Just like how old milk goes sour and a full head of jet-black hair thins and fades to grey, replacing an old car battery is a fact of life. The average life expectancy for a car battery is about six years before you might need to consider swapping it out for a new one.
So when that inevitable time comes, here’s what you need to do to correctly and safely install a new battery into your car:
Firstly, you need to make sure that you get the correct battery for your car. Simply give your car's make, model and engine size information to your local auto parts dealer and they’ll find the right battery to suit your vehicle.
So once you’re ready to start, pop the bonnet open and you’ll be able to locate the battery fairly easily, it’s usually protected by a plastic cover, so you’ll need to remove that before beginning.
Next thing you need to do is identify the two different leads connected to the battery. They are the negative lead (usually the black one and marked with a minus symbol) and the positive lead (usually red in colour and marked with a plus symbol).
Disconnect the negative lead first (this is important as removing the positive lead first may short circuit the positive lead to a grounded part of the car!) and be sure to move it away from the terminal as you put it to one side.
Then you remove the positive lead using the same method and remove any screws, clamps, straps or bars holding the battery in place before carefully lifting it out.
You can then take your new battery and put it into place, making sure to reconnect any screws or fittings you removed. Then simply reconnect the positive lead first, followed by the negative lead.
Replace the cover for the battery and close the bonnet. Next you should start your car and check that all of the electronic devices are working properly.
*You may need to input your radio code after removing your battery, as some vehicle manufacturers disable the radio after power has been cut as an anti-theft measurement.