Car Battery Installation. How to Recharge a Car Battery in 2020

Battery malfunction belongs to the key reasons which make a car to refuse to start. When it happens a person needs to be ready to charge or replace it. Speaking about the replacement person should know what type of battery to choose. The prior issue to mention is its capacity. The lower it is the oftener you will replace and charge it. One can economize on smaller details but a motor and a car battery belong to the most essential constituents. They define the quality of the car and its strength.

There are effective hints you can follow when selecting a proper battery for your steal friend.
  1. Consider all car models it fits. The instruction to your vehicle model and a battery type usually gives such information. If you cannot find the details in the manual, it is better to contact the manufacturer and clear out the details.
  2. The battery quality is to be high. The dealer and the manufacturer should correspond to the requirements and be reliable and trustworthy.
  3. Price often indicates the quality and life expectancy. Sometimes even low-quality things cost much but the price of most issues corresponds to their quality. It is required to study the feedback on trustworthy websites. It is also important to know whether the battery needs maintenance or not. An auto battery lets a car serve safely. A battery that needs maintenance makes the driver check its appropriateness. It does not mean that such batteries are bad. They are cheaper and need control. At the same time, they can serve long in case the user applies it correctly.
  4. Experts recommend comparing the exhausted battery with that you’d like to purchase. Take into consideration the size, the capacity, its configuration, and shape. Don’t forget to select the right power. Have a look at its reserve capacity and cold cranking amperes. The first characteristic tells us the period one battery can supply a car with energy when the engine is in a disabled condition. The second one manifests its starting power.
  5. The last thing one should take care of is the warranty of the battery. The longer it is the better the quality is. The warranty period reflects the manufacturer’s confidence in its characteristics. If it is longer than sixty months the battery will serve you properly.

When a person buys a car battery one should also consider the climate of the region and the length of the ride one needs. Hot weather conditions can lead to corrosion and make electrolyte vaporize. Frosty weather reduces the working hours of a power supplier. It is also essential to conduct a proper testing to check whether the battery does really need replacing.

How to Install Car Battery

Table of Content

  • 1 How to Recharge a Car Battery
  • 2 What Will You Need to Replace the Battery
    • 2.1 New Charged Battery
    • 2.2 Eye, Face and Hand Protection
    • 2.3 Memory Saver
    • 2.4 Wrenches
    • 2.5 Tapered Terminal and Cable Clamp Cleaning Brush
    • 2.6 Cable Clamp Puller and Spreader
  • 3 Removing an Old Battery
    • 3.1 Safety Precautions
    • 3.2 Turn off the Engine
    • 3.3 Locate the Battery
    • 3.4 Remove the Cables
    • 3.5 Remove the Battery Restraint
    • 3.6 Remove the Battery
  • 4 Installing a New One
    • 4.1 Check Cables and Connectors
    • 4.2 Place New Battery
    • 4.3 Reinstall Battery Restraint. Make Sure It Doesn’t Wiggle
    • 4.4 Reconnect Cables
    • 4.5 Recycle Your Old Battery
  • 5 Conclusion

How to Recharge a Car Battery

It often happens that a vehicle battery just lacks charge. The starter could remain silent but it doesn’t mean that the accumulator is kaput. Would you want to throw away a proper battery? Surely, you’d not. That’s why one should learn how to recharge a car battery.

To conduct that procedure you might require a specific charger. How to use a car battery charger? 
  • Worm out the level of the accumulator charge. Apply a voltmeter. A healthy battery must indicate more than 12.4V. A voltmeter can be bought at the car store or online shop.
  • In case the battery shows the value between 12 and 12.4V, you should drive. The alternator of your car will charge it but don’t use lights, stereo and other devices which require additional power. It usually takes 30 minutes to recharge your battery safely and make it ready for the next drive.
  • If the battery shows the charge lower than 12V then it’s time to recharge it. Search a car battery charger. It’s better not to ‘worry’ your car in this case because you might damage the alternator. There are different types of charging devices. Study your car battery to find out its capacity. For example, if the capacity is 85 amp hours it means that the battery supplies 1 amp for 85 hours, 5 amps for 17 hours, and so on. A charger rate varies from two to ten amps. The stronger it is the faster the battery will be charged. Still, experts do not recommend fast charging that might lead to plates buckling. Choose the room with a temperature of 25°C. Take a charging device and find the positive cable. Then connect it to the positive side of the car battery. It’s usually red. Now look for the negative side of the battery. Fasten the negative cable to it. It’s black as a rule. Then plug the device into the mains and switch it on. The indicator will show that the battery is ready. The indicator of the car battery should be green as a rule. After the charging, unplug the device and disconnect all cables.

