Auto Repair 101 – How to Quickly Change the Battery

As an automotive service shop located in Fort Collins Co. we see a ton of common auto repair issues. No matter how long you have been driving or what type of vehicle you drive, chances are you will one day be confronted with a familiar auto repair issue, a dead battery. Now that winter is quickly approaching, the likelihood of a dead battery is higher due to extreme temperature changes. Whether you accidentally left your lights on and drained the battery or the battery simply died, any mechanic will tell you that it is important that you know how to install a new one.

car battery icon

You can hire a mechanic or you can change the battery in your vehicle yourself, as long as you follow the proper safety precautions and take the right steps. If you follow the right procedures, you can have the old battery out of your car and the new one installed in just a few minutes. 

dead corroded car battery

To replace the failed battery in your car or truck, just follow these simple steps:

1.Turn off the engine and press the hood release latch from inside the vehicle.

2. Locate the hood release on the front of the car and prop the hood open, then find the battery. The battery is normally near the front of the car under the hood, but some vehicle manufacturers place the battery elsewhere, like under the back seat. 

3. Loosen the negative battery cable first, using a wrench to partially remove the nut holding the terminal in place. The negative terminal should be colored black for easy reference.

4. Twist the end of the battery cable with your hand, then carefully lift it up and off the battery terminal. If the cable is too tight to remove by hand you may need the help of a terminal puller. You can find this tool at your local auto parts store. You may even be able to borrow one from the store where you bought the battery. 

5. Detach the positive battery cable in the same manner. The positive battery terminal is colored red. 

6. Use a wrench to remove the clamp that holds the battery in place. Set that clamp aside. 

7. Carefully lift the old battery out of the car and set it aside. You can recycle the old battery by taking it to your local auto parts store.

mechanic cleaning car battery terminals

8. Make a cleaning solution by mixing baking soda with warm water, then use a wire brush to thoroughly clean the battery tray. Continue cleaning the tray until all traces of corrosion are gone. Clean the battery clamp with the same solution. 

9. Use the wire brush and baking soda mixture to clean any corrosion off the battery terminals. If the corrosion is very bad, you may need to use a commercial battery cleaning product from the local auto parts store. 

10. Carefully sit the new battery in the battery tray, then place the battery clamp on top and fasten it down with a wrench. Spray an anti-corrosion solution on the battery terminals, then attach the positive battery cable first, then the negative cable. Start the car to make sure the battery is working properly.

That’s it, you have just completed a common auto repair! If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, most any auto shop or mechanic will change a battery for a reasonable price. Weston Automotive is a full service auto repair shop located in Fort Collins, CO.

Leave a Comment