How to Change a Car Battery
How to Change Your Car Battery
No matter how well you take care of your vehicle, the battery won't last forever. Luckily, changing the old one out for a new one is pretty straightforward. Read this guide to learn how to do a DIY car battery replacement step-by-step so you can approach the job with confidence next time you have a dead car battery.
Suggested AutoZone Products
Vehicle-specific: Enter your vehicle’s year, make, model, and engine, and we’ll find the battery that fits.
Dielectric Grease and Washers
This grease and these washers will help protect your terminals from corrosion.
How to Remove a Car Battery
1. Safety First
Park the vehicle on a dry, flat surface and set the parking brake. The ignition should be off, and if the vehicle is warm, give it time to cool before starting this job. Wear safety goggles, gloves, and pull back long hair. You should never smoke under the hood, especially when working on batteries.
2. Disconnect Negative and Positive Cables
Start with the negative terminal and disconnect the negative battery cable. Look for a black cable and a minus (-) symbol.
Top-Post: 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.
Side-Post: There will be an 8mm fastener. Use an 8mm ratchet to loosen, and then 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. It is very important that your ratchet or wrench not come in contact with anything that could be a ground, because this will cause sparks around the battery.
3. Remove Battery and Restraint
Most cars feature a bar or a restraint of some sort to hold the battery in place. This is often secured with a bolt or some other fastener. Remove the restraint in order to remove the battery. Pull the battery out from under the hood and set it off to the side.
4. Clean Your Cables and Terminals
Take a wire brush and scrub the battery cable ends as well as the battery terminals to remove any corrosion or dirt. Wear a mask to avoid breathing dust during this step.
After you’ve removed your car battery, it’s time to install the replacement. Apply terminal grease before attaching the positive cable first, and then connecting the negative cable. The exact installation method will vary depending on whether you are installing a top-post or side-post battery. You can find articles describing the steps for and videos of each installation procedure below.
Once you’ve installed the new battery, try starting the car to test your work, then consider driving to AutoZone to exchange your old battery for a core credit.
If the job is too big for you, seek out one of our Preferred Shops to help you do the job.