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Tools Needed to Change a Battery

Changing your car battery is not only possible but is a surprisingly easy DIY task. Find out how to replace the old out-of-date or defective battery to fix your car and keep driving safely. Review the steps to changing a battery and see where you can turn for battery testing. Here are the key items you’ll need to take on this task:

  • Service manual
  • Protective goggles, gloves and shoes
  • Adjustable wrench or socket set
  • Other items include rags, wire brush, and baking soda
  • New battery that matches your car’s requirements

Brush up on the location of your battery before you begin. Some are difficult to reach and may require a special socket size to remove, while others are easy to spot and easy to workaround.

Signs You Need a New Automotive Battery

If your car won’t start, it’s a clear sign that you may need to replace your battery. Of course, this may also be a sign that your battery simply needs to be recharged and that your alternator or starter may be damaged. To better understand the state of your car battery, you can take your car to a car store near your home or you can also buy a tester for your battery.

Other common signs that your battery has reached the end of its life are a swollen, cracked or leaking case. Excessive corrosion around the battery posts may also point to a dying battery.

How To Change Your Own Battery

Start by gathering the necessary tools and parts. Park your car on flat ground in a well-lit area. Don’t attempt to change your car battery in dark or rainy conditions.

Remove the black, or negative, battery cable with your adjustable wrench or the proper socket size. Be sure to keep the cable away from your battery as you remove the red, or positive, cable. Touching the positive cable before the negative one is disconnected can result in an electric shock, so it’s important to remove these cables in the correct order.

Once the cables are removed, inspect your battery for any signs of damage. Touching a leaking battery can cause burns. Remove any fastener, strap or casing that is covering your car battery before lifting it out of the battery holder.

If necessary, combine baking soda and water to create a paste. Scrub the cable connectors with this mixture and thoroughly rinse it off. This will remove any built-up residue on the connectors.

Finally, install your new battery in the opposite order. Secure it with the strap before connecting the positive cable, then the negative battery cable. Installing the cables in the opposite order can create sparks or cause an electric shock.

How To Shop for a Car Battery

You can take the defective battery to a reliable auto parts store near you if you want to recycle it. Lead-acid batteries in particular can pose environmental concerns if improperly disposed of. Always replace a car battery with the same size, reserve capacity, and cold-cranking amps as the original. Compare brand names, prices, and warranty lengths to find a quality option for your vehicle. Discover how the Duralast battery warranty compares today before taking on this convenient DIY task.

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