You should also know the type of your battery. You might have Gel, Absorbed Glass Mat, or Flooded battery. They have different absorption capacity and float charging. For instance, flooded batteries have 14.4-14.8AC and 13.2-13.5FC.

What Will You Need to Replace the Battery

Before you start replacing the old accumulator with the new one you should make sure that it cannot be restored. If the testing shows that it won’t serve long then it’s high time to get the new one. Just like any other experienced driver you surely want to be able to replace the battery on your own. What do you need for car battery installation? First of all, you will require the knowledge. The procedure may seem to be simple but it is not. You are to follow the instruction in order to let everything function successfully.

What Will You Need to Replace the Battery

New Charged Battery

We have already discussed the procedure of new battery selection. You should remember that a car battery is a thing that makes it work. That is why you should purchase the right one. It must fit the car and be reliable. When you purchase the battery ask the seller to check it with the help of the voltmeter. If it indicates the notion between 12.6 to 12.9 V, this battery is charged and you may buy and apply it. If the index is lower, this battery malfunctions and you should choose the other one. One more possible variant of battery testing is to measure it in the car when the engine is started. It must show 13.7-14.1 Volt and higher. Diesel cars require a stronger battery as a rule. To feel sure read the manual instruction both of the car battery and of the car.

Eye, Face and Hand Protection

You may get goggles to secure your eyes from a splash of chemicals. There are also full face shields which can make the procedure safer in case of some troubles. Some of them just protect the face and the others even protect breathing passages. Don’t forget to take care of your hands. Choose the gloves of the right size. They must be comfortable, durable, and washable. They should be made of the material that will let your skin breathe and be safe (for example, they can be with thermal plastic rubber top closure).

Memory Saver

When you take the battery away your car loses its settings. That is why you should have a memory saver to prevent that loss. Your board computer will be safe and remain its settings including clock, alarms, presets of the radio, etc. Everything you need is to plug it in the outlet which lights cigarettes (12V). The device is equipped with the battery which allows the device to keep the data in its memory.

Wrenches

In order to remove the battery, you will need to disconnect cables which are held by bolts and nuts. You will require appropriate wrenches. These can be adjustable, crescent, socket wrenches or vise pliers. The choice depends on the car peculiarities. An average car needs a 0.4 inch one.

Car battery replace

Tapered Terminal and Cable Clamp Cleaning Brush

It’s a good idea to supply oneself with cleaners. You will use them to remove corrosion both from the cable end clamps and all terminal posts. Due to the tapered terminal and cable cleaning brushes your new car battery will be adjusted better. The connection will be safer and more effective. You may also apply anti-corrosive grease to make the device and all connecting details serve longer.

Cable Clamp Puller and Spreader

Cable clamp puller and spreader let you open a battery terminal with loosened nuts. It might become a perfect assistant in battery replacement (its removal and installation). You might get it together with other items or as an individual tool.

Removing an Old Battery

In case you have all the tools ready, you may proceed to the replacement. The first step you should do is to remove the old battery safely.

Safety Precautions

It is very important to conduct the procedure in well-ventilated and dry places. You could do it outside but the humidity must be normal, it should be neither too hot nor too cold, and that the weather shouldn’t change. Taking into consideration all these conditions, it’s safer to do that in a garage or a place like that. You should keep the distance between your own and other possible cars and vehicles (motorcycle, scooter, etc.). It is also important to conduct the procedure far away from the open fire and sparkles.

Next step you should consider is to secure your eyes and skin. Put on gloves, glasses or shield for not to hurt your eyes and respiratory airway in case of electrolyte vaporizing.

Turn off the Engine

Now you should turn off your automobile in order to switch off the power of the automobile. Do not forget to apply the handbrake. Now it’s time to plug a memory saver. That will prevent the board computer of “stress” and losing your personal settings.

