Unforeseen events like vehicle breakdowns may happen, especially if there’s no regular car maintenance. One of the major reasons why a car breaks down is due to a faulty or dead battery. And if you’re stuck in this unfortunate situation in the middle of the road, it’s pivotal to know what you need to do.
An important aspect that you ought to learn is how to do a battery replacement. Having an idea of how long it takes to change a car battery is also crucial. So, with the help of this article, you get an in-depth understanding of battery replacements, from the battery location to the changeover duration.
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Where can you find the battery in a car?
Before we start, let’s have a discussion of the car’s battery location. A car battery is considered the core of a car’s electrical system, supplying electricity for the vehicle to function. Knowing the position of different auto parts and accessories is very helpful in times of uncertainty on the road.
And for the battery, is generally stationed under the hood at the front section. There are also some with batteries incorporated in the boot area to ensure better distribution of weight. Meanwhile, other cars have batteries in the trunk or garage compartment. If you are unsure, simply check the vehicle owner’s manual to identify the battery model and location.
How to identify if you need to replace your old battery?
Identifying the signs of a damaged or dead battery are sometimes obvious. However, there are instances when you can’t easily distinguish it, hence the need for a technician’s intervention. To assist you, we’ve gathered the key indications that serve as warning signs for immediate battery replacement.
1. The engine lamp turns on
One of the visible symptoms of battery replacement is when the engine lamp gets activated. This specific part of the car acts as an indicator of a drop in voltages. The voltage is associated with the battery, providing car users a knowledge of the current performance of the battery.
2. Failure in the car’s electronics
From headlights to car screens and electrical accessories, the battery is the main source of energy that run these devices. Therefore, if the battery is corroded, these essential parts of the vehicle will not work efficiently. A visible sign of an old battery is dimmer dashboard light or a non-functional computer screen.
3. Difficulty in starting the engine
Older batteries often experience wear, which then impacts the key car components. It generally affects the engine, requiring a long period of time to start up. So, if you’ve been struggling to kick off the car, it’s high time to change the worn battery with a new one.
4. Tarnished connectors
Corrosion can happen if there is damage to the battery. Because of the impairment of battery parts, often leads to overcharging, injuring the surrounding components like connectors or terminals. And if this occurs, the battery acid leaks out and causes corrosion.
5. A leak in the battery
Do you smell something bad from the car’s hood? If this particular odor is like a rotten egg, then it means that there is a leak somewhere in the battery. The leakage causes a chemical interaction, producing a foul smell.
How long does it take to change a new car battery?
Now that you have an idea of the signs of damaged or dead batteries, let’s get back to the main topic. How long does it take to replace an old battery? In normal cases, battery replacements would only last for 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes.
However, this time range is not definite as there are a series of factors to pay attention to. Below are the important influences that impact the duration of the battery change.
1. Car model and battery type
First, you should take into the car model as well the battery type. If it’s a common vehicle, then you won’t have a hard time looking for a spare battery.
However, if it’s a high-end model, then battery replacement may be quite a challenge because this type of battery isn’t easily available. Aside from availability concerns, changing an old battery model for luxury cars may be much pricier.
2. Location of replacement
Aside from that, you also need to consider the location you are in. For instance, auto parts stores located in rural towns may have limited stocks. Therefore, there could be some waiting game to do the replacement.
Meanwhile, car repairs in the city typically offer a same-day appointment. It means you can accomplish this feat within a day and get back to work as soon as possible.
3. Availability of the mechanics
And of course, the accessibility of the person who will work on the replacement is factored in as well. Thus, if there are several people wanting to change batteries at the same time and there’s only one mechanic, you may need to wait for a while to get your car back.
On the other hand, if you’re equipped with the knowledge and skills, you can definitely change the battery on your own! DIY battery replacements are not just fulfilling but would also help you save a thousand bucks. Just ready yourself to do the dirty work though.
What are the things to consider when buying a new battery?
Buying batteries on your own can be an added chore. You are expected to know the appropriate battery type. The new battery should be the same model as the old one. Some of the things that must be taken into account include the part number and the size capacity.
However, there are some instances where it’s best to upgrade batteries. In doing so, make sure to confirm it with a mechanic or with a professional.
Along with the technicalities, you also need to consider the price. Gather some estimates from different stores and suppliers and try to evaluate the cheapest option with the best quality.
Where to buy new batteries?
If you plan to ditch the repair shop and do the replacements personally, it’s crucial to be adept at the sources of batteries. The most common choice would be the car dealership stores in your area, specifically the branch where you acquired your car.
Buying from dealers is highly recommended as they have profound knowledge of the right battery appropriate for your car. More so, they can give you suggestions to ensure the correct replacement process.
Another option would be buying batteries online. This might be a challenging feat as you need to do the selection on your own. In addition, you should be cautious about your choices online. In terms of reputation, Amazon is one of the best platforms to buy spare car batteries.
And if you are replacing the battery on your own, you will need some key tools. These include socket wrenches, clamps, jumper cables, and gloves. You may also need a ratchet, terminal puller, and wire brush.
How to replace a car battery?
Replacing a battery requires time and effort. To make it less stressful, we’ve prepared a list of simple steps that you can easily follow. And before you start, make sure that you find an open ground away from water and fire to do the replacement. Then, engage the break, turn off the car, and take out the key.
You also need to wear safety gear to avoid contact with possible battery acid or harmful buildup. Put on safety goggles and globes. As soon as everything is set, continue with the guidelines below.
- Pop the car’s hood or open the location of the battery, depending on the model.
- Check the two battery cables―black and red. The black one is generally considered the negative cable while the red cable is the positive terminal.
- Disconnect the black cable first to prevent short circuits.
- Detach the red cable. During this process, you need a wrench to loosen the cable clamp.
- Find the bolted bracket at the bottom of the battery. Take out the wrench again to loosen the bracket and remove the battery carefully. Place the battery on a safe and concrete surface.
- Using a rust remover and sandpaper, polish the battery cables to remove dirty residue.
- Install the new battery and use a bracket to lock it in place. Afterward, use a wrench to tighten the bolt. You may also add dielectric grease to the two terminals to avoid acidic accumulation and battery corrosion.
- Attach the red or positive cable by putting it over the terminal and tightening it via a socket wrench.
- Reconnect the black or negative cable next, following the same procedure above.
- Lastly, check all the connections and make sure that they are all set up properly. There should be no loose or waggling cables. Once everything is good, close the car’s hood, start up the vehicle, and you’re good to go.
Having a solid understanding of doing basic part replacement is very helpful. It allows you to do the tasks efficiently. More than that, you’d appreciate the savings that you’d get from working on these errands personally. But of course, you have to ready yourself for the labor and the time you need to spend.