When you turn your ignition key and it does not crank your engine to start your car, it is possible that your car battery needs replacing. If after testing, it is determined that it needs to be replaced, then it is possible that you can do this yourself.
If you are mechanically inclined you can change your own car battery. Here is how to do it safely:
- Open the hood and secure it properly with the hood prop rod.
- Locate the battery and remove the positive pole cable (red color) on the battery. The battery has a plus sign at the positive pole. Using the appropriate tool as applicable—adjustable wrench or large screwdriver –Phillips or flat blade, loosen this battery pole cable and remove it very carefully out of the way. Do not let your tool touch any object while you are loosening the pole to remove it. If there is life in the battery you will get electrical sparks if you touch any metal objects while removing the pole with your tools.
- Remove the other pole cable—the negative side (black color)- marked with a negative sign near that battery pole. There is no power to this side of the battery. Only when both poles are connected with the cables that there is power at this pole.
- The battery is secured with a bracket in a shallow rectangular box in a tight area. Again, using the appropriate tools – wrench etc., remove the nut that holds the bracket on the battery, loosen it and remove it completely to change the car battery.
- Using a battery removal tool, lift out the bad battery from the rectangular box and out of the car. If you do not have a battery tool you can remove it carefully with both of your hands.
- With a piece of rag, clean out the battery box and the two pole cables. The battery cables may have residue build up that would restrict electricity flow. Clean it with a wire brush but away from your eyes.
- Replace the battery having the same specifications the car manufacturer recommends.
- Replace the battery hold down bracket and tighten securely.
- Replace the negative pole cable first and tighten it properly.
- Then, replace the positive pole cable and tighten securely.
- Double check all that you have done carefully.
- Close the hood properly.
Now that you are sure that you did everything correctly, you are ready to start your car. Turn the ignition key and your car should start immediately.
If the car engine cranks but do not start, consult your mechanic since there might be other issues with your car other than the change of the car battery.