How To Change A Car Battery

My car battery replacement method will help you to swap a battery easily

Car batteries are bound to die out after some time; some will die after the stipulated four to five years of usage while some may die out prematurely, like say after three years.

The life of a battery depends on how you treat the battery and the vehicle too.

Proper maintenance like regular checking of the battery and recharging often before the charge goes low will help the battery realize a longer lifetime.

So, how to change a car battery? When replacing a car battery, you must follow these two steps below:

Step 1. Removing A Car Battery & Be Mindful When You Do
Step 2. Installing A Car Battery

Lucky for car owners, replacing a car battery is quite easy provided you follow the recommended procedure.

This can be accomplished by yourself in your garage or even in open air provided you have all the required tools for the task.

Most of stranded cars by the roadside are usually in that situation because of simply a flat battery.

This can be rather disappointing especially if you are not ready pocket-wise.

That is why it is advisable to replace your battery even before it goes flat to avoid dealing with such a situation.


What Tools Do You Need To Change A Car Battery?

Before getting started, you will have to get the required tools close enough.

You also have to wear safety gear on to avoid being in harm’s way as the car battery may contain acid that is dangerous when it comes in contact with the skin.

The tools required for the task are listed below:

• A pair of gloves
• Safety goggles
• Two wires or cables
• A wrench or a socket
• Jump leads

2 Steps To Replace Your Old Car Battery {Let’s Learn Deeply For Each Subject}

A car battery can be removed quite easily at the comfort of your home.

You can remove the battery in the garage where you will access to all the required tools and you will be free from any type of interferences.

Your working area should be from factors that will interrupt while you are performing the procedure.

Step1. Removing A Car Battery & Be Mindful When You Do

It is advisable that you consider the nature of the environment where you want to remove the car battery.

It should be away from traffic and also any type of fire as sparks and flames or even water might be risky.

The car should be off when you begin taking out the battery to prevent flow of power in the car system.

You should also have safety gear on as most batteries contain acids that are quite harmful when they come into contact with the skin.

You should also be mindful of hydrogen gas that is released through chemical processes as the battery is being used. The hydrogen gas is flammable and dealing with it is dangerous.

When disconnecting the car battery, the negative terminal has to be disconnected first before the positive terminal.

This works to prevent terminal shorts, you can locate the negative terminal as the black one, or simply the one with the “- “sign.

3 Process Of Disconnecting The Battery

1. Start By Locating The Car Battery

For starters, you will need to locate the car battery; which you obviously know by now where it is.

If not, you can consult the user manual to get to know where the car battery is located.

Normally, most batteries are located in the car’s trunk under the floorboard while in some vehicles it is located behind the wheel well.

2. Disconnect The Negative Terminal First

The next step is to spot the negative and positive posts together with the cables that are used to connect them.

The positive post is usually red and has a red plastic covering it while the negative may be black. A “+” sign indicates the positive while the “– “sign indicates the negative.

Take the wrench and carefully loosen the bolt that connects the negative terminal to the negative battery post with a cable.

At this stage you should be careful not to allow metallic objects connect the negative and positive posts or even letting the wrench touch the positive post and the body at the same time.

After loosening the bolt, you will have to use the terminal puller to get the cable and the terminal on the negative battery post.

Thereafter you can repeat the same series of steps for the positive terminal.

3. Unclamp The Car Battery From Position

Locate the clamp or any mechanism that is used to hold the car battery in place and place everything aside to avoid accidents.

Spilling and misplacing the parts of the car battery can turn out to be quite dangerous and having costly consequences.

Remove the battery from its position carefully by avoiding forcing it out. The battery strap can help in this step.


These three questions below are often asked when it comes to removing a car battery. I suggest you check them out.

1. Why Do You Need To Remove The Negative Battery Cable First?

The negative battery cable should be the first one to be disconnected to avoid any short circuiting while undertaking the task. The positive terminal should be disconnected later for safety purposes.

2. Is It Dangerous To Remove A Car Battery?

No, it is not. Removing a car battery is not dangerous so long as you follow the recommended procedure and you adhere to the safety precautions like wearing safety gear and disconnecting the negative terminal first before the positive terminal.

3. How Long Do You Disconnect A Car Battery To Reset Computer?

Resetting the computer by disconnecting the car battery will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. This process can be speeded up by turning on the headlights.

Step2. Installing A Car Battery

Once you have removed the old battery, it is time to replace it with a brand new one.

