Car battery: how to find the right one and replace it?

Car battery: how to find the right one and replace it?

In modern cars, the car battery has an arduous task being indispensable for starting the car and supplying the electricity of several consumers. Although the battery charges when driving via the generator, it has limited durability. This article tells you what to consider when choosing a suitable battery and how it can easily be replaced.

1. Finding a matching car battery
2. Step-by-step DIY guide
2.1 Getting ready for replacement
2.2 Disconnecting and removing the old battery
2.3 Installing the new battery
3. Conclusion

1. How to find a matching car battery?

How to find a suitable car batteryNot every battery is suitable for every model series and every car type. Depending on the engine and the amount of power-consuming appliances, a larger or smaller battery capacity should be considered. The corresponding values can be read on the sticker of the present battery or in the car manual. The ampere hours (Ah) mentioned here supply information on the battery capacity, where the current power in ampere (A) must be chosen as high as possible.

car battery dimensionsIn addition to the technical data, the battery size is important as well. Although branded products from many manufacturers are almost identical, cheaper alternatives or lesser known manufacturers might pose problems. Always measure the connected battery in the engine and at purchase, consider the exact measurements in all three dimensions. If the battery is too large, it will not fit in the holder, if it is too small it will become a safety hazard during driving on account of its play and deficient fixation.

Quality of a car battery does matter

how to replace car batteryAs with many spare and wear parts there is a question of investing in branded quality of the original manufacturer versus cheap alternatives. As long as all the technical data of the car battery match the car’s requirement, you can’t go wrong. Nevertheless it is worthwhile considering paying a bit more for a battery, relying on a renowned branded manufacturer. Consider for example:

–  The battery as an accumulator is constantly subject to charging and discharging. In case of inferior quality, the charging capacity will soon decrease, causing the need for investment in a new battery.
If the quality of the battery is limited, the risk of blind current increases. This causes a gradual de-charging of the battery and the stored energy is lost. In the worst case, your car does no longer start.
Inferior quality batteries are susceptible to temperature fluctuations. Especially in winter this might cause a difficult starting process. In this respect, branded batteries are more reliable.

When buying a battery, do not only consider the purchase price. Saving money through purchase of inferior quality might cause the need for digging deeper into your pockets sooner than a car battery cheaper

remove and install car battery2. Car battery replacement
– a step-by-step DIY guide

how to check car battery qualityEven in the era of electronic components, the car battery can still be replaced by the car owner himself. This applies particularly to the traditional starter battery. A different type of battery is the traction battery, used for driving electric vehicles with their larger capacity. In this article we do not further refer to those.

2.1 Preparing for car battery replacement

Getting ready for car battery replacementIf your battery is defective and you choose to replace it yourself, all electric users must be switched off. Switch off the engine as well and remember that several electric components are reset to their default settings by cutting the current. Resetting the digital clock is just as unavoidable as re-entering the PIN code of the radio. Put all the necessary tools close at hand, even if you probably just need a couple of spanners fitting the bolts and locks of your battery.

2.2 Disconnecting and removing the old battery

Disconnecting and removing the old car batteryAfter opening the bonnet and removal of the protection cap of your battery, it is visible in front of you with its clamps and poles. Absolutely essential is the order in which you remove the clamps from the poles. At disassembly of the battery, the earth clamp must be removed first. Only then, the other clamps can be removed from the positive battery poles. Unscrewing them is done with a simple spanner. The clamps generally have one single bolt.

remove clamps from car batteryWhen the clamps have been removed from the battery, it can be removed from its holder. For most cars, unscrewing one or two bolts is sufficient. If the battery can’t be pulled from its holder after unscrewing the bolts, depending on model, possibly additional screws are present. A look in the car manual will show you were these can be found and what tools you need for loosening them.

When the battery is disconnected, it can be taken from the car. On occasion of your first battery replacement you might be in for a surprise: the battery is extremely heavy and some force is needed for safe removal.

A battery can be returned to many garages. As they should be returned separately, many municipalities offer specific locations for doing so.

2.3 Installing the new battery

Installing the new car batteryFor installation of the new battery do as described above and take the required steps in the reverse order. Put the battery in its holder and screw it tight at the places where you previously unscrewed it.
how to fix car battery clampsWhen the battery is securely in its place, clamp the cables on the poles. Be very careful and stick to the exact reverse order. First the clamp is attached to the positive pole of the battery and fixed, then the earth clamp is fixed to the negative pole and screwed tight.
how to load and check a new car batteryFor a longer battery life span and in order to prevent corrosion damage, greasing the poles is recommended. Special battery pole grease can be found at the specialised dealer and this measure is specifically recommended before the cold and damp season. Afterwards, test if the battery is performing all its tasks by starting the engine and applying the electricity consumers. Look at your dashboard. It may last a few seconds until all functions are available. If everything works, separately test consumers such as the radio and air conditioner.

how to properly replace car battery3. Conclusion on purchasing and replacing of a car battery

replace a car battery diyThe replacement of a starter battery can be performed effortlessly by laymen and helps lowering the costs for visiting a garage: only remember sticking to the right order for a replacement without complications. A decreasing charging capacity of your battery should always be taken seriously. In the worst case, your car will not start in the dead of winter or at some other very inconvenient moment. The purchase of branded quality car batteries is recommended to avoid another untimely replacement of your battery.

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