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How to Replace Your Car Battery Yourself

So your engine won’t start without jumper cables and a really nice friend? You can’t depend on a jump start indefinitely. If your battery is failing, make sure you replace it before it leaves you stranded somewhere. Anyone can replace a battery without the help of an auto mechanic as long as you follow these simple steps.


1.Make sure the engine is off before you begin working with the battery. As an extra precaution, some people put the e-brake on and set the car in park. Open the hood and locate the battery. Now, down to business.


2. You’ll first want to disconnect the negative battery cable from the dead battery. It’s the black one, not the red. If you want to be super professional, you can use battery pliers/wrench, but if you don’t own either of those, a combination wrench will work.


3. The black cable should detach with a little twisting and pulling, but if it doesn’t you can purchase a battery terminal puller. This tool avoids damaging either the battery or the  cables. Helpful Tip: a battery terminal puller is not replaceable with screwdrivers and pry-bars, since those can destroy the terminal.


4. Next, disconnect the red battery cable and you’ll then be able to take away the hold-down clamp. You may need to use a ratchet or a combination wrench. Lift the battery out of the tray with both hands. Careful--it’s heavy!


5. You may need to wash the battery tray from corrosion before installing the new one. A simple water and baking soda solution will do the trick unless there’s quite a bit of build-up. If that’s the case, use battery-cleaning solution. The cable connectors might need a good scrubbing with a wire brush.


6. You’re almost done! Carefully nestle the new battery into the tray and pull the hold-down clamp to keep it in place. You may want to spray the ends of the terminals with anti-corrosion solution if you want to lessen the cleaning procedure next time you need a new battery.


7. Last, replace the red battery cable first, followed by the black one. Make sure they’re tight and secure. Close the hood and you’re now ready to test your work by starting that engine! If your engine doesn’t start, it may not be your fault--your car may have a weak electrical connection. If that’s the case, stop by Murphy’s Tire Auto Service Center and our mechanics will give it a look!

Written on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 by
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