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How to Change Your Car Battery

How to Change Your Car Battery

Car won’t start? 

Stalled?

Maybe it’s time to change your car battery. 

If so, then it’s a good idea to know how to do it properly. 

This is why, here, we’re going to show you how to change your car battery. We’ll give you all the steps in detail, so you know exactly what to do — from preparing to change the battery to testing the new one. 

Ready? 

Let’s go!

The 3 Steps to Changing Your Car Battery

Source: Unsplash

Here are the 3 steps to changing your car battery:

  • Prepare 
  • Out with the old car battery
  • In with the new car battery

Let’s show you how to do each step. 

Step 1: Prepare 

One of the hardest things about changing a car battery is getting the replacement unit. You need to make sure that you get the right one for your car’s model and make. 

On top of that, you might have to spend a lot. You can read our article on how much a car battery is here. 

Other things you need to prepare are the tools you’ll use. Here’s a checklist you can go through:

  • Work gloves
  • Work clothes
  • Safety goggles (optional)
  • Wrenches (usually 10mm)
  • Terminal wire brush
  • Anti-corrosion solution (optional)
  • Electrical tester (optional)

Gloves and thick work clothes can protect you from getting wounded — not to mention grease stains. 

Safety goggles are optional as explosions are very rare. However, you can’t be too careful. 

As for the tools, it’s to help you remove the old battery and install the new one. 

If you have everything you need, then let’s go to the actual changing of your car battery. 

Step 2: Out With the Old Car Battery

Here are the steps to remove the old car battery. 

Locate the car battery

Pop that hood and let’s get to work! 

If you’re unfamiliar with where your car battery is located, consult your vehicle’s manual. Or, you can research online for your specific car model. 

Once you spot it, you’ll notice two sets of cables with clamps connecting your battery to the car.

Detach and secure car battery cables

Using your trusty 10mm wrench, loosen the bolt that holds the negative cable on the car battery. To identify negative cables, it is usually black and has a minus (-) sign.

Pull the cable off and secure it to the side. This is so that it won’t get in the way of removing the battery.

Do the same for the positive cable. This one usually has a plastic cover protecting the clamp, a red cable, and a plus (+) sign.

Remove the hold-down strap

Some vehicle models have a hold-down strap that prevents the car battery from jostling around. 

If your car has one, remove it together with the metal hooks attached to it. Set them aside for later.

Remove the old car battery

Finally, remove the old car battery from its slot.

It is heavier than it looks, so be careful. 

And, if you see signs of corrosion on the car battery terminals or the external sides of the unit, make sure it doesn’t come in contact with your skin. This is why it’s good to wear protective gear. 

Step 3: In With the New Car Battery

Okay, it’s time for the final step. 

Here is how to install your new car battery. 

Clean those terminal clamps

With a terminal wire brush, clean both positive and negative clamps before placing the new battery unit into the empty slot. This will avoid any issues brought about by corrosion or dirt. In turn, it can enhance contact with the car battery terminals.

Place the new car battery

Place the new car battery into the vacant slot. This should be easy with the cables secured out of the way. 

Ensure that the new car battery terminals align with the proper cables. Again, look for those plus (+) and minus (-) signs.

Usually, new car batteries are already charged and ready to go. If you’re not sure about that, you can test it with a regular electrical tester. This is a good idea so you don’t have to remove everything again if you find the battery is not charged. 

Reinstall the hold-down strap

Once the new car battery is in place, it’s time to reinstall that hold-down strap.

Make sure that the strap is secure. You can do this by seeing whether the battery budges if you shake it. Also, make sure that the hold-down strap isn’t loose or jostling about. 

Reinstall both cables

If you want to get the most out of your new car battery, get some anti-corrosion solution and spray or wipe some of it around each of the car battery’s terminals. However, try not to get them on other parts of the battery or any other component of your car.

If you don’t have an anti-corrosion solution, lithium grease or petroleum jelly are recommended alternatives.

Now, reconnect the positive (+) cable to the positive (+) terminal first. We’re just going in reverse order from the steps we did to remove the old car battery. 

Tighten the cable bolt with your 10mm wrench so the clamp doesn’t slide off. 

That said, try not to tighten it too much. This might make detaching the cables in the future a bit more challenging. 

Proceed with the negative (-) cable next. 

Remember, when putting it back, positive first, then negative. 

The reason why this is important is that doing it the other way around might complete the electrical circuit. 

The result is shocking — literally. 

Sparks are normal. So don’t be worried if you see one or two of those. As long as you don’t get electrocuted, everything should be fine. 

Start the car

We’re done! 

Almost, at least.

Make sure you’ve removed all your tools or unnecessary objects before closing the car hood.

Now for the moment of truth!

Turn on the car’s ignition to test if the car battery works. 

Once you hear your baby purr again…

Congratulations!

You’ve successfully changed your car battery. 

Conclusion

So that was how to change your car battery. 

Pretty easy and straightforward, right?

Well, this is an essential skill that all drivers should know. 

And now you do. 

You no longer have to rely on others to help you when the time comes to change it. 

How Much is a Car Battery

How Much is a Car Battery

That moment when your car won’t start. 

It’s the worse, isn’t it? 

Well, chances are your car battery is dead. 

And if that’s the case, then you’ll need to replace it. 

Now the question that usually pops up is…

How much is a car battery?

We’re going to answer that for you in this article. 

Plus, we’ll also tell you everything you should know about buying a car battery. 

So without further ado, let’s dive right in!

How Much Does A Car Battery Cost

The average price of a car battery can range from $130 to $150. But some can go as low as $70 and as high as a whopping $700. 

