Constantly hear a clicking sound whenever you turn on the ignition? Are your headlights dimming? Maybe you’ve noticed cracks across the battery casing.
These are all signs that your car battery may need replacing. Before you go out and buy a new battery, first ensure you need one.
Sometimes, battery trouble might be caused by white sulfate buildup around the cable terminals that may be simply removed with a stiff brush to eliminate the problem. At other times, tightening up a loose terminal connection may do the trick.
It’s time to change the battery if everything else fails:
How you can change an auto battery
Shut down the engine. Open the hood, prop it up safely, and locate the battery.
Disconnect the negative (- or black) battery cable FIRST by loosening the nut on the negative cable clamp with a wrench. Pull up about the end of the cable or pry with a screwdriver.
NEXT, disconnect the positive ( or red) battery cable.
Remove any clamps or bars holding the battery into position. Using both hands, grab the battery from the bottom and remove it of the tray. (Note: In the event you an existing back problem make sure you get assist with this part., car batteries can weigh up to 60 lbs., so)
Use a wire brush to clean up any sulfate buildup from around the battery tray or terminal clamps.
Place the new battery from the tray and replace the hold-down clamp. Attach and tighten the positive battery cable, then attach and tighten the negative battery cable. Not too tight as to damage the terminals, although check that all cable connectors are tight. If the car doesn’t start, give the clamp nut an extra use secure more snugly.
– What you’ll need: new replacement battery, wrench, stiff wire brush
– Cost: $45 to $90 for the new car battery
– Time: 20-30 minutes