You get into your car, turn the key and…nothing. Your car has no power and won’t start. Chances are that your battery is no longer holding a charge and that you will be replacing your vehicle’s battery.
Replacing Your Vehicle’s Battery
Your car’s battery is located under the hood of the car. It contains sulfuric acid and water. There are two metal terminals on top of the battery. One is for the positive terminal and the other is for the negative terminal. The positive terminal can be identified by a “+” sign or the word “positive”.
The battery contains metal plates that store current from the car’s alternator. Your car battery stores electrical current. It passes electricity through the car to make the engine run. The battery will send current to the starter and is what makes the engine turn on.
The cruddy deposits that can form on top of your car’s battery terminals come from the acid inside the battery. You can brush the deposits off with a wire battery brush which can be purchased at an auto parts store. Or, you do it yourself by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water. Just wipe the solution around the terminals and it should easily fall off.
Avoid getting these powdery deposits on your hands or clothes. If you do, be sure to wash it off right away. A tip to keep these deposits from forming in the first place is to grease the terminals and stick two pennies nearby.
Do’s and Don’ts of Replacing Your Vehicle’s Battery
If you are an experienced mechanic you can replace your car’s battery yourself:
- While the engine is off and the hood is popped locate the battery.
- Detach the black or negative cable first from the battery. You should be able to loosen the nut with a wrench.
- Try to pull the end of the cable with your hand. If you find it difficult you may want to purchase a battery terminal puller. Most auto parts stores sell tools especially for this task.
Tip: Do not use a screwdriver to remove it. This could break your battery terminal and cause damage.
- Detach the positive or red battery cable using the same method as you did for the black or negative cable. Use a wrench to remove the battery from its clamp.
- Next, remove the battery from its tray. You should use both hands for this since most batteries heavy. If you are lucky, your battery type will be one with a handle on top.
- Once the old battery is removed, clean the area before installing a new battery. Use a wire brush to clean the cable connectors. There could be heavy corrosion on these. Use a premixed solution of baking soda and water combination to clean the whole area well.
- Place the new battery in the tray.
- Secure it with the hold-down clamp. Spray both terminals with your cleaning solution.
- Attach the red or positive battery cable and then do the negative or black cable.
- Make sure everything is secure and tight. The battery should not be able to move back and forth.
- Crank the engine of the car to see if everything is working correctly.
Most car batteries can be recycled. If your battery cannot be recycled, you need to dispose of it correctly since it contains hazardous materials. There are ways to make a few bucks off of recycling your old battery.
- Contact your local scrap yard and see if they will offer you anything for your old battery.
- Many auto parts stores will take a deposit on a new battery when it is purchased so you may be able to get a pay-out when you turn it back in to them.
- Several retailers offer you a free gift card if you turn your old battery into to them. Even if they do not offer anything of value most stores that sell batteries collect old batteries for recycling. Check with your local auto parts store for all the details.
- Contact your local recycling center. Many centers will pay you for turning your old battery in.
- If your car is a hybrid those batteries are designed to last longer but they will still need to be replaced. Many hybrid car batteries have the recycle instructions listed on them. If you are confused about disposing of this type of battery you can always contact the car’s manufacturer for more details.
Remember, if you are going to change the battery in your car yourself, that you are going to be exposing yourself to hazardous materials. Safety should be your uttermost priority. There is no need in harming yourself or others just trying to be thrifty.
Let T3 Atlanta Replace Your Vehicle Battery
Avoid the hassle of installing a new battery and disposing of the old one by trusting your Lexus, Infiniti, Toyota, or Nissan vehicle to T3 Atlanta. T3 Atlanta will make replacing your auto battery hassle-free.