Like any other electric appliance, car batteries wear out as time passes. The capacity of a battery declines as its ability to store a charge degrades. Your automobile may refuse to start on occasion, which is more likely to occur during the winter months. The most immediate solution is to jump-start the motor, which is not a smart idea, particularly if you do it frequently.
Generally, this procedure takes between 15 and 60 minutes to complete. Battery replacement time depends on the type of motorcar, accessibility, and ease of removal from the vehicle.
So, to prevent any unforeseen events to your car engine, you will need to know when to replace the car battery. It is a very simple task to replace a car battery. But often time, people fear the time it might take.
So, how long does it take to replace a car battery if you wish to do it yourself? Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Long Does It Take to Replace a Car Battery?
- 2 How to Know If Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced
- 3 Things to Find Out before Replacing Your Car Battery
- 4 Battery Replacement Procedure: 12 Simple Steps
- 4.1 Step 1: Park in a safe place
- 4.2 Step 2: Maintain personal safety
- 4.3 Step 3: Locate the battery hood
- 4.4 Step 4: Disconnect the first cable
- 4.5 Step 5: Disconnect the second cable
- 4.6 Step 6: Loosen the bolted bracket
- 4.7 Step 7: Pre-installation cleaning
- 4.8 Step 8: Match the info of the old battery with the new one
- 4.9 Step 9: Place the new battery
- 4.10 Step 10: Connect the positive cable
- 4.11 Step 11: Connect the negative cable
- 4.12 Step 12: Place the hood in its place
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 FAQ
How Long Does It Take to Replace a Car Battery?
It normally takes 15 to 60 minutes to replace a car battery. Of course, the timeframe is contingent on your mechanic’s availability and the availability of the appropriate battery.
The best part is that most mechanics have replacement batteries for most makes and models on hand. So, if your vehicle is a common model and can get a same-day appointment, you should be in and out in under an hour with a new battery! Hopefully, you’ll have enough time to pick up your children.
If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you can change the battery at home if someone is willing to drop off a new one. If you are wondering how much it can cost? please read our article on how much car batteries cost.
How to Know If Car Battery Needs to Be Replaced
A car battery works primarily to start the engine of your car. It provides the necessary power to the car even when your car is parked. The vehicle itself uses the car battery to accomplish many internal functions. And when you drive the car, the car’s alternator powers your car’s electrical system by recharging the battery.
Car batteries have a three- to five-year lifespan in general. However, their load capacity can be prolonged with careful care and maintenance. You may extend the life of your battery by keeping it fully charged and driving it every day.
On the other hand, your battery may fail sooner if your automobile is parked and sitting idly for longer than driving.
Furthermore, every time you recharge a battery, it loses efficiency. Almost all automotive batteries begin to lose their reliability after three years. This might wreak havoc on the system’s stability and safety.
So, how can you know that your car battery has worn out and when to change the car battery. We have 7 signs for you to realize that it’s car battery replacement time.
1. The pace of the engine crank
The automobile battery provides the power needed to start your vehicle. There are no other options for energy. You may observe that the engine cranks more slowly than usual when you start your car engine. Slow-cranking means the battery’s power is insufficient to turn the engine. It’s an indication that a new automobile battery is due.
2. The power supply to all the electrical components
The electricity generated by the battery is used to power electronic components such as door locks, wipers, power windows, audio systems, headlights, and other major elements of modern cars. The battery’s power becomes limited when these components’ functionality goes down.
3. When the battery case swells
One of the most reliable methods to tell whether there is a problem with your battery is when it swells. The enlargement usually happens as a result of an unexpected chemical reaction. Chemical processes generate a great deal of radiation in the battery, diminishing its life span.
4. Boosting or jump-starting the engine three or more times in a week
Jump-starting a battery regularly might result in serious harm. A battery charged three times per week has reached the end of its useful life. Jump-starting a car on a regular basis can damage the motor and the battery.
5. Intermittent starting up problem
You might find your engine starting fine one day but opposite the other day. If this scenario occurs multiple times throughout the week, serious issues may arise
Firstly, the battery terminals may malfunction. They could be calcified, rusted, shattered, or strewn around. Corrosion and calcification of battery terminals are two of the most common causes of sulfation, which leads to a battery’s premature demise.
Secondly, your car could be infected with a parasitic drain. This means that when you turn off the ignition, an electrical accessory that should be turned off nevertheless draws power from the battery. A parasitic drain may cause your battery to be discharged below the full charge level, putting it at risk of being killed.
6. Gas Leakage
A gas leak can occur when a battery is broken or internally junked. The chemical reaction that occurs inside the battery produces this gas. As a result, if the car hood smells like rotten eggs, the battery should be replaced as soon as possible.
7. Corroded Connectors
Overcharging can be caused by a faulty battery. The battery acid escapes the case and becomes polluted due to this overcharge. As a result, the circuit of the battery will have some white particles or rust.
Things to Find Out before Replacing Your Car Battery
Each firm produces batteries sold under several brand names by various firms. In the end, it doesn’t matter what brand of battery you use. You should check things before finally deciding to change a car battery. They include the followings:
Age of the car battery
Batteries usually have a manufacture date. And users must sell away the battery within 6 months of the manufacturing date of the battery. So, before purchasing, double-check the date.
