How To Change A Car Battery Safely
Changing your car battery can be a dangerous task if you don’t know what you’re doing. Yet it is one of those car parts that you have to change several times in the lifetime of any car. Therefore, how to change a car battery safely should not be taken lightly. Here are some important tips on how to do it. These tips will ensure that replacing your car battery is done safely and correctly:
- Prepare your tools and your workspace.
- Wear safety goggles & gloves.
- Have the right size of spanners
- The area should be well-lit and free of sparks.
- Your workspace should be clean and safe, with no combustible materials nearby.
The Car Battery Industry
The automotive battery market was worth $43.32 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach $65.62 billion by 2028 at a 5.5% compound annual growth rate from 2021 to 2028. The COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented and staggering impact on all regions’ demand, causing a negative demand shock in all regions.
As part of the electrical and electronics of the car, there is just no way of avoiding the use of batteries regardless of the type of car. It is important therefore for anyone intending to drive to have a basic understanding of the process of replacing car batteries.
Let us explore the various elements of the process of changing the battery of your car.
How to change a car Battery Safely Starts With Locating It
For some people and a wide range of cars, this may seem like an easy routine task. You will be surprised how many people do even know where their car batteries are located.
There are some cars however whose battery location is a mission even to those who know cars a little bit. Hence it is important not to assume that everyone can locate their car battery.
In some cars like the Mercedes Benz ML 320 CDI’s car battery position is not at the usual spot where most car batteries are found. If you can’t find your car battery in the usual engine compartment place don’t be shy to go to the owner’s manual.
The other place to find the location of your car battery is online. There are several automotive community forums with members that are always willing to assist with such questions. Not knowing where the car battery is located in your car can be extremely risky in the event of an unfortunate accident.
Disconnect the negative cable first.
When disconnecting the battery, it’s important to keep safety in mind. First, disconnect the negative cable and then the positive cable. The positive terminal is mostly red and the negative one is usually black or any other darker color.
You should always disconnect a car battery by using an appropriate tool designed for this purpose. Never use your hands or any other object to touch a car’s battery terminals; doing so can result in serious injury or even death!
When removing or installing a car’s battery cables, make sure that nothing comes into contact with either terminal of the new one. If you do touch them accidentally with anything other than a properly insulated tool, be sure to wash off any residue immediately. Do so with soap or water before touching them again (this will prevent electrical shock).
Prioritize Your Safety and That Of The Car
Stay safe and always wear gloves and safety goggles when touching any part of a car battery or your car’s electrical system
You should always wear safety goggles and gloves when handling a car battery or your car’s electrical system. You should also use a battery terminal cleaner to clean the battery terminals before reconnecting them, and then apply a battery terminal protector to prevent corrosion.
To do this, remove the negative terminal clamp first by loosening it with an adjustable wrench. Then, remove the positive clamp similarly. Next, brush off any debris from both clamps with a wire brush before re-tightening them again and connecting new cables to each of them (positive first).
Take special care when handling acid.
The acid in a car battery can be dangerous. Wear gloves and eye protection when handling the battery, and never touch the acid. It will burn you and damage your clothes.
Like all types of acids, the associated burns can be both extensive and deep. Some of them can be long-lasting, living one with unnecessary and avoidable scars.
Check All The Car Battery Accessories
How the battery functions go beyond the battery itself. There are key battery accessories that can make it unusable if not properly checked. The two most important ones are the battery cables and terminals.
The battery cables rarely have problems but when they do they can render brand-new batteries useless. What is it that can go wrong with a battery cable; one may ask? Some damages and severing of the cables happen during planned or unplanned battery changes.
From time to time there can be a need to take out a battery for some reason or another. When this happens, if one is not careful they can expose these cables to elements that can damage them. The same can happen when some repairs or maintenance work is conducted around that battery compartment area.
Another possible cause would be general wear and tear. The engine compartment temperatures can be extreme hence all materials within that space will over time give in to the effects of the heat. When such happens there is usually no specific associated event that one can point out.
The Car Battery Terminals
More often if the malfunction of the car battery is with anything other than itself, then the terminals are the culprit.
Several things can go wrong with them. Among others is the corrosion damage from the battery acid. Over time the bolts and nuts can go loose or be damaged.
When battery terminals malfunction it becomes difficult for them to properly relay the electric energy from the battery. Fortunately, they can be found in the most convenient stores at most gas stations. While they may vary in size, the range is small as it is dependent on the size of the battery and not the make of a car or model.
Once the battery is secure, reconnect the cables in order.
Now that the battery is secure, reconnect the cables in order. Connect the positive cable first, making sure it’s securely fastened and not touching anything else. Then connect the negative cable. This can be a bit tricky because you’ll have to reach under your car to do so, which isn’t always easy for everyone. If you’re having trouble with this part of the process or if you think your car has been jostled too much from changing out your battery (that happens sometimes), don’t hesitate to consult an automotive shop for help!
Replace the tray if it is corroded.
If you notice corrosion on the tray, it may be a sign that your battery acid is leaking. In this case, you should replace the tray with a new one (or just clean it thoroughly). If you decide to dispose of the old tray, do so properly by taking it to an authorized waste disposal facility.
If your vehicle has no corrosion and looks relatively new, consider simply cleaning off any dirt or grime with a rag before installing it back into place.
Battery corrosion as stated earlier can cause extensive damage to the car battery tray. It is an indication of the poor ‘health’ status of the battery. Sometimes the damage goes beyond the battery tray as the battery acid slowly encroaches into some of the auto body and engine elements of the car. Hence you can not afford to ignore it.
Dispose of your old battery properly.
To dispose of your old battery properly, take it to a recycling center. Do not throw the battery in the trash. An improperly disposed battery can cause an explosion if it leaks acid or sulfuric acid from one of its terminals when exposed to air and moisture.
This is more likely to happen with a car battery than batteries used in other household electronics because car batteries contain more energy than other types of batteries and are often left unattended for long periods after use.
You should also make sure that you do not leave your old car battery inside your vehicle while you drive or park it outside overnight with the engine turned off over many days This could allow heat generated by friction within the motor to warm up the surrounding environment enough that some components start shorting out (causing sparks).
Ultimately this may cause a fire hazard if they get too hot. Especially so since most cars nowadays have plastic panels on their exteriors instead of metal ones like they did back then!
How to change a car battery safely is one of those things that every driver needs to know how do, but it can be pretty tricky. The key is not just knowing how an engine works and what you need to get it started. Equally important is your ability to handle your car battery when you have to change it. To do that you must also be prepared by getting the right tools for doing the job (changing the car battery). With our guide above you’ll know exactly what those steps are – so go ahead!