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Replacing your battery is quite easy, but you need to do it properly to prevent dead batteries and potential shorts. We will teach you how.

See us all Autoblog Ranched Video for more tips on how to diagnose, fix and repair a car from professional dealer Larry Kosila. While you’re at it, watch a video series of Larry’s other car cleaning and maintenance Autoblog Details!

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Instructions (video transcript):

[00:00:00] Replacing your battery is pretty easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid a dead battery and potential shorts. Here are the tools you need to do it yourself A new battery, a wrench or socket, screwdriver, gloves, a wire brush, battery lube, baking soda and safety goggles. I am Larry Kosilla, Pro Detailler and Trainer for the last 15 years. But when it comes to what happens under the hood, I’m a student. Follow me because experts teach me to diagnose, fix and modify cars at Autoblog’s Ranched.

[00:00:30] You may say, I have kept this car for a really long time and finally my battery is gone. And I didn’t put the light on for three days or something like that. So can the battery die? – There is a lot of heat trapped inside your engine bay and your battery has water in it, so if too much water evaporates from your battery, your battery may die. Other ways your battery may get worse is if you overcharge it, you discharge it excessively, it sees heat or it vibrates too much. – [Larry] Even if your battery is not affected by one of these problems, all batteries have a limited lifespan and will eventually need to be replaced.

[00:01:00] Another common cause of low or no electrical power can be a bad option. But if you know the problem is with your battery, here’s how to change it. The first step is to find the CCA or cold cranking amps of your manufacturer’s recommended battery. Which basically determines how much power you have to start your car in most climates. Go to your local auto store and give them the make, model and year of your car so they can match it with the right CCA. Then double check the part with your car manual,

[00:01:30] To make sure you are using the right power and size battery. Then, turn off your car, remove your keys and find your radio code. To remove the battery, start with the negative or ground side first. Normally, this is the black terminal, but be sure to check the battery symbol. If you start with the positive side, which is usually red, and accidentally touch another metal, you will make the positive smaller with the rest of the car, which is still grounded. To avoid this, we start with the soil first to give ourselves a dead battery as soon as possible.

[00:02:00] However, be very careful not to accidentally let your ratchet touch both terminals. The spark will fly, you’ll zap, and it’s obviously not good for the battery. Then, remove the red or positive side of the battery. There is no need to remove the bolt completely, just loosen it long enough to close the terminal. Now, most batteries have some kind of tie down or hold to keep the battery safe so that it can avoid tipping over a hard turn or heavy braking situation. Note that you may need to add an extension

[00:02:30] In your ratchet to reach this bolt. When lifting the battery, be sure to hold it up and down and hold it from the bottom or use its handle. The battery usually weighs about 40 pounds, so make sure you have a good grip and don’t blow your back or crush your finger. More importantly, don’t paint it. The next step, though optional, is to clean the leaf battery tray and debris with a vacuum. Not really necessary, but you know me, I can’t help myself. Now, if you see white powder stuff in trays or hold down pieces or even just in terminals

[00:03:00] By themselves, this is usually the result of a chemical reaction of sulfuric acid from a leaking battery, and can cause its failure. You can remove this corrosion with a wire brush, but be careful not to inhale the white powder. Similarly, a mixture of baking soda and water with an old toothbrush will neutralize the acid with the beginning of baking soda. Whichever method you choose, make sure the battery terminals and cables are clean before installing a new battery. In our case, we are replacing the batteries together, so there is no need to spend time on the old terminals.

[00:03:30] Before installing a new battery, clean the terminals and apply battery lubrication known as dielectric grease to help reduce corrosion in the future. Now, place the new battery in the holder and secure with a tie down bolt. When re-installing the battery it is very important to connect the positive or red terminal first which is why we discussed when removing the battery. Similarly, the rule of not touching both terminals together still applies, so watch your tool placement. Finally, connect the black terminal

[00:04:00] And tighten with your ratchet until the clamp or bolt can no longer be twisted. No need to overdo it. Before you close the hood, move the battery politely to double check that it is safe. Then make sure the car starts. Now, you have to re-program your favorite radio stations. Man, there is nothing worse than this! Well, sitting alone in the parking lot in the rain, with a dead battery may not be bad. To learn more about how to repair a car, visit autoblog.com/wrenched. I am Larry Kosilla, from AmmoNYC.com. As always, thanks for visiting. (Hilarious music)

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