The new battery might be a similar one or it can be a better one depending on what you have. However, it should be able to meet the power demands of your vehicle.

Be Mindful When Reconnecting A Car Battery

Just like the battery removal process, there are safety measures that need to be followed when connecting the car battery.

These help to avoid unnecessary accidents when undertaking the process or even after when you are using the vehicle.

For starters, the battery terminals have to be cleaned to get rid of corrosion that builds up when the car is in use.

Secondly, you should ensure that the replacement battery is a good fit, if not a perfect fit.

This is because it would be disappointing if you replaced the old battery with one that is not capable to provide as much power as the vehicle requires.

5 Process Of Installing The Battery

1. Check The Condition Of The Replacement Car Battery

Before connecting the new battery, you should check it out first to avoid any repercussions later on.

Even though it might be new, you will have to check it out to make sure that it is fit to be installed in the car system.

2. Clean The Car Battery Posts And The Battery Terminals If They Have Corrosion Build Up

You can do this by checking terminals that are attached to the ends of the battery cables and ensure that they are corrosion free.

Corrosion build up may cause serious issues with the car system; hence you will have to clean the terminals if they are corroded.

Brushing the terminals using baking soda solution gets rid of the corrosion on the terminals. A clean enough terminal ensures effective supply of power to the car system.

3. Conveniently Place The Car Battery

While placing the car battery to its post you will have to place it such that the positive side is conveniently close enough to the positive post and the negative side close to the negative post.

After placing it, you will have to place the clamp or holding system so that it is firmly held in place.

4. Place Anti-Corrosion Washers

In the case of a new battery, it may have plastic caps covering the battery posts. You will have to take them off and place anti-corrosion washers on them.

Special grease can be applied on the battery posts to reduce the probability of corrosion on these posts.

5. Ensure The Car Battery Is Held Tightly

When installing the new battery, you should ensure that it is firmly held in position.

On wiggling it and you notice that it moves then probably the clamp has not been placed tightly enough.


Here are the questions you often get asked when installing a new car battery. Learn these six questions so you can better understand this specific subject.

1. Which Battery Terminal Should You Connect First?

When reconnecting the new battery, you should connect the positive terminal first before connecting the negative terminal.

This is to avoid a situation where the circuit in the system is completed even before you finish the reconnection.

2. How Long Does It Take To Install A New Car Battery?

Installing a new battery is likely to take 20 to thirty minutes. This is provided that you have the required tools to get the job done effectively.

A good wrench and any other type of tool is required even before you start. The time taken also depends on how well you are versed with the process.

3. What Happens If I Install A Car Battery Backwards?

You might have mistakenly connected the car battery backwards and then gone on to switch the ignition. A series of events will take place that will make you panic.

For one, you will notice frightening spark that will be followed by the car going completely off.

The car will be unable to start because of a number of events that will take place in the background.

Everything will go off, including the dashboard lights, but this might just be the start.

When the car battery is connected backwards, this causes a reverse polarity action which adversely affects the electronics in the car.

Some vehicles have a fuse that will probably blow and prevent the power from reaching the electronics in the car.

For cars that do not have a fuse, current will flow backwards through the Electronic Control Unit/Module. This is bad if they are not designed to withstand reverse polarity.

4. Why Does My Car Alarm Go Off When I Put In A New Battery?

The car alarm is designed to go off when you remove a new battery and are placing the replacement battery.

This a security measure that is included in most cars and its function is to raise the alarm of a possible burglary taking place.

Some cars are designed such that their alarm goes off even when the car battery is almost dying.

Such cars indicate that the car owner would soon have to replace the car battery.

5. What Do You Have To Be Careful If I Install A Car Battery In The Rain?

You might be driving home, on a rainy day, then all of a sudden your car battery develops issues and you have to install a new one.

Although this is not important you can pull it through if you are careful and consider a number of safety measures.

For starters, when you get out of the car, you should switch off all the car electronics; the stereo, the AC and anything else that uses the car battery for power.

Secondly, you should get a waterproof material to cover the car trunk as you begin to remove the old battery from the car system.

This is to avoid being shocked when the car battery is being connected.

A car battery can easily electrocute you if rain drops pass through the trunk and make contact with your body.

6. Why Some People Install A Second Battery? What’s The Benefit?

Installing a secondary battery is normal for car owners who want to connect electronics that drain a lot of power from the primary “juice box”.