It is common to code the date. The majority of codes begin with the letter of the month: A for January, B for February, and so on. The year is represented by a number, say, 0 for 2000 or 1 for 2001.
The group sizes
Installing the wrong car battery may cause several difficulties. This measurement defines the outer dimensions and the location of the battery connectors. Make sure the group size of the battery you’re replacing matches the one you’re replacing. Otherwise, you can end up with a battery that’s too big or too small for your automobile.
Fortunately, most battery suppliers categorize them according to the vehicle’s make, model, and year.
Cold-Cranking Amps (CCA)
It measures a battery’s ability to start a car at 0°F (-17°C), with thick engine oil and low chemical potential. The greater the CCA, the better the cold start.
Most batteries have this information printed on the sticker, while some have the CA, or cranking amps, listed. CA is measured at 32°F (0°C) and is frequently higher. However, it provides a less realistic estimate of the car’s power to start in cold weather.
This is the most challenging number to locate but one of the most valuable. It shows how long your car will run on battery power alone if the alternator fails unexpectedly. It’s commonly printed in the store’s or online’s battery documentation or on the battery itself on rare occasions.
Battery Replacement Procedure: 12 Simple Steps
So, now that you know when to replace your car battery, you need to know how to replace a battery. The battery replacement process is very simple. You can easily do it with a 10-mm and a 13-mm socket wrench.
And once you have the tools, follow these 12 steps to complete the replacement work.
Step 1: Park in a safe place
So, the first step is to find a safe place to do the work. Locate a safe location away from open fires or flooding and park the vehicle on a flat surface. Engage the brakes and turn the car off to put it in parking mode. Remove the keys from the ignition to ensure the battery isn’t being used.
Step 2: Maintain personal safety
Wear protective equipment to avoid being burned by battery acids. Put on protective gloves and goggles before pulling the hood over your head to safeguard your hands and eyes.
Step 3: Locate the battery hood
Now, find the battery’s location in the hood. It’s usually seen near the windshield on the left corner. It should be connected to two cables.
Step 4: Disconnect the first cable
You will find 2 cables and one of them will be black with a (-) sign. This is the negative (ground) terminal. This cable must first be disconnected. To avoid short circuits, always disconnect this connection before the positive cable.
Step 5: Disconnect the second cable
Now, disconnect the other cable, the positive terminal (+) marked in red. You can do this by using the wrench to loosen the cable clamp.
Step 6: Loosen the bolted bracket
You’ll discover a bolted bracket locking the battery in place at the bottom of the battery. To loosen it, use a 13-mm wrench. By hand, remove the battery from the vehicle and place it on a hard floor.
Step 7: Pre-installation cleaning
Before installing a new battery, use a rust remover and sandpaper on the battery cables. It can help remove any residues or build-ups from the old battery.
Step 8: Match the info of the old battery with the new one
In the previous section, we have identified a few pieces of information about our battery. It includes the age, group size, and CCA number. Ensure you get the correct battery, one with the same size, capacity, and part number as the old one.
Step 9: Place the new battery
Replace the battery, secure it with the bracket, and twist the bolt using a 13-mm socket wrench. To avoid rust and acidic build-ups, apply a light coat of Dielectric grease to the two terminals.
Step 10: Connect the positive cable
Before reconnecting the negative cable, make sure you reconnect the positive cable. It means that you will have to go opposite of what you did during disconnecting.
Retighten the 10-mm bolt with the socket wrench after the cable is over the terminal. The terminal cover, if available, can then be placed on top of the terminal.
Step 11: Connect the negative cable
Now, return the negative cable to the negative terminal to complete the connection. Use a 10-mm socket wrench to retighten the bolt.
But, make sure to clean the battery terminals, as it may cause problems afterward.
Step 12: Place the hood in its place
Make sure everything is in its proper place and that the battery and cords aren’t wiggled. Try starting the car with the hood closed. Check to see if everything is working as it should. Then connect it to the battery charger.
You never know when you need to replace a car battery. You might be going on a long drive, and your car starts signaling issues with the battery. It usually takes only a few hours to change the old battery. And the task is simple as well. But make sure you know exactly when to change the battery.
Changing the car battery is a simple task that anyone can do with the simplest tools. You can easily replace a car battery by following our 12-step approach. However, if you don’t feel confident, you can always seek professional support.
Is it easy to replace a car battery?
It is rather simple to remove the old battery and replace it with a new one. It doesn’t require any specific tools. And if you’ve followed the 12 replacement stages, the process can be completed within no time.
How do I know when my car battery needs replacing?
An old battery will show quite a few signs for you to realize that it’s time to replace it. You will notice the engine acting weird and more internal problems with your car. Check out the 7 signs to know when your car battery needs replacing.
How can you tell when your car battery is going bad?
There are quite a few signs of the car battery going bad. For instance, a bad battery will result in dim headlights, slow crank, and backfiring in your car, among other signals.