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 as well but some battery brackets are held in place with 12mm or 13mm bolt. 

To change the battery like a professional, you may need a few extra tools. 

What you need to change a car battery

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. 

TEKTON 14142 3/8-Inch Drive by 10 mm Shallow Socket, Cr-V, 6-Point

10mm 3/8 Drive Socket 

Craftsman 4 Piece 3/8-Inch Extension Bar Set, 9-43282

 3/8-inch Drive Socket Extension Set 

Stanley 91-929 3/8-Inch Drive Pear Head Quick Release Ratchet

3/8-Inch Drive Quick Release Ratchet 

Schumacher BAF-BI Terminal Cleaning Brush

Battery Terminal Cleaning Brush

Permatex 22058 Dielectric Tune-Up Grease, 3 oz. Tube

Battery Terminal Dielectric Grease

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. 

tools you need to change a car battery


Make sure to clean the battery post as well. 

what tools do you need to change battery in a car


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 just 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. 

tools needed to replace car battery 10 mm wrench socket


You can also use a combination 10mm open-end wrench to loosen the bolt. 

what tools do I need to change car battery


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

you need a 10 mm wrench to remove car battery


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

replacing car battery yourself tool you need extension ratchet


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. 

Dielectric Grease

It is highly recommended to use dielectric grease in order to protect the battery terminal connection 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  

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Change the car battery is very easy even if you don't have much experience with fixing cars, it is definitively one of the easiest repairs that you can do yourself.

On average it takes about 15-25 minutes to change the car battery.

Never short between the positive battery terminal and the car's body or the Negative terminal. You will sparks and may even damage electronics or the battery if you do this. Most importantly you may cause injuries to yourself.

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.