This is to prevent a scenario where the main battery gets drained quite fast when you are driving.

This helps the main battery maintain charge for a longer time and also prevent fast rate of discharge that may shorten its lifespan.

If you want to use devices such as inverters, portable refrigerators, coolers and even audio systems that drain power from the car battery at a relatively fast rate, then you will need to connect a second battery.

Installing an auxiliary battery is quite safe and has the main benefit of preserving your main battery for keeping the engine on.

4 Ways To Change A Car Battery Without Losing Settings

After replacing the car battery using the above steps, you will realize that your settings will be back to default.

This is the radio signals and any other setting that you had customised prior to the process.

This is because of an anti-theft precaution that is included by the car manufacturers.

This process, just like the other will need similar tools and most important of all are the jump leads.

You will also have to place the car in a convenient working are that does not also expose you to risk when you are handling the car battery.

By The Way, Is It The Same Way To Do the Process When Just Changing A Car Battery?

The process is similar; the only difference is the inclusion of a secondary battery that is used to power the car system as the old battery is being taken out.

Similarity is seen when the old battery is being taken out in the same way, using the same procedure as indicated below.

You just have to connect the auxiliary batteries before connecting the new battery to the set.

Follow the steps below:

1. Connect The Auxiliary Battery

When everything has been set up, you will need to connect a secondary power source to the system.

This can be performed by using a booster or a jump pack or even a 12-volt auxiliary battery together with the jump leads.

Alternatively, a memory saver can be used but this is mostly not recommended as it interferes with the vehicles security settings.

It can lead to saving of faulty codes that place the car at risk of being stolen.

2. Connect The Jump Leads

The second step is connecting jump leads to the secondary battery, which is the auxiliary battery.

Connect the red lead to the positive terminal and the black lead to the negative terminal.

Connect the other sides to the main battery, avoid bring the ends in contact with each other as this cause sparks that are quite dangerous.

3. Take Out The Old Battery

After setting up the auxiliary battery, you can now remove the old battery from its position. Repeat the previous step by untightening the bolts from the terminals.

Remember to start from the negative terminal while removing the battery before moving onto the positive terminal to avoid being shocked in the process.

4. Connect The New Replacement Car Battery

Disconnect the old battery and leave the secondary battery to act as the only power source for the car. You are now ready to place the new battery into the car system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now you know how to change a car battery with the instruction I provided above.

But here are the questions and additional tips you also like to know when replacing a car battery, because these will help you understand better when it comes to this primary subject.

Q1: How Long Does It Take To Change A Car Battery?

This process takes approximately thirty minutes before everything is completed.

In most cases, the type of car you are dealing with as some cars are quite challenging to deal with.

Q2: Is Changing A Regular Car Battery Method Different From Other Type Of Car?

Yes, the method might vary from car to car. The process of changing a car battery is different from one car to another.

This might be due to the location of the battery or simply the mechanism used to hold the battery in place.

You will also realize that the time taken in changing a particular car battery varies when compared with the time taken for another car.

Q3: When Should I Change A Car Battery?

Every car owner needs to be alert on the state of their car battery, just like they do in the case of gas.

This is to avoid being stranded by the roadside as this inconveniences them even if they are planning to go for a meeting or some important appointment.

A car battery impending demise can be realized if the car owner notices any of the following prominent signs:

1. When I Have To Boost The Car Battery Often Before It Works

If you notice that for the last couple of weeks you have had to jump-start your car battery or even to boost it often, then it might be actually nearing its demise.

You should also know that it is a fact that jump starting a car battery frequently damages it slowly.

This also ruins the alternator of the vehicle. So if you have to boost your car often, then you should prepare to replace it soon.

I highly suggest you check out my buyer’s guide of the best car battery if you need to install a new battery!

2. Weak Cranking When Starting The Car In The Morning

Different batteries have varying cold cranking amps that is required to start the engine in the morning.

If you notice that you have to do a lot to start the engine, then the battery you are dealing with is a bad one and might just need to be replaced soon.

3. Starting Issues Experienced With The Car Battery

If you notice that off late the battery gives you headaches when starting, then this is a sign of a bad battery.

At times the battery is even unable to start altogether for say three or four times a week.

However, in this case the battery might not be necessarily dying but might be unable to deliver adequate power due to corrosion build up or it is a case of parasitic drain where an electronic in your car is draining too much power from the car battery.

