Keep Your Car Running By Installing A New Battery

You may only have a couple of days left in your car battery once it begins to show signs of being exhausted. Save yourself an expensive towing bill by replacing the battery as soon as you detect problems. This is an easy DIY project that takes about an hour and uses simple tools. Here is how to change your own car battery and keep your car running well.

Signs of a Dying Battery

When you see the following, you may only have a few days before the battery gives out completely:

  • the engine turns over slower when starting the car
  • the lights go dim when you have them on and turn off the car engine
  • the radio loses its programming
  • the clock loses time

Pick the Right Battery

Head to an auto parts store that sells car batteries. You'll find a number of batteries available for your make and model of car. The differences in the batteries will be in

  • the amount of cranking power available when starting the engine in cold weather.
  • the amount of reserve power should the alternator fail.
  • the number of years of warranty on the battery.

The higher the values in each of these categories, the more expensive the battery will be. Even the least expensive battery will start your car, so choose the battery that matches your budget.

Replacing the Car Battery

To do this you'll need

  • a flat blade screwdriver
  • a piece of steel wool or a wire brush
  • petroleum jelly
  • old rags for cleanup

Once you have those items, here are the steps you will need to take:

  1. Loosen the screw on the battery clamp to which the black (negative) cable is attached.
  2. Remove the clamp from the battery post by pulling it straight up while turning it slightly from side to side.
  3. Remove the clamp with the red (positive) cable the same way.
  4. Remove the battery safety strap that holds the battery in the engine compartment.
  5. Note the position of the battery in the engine compartment so you can place the new battery in the same way. This is so the cables will reach their proper battery posts.
  6. Remove the old battery by lifting it from underneath with both hands.
  7. Place the old battery out of the way. Remember to take the old battery back to the auto supply store for credit and to have them dispose of it properly.
  8. Remove any protective covers from the new battery posts.
  9. Lift the new battery up from underneath and place it into the engine compartment, orienting it like the old battery was positioned.
  10. With the wire brush or steel wool, remove any corrosion from both battery cable clamps.
  11. Wipe a small amount of petroleum jelly onto both battery posts. This prevents future corrosion from building up on the posts.
  12. Place the clamp with the red cable onto the positive battery post and tighten the screw until you can't move the clamp.
  13. Place the clamp with the black cable onto the negative battery post and tighten the screw until you can't move the clamp.
  14. Wipe a little petroleum jelly on both clamps.
  15. Secure the battery in place with the safety strap.

For assistance, talk to a professional like Hub Auto Supply.