How to change a Car battery

change car batteryHow to change a car battery!

Your chromes are turning, your engines are revving loudly and your all-pimped up car is grooving down the freeway with the music cranked up high. You’re the kind of guy who likes to take your listening skills to the next level to the point that your heart beats like the sound system. Your chest is jumping on the earthquake of a beat your car is grooving on to. The thing is, the music is beginning to fade anf your car’s engine is suddenly making a cracking sound. Your music dies out on you and a few minutes later, your car comes to a complete stop.

You jump out of your car and realize that you have been playing your music on too loud and too long that your battery died out on you. You get to the realization that your car’s battery has been dying out on you too much. What should you do now? Call an auto shop to tow your ride to the mechanic for a battery replacement? Or you’re just in for a jump start? Which is it?

To Jump or to replace? That is the Question!

Just because your battery died it doesn’t immediately point out to you actually replacing your car’s battery immediately. You have to scrutinize whether it just needs a jumpstart or a push. Your battery dying out on you isn’t such a big problem; you just have to know when to jump start or when to replace your battery.

Jump starting your car is as simple as ABC. You don’t need to be an engineer to figure out how to jump start your vehicle every time your car battery is drained. There are various reasons why your battery might get drained off easily. Sometimes, you get your hands on newly purchased battery or even that you just had your battery re-serviced. Other reasons could be: the vehicle’s alternator isn’t working; leaving your car’s taillights on the whole night; or maybe you’re just the type of guy who likes to key in his music too loud. The headlights, taillights, air conditioning, stereo and even the tiny sensors on your car are all powered by your battery. There will be instances where your battery needs a quick surge of electricity to start again.

Here are two guidelines on jump starting your car

Jump Starting Using A Host Battery

jump start car with host battery

  1. Find a car with a good working battery. Make sure your vehicle is on neutral gear and your hand brakes or emergency brakes are on.
  2. Get your jumpers—the black and red cords—and make sure they are not of different colors to avoid confusion between negative and positive cables.
  3. The red cord on both ends has pegs. Clamp the pegs onto the positive head of your vehicle and the positive head of the host battery. Do the same thing with the black cord to the negative heads of the two batteries and make sure the pegs are on tight.
  4. Go to your vehicle and double check if your vehicle is on neutral gear and then start the engine.
  5. Once the engine starts revving, unplug the cords and you are ready to go.

Jump Starting A Car By Pushing

jump start car by pushThis is more to the traditional method of jump starting your vehicle. But you need some ‘techy’ know-how if you happen to be on a desperate situation. You only get to do this if you can’t find a host battery to jump start your vehicle. Well, in case you happen to find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. Just follow these easy steps.

  1. You will need to find enough people who can give your car a push.
  2. When you have enough people, get on your car. Turn the ignition on and step on the clutch and brakes, then shift to the 2nd Release the hand brake or the emergency brakes.
  3. After releasing the brake, don’t release the clutch just yet. Have the men push the car.
  4. When the car gains enough speed and momentum, release the clutch and step on gas pedal lightly.
  5. The car’s engine will start and immediately step again on the clutch and the brake to stop the vehicle. Shift the gear to neutral and have the emergency brakes on then release all the pedals.
  6. Let the car engine run. This process helps the alternator charge the battery. After a few minutes you are ready to go.

Key Points To Know If You Need a Replacement

  • Check Engine Light: ON

No matter how many times you jumpstart the car, your check engine light is still on. This indicates a growing and possibly serious problem with your battery. This usually pops when you have a constantly weak battery power.

  • Bloated battery case

A swelling battery casing happens due to extreme heat. It may also be caused by extreme environmental heat together with constant car power and heat from the engine. This can be quite dangerous because continuous swelling will end up destroying the casing making the rest of your battery exposed and the rest of your engine exposed to the dangerous chemicals found in your battery.

  • Whitish or bluish foam over your battery pinheads every now and then

This is a clear sign that your battery has corroded from within. No matter how often you clean it, it keeps popping out frequently. You need to have it cleaned but replacing it is a better option.

  • Slow engine crank

This happens when your battery power is weak. When you try to turn on the ignition, there is a sluggish cranking of your engine.

  • Leakage

This will immediately tell you that your battery has a leak and it immediately needs a replacement before it starts damaging the rest of your car.

  • Old Age

Know when your car’s battery was manufactured. This way, you can tell if the weak battery came from old age or other factors.

Step-by-Step: How to Change a Car Battery!

  • Turn off your engine!

If it’s an automatic car, make sure it’s on P (Park). Make sure your brakes are on. You wouldn’t want your car running off backwards, would you?

  • Lift your hood

If it’s a van, lift the driver’s and passenger’s seat up. For trucks, the battery is found at the sides.

