How to Replace the Battery in Your Car

How to Replace the Battery in Your Car

If the batter in your car is on its last legs, it's better to change it now than be stuck on the side of the highway waiting for a tow, which can cost even more than a new battery, by the way. If you're new to the battery-changing scene, don't worry, that's what your friends here at Sherwood Ford are here for! We've put together some quick and simple instructions that are sure to guide anybody through changing the battery on their vehicle. First, let's take a look at how to tell if your battery needs to be changed.

While all batteries are different, most have a lifespan of around five years when properly maintained and cared for. There are many ways that you can care for you battery, but we'll save that for another time. If you begin to notice that your engine is cranking over slower than usual, it's typically a tell-tale sign that your battery is nearing its deathbed. If your battery seems to be running fine, but you notice cracks in it while performing battery maintenance, you should definitely look into changing it as soon as possible. 

When it's time to change your battery, you must first remove the cables. Whenever you take off the cables on your battery for whatever reason, it's imperative to always be sure to take the negative cable off first. If you take the positive cable off first, it can cause arching to occur between your wrenches and a nearby ground, and that's not good. Another good thing to remember is that you should always replace your battery with one that has a higher rating than the original.

After you've got the cables off, use a heavy-duty strap to lift the battery out of its compartment. Batteries are heavier than you would think, and a good way to ensure that all the harmful acid inside doesn't spill all over is to use a heavy-duty strap. Once you've got the old battery out, clean the battery tray or replace it if it's badly corroded. You want to make sure your new battery has a safe place to live.

Once you've done that, carefully lower the new battery into the tray. Once it's in the correct position, connect the hold-down clamp and connect the positive cable first, not the negative. Before you fasten the cable clamps to the battery posts, rub a little petroleum jelly on them to help slow corrosion. Most batteries are around 75% charged when you buy them, so just make sure to check its level to see if you need to charge it before starting your car.