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Replacing the Battery

How to replace the car battery

When replacing a battery, follow these steps to ensure correct battery removal and installation:

STEP 1:Take a note of which terminal is connected to the grounded cable, the positive (+) or negative (-). The grounded cable will be connected to the engine or chassis.

STEP 2:Disconnect the grounded or negative (-) cable first. This will prevent sparks caused by accidental short-circuiting. Disconnect the positive (+) cable from the terminal post, and then remove the battery hold-downs. Finally remove the battery from the vehicle.

Inspect the battery tray, hold-downs and clamps for excessive corrosion damage and replace any damaged items. Use a wire brush to clean all the light corrosion from the battery tray, hold-downs, cables and clamps. Medium corrosion can be cleaned using a solution of Bicarbonate of Soda mixed with warm water (10 grams to 1 litre of water). Wash the corroded parts in this solution in order to neutralize and remove the corrosion.

Using a battery post and stamp cleaner, clean both battery terminals and the inside of both cable clamps until they have a bright metallic shine. This will ensure a good electrical contact.

VERY IMPORTANT: Carefully place the new battery in the battery tray making certain that the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals are in the same position in relation to the grounded cable. Check STEP 1. This will ensure correct polarity. Replace the battery hold-down but do not tighten them.

Connect the positive (+) cable to the battery, then connect the grounded or negative (-) cable. Make sure both cable connections are tight on the terminals. Coat the terminals and cable clamps with petroleum jelly or proprietory terminal protector to prevent corrosion. Do not use grease as it may contain metal additives.

Tighten the hold-down nuts snugly. Do not over-tighten.

To ensure the new battery is installed correctly, turn the ignition key. If the battery is properly installed, the ammeter or charge indicator will show discharged. Crank the engine, once the engine is running the ammeter or charge indicator light should function correctly. It is advisable to always have the vehicles charging system checked after fitment of a new battery.

Download a PDF on Replacing the Battery