  • Cover you fender

Remember that car battery acid is highly corrosive. Put a rubber blanket or anything to protect the rest of your car.

  • Try to keep metal parts and tools away

As a precaution in dealing with an item that has strong electronic impulses, keep metal tools away from the car and the battery.

  • Detach the cables

First look for the cable connected to the negative charge (look for the black colored nut). Use a wrench to loosen the nut and the bolts that are clamping the battery cables on the negative post. Remove the cable and keep it off the way. Do the same for the positive terminal (the one in red or which has the ‘+’ label.

REMEMBER: The black cable is attached to the negative terminal with the labels ‘-‘ or ‘NEG’ while the red cable is attached to the positive terminal labeled with ‘+’ or ‘POS’.

  • Remove the retaining system

Take off the clamp holding your battery down. Place the fasteners aside were you can easily reach for them later.

TIP: if you are having difficulty in loosening the nuts. Take two wrenches and lock one wrench on the bolt and the other on the nut. Turn the nuts in opposite directions. Once they come loose, remove the nut with you hand to have a tighter grip so that it won’t fall off.

  • Take-off the battery

Carefully remove the battery. Even if its old or worn out, make sure you don’t toss it around, it has dangerous chemicals inside that you don’t want to leak out. Take it off the tray and put it somewhere safe.

  • Clean the battery tray

Wear gloves first before you start cleaning the tray. Wipe the tray with a damp disposable cloth. The chemicals and battery spill-offs are high corrosive, so make sure it doesn’t get on your skin and even on the rest of your car. Get a dry cloth and wipe the tray dry.

TIP: Mix water with baking soda, use this as your wiping liquid.

OPTIONAL: Some car owners put a rubber mat at the bottom of the tray to keep the corrosive acids off the rest of the vehicle.

  • Insert the new battery

Put the new battery into the casing. Make sure it fits well into the tray.

  • Reattach the clamps and cables

Attach the retention clamps on the battery. Reattach the cables starting with the red cable. Screw the nuts and bolts on and do the same for the black cable. In other words, attach the cable for the positive terminal first before the negative terminal. Make sure they are tightly secured on.

  • Clean the surroundings

Clean the area with another clean cloth using the same wiping liquid. It’s best to wipe your new battery with dielectric grease and anti-corrosion washers.

  • Dispose your battery

The job ain’t done yet. Don’t just dump it in any trash. It contains highly corrosive acids and other toxic chemicals. You can just bring them to shops who buy old batteries. They can dispose of them properly for you. It’s a better option anyway since you get a few bucks on your pocket when you do.

Keeping Your Battery Alive!

  • Drive a lot

This may be a counter prevention but it is actually the best way to keep your battery alive and well. It’s like giving your ride a daily 30 minute exercise.

  • Know what affects the lifespan of your battery

    • Frequent short trips can aid in the shortening of your car’s battery life span. This doesn’t give enough time for your car’s battery to fully recharge thus making your battery life shorter.
    • Extreme temperatures are vital in shortening your battery’s longevity. Frequent extreme temperature changes will affect your battery greatly.
  • Check the status of your car’s internal components

You can have a scanner do a full electric scan to find out if you have a problem not just with your battery but with an overall scan of your entire vehicle.

  • Always be ready for crisis

Owning a pair of jumper cables can just save you and your buddies a lifetime of agony. This is the most helpful lifeline for your battery; you can immediately jumpstart your battery anywhere any time.

  • Maintenance

Clean your battery every now and then to avoid corrosive chemicals from fully destroying your battery. Check if your battery needs water or needs some fixing up to prevent your battery from getting a shorter lifespan.

TIP: You can use soda pop, especially coke to clean the corrosion off the chargers pinheads. Let the soda sit and wipe of the sticky muck left behind.

  • Have a nice cozy home for your ride

An insulated garage may not be a good choice for your vehicle. It speeds up rusting in your vehicle and even moisture. Just a cozy warm garage is enough to warm your battery up a bit.

  • Don’t overcharge

Make sure you know the charging rate of your battery. Your also need to understand that some batteries have an exact charging time.

  • Avoid draining as much as possible

Every time your leave your car you have to make sure that all your vehicle’s accessories are off like headlights, taillights and the like are turned off. Draining your battery would mean you need to recharge them over and over again.

Conclusion

Your car’s battery is a vital part of your engine. It is the supply line of live that makes your engine start going. Knowing how to jumpstart, replace and take care of your battery will aid you in more ways that you can imagine. You get to save money, get to understand your car better and know what’s best for your ride. How to change a car battery – I hope you have found out a best guide for you!

Michael
 

Hi! I'm Michael. I am passionate about automotive mechanical engineering. I graduated from the automotive industry. I'm glad to share with you about what I have learned and experienced during a long time in the automotive industry. I hope you will find what you need here.

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