A car battery is the heart of a car’s electrical system. It is the primary source of electricity that can make the car start up and run. Battery issues may give you some signs before they happen. You will see some symptoms that the battery needs to be changed as soon as possible. To avoid any bad or embarrassing situation and sudden stopping of your car, you need to seek advice as soon as you see the warning signs.
This article tells you more about the battery, its major issues, how to replace it, and how long does it take to replace a car battery. We shall also learn the right approach for this task to avoid any danger or failure of any electrical part of the vehicle and also answer how long does a car battery last.
How to Know If Car Battery Needs To Be Replaced:
How do you know that your car needs a new battery? This is not a difficult thing. You can easily identify the issue when you start facing the symptoms we will state below. Some of them are very obvious, and some need an expert to trace the failure. Here is how you know if you need a new car battery:
Hard Starting the Engine: This is the most obvious symptom as your battery ages. The wear can happen to the internal parts, making it hard for the battery to prepare the charge required by the starter to start the engine up.
Dimmed Lights and Electronic Failures: We all know that the battery powers up all electrical systems in the car, including lights, accessories, and car computers, among others. When the battery gets old and needs replacement, all these devices will not work properly. You will notice that the dashboard lights are dimmer compared with when the battery was good.
Check Engine Lamp is ON: The electrical system in vehicles relies on reading voltages and a drop of voltages across the car’s components. When the ECU reads a strange voltage drop, the check engine lamp turns on. Therefore, when the car battery is bad, it does not provide components with the right voltage to run properly; thus, the ECU reads a fault, and the check engine lamp comes ON.
Gas Leakage: A damaged battery or internally shorted one can leak gas. This gas is the result of the chemical interaction inside the battery. Therefore, when you smell rotten eggs like odor in the car hood, you need to change the battery as soon as possible.
Corroded Connectors: A bad battery can make an overcharge. This overcharge gets the battery acid out of the case and gets contaminated. You will, therefore, see some white ashes or corrosion at the terminal of the battery.
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Battery Replacement Procedure
Car batteries do not last forever. At some point, you will need to change it if you note any of the symptoms we have mentioned above. Changing the battery is considered an easy task if carried out with care and safety. To know the right and the safest way on how to change a car battery with ease here are the instructions:
Tools Required: 10-mm Socket Wrench, 13-mm Socket Wrench
- Find a safe place away from any sparks open flames or water, and park the car on a level surface. Put the car on packing mode by engaging the brake and turn off the car. Get the keys out of the ignition to ensure that there is no electricity drawn from the battery.
- Put on safety gear to be safe from battery acids that may burn your hand. Put on safety gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and eyes, then pop the hood.
- Locate the place of the battery in the hood. Usually, it located in the left corner near the windshield. You will find it attached to two cables.
- One of the two cables is colored (black) (-). This is the ground (negative) terminal. This cable should be disconnected first. Always detach this cable first before the positive cable to avoid short circuits.
- Disconnect the other cable, which is the positive (red) (+) terminal, by loosening the positive cable clamp using the wrench.
- Look at the bottom of the battery, and you will find a bolted bracket securing the battery in place. Use a 13 mm wrench to loosen it. Get the battery out of the car by lifting it by hand and set it aside on a concrete surface.
- Before installing a new battery, you should use rust remover and rub the battery cables with sandpaper. This will assist you in getting rid of any residues and build-ups from the old battery.
- Be sure of buying a correct battery with the same info as the old one, such as size capacity and part number.
- Place the new battery in place, lock it in place with the bracket and tighten the bolt with the 13-mm socket wrench. Apply a light layer of lithium grease on the two terminals to prevent corrosion and acidic build-ups.
- Reconnect the positive cable first. Put the cable over the terminal and retighten the 10-mm bolt using the socket wrench. You can then put the terminal cover over the terminal if equipped.
- Connect the negative cable next by putting it back on the negative terminal. Retighten the bolt using the 10-mm socket wrench.
- Ensure that everything is in place, and there is no wiggling in the battery or the cables. Close the hood and try to start up the car. Make sure that everything is running properly.
How to Replace a Car Battery YouTube Video
How Long Does It Take to Replace a Car Battery?
Usually, this process takes from 15 to 30 minutes to be complete. This time varies depending on the car model, ease of accessing the battery and getting it out from the car. It also depends on the experience of the person who is performing this task. For instance, if this is the first time to change the battery, it might take longer than when done by an experienced mechanic.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How Often Do You Need To Replace Car Battery?
Ans: The car battery lifespan is determined by the conditions of usage. Weather is also a big factor in determining how much the battery can last. Generally, after three years, the battery starts to call for a change. Once it gives you a warning, respond quickly to reduce the dangers and failures of having a bad battery.
Q: Is It Easy To Change a Car Battery Yourself?
Ans: Changing a car battery is a very easy task which you can do at home. However, see the owner’s manual first to know the car battery’s place and where it is located in your car. In some cars, the battery is located in the car trunk. You also need the right tools to use before you start to avoid getting stuck in the middle of the process. Always follow the work safety rules and wear safety gear such as safety gloves and safety goggles. Remember that some functions may need to be reprogrammed after finishing the battery replacement, such as car stereo and power windows.
Q: How Much Does It Cost To Replace Battery Car?
Ans: The battery replacing cost is different depending on many factors. To know how much does it costs to replace a car battery, you have to know the battery’s brand, capacity, and the warranty period. It should, however, ranger between $150 and $200.
Q: How Do You Tell If It’s Your Battery or Alternator?
Ans: People always get confused between the failure of the battery and the failure of the alternator. The alternator charges the battery inside the car as it works with the engine. It converts the movement of the pulley into electricity to charge the battery while the car is running. There is a simple test to perform to get to know which of them is failing. While the car is running, unplug the positive cable from the battery. If the car stops working, then you know you the alternator is faulty and does not feed the car’s electrical system.
Q: Why Does My Car Battery Keep on Dying Overnight?
Ans: This happens when the battery cannot hold up the charge because its internal parts are damaged. The other reason is that there is a battery power drainer that uses excessive current when the car is off. In this case, your car needs to be checked for any short circuits and drains.
Noticing your battery and monitoring the battery status from time to time is a crucial thing to do while maintaining your car. If you see any of the signs of a damaged battery, then you are required to change it as soon as possible. This will help you avoid getting into problems while driving like the car, not starting or sudden stop. If you find that changing the car battery is hard and not your thing, visit an expert to get your battery changed of checked.