Locate the Battery

To reach the battery you might need to open the hood. Apply the holder if the hood requires it. The battery might be located there. You will find it easily. It is a rectangular box implemented with two wires-contacts. Some car models keep batteries in other sections as, for example, the trunk. If you cannot find it search its location in the manual instruction.

Remove the Cables

Then you should disconnect the cable. Find positive (+) and negative (-) signs. First, remove the wire with a negative mark.

If you choose the positive one which is usually of red color you may provoke short circuit. After that, disconnect the positive cable. For not to confuse them, mark the cables if necessary. You might have to apply wrenches to do that. If there is corrosion, you should clean it with brushes and cover the connectors with anticorrosion grease.

Battery cables

Remove the Battery Restraint

Look for clip somewhere at the base or a bar just across the battery and withdraw it. It is an accumulator restraint. It doesn’t let the battery move and keeps it stable. You are to undo it in order to make it free and have a chance to pick it up.

Remove the Battery

Now it’s time to use cable clamp puller and spreader to dislocate the battery. Be ready to lift it slowly and carefully. It is rather heavy. Its weight may vary between 15 to 20 kilograms.
Precaution! Do not throw it away just in your wastebasket. You’d better return it to a specific service that will recycle it. For example, the manufacturer may accept it.

Installing a New One

The next step is to install a purchased car battery. Check whether the one you’ve purchased fits your model car or not. Make certain that “plus” and “minus” are located at the same place as those of your old car accumulator. Follow the next steps.

Check Cables and Connectors

All cables and connectors are to be thoroughly checked. They must lack damages or not be covered with corrosion. Some corrosion may be brushed away due to brushes. Some people use soda or other issues to remove corrosion. If there is a too serious damage it’s better to replace them.

Sometimes the battery tray needs cleaning. The cheapest and the easiest means is the combination of water and baking soda. Don’t forget about safety precautions and put on goggles and gloves.

Place New Battery

Now it’s time to place the new battery. Recollect the position of the previous one and just copy it. Some experts recommend taking a photo of the battery removal. That might help you avoid mistakes in a battery replacement. Take care of each battery terminal. None of them should contact metal issues of the motor section.

Reinstall Battery Restraint. Make Sure It Doesn’t Wiggle

The restraint is to be reinstalled and tightened down. That will make it stable and avoid shaking and moving of the battery.

Reconnect Cables

Now you should place cables in their places. First, reconnect the positive cable and only then the negative one. Make sure that you haven’t confused positive and negative cables. Don’t forget to adjust all nuts and bolts. Apply wrenches to make them tight. The usage of Lithium greasing could prevent the corrosion of contacts. Corrosion doesn’t let a battery send the proper amount of power to the car starting system.

Check everything again. Compare the look of the newly installed car battery with the picture of the old one. If everything is alright, then close the car hood or trunk and start a car. Look at board computer. The memory saver can be withdrawn if the settings are in the norm. There must be no warning indicators on the panel.

Car Battery

Recycle Your Old Battery

Your old battery might be recycled. You even might receive your deposit in case a retailer has promised to give it to you with the return of the malfunctioned battery. Your old battery may give life to a new one or used for other benefits.

NB! Never throw the battery as average garbage. It’s rather dangerous for the environment.

Conclusion

Car battery installation requires specific equipment and little time. This procedure is rather easy but you should be aware and attentive to each detail to avoid mistakes and accidents. Proper batteries serve longer if they are applied correctly. Still, your battery could fail because of some malfunctions, physical damage, aging, sulphation, over- and undercharging, etc. Examine your battery first. If it cannot be saved you’d better buy a new one and substitute the old battery to let your car drive safely and fast.

References:

  1. Linda Gaines. The Future of Automotive Lithium-ion Battery Recycling: Charting a Sustainable Course: Sustainable Materials and Technologies. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214993714000037
  2. Jen-Chih Peng. Car Battery Charger/Tester: Google Patents. Retrieved from https://patents.google.com/patent/US5955866A/en
  3. Feng Chen, Song Jiang, Xiaodong Zhang. SmartSaver: Turning Flash Drive Into a Disk Energy Saver for Mobile Computers: ACM. Digital Library. Retrieved from https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1165674
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