Changing a Car Battery:  When and How

Nothing lasts forever, and the battery in your vehicle is no exception.  If you notice that your vehicle’s lights have grown noticeably dimmer or it has been more than three years since you last changed your battery it may be time to replace this essential car part.  While a mechanic could perform this task for you changing a car battery requires little in the way of tools and is a relatively simple process that you can do yourself.

Ensure Your Battery Needs Changing

These are steps that might prevent you from having to purchase a new battery.

  • White or blue residue on the battery could be a sign of sulfate build up. Cleaning up this residue can often correct a malfunctioning battery.  However, you will need to take your vehicle to the mechanic as residue accumulation is usually a sign that the seal around the battery terminal has gone bad and there is an acid leak.  Do not touch the residue with your bare hands as it will burn your skin.
  • It is important to ensure your battery is fully charged by driving your car for at least 30 minutes. While doing this avoid using electrical appliances in the vehicle including AC so the power all goes to the battery.
  • Check your vehicles alternator to ensure it is charging the battery. Some vehicles have a battery meter to help you.  While the car is running the alternator should hold a charge of 13.8 to 14.2 volts if the system is working correctly.

Steps for Battery Replacement

  • Buy the right Battery - It is important to buy the correct battery for your vehicle, as they come in many different models. To ensure you get the correct battery model for your vehicle bring the dimensions of the old battery and your vehicles model with you to the battery shop as information.
  • Preserve Radio and Nav Info – When you remove your battery you’ll want to use a CMOS which will save the PIN codes to all your radio and navigation systems.  If you don’t possess a memory storage device then you’ll need to acquire and record this PIN information and consult your manual before proceeding.

Replacing the Battery Itself

  1. Determine whether your battery is in the hood or the trunk.
  2. Locate Battery Terminals, disconnect negative and then positive
  3. Remove the battery by removing screws from the battery holder. Batteries can be anywhere from 25 to 50 pounds so lift with care.
  4. Clean the battery terminals with baking soda. Consider having very corroded terminals replaced a process that can be done here at Lincoln Ave Auto.
  5. Place the new battery and connect terminal clamps
  6. Connect all screws and clamps that hold the battery in its place
  7. Apply lithium grease to the battery and terminals to prevent corrosion

Bring Old Battery To US

It is against the law to dispose of a car battery in a normal garbage.  You can, however, bring the battery to us here at Lincoln Ave auto and we will dispose of it properly!

At Lincoln Ave Auto, we proudly serve a diverse range of clients in Bergen County, NJ, who drive European imports such as Land Rover, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, MINI, Volkswagen, and Porsche. Our focus of expertise is precise in order to provide the highest quality specialized services to our clients, but we don’t charge the same high rates that nearby dealerships often do, making us one of New Jersey’s leading European automotive specialists.


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