If you own a hybrid, that price can skyrocket from $1,000 to $6,000!

What exactly determines the price of a car battery? 

Knowing how much a car battery is may depend on the type of car battery you’re purchasing. 

You should know that there are seemingly countless car batteries out there, and that number will keep increasing as technology evolves. 

However, today, we’re going to look at the 4 most common types, namely: 

  • Lead-Acid Car Batteries
  • Enhanced Flooded Car Batteries
  • Absorbent Glass Mat Car Batteries
  • Lithium-Ion Car Batteries

As you might have noticed, it’s not the size that matters in the case of car battery types. It’s more about chemistry.

So let’s look at these different types and their price range. 

Lead-Acid Car Batteries

Probably the cheapest and most common car batteries are the lead-acid type. Typically, vehicle models manufactured earlier than 2010 use this car battery. 

So if your automobile falls under that category, chances are this is the type of car battery you need. And thankfully, you won’t have to spend too much to have these batteries replaced. 

You can find prices as low as $70 to around $150. 

Source: Pexels.com

Enhanced Flooded Car Batteries

Enhanced Flooded car batteries or EFB are the upgraded version of wet-flooded batteries, such as the lead-acid type.  

This type of car battery is said to be much more durable than the standard type. 

EFBs provide more than double the number of engine starts compared to standard car batteries. That also means that buying one might cost you more than double the dollars as well. 

Some estimates give a range of around $200 to $300 for this type. 

Absorbent Glass Mat Car Batteries

Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) car batteries make similar claims to EFBs, stating that they last much longer than the traditional lead-acid type. 

Not only that, but these batteries are also safer since it’s completely sealed and doesn’t spill. 

These car batteries are commonly used for electric or hybrid vehicles and have a hefty price tag. As we mentioned, it can even go as high as $1,000 to $6,000.

Lithium-Ion Car Batteries

Lithium-ion car batteries are among the more recent technological advances in car battery developments. As you might expect, it is a top-of-the-line replacement for the common lead-acid type.

Once, these babies were only fit for sports cars and other luxury vehicles. But with recent developments, these car battery types are now compatible with most passenger vehicles and even motorcycles.

How much is a car battery of this type, you ask? That can range from $400 to $1,200. Not as expensive as the AGM batteries, but still quite expensive. 

Source: antigravitybatteries.com

What Car Battery Brand Should You Choose 

A popular saying goes something like, “you get what you pay for.” 

That’s usually the case when choosing a car battery, but not always. 

You might need to do some digging regarding the best car battery brands in terms of value for money. Consider what model and make your vehicle is. Search for which brand works best for that model. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can opt for generic or no-name car battery brands. 

In many cases, the quality and durability of these batteries are the same as their name-brand counterparts. Sometimes, the warranties and return policies they come with are even better.

In short, the more research you do on which car battery brands are the best for your vehicle, the better your chances of getting the best bang for the buck.

So to answer that question, it will depend entirely on your vehicle’s model and make. 

Should You Consider the Car Battery’s Production Date

If you’re looking for the best car battery replacement, then it’s worth knowing when the battery was manufactured. 

This is because, no matter how high-quality the components of the car battery are, time produces wear and tear on these items. 

The more recently manufactured, the longer the lifespan.

This is also why buying a car battery that’s not fresh off the box is probably not a great idea, unless you’re tight with the purse strings.

Another thing to consider. Not all car battery shops tend to be up-front about this kind of thing. So always take the time to manually check the manufacturing date on the car battery sticker.

Other Things to Consider When Buying A Car Battery

Choosing a good car battery retailer could save you not just hard-earned money but also potential headaches. So better to pick a shop that you, or someone you know, trusts. 

Aside from that, other factors like warranties and return policies may differ from one retailer to another. You should ask about these before purchasing. 

Another aspect to consider will be the core charge fees. Since most states require retailers to charge car battery cores, it might be wise to check your state’s rules and regulations about this first. That way, the added charge to your bill won’t take you by surprise.

Calculating the total price of how much a car battery will cost you can also be slightly influenced by the size of your battery and cold cranking amps (CCA) rating. So keep that in mind as well.

When in doubt, check your vehicle’s manual to determine the exact specifications you need for your car battery replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we go, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about car batteries. 

How do you know if you need a new car battery?

Several signs indicate that your car battery needs to be replaced. One of the biggest ones will be if your car has trouble starting or worse, won’t start. 

Cars with increasing problems when dealing with seasonal and weather challenges are another sign. 

Also, if your car is left sitting out too long – for months on end – chances are the battery has weakened or died. If you plan on driving that car again, maybe you should consider replacing the battery first. 

How long should a car battery last?

Usually, a traditional car battery lasts around 6 years. The lifespan significantly increases if the type of car battery you have is one of the more complex or enhanced ones. For example, the Lithium-Ion car battery can last as long as 10 to 20 years. 

How often should car batteries be replaced?

If we’re talking about the traditional car battery, then experts say it should be replaced around 4 to 5 years, depending on several factors. Extreme weather conditions and prolonged usage will reduce this even further, so it needs to be replaced sooner. 

Conclusion 

Do you need to replace your car battery?

Well, now you have an idea of how much a car battery costs. 

If you’re low on budget, then you can go for a lead-acid car battery. But if you want a long-lasting battery to save money in the long run, then consider either Enhanced Flooded, Absorbent Glass Mat, or Lithium-Ion batteries. 

Also, when buying a new car battery, don’t forget to check out the brand, the manufacturer date, the size and fitting, the warranties, and all that. 

We hope that this article has helped you find the perfect car battery for your vehicle!