How to Change a Car Battery + Expert Tips

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Written By Brandi Marcene

In this article today, we’ll be showing you exactly how to change a car battery. Like any other mechanical component in your vehicle, the car battery’s lifespan is finite, and every once in a while, you will have to replace it. This is why it is critical to know how to change a car battery.

Knowing how to do it yourself will rid you of the unnecessary technician costs for tasks that only require you to follow certain easy instructions.

cables attached to battery

Initial Steps on How to Change a Car Battery

Step 1 – Notes before starting

Take the keys out of the ignition

The first thing that you need to do before you fit a battery, is to ensure that you take the keys out of the ignition. Some vehicles might centrally lock when you reconnect the battery.

The radio code will be lost

Another thing to note is that the radio code will be lost once you disconnect the battery. You can usually find the radio code in the owner’s manual on the manufacturer’s sticker they put in from when it is pre-delivery inspected by the dealership.

Resetting automatic windows

All the automatic windows will need to be reset. When resetting the electric windows:

  1. Make sure they are all the way up to start.
  2. Then push the button down and keep hold of it for 5 seconds.
  3. Then hold the button up until it reaches the top, then keep it held for another 5 seconds
  4. Release the button and then hold it up again for another 5 seconds
  5. They should now be set for automatic one-touch

If this does not work, please repeat the procedure and if it still doesn’t work the second time, take it to the dealership or a vehicle workshop.

You can use an external battery pack (jump/booster pack) and connect a memory saver to the OBD port to save the radio code and memory of the electric windows and seats while you remove and install the batteries.

Step 2 – Getting to the Battery Terminals

Most modern cars will have a plastic cover that is on top of the battery. To get to the battery, you will first have to remove any coverings until the battery itself and the terminals are not revealed. Once you do that, you will always have to start with the removal of the negative terminal first.

The reason for this is that you can run the risk of shorting out the battery and circuits and causing damage to components if you remove the positive terminal and touch the bodywork of the car. This could at worst blow the top of the battery off. So it is best to start with the negative and finish with the positive. Do not leave any metal objects or tools around the battery as they can be knocked or fall and short out the terminals.

Step 3 – Remove the Terminals

Removing the battery terminals will follow a different procedure according to your car. In some cases, you have to simply unbolt and pull out the terminals and swap the main connector once you have moved the battery from the vehicle.  

Step 4 – Undo the Battery Clamp and Remove the Battery

Once you have removed the terminals, you then have to undo the battery clamps.

Next, you will also need to remove the bottom battery bolt. This is normally inside a hole on the bottom side of the battery. Some vehicles will also have a vent connected to the battery, which will stop the build-up of any gasses in the box.

It is important that you remove and refit this to the new battery. Once you have removed all the attachments to the battery, you can take the battery out.

Step 5 – Inserting the New Battery

Once you have removed your old battery, you can move forward and insert the new battery on it. After fitting it correctly inside the slot, slide it over and refit the clamps on the terminals using your hands. After clamping it on, you have to use a bolt to refit the battery into place.

Step 6 – Attaching the Terminals of the New Battery

As mentioned earlier, it is best to finish with the negative, so the first terminal to go on the battery will be the positive one. Attaching it is as simple as placing and screwing it inside. Move forwards and attach the negative terminal is attached.

With the covers refitted, you have to make sure that the central locking system is working. Once set, you can also make sure that the windows and radio code are working correctly. If they are, you have successfully accomplished the task. As you can see, by following simple considerations, you can easily learn how to change a car battery.


Learning how to change a car battery is unbelievably handy & practical when it comes to the world of motor vehicles. Learning to access your car battery is a crucial piece of knowledge that any car owner should have in case of any breakdowns or the need to jump-start your car.

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