How to Change Your Battery in Three Steps.

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Written by:  ridestory
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Preparation is the Key.

Unfortunately, a car battery usually bites the dust when you least expect it. Hours away from a job interview? Check! An important dinner date? You bet! Your batteries life can even vary depending on what climate you live in. Your car battery may outlive its life expectancy. Or, it could die prematurely. 
The point of this guide is to help you learn how to replace your car battery yourself. As you’ll see, with a few simple tools, it’s not difficult. So with the new battery in hand, let’s learn how to remove the old battery from your car and drop the new one in.
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Use a wire brush to clean off the sulphate build-up
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Use a wire brush to clean off the sulphate build-up

Tools you’ll need

It’s a good idea to start out by cleaning the battery terminals and the clamps of your car battery cables with a water and baking soda mixture. This bit of household chemistry goes a long way toward cleaning the sulphate build-up off of the battery.
A classic crescent wrench
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A classic crescent wrench
Plier set
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Plier set

Wrenching the cables loose

The tools to do the job are pretty simple and, for the most part, common in most home garages. To loosen the nut holding the cable to the battery terminal, you simply need a  crescent wrenchadjustable wrench or a  socket wrench. In addition, you’ll need another wrench or pair of pliers to hold the head of the bold while you remove the nut.
Battery terminal brush
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Battery terminal brush

Clean the battery cables

Also, have a  battery terminal brush or small, narrow  metal wire brush handy to scrub whatever deposits are still on the battery cables. A helpful tip is to brush the terminals of the new battery with the wire brush. The small scoring it creates actually helps create a better connection between the terminals and the battery cables.
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Make your eyes and hands safe

And lastly, it’s definitely a good idea to have a pair of  safety glasses to protect your eyes and  gloves for your hands. Battery acid is nasty stuff that can cause burns or worse.
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Loosen the nut with a crescent or socket wrench.
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Loosen the nut with a crescent or socket wrench.

Out with the old

With your tools ready and you properly protected from harm, it’s time to pull the battery. 

We’ll begin with the negative battery post first. While holding the bolt head with an adjustable wrench or set of pliers, loosen the nut with a crescent or socket wrench. It shouldn’t take much and with just a turn or two, the cable should easily lift off the terminal. Follow this by removing the cable from the positive battery terminal. 
With both battery cables disconnected from the battery, look for a bracket or plate that holds the battery in the car. Hopefully, it’s just a few wing nuts holding it in. Otherwise, there will be a system of nuts and bolts keeping it in place. Once the bracket is loose, you can remove it. Then carefully remove the battery from the car. Batteries are heavy so take it slowly. Set the battery aside, preferably where kids and pets can’t reach it. Well now, that wasn’t hard, was it? And you’ll simply do the reverse to install the new battery.

In with the new

Drop the new battery in the car and reattach the bracket that holds it in place. This can be tricky but don’t skip this step. The bracket keeps the battery from bouncing around under the hood. 

There should be plastic caps on the terminals of the new battery. These help identify which terminal is negative and which is positive. Begin with the positive terminal by removing the plastic cap and attaching the battery cable. Remember, lightly score the battery terminal with your wire brush. Then, slide the battery cable down on the terminal until it is firmly seated. Using the same wrench and plier combination you used earlier, tighten the nut holding the cable to the terminal. Follow this up by using the same process to attach the cable to the  negative terminal.
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Head for the beach

With both cables attached, the car should start right up. While the battery was disconnected, any stereo presets you had were lost and if your car has Bluetooth, you’ll need to set your phone up again with the car’s audio system. 

The final step is disposing the battery. Most parts supply stores will take the core and depending on what county you live in, may charge a disposal fee.  Now that wasn’t too difficult, was it? You’re better prepared now to handle future battery trouble and you got some practical experience on how to wrench on your own car. Who knows, with your new found skill and a little confidence, this may prompt you to tackle other car repairs yourself.
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Written by:  ridestory
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