To change the battery in your car, you must have a 10mm open-end wrench. The battery cables always use 10mm nuts. The battery bracket typically uses a 10mm bolt, but some battery brackets are held in place with a 12mm or 13mm bolt.
To change the battery like a professional, you may need a few extra tools.
With these tools, you can change the battery in virtually any car. Of course, there are a few cars out there that need specialty tools.
Now let's look more in-depth at the tools that you need to replace a car battery yourself.
How to use these tools
Let's take a look at how you would use these tools to change a car battery.
Battery Terminal Brush
You will need a battery terminal brush to scrub the corroded battery terminal. Just insert the brush and twist the clean your battery positive and negative clamps.
Make sure to clean the battery post as well.
10 mm Combination Wrench or Socket
Before you can remove the battery and clean it, you need to loosen the 10 mm nut. The nut doesn't need to come off; you need to get it loose. Once you loosen the 10 mm bolt on the negative and positive battery bracket, you can remove the battery clamps.
You can also use a combination 10mm open-end wrench to loosen the bolt.
Tools to remove battery bracket
Depending on how your battery is mounted, you may need one of the following:
Removing batteries that have the bracket on top
Most Japanese cars such as Honda Toyota or American cars such as Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge have the battery secured with a bracket on top of the battery. These batteries are easy to replace. Remove the 10 mm that holds the bracket in place. Remove the bracket and pull out the battery.
Removing batteries that have a side bracket
In many European cars such as BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, the battery is held in place with a bracket at the bottom of the battery. The bolt for the bracket is typically either a 12mm or 13mm bolt. You will need an 8" extension and a ratchet to get to this bolt, which is down, and usually, there isn't much room for your hands.
It is highly recommended to use dielectric grease to protect the battery terminal from corrosion and improve the connection.
Where is a car battery located?
The most common locations where you will find a car battery are:
- The engine bay
- In the trunk
- Under the rear seat
When replacing a car battery, which terminal do you disconnect and connect first?
When removing the battery, start by disconnecting the negative terminal first. Then disconnect the positive battery terminal.
When connecting the battery, connect the positive terminal first. Lastly, connect the negative battery terminal.
How difficult is it to change the car battery yourself?
Changing a car battery is relatively easy. Change the car battery is straightforward even if you don't have much experience fixing cars; it is definitively one of the easiest repairs you can do yourself.
How long does it take to change the battery yourself?
On average, it takes about 15-25 minutes to charge a car battery.
What should I keep in mind when changing the car battery myself?
Always disconnect the negative terminal first. Never short between the positive battery terminal and the car's body or the Negative terminal. You will create sparks and may even damage electronics or the battery if you do this. Most importantly, you may cause injuries to yourself.
Can I replace the battery for free?
Yes. Most stores that sell batteries will install it free of charge. Advance Auto Parts and Autozone, for example, will install the battery for free if you buy the new battery from them.