How To Change Your Battery
Changing your car battery is one of the most important elements of vehicle maintenance. Your battery can run flat for a number of reasons including the age of the battery or car itself, accidently leaving headlights on or there could possibly be a fault.
If you’re not a very hands on person then it’s best to ask somebody who knows what they’re doing, however if you feel you’re up to the task of changing the battery yourself then read on and ensure you follow all of the steps carefully.
- The first step is to park on a flat, level surface with the handbrake on and the keys removed from the ignition. Some newer models automatically activate the central locking once the battery is removed so ensure that you have the keys on you at all time and not on the dashboard. Car batteries contain strong, corrosive acid so make sure you have gloves and goggles on at all times.
- Before changing your battery, make sure you have all the information on the electrical features of your car. Sometimes radios and built in satellite navigation systems restore to factory settings upon the battery being removed from the vehicle.
- Open up the bonnet and secure it open using the bonnet stay. Some newer models may stay open unaided.
- Find the battery amongst the engine and other mechanics of the car. Rarely the battery could be in the boot of the car or even under the driver’s seat. Check the car manual for more information on how to locate your battery.
- Remove all of the protective plastics and clips from the battery cover so that you have easy access.
- If you have the resources available, label or take note of which cable is which so that there are no accidents in the next few steps.
- Like most electrical appliances it’s important to disconnect the negative before the positive. Doing this in reverse can cause damage to the car’s electrics.
- Loosen and disconnect (still wearing your protective equipment) the negative cable clamp. In most cases the clamp itself will be marked with a (“-“) minus symbol. Once disconnected, move the clamp itself away from the battery.
- Repeat the steps above with the positive (“+”) clamp.
- Remove any screws or clips keeping the battery in place if it doesn’t slot out. Disconnect vents that may be attached to the battery and carefully lift it out of the vehicle. Car batteries are a lot heavier than they look and can cause more damage than you think if dropped on a foot. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you can’t lift it.
- Lift the new battery into the space, making sure that it is the right way round (You can tell because of the positive and negative.)
- Connect any clips and vents to keep the battery in place.
- Reconnect the positive first and then the negative clamps, ensuring they are clipped as far down the battery posts as possible.
- You can now close your bonnet and start the car.
- Re-programme any electrical equipment if needed.
Vehicle maintenance is essential for safe driving so if you have any concerns make sure you speak to a specialist.
About the author
Dean is a Regional Director for Protyre who is also responsible for the running of our Protech Academy. The Protech Academy is a centre of excellence where the Protyre team learn the latest mechanical knowledge and skills, gain qualifications and develop their expertise to share with our customers at their local garage. The Academy is also designed to help us stay ahead of the ever changing automotive market by ensuring we have the best skills available to deal with advanced driver assist systems, hybrid/ electric vehicles in addition to all the new technology finding their way into our vehicles. During Dean's career he has worked for some of the biggest names in the fast-fit and mechanical aftermarket and as the man responsible for developing our people and their mechanical skills he is ideally suited to help provide advice in the latest in car technology and ongoing maintenance of your vehicle no matter how new or old it maybe.