How to Replace a Car Battery at Home

The average lifespan of car batteries is three and five years. It means that if you want to run your brand new car smoothly, you need to replace a car battery every four to five years.

Replacing a car battery can be annoying and tedious at times. But don’t worry, we have made this job simple for you. Our blog will help you understand the detailed steps on How to replace a car battery at home, the tools required, and a lot more.

What is the Use of Car Battery

A car battery plays a significant role in starting the engine. Car battery controls all the electrical systems in the car that include the car lights, radio system, windshields, electric windows, etc. The battery recharges while you drive from the alternator. It acts as a mini generator. The power required by a car battery is usually 12 volts.

With usage, the internal metal parts of a battery deteriorate, reducing its ability to recharge and hence there is a need to replace it.

Signs that a Car Battery Needs Replacing

Are you wondering, what is the right time to replace a battery? You can regularly check your car battery’s condition; some common signs will let you know that it’s the right time to replace your battery. Be careful as your car battery may also die without providing you with any warning signals. Let’s run through the pointers that will help you understand that your car battery needs replacing.

1: Your Car doesn’t start.

If your car doesn’t start and no warning lights are appearing on the dashboard. It’s a clear indication that you have a dead battery. But before rushing to buy a new replacement battery, try to bump or jump-start your car.

2: Your Car doesn’t start even after being Bump or Jump Started.

Once your car starts running through bumps and jumps, drive it for about half an hour with minimum electrical systems, just to recharge the battery. Try restarting the car after a few hours; If the car starts without any problems, the battery was discharged and you need not worry; but, if it doesn’t start, it means that your battery cannot recharge and needs to be replaced.

3: Flashing of Battery Warning Light

If the battery warning light on the dashboard flashes continuously, it indicates a battery charging issue. It also signifies that the voltage produced by the alternator is significantly less. 

4: Flashing of Engine Warning Light

Flashing of engine warning light indicates that the engine is facing issues to start and hence it is required to replace the battery.

5: Power Residue on Battery Terminals

A battery needs a proper electrical connection to work correctly. At times the terminals of a battery are surrounded by some whitish or blue residue. It affects the performance of the battery. You can remove this residue by preparing a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 250 ml of hot water. Then apply this solution to the corrosion scrub with an old toothbrush. It can solve the issue of the faulty battery if any.

car accessories image

Tools required to Replace the Car Battery at Home

Here is the list of tools that would be required, Before you start the battery replacement process at home.

  • Socket Set
  • Adjustable Spanner
  • Hand Gloves
  • Protective Eye Wear
  • One tablespoon of baking soda
  • 250 ml of Hot Water
  • Old Toothbrush
  • New Battery

How to Replace a Car Battery

Replacing your car battery would take not more than 30 minutes. Turn the Car off and park it on an even surface. Just follow these seven steps, and you can easily replace your car battery at home.

Step 1:

Find the location of the car battery. You might find most of the car batteries under the bonnet of the engine bay, but modern car batteries may or may not be stationed under the bonnet. Refer to the owner manual to know the exact location of the car battery.

Step 2:

Disconnect the battery terminals at the top of the battery. You might also find them at the side in some cases. Like any other battery, there is a positive and negative terminal. The negative terminal comes with a (-) sign and is colored black while the positive terminal has a (+) sign and is colored red.

After identifying the terminals, disconnect the negative terminal to unearth the battery. Use the spanner to free the negative terminal clamp, remove it gently and move it away from other parts.

Step 3:

Remove the old battery, which is clamped at the base of the battery slot. Unlock whichever battery holder on your car and remove the screws with the help of screwdrivers, if any. Remove the battery safely from the place. Some of the batteries have built-in handles to make the job easier.

Step 4:

Clean the power residue left at the battery terminals. You can remove this residue by preparing a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 250 ml of hot water. Then apply this solution to the corrosion scrub with an old toothbrush. 

Step 5: 

Now place the new battery in the slot vacated by the previous battery. Ensure both the terminals are in their respective positions. Reconnect the clamp to hold the battery in the space by fixing all the screws in the right places.

Step 6:

Connect the terminals of the new battery. Remove the protective covers on the terminal of the new battery, if any. The thumb rule is to reconnect the positive terminal first. Put the clamp or bar in the same position over the positive terminal. Be careful and make sure that the clamp goes right to the bottom of the slot. Use the spanner to tighten it further. Repeat the same process for the negative terminal.

