a little bit difficult to reach the terminals.
Additional Steps For Two Battery Cars ( Diesel Pickup)
For this case, what you need to do is remove both negative cables first before remove the positive cables. The reason of this is that positive cables could carry a full charge and this will be very dangerous if it discharges unexpectedly.
Step By Step How To Install a typical Car Battery
After you remove the old battery, you can now install a reconditioned battery or a brand new battery.
In order to install a “new” battery, please follow these steps:
1. Clean Battery Corrosion
What you need for this job is a mixture of baking soda and water. Cleaning the terminals first and then the battery tray if you see the leftover corrosion.
The hold down clamp and cables also need to be cleaned. If you don’t have baking soda, you can use coke. It’s amazingly good for cleaning rusty metal.
2. Put Back The Battery In The Original Place
The next step is take a good stance (It’s heavy ) before lifting up the battery and put it back to the battery tray.
Once the battery is in place, hold it down with the bracket that you removed earlier.
3. Reinstall Cables
What you need to do first is attach and tighten the cable on the positive terminal. Use your wrench to tighten the connection.
Before you reinstall the negative cable, double-check the connection by hand. You don’t want to have troubles later with a loosen connection.
Well done! You now can start the engine to see if everything is fine.
Common Car Battery Replacement Questions
What will happen if positive cable is disconnected first from the terminal ?
By doing that , the negative cable is disconnected from the chassis. Removing the positive cable while the negative one is till connected could result in a short in the system. Other electric components could be damaged.
I follow your instructions but i could not start the engine. Now what would i do ?
You come to a conclusion that your car needs a new battery when it couldn’t start. That’s why you changed the battery. But the problem could be because of the alternator.
To check that, you need to test the old battery to see if it’s still working or you test if the alternator is defective.
The lifespan of an alternator is anywhere from 100 000 to 150 000 miles.
What will happen to other electric components if i replace the car battery ?
New battery installed could result in clearing the radio presets. This happens to almost all vehicles. The more modern you car is the more resets it would happen to electronic components.