car's electrical system

Can I change my own car battery?

If your headlights are dull or you have not bought a new battery in the last seven years, it may be time to change your battery. You can take your car to a mechanic to do just this, of course, or you can do it yourself, quickly, easily and – importantly – cheaply.

The simple answer is yes, you can change your own car battery. Before you start, you need to go through a simple checklist.

Does my car need a new battery?

The warning signs that you need a new battery are:

– A white or blue sulphate residue around the terminal.
– Although fully charged, the battery is still not working to capacity.
– Your alternator should read between 13.8 and 14.2 volts.

How do I make sure I purchase the right replacement?

It is important to buy the right battery – one that matches the size of the battery support in your vehicle. You can buy this from an expert such as car battery supplier Groves Batteries. If you are unsure, take it – and the relevant details about your car – to a car battery supplier or parts garage. Remember that the battery is the most important component in any car’s electrical system.

What should I do before removing the battery?

car's electrical system

As straightforward as it sounds, make sure your vehicle is on a flat surface. Don’t smoke, and wear gloves and goggles. Next, open the car bonnet and keep it open using the prop.

What do I do next?

Now it is time to remove the old battery – most are located in a rectangular box with two cables. Next, identify the battery terminals, both positive (plus sign, colour red) and negative (minus sign, colour black).

Now disconnect the negative terminal. Once you have disconnected the positive terminal, you can remove the battery. Remember that batteries can weigh up to 27kg, so take care when removing it.

What happens now?

With the battery successfully removed, now is the time to put the new battery in. Clean and dry the area and place the new battery in the same place as the old one, making sure that both positive and negative terminal are correctly positioned. Reconnect both terminals, apply lithium grease, and close the bonnet. Always dispose of the old battery appropriately.