Step 7:

Cover the battery with the lid and check whether the electronic systems are working or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1: How often to replace a car battery?

Ans. Although there is no predefined duration to replace a car battery. Generally, You need to replace a battery after four or five years. However, you need to identify the issues to understand its lifespan. Once a battery gets old, it leads to several safety and reliability issues.

Q 2: Where to replace a car battery?

Ans.  You can visit the nearby battery replacement centers to replace the car battery. However, using simple tools and our guide above, you can return it efficiently to your home within 30 minutes.

Q 3: How to fix a bad car battery?

Ans. You can fix a bad car battery by turning off the ignition, then remove the plastic cell caps on top. If the battery is serviceable, heat the distilled water to around 150 degrees or dissolves ten tablespoons of Epsom salts into the water.

Q 4: Is it easy to replace a car battery?

Ans. If you cannot recharge the battery you have, you can replace the battery with a new one. Replacing a car battery is very simple, and you can return it at home with some easy steps; you can also hire a professional battery replacement service for the same.

Q 5: Can you replace a car battery yourself?

Ans. Yes, Replacing a car battery is something that most people will be able to do themselves. The hardest part is to lift it out of the car once it has been disconnected from its terminals because of the weight of the battery. You need to have some essential, tools and our step-by-step guide will help you replace a car battery by yourself.

Q 6: How often to replace electric car batteries?

Ans. The frequency of the replacement of electric car batteries depends on many factors such as usage, manufacturers, type of car, etc. However, modern-day car batteries last between 10 to 20 years before they need to be replaced.

Q 7: How to replace car battery acid?

Ans. To replace the car battery acid, you need to saturate any spilled electrolyte solution by spreading baking soda on the spill and then splashing water over the baking soda. Clean up the compensated liquid as necessary. Put the multimeter on and set the scale to Volts DC. Set the red (positive) multimeter point on the positive battery terminal.

Q 8: How to replace a car battery charger?

Ans. Firstly, check if your battery charger is not producing electricity, remove the plug from the main socket, and then remove the Battery Charger Fuse by using a small screwdriver. Put a replacement fuse into the fuse plug holder. Push it into the slot using your fingers. Replace the cover on the plug and tighten it using a screwdriver.

Q 9: Can you change a car battery with the engine running?

Ans. No, you cannot change a car battery when the engine is running.

Q 10: How to fix a broken car battery?

Ans. To fix a broken car battery, place the sealed battery inside the freezer and keep it overnight for at least 10 to 12 hours. Exposing the car battery to low temperatures allows the battery to recharge a bit.

Q 11: Can you fix a dead car battery?

Ans. A dead car battery usually refers that the car battery is out of charging. As mentioned above, the alternator recharges the battery while your car is in motion. To fix a dead battery, you need to drive around.

Q 12: How to change a car battery in a Ford Fiesta?

Ans. Removing the car battery in a Ford Fiesta is similar to changing a battery in any other car. You need to Locate the battery; it is just above the air filter housing. Remove the negative terminal using the wrench or spanner. Remove the positive terminal using the proper size wrench.  Remove the old battery and install the new battery. Fix the clamps in the reversible order.

Q 13: How do you use Epsom salt to restore a car battery?

Ans. To restore a car battery using Epsom salt:

  1. Pour Epsom salt into each battery cell till the cells fill with salt.
  2. Change the battery lids on each battery cell.
  3. Plug plastic plugs into holes in case you drilled holes into the battery covers.
  4. Ensure Epsom salt is evenly distributed in the battery cells by shaking it

Q 14: How To Dispose Of An Old Car Battery?

Ans. According to law, you cannot dispose of old car batteries with household waste as they contain corrosive chemicals which can be hazardous. They come under the hazardous waste category and should be disposed of with utmost care. You should use your area’s Hazardous Waste Collection Site to dispose of your old car batteries. You can check with the local authorities or your municipal co-corporation to find the nearest Hazardous Waste Collection Site.

The Final Word

Maintaining your car battery is an integral part of your car’s well-being. You might often come across circumstances where you need to replace your car’s battery. It is always good to be skilled enough to replace the car battery at home to avoid last-minute trouble. Hopefully, our guide above will help you easily replace your car battery with utmost ease within a mere 30 minutes.

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