How to Install a Top-Post Car Battery
How to Change Your Car Battery
Installing a battery is a relatively simple job, but needs to be done carefully. Use the video or this guide to safely install a top-post battery on most vehicles.
Use our other guide if you need to change a side-post battery.
How to Change a Car Battery
1. Safety First
Park the vehicle on a dry, flat surface and set the parking brake. The ignition should be off. If the vehicle is warm, give it time to cool before starting the job. Wear safety goggles and gloves. Pull back long hair, don’t wear loose clothing and take off jewelry. Don’t smoke under the hood, especially around the battery.
2. Disconnect Negative and Positive Battery Cables
Start with the negative terminal and disconnect the negative battery cable. Look for a black cable and a minus (-) symbol. You may need to use a ratchet to loosen and remove the clamp. Once the clamp is off, move it safely out of the way.
Disconnect the positive terminal after the negative terminal. Positive terminal has a plus sign (+) and the cable connected to it is usually red.
3. Remove the Clamp and Battery
Many top-post batteries will have a clamp or bar holding the battery in place. This is often secured with a bolt or some other fastener. Remove the clamp in order to remove the battery. Pull the battery out from under the hood and set it off to the side.
4. Clean the Terminals
Look for any corrosion left behind from the old battery. If you see corrosion or dust or dirt or other contaminants, you’ll want to clean that up. Use gloves and a wire brush and wear a mask to avoid breathing dust during this step.
5. Install the New Battery
Install the new battery securely and install the clamp same as it was before. Securing the battery is important to help it guard against vibration while driving.
6. Apply Battery Washers and Grease
Once the battery is snug, place washers on the terminals and apply dielectric grease. Some, but not too much. You want to have enough grease to help the terminals make a connection, but not so much that the cables would have a chance to slip off. This will provide better connection for your battery.
7. Connect Positive and Negative Battery Cables
Connect the cables back to the terminal. Start with positive and tighten until snug. Do the same with the negative cable. Do not over-tighten the cables.
8. Test the Vehicle
With both cables connected, try to start the car. Hopefully it fires up, and you’re done. If it doesn’t, wait a few minutes, check the connections, and try again. Do not try to start the car more than three times in ten minutes.
When you’re done, don’t forget to turn in your old battery at AutoZone for core credit.
Looking for a battery? Put in your vehicle on AutoZone.com to order a battery for pick up, or stop by your local AutoZone to get help with selecting and installation your new battery. If the job is too big for you, seek out one of our Preferred Shops to help you do the job.