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Hey, you're in the vehicle / car zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Cars / Trucks / Vans Category: Battery

Maintenance Issues:

How to install a battery.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

·         Appropriate battery

·         Battery holder

·         Wrench

·         Flat screwdriver

·         Pan/container

·         Baking soda

·         Water

·         Spoon/stick

·         Rags

·         Hard-wire brush

·         Petroleum jelly

·         Large enough container/bucket (for temporary old battery storage enroute to proper disposal)

·         2 hefty bags (for temporary old battery storage enroute to proper disposal)


Installing a vehicle battery is relatively simple.

Do the following to install your new battery:

  1. Preferably, the vehicle should not have been running for at least 15 minutes.

  2. With the hood open, disconnect the cable terminals from the old battery, loosening the nuts in the process (with a wrench if need be), starting the disconnect with the negative (black) cable and then the positive (red) cable.

  3. Take the clamp off the old battery.

  4. Carefully remove the old battery from the vehicle tray and out of the vehicle itself; you may want to use a battery holder for this moving process so as to avoid dropping and consequently creating a potential battery leak (if there is not one already).

  5. Put this old battery in a large enough container/bucket or double wrap it in at least two hefty bags for later disposal at a local recycling center, hazardous center or auto shop that is accepting of such.

  6. Prepare a baking soda-water solution in a pan/container, mixing about 4 parts baking soda to 3 parts water, and mix them together with a spoon/stick to form a solution.

  7. Use this baking soda-water solution to clean off the vehicle's battery tray and clamp, dipping a rag into the solution and using this rag and, if necessary, a hard-wire brush, to scrub off any stubborn corrosion found thereon.  (Incidentally, if you encounter a battery leak, this solution can be used to wash it off your contaminated clothes, furniture or even hands.)

  8. Carry the new battery, preferably in the battery holder, to the vehicle's newly cleaned battery tray for installation.

  9. Once the new battery is in the battery tray, connect the cable terminals and clamp to the new battery (as you observed they were originally connected with the old battery), making sure you are acutely aware of making the right positive (red cable) and negative (black cable) connections.  Make sure the connections--the nuts--are snug-tight with your hands and use a wrench if necessary.

  10. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly over the cable connections in an effort to resist future corrosion.

You're done.  Your vehicle now has a new lease on life--at least as to its battery operation.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team




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