How to Buy and Install a New Battery for a Car or Truck

Modern car batteries are maintenance free; they do not require you to add water or service them. Nevertheless, the day will come when you’ll be required to purchase, and probably install a new battery. The procedure for purchasing and installing a new battery is simple and safe, providing you follow basic precaution.

Purchasing the Battery

Write down your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and your vehicle’s year, make and model. Write down the engine size (V6, V8, etc.).

Visit the retailer of your choice to purchase a new battery. Most automotive parts store sell batteries, as do some larger retailers, such as Sears.

Provide the representative with your vehicle information to determine the correct battery for your vehicle. Batteries are not universal; different models require different CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) and sizes.

Installing the Battery

Remove the protective battery cover, if equipped. Use the pliers to loosen the negative (black) battery cable first. Pull the cable away from the terminal, and then loosen the positive (red) battery cable; remove it from the terminal.

Remove the battery mounting bolts. Most batteries are held in place by a bracket, either on top or near the bottom. Use a socket wrench to remove the bolts.

Raise the battery handle, and then pull the battery out of its mounting tray. Clean the tray with a dry towel.

Place the new battery in the mounting tray; make sure the positive terminal is closest to the positive cable, and negative terminal is closest to the negative cable. Secure the new battery using the bracket and bolts.

Attach the positive (red) cable to the positive terminal first; tighten the nut, and then attach the negative (black) cable to the negative terminal; tighten the nut to finish. Bring the old battery to a battery recycling center for proper disposal.


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