4. The Engine Does Not Start Completely

If you get a cold response whenever you are trying to ignite your car, then the battery might be dead.

This is seen when the engine does not start at all and the lights, headlights, dome light and even dashboard light do not work at all. In this case the battery in the trunk might be weak or dead.

5. The Car Engine Is Able To Crank But It Doesn’t Start

If the car is able to crank when you ignite it but it does not start then the battery might be in a serious condition.

This might also be because of a faulty starter, poor fuel pressure and in most cases battery nearing its demise.

This can be controlled by jump starting the car battery, however, if you have to do this often then it might be time to replace the battery.

Q4: Where Is The Best Place To Change A Car Battery If You Don’t Want To Do It By Yourself?

If you are kind of busy and are unable to replace your car battery, then you can have a specialist perform the operation for you.

A good specialist will come in handy especially when you have a different type of car and you would want some other aspects of the car to be checked.

You should also know that some cars are not regular and cannot have their car batteries replaced like most cars would; that is why a specialist might be needed to get the task done!

The following is a list of the best places where you can get your car battery replaced using the best services available:


AAA is leading dealer in batteries and even car batteries. They have built a commendable reputation when it comes to car batteries and that is probably why they are top in this list.

Their ability to match each and every car with a suitable car battery that is able to offer as much power as required by the car without any inconveniences.


  • You get free installation when you purchase a battery from them
  • Good warranties that come in handy in future
  • They offer free testing for your car and give a comprehensive diagnosis


  • Fixed pricing does not give room for bargaining


Walmart is a dealer in car batteries that boasts a rich reputation in coming through for each and every one of its client.

Its ability to deliver quality batteries and even perform an installation for the battery.

They may also come through when you are not sure of what is causing your car batteries to have such a poor lifetime.

This advice is helpful if you want to deal with a highly reliable battery for as long as they exist.


  • Significant warranty
  • Have quality brands of car batteries
  • Offer free battery testing
  • You get free installation if you purchase a battery from them


  • Have limited outlets


The good thing with this particular dealer is that you get a free installation if you purchase a car battery from AutoZone.

They also go the extra mile and perform battery testing that will not be charged on the fees you pay.

This helps in the case when you notice issues with your new battery but are unable to place a finger on what is causing the issues.

You can also wait as you get a free battery charging service that might turn out to be quite helpful for your battery if you do not have a car battery charger at home.

You can read my best car battery chargers reviews to understand why you need one!


  • Free battery installation if you buy from AutoZone
  • Battery charging done at no cost
  • Free battery testing


  • They will not replace the battery if you do not buy the car battery from AutoZone
  • You cannot get battery installation service if they will have to take out a car component in the process

Pep Boys

This is one choice to go for if you want a new battery that you will trust for your car.

They deal with car batteries that you can trust for your cars; all of which are genuine, so you do not have to worry about buying a counterfeit car battery from them.

They also deal in a variety of car batteries so you are sure of getting one that is suitable for your car.

You can also buy quality battery terminals and other accessories like battery chargers, jump cables and even battery testers.


  • Free battery installation
  • Variety of car batteries to choose from
  • You get top brands of car batteries
  • You can also buy car battery accessories


  • Battery prices not indicated

Firestone Complete Auto Care

This is the type of outlet to go for if you want to receive quality services. The personnel here is well trained and has the best experience to get the task done.

They also offer their services at affordable prices and if you are lucky you can get significant discounts for all your purchases.

This outlet only deals with genuine car batteries that stand out among the rest.

The brands they sell are top in the market and are ideal for any type of car that you may own.

You also get free battery testing and you also get advice on which is the most suitable car battery to install in your car.


  • Affordable pricing
  • Quality services
  • Good warranties for your purchases
  • Genuine batteries
  • Free battery installation service


  • None


Car batteries do not last forever, regardless of what is being said when they are advertised.

You can only get a brand of a car battery that has a longer lifetime than the rest.

Whenever you notice that your lights are not that bright or that the car battery does not start as it normally would, then you will have to prepare for its replacing. In most cases, batteries need to be replaced after three to four years; that is if they have been well maintained.

Replacing a car battery is an easy task and can be completed in a matter of less than an hour.
Recommended tools and knowing the procedure of getting the task done will help a lot in accomplishing the task easily.

You are advised to consider safety measures like which terminal to disconnect first and which to connect first to avoid unnecessary accidents in the process.


Written by Kane Dan

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