Having a flat car battery is a scenario which all car owners face at some point of time. What should you do in that situation and how long does it take to replace a car battery? Find out more.
While a car’s engine might seem like the beating heart of any car, the fact is, without the car battery, the engine won’t be able to produce a single horsepower. The car’s battery is the primary source of electricity in the car. Aside from running the obvious electrical components of the car such as lights, wipers, stereo etc., the car battery also runs the spark plugs which ignite the fire within the engine which produces the power needed to run the car. A car with a flat battery is not going to go anywhere, no matter how well tuned your engine is and how much fuel is in your tank. Modern cars depend even more on the battery. A lot of them have electronic power steerings, electric parking brakes, electric windows and doors . If the car’s battery dies, all these features will also stop working. Battery issues may give you some signs before they happen. You will see some symptoms that the battery needs to be changed as soon as possible. To avoid any bad or embarrassing situation and sudden stopping of your car, you need to seek advice as soon as you see the warning signs. In this post, we will discuss how to deal with some of the common issues of a car battery, when to replace it, how to replace it and how long does it take to replace a car battery. Let’s get started.
How Long Does it Take to Replace a Car Battery: Vital Info
How to Know If Your Car Needs a New Battery?
This is not a difficult thing. In case you face these symptoms, you will most probably need to replace your car battery:
Difficulty Starting the Engine
This is the most obvious symptom as your battery ages. The internal parts might be worn out, making it difficult for the battery to start the engine.
Dimmed Lights and Electronic Failure
We all know that the battery powers up all electrical systems in the car, including lights, accessories, and car computers, among others. These systems need a source of electricity to run, and when the battery gets old, they stop running. You will notice that the dashboard lights are dimmer compared with when the battery was good.
Check Engine Lamp is ON
The electrical system in vehicles relies on reading voltages and a drop of voltages across the car’s components. When the ECU reads a strange voltage drop, the check engine lamp turns on. Therefore, when the car battery is bad, it does not provide components with the right voltage to run properly; thus, the ECU reads a fault, and the check engine lamp comes ON.
A damaged battery or internally shorted one can leak gas. This gas is the result of the chemical interaction inside the battery. Therefore, when you smell rotten eggs like odor in the car hood, you need to change the battery as soon as possible.
A bad battery can make an overcharge. This overcharge gets the battery acid out of the case and gets contaminated. You will, therefore, see some white ashes or corrosion at the terminal of the battery.
How to Replace your car battery?
In case you encounter any of the symptoms mentioned above, you will most probably need to replace your car’s battery. Here’s how you can do it:
Tools Required: 10-mm Socket Wrench, 13-mm Socket Wrench
- Find a safe place away from any sparks, open flames or water, and park the car on a level surface. Turn the car off and engage the parking brake. Get the keys out of the ignition to ensure that there is no electricity drawn from the battery.
- Put on safety gear to be safe from battery acids that may burn your hand. Put on safety gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and eyes, then pop the hood.
- Inside the hood, you will see the battery. It’s usually on the left side of the engine bay. You will find it attached to two cables.
- One of the two cables is colored (black) (-). This is the ground (negative) terminal. This cable should be disconnected first. Always detach this cable first before the positive cable to avoid short circuits.
- Disconnect the other cable, which is the positive (red) (+) terminal, by loosening the positive cable clamp using the wrench.
- Look at the bottom of the battery, and you will find a bolted bracket securing the battery in place. Use a 13 mm wrench to loosen it. Get the battery out of the car by lifting it by hand and set it aside on a concrete surface.
- Be sure of buying a correct battery with the same info as the old one, such as size capacity and part number.
- Place the new battery in place, lock it in place with the bracket and tighten the bolt with the 13-mm socket wrench. Apply a light layer of lithium grease on the two terminals to prevent corrosion and acidic build-ups.
- Reconnect the positive cable first. Put the cable over the terminal and retighten the 10-mm bolt using the socket wrench. Place the terminal cover.
- Connect the negative cable with the negative terminal and tighten the bolt with a 10 mm socket wrench.
- Put everything in place and ensure that everything is fastened and secured properly. There shouldn’t be any wiggling in the battery/cables. Put the hood back down and start the engine. Check to see if everything is running smoothly.
How Long Does It Take to Replace a Car Battery?
This process usually takes anything between 15 to 30 minutes. This time can vary depending on the model of the car. The ease of access is also important. Some car manufacturers place their batteries under the engine components so it’s very difficult to access it and you need to take it to a mechanic in order to replace the battery. The prior experience of the person replacing the battery is also critical. First timers usually take longer to replace a car battery than an experienced mechanic.
How Long Does It Take to Replace a Car Battery: Conclusion
As a car owner, keeping track of your battery’s condition is crucial. Monitoring your battery’s status is critical to keep your car running properly. In case you come across any signs of a damaged battery, it’s always better to replace it sooner rather than later. This will prevent any untoward battery related accidents from occuring during driving. In case you find that replacing the battery is very difficult for you to do yourself, get the help of a mechanic. But remember to never drive a car with an old and damaged battery.