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MAIN Arrow to Shopping CarsCars Arrow to Car Repair & Maintenace Car Repair & Maintenance Arrow to Replace a Headlight How to Change a Car Battery

car headlight


Constantly hear a clicking sound whenever you turn on the ignition? Are your headlights dimming? Maybe you've noticed cracks around the battery casing.

These are all signs that your car battery may need replacing. Before you go out and buy a new battery, first make sure you need one.

Sometimes, battery trouble may be caused by white sulfate buildup around the cable terminals which can be simply removed with a stiff brush to solve the problem. At other times, tightening up a loose terminal connection may do the trick.

If all else fails, it's time to change the battery:

How to change a car battery

  • Shut off 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 on the end of the cable or pry up with a screwdriver.

  • NEXT, disconnect the positive ("+" or red) battery cable.

  • Remove any clamps or bars holding the battery in place. Using both hands, grab the battery from the bottom and take it out of the tray. (Note: car batteries can weigh up to 60 lbs., so if you an existing back problem be sure to get help with this part.)

  • Use a wire brush to clean any sulfate buildup from around the battery tray or terminal clamps.

  • Place the new battery in the tray and replace the hold-down clamp. Attach and tighten the positive battery cable, then attach and tighten the negative battery cable. Check that all cable connectors are tight, but not too tight as to damage the terminals. If the car doesn't start, give the clamp nut an extra turn to secure more snugly.

- What you'll need: new replacement battery, wrench, stiff wire brush
- Cost: $45 to $90 for a new car battery
- Time: 20-30 minutes

More about changing car batteries around the Web:

How to Change a Car Battery

Auto Maintenance: Checking Your Car Battery - For Dummies

also in Cars--> How to replace an air filter | How to replace a headlight bulb

For informational purposes only. For complete expert advice,
see your car dealership or professional auto mechanic.

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