1. Turn your engine off, open your hood and locate your battery. Disconnect the negative (black) battery cable from the battery. You’ll want to first loosen the nut using either a combination wrench, battery pliers or a battery wrench.
2. Twist and pull up on the end of the cable with your hand. If it doesn’t come off easily you may want to purchase a battery terminal puller from your local auto parts store. This helps prevent damage to your battery or cables. Make sure you don’t use a screwdriver as a pry-bar; it could break off your battery terminal or cause other damage.
3. Detach the positive (red) battery cable from the battery using the same method.
4. Using a combination wrench or a socket and ratchet, remove the battery hold-down clamp.
5. Take the battery out of the battery tray. If this is your first time replacing your battery, they are heavy, so make sure you pick it up from the underside. If the battery has a handle, use that instead.
6. If you need to clean it, use a mixture of baking soda and water then clean any corrosion from the battery tray and hold down-clamp with a wire brush.
7. Clean the battery cable connectors with a wire brush also. To remove heavy corrosion from the connectors, use battery-cleaning solution (also available at any auto parts store).
8. Place the new battery in the battery hold-down tray and secure the battery with the hold-down clamp. Spray both terminal ends with anti-corrosion solution (this is optional). Attach and tighten the positive battery cable. Attach and tighten the negative battery cable. Check that all cable connectors are tight. (Important: If you can move them at all, your car may not start).
Important things to remember when replacing your battery:
- Battery acid is extremely corrosive so don’t let it splash out. You don’t want it to spill on you or your car.
- The old battery cannot go into the regular trash. Take it to a facility that accepts hazardous material for recycling (local auto parts store or even Wal-Mart).
- Make sure you’re connecting the wires to the right battery terminal otherwise you can cause damage to your vehicle.
Always perform maintenance with caution and safety.