How to disconnect a car battery | The proper way

There are specific steps for how to disconnect a car battery. Car battery disconnection is not a complicated process that requires your car to visit a mechanic.

There are a number of things that can cause you to disconnect the car battery. For example, During car battery replacement time, and cleaning corrosion.

Today’s guide will show you a step by step process of disconnecting the car battery. Disconnecting and replacing a gasoline car battery is not such a hard task.

Disconnecting the car battery terminals.

Ensure that you take some precautions like wearing some safety glasses and protective gloves. This will prevent your hands from coming in contact with the car battery chemicals.

If you’re disconnecting the battery because you are facing electrical system problems, be careful not to get electrocuted. In fact, if you’re wearing any watches or rings, it is advisable to remove them in order to reduce the risk of electrocution.

a]. Turn off the engine.

Ensure that the vehicle ignition is off. Never attempt to disconnect the car battery terminals when the car engine is running. Also, never disconnect the battery when the ignition is powered on.

This minimizes the risk of getting electrocuted. Afterwards, open the car hood to access the car engine. There is a lever inside the vehicle that releases the car hood hatch for you to open it.

The lever is usually located around the driver’s seat or on the dashboard under the steering wheel. Though there are vehicles whose battery is not located under the car hood.

Other common areas where the battery is located are under the passenger’s seat. Alternatively, you will find the car battery in the trunk.

If you cannot find the car battery, ensure that you read the owner’s manual. Further, if you have been driving, ensure that you give the engine a few minutes to cool. Approximately, 20 to 30 minutes.

b]. Identify battery terminals.

When you’re buying a new car battery, the terminals are clearly labeled on the battery casing. However, if the battery you bought doesn’t have the battery terminal symbols, there are plastic covers that vary in color.

So that you can differentiate the positive from the negative terminal. The positive + terminal is covered by a red cap while the negative – terminal is covered by a black cap.

c]. Loosen the nut on the negative terminal.

Get a wrench and tighten it around the nut that holds the negative terminal in place. Turn the wrench anti-clockwise approximately 3 to 4 times in order to loosen the nut. If the nut is loose enough, take the terminal off. The nut may stay in place on the terminal connector.

d]. Remove the negative terminal cable.

Wiggle the cable back and forth in order to loosen it from the battery terminal. An accumulation of battery corrosion could make it hard for you to pull the cable off immediately.

Therefore, you will have to use some gentle force. Be careful that you don’t damage the terminals. Once you remove the cable, place it far from the battery. This will help you to avoid an accidental reconnection. Alternatively, you can cover the metallic part of the cable with a tape.

e]. Remove the positive terminal nut and cable.

Fasten the wrench against the nut and turn it counter-clockwise. Once the nut is loose, wiggle the cable gently to free it from the terminal connection. Afterwards, ensure that the cable stays away from terminal or cover the metallic part with a tape.

After carrying out these steps, your battery connections will be loose. But there is a metallic bar that is usually put in place to ensure that the battery doesn’t move back and forth.

While the battery is in such a loose condition, you may clean the terminals to get rid of any corrosion. You may also jumpstart the car battery when it’s terminals are disconnected.

Removing the car battery.

This is done when it is absolutely necessary. For example, when you want to charge the car battery or you intend to install a different battery.

a]. Remove the battery bracket.

The battery hold-down clamp is a metallic rod that holds the battery in place. It ensures the battery is not affected by the vigorous engine movement. The car battery size has to fit into the battery socket so that the bracket can be effective. Otherwise, even the car hood may fail at its role if the battery is too large.

Some cars have a battery bracket that is automated such that it only snaps onto the battery to keep it in place. Others have one or two nuts which fasten the bracket over the battery.

In order to remove the battery hold-down clamp, use a wrench to loose the nuts. You will have to remove the nuts completely so that you get room to remove the bracket from its position. Make sure that you set aside the nuts and the bracket to prevent from falling into the engine bay.

b]. Remove battery from tray.

Once the battery bracket is off completely, use both hands to raise the car battery from the battery tray. Ensure that you maintain an upright position of the battery once it comes out.

The upright position will ensure that the battery acid doesn’t shake from one side to the other. Additionally, you prevent battery acid leakage when you keep it in an upright position.

If you’ve observed the signs of a bad car battery and you wish to replace it, compare the size of the new battery to the old. Place the old battery next to the new one in order to tell if they have the similar size.

Car battery maintenance tips.

The car battery life largely depends on how you take care of it. There are a number of things that you can do to ensure that engine performance is not affected by a bad battery.

a]. Inspect the cables.

Once you have disconnected the positive and negative terminal cables, observe their condition. Ensure that the rubber casing around the cables doesn’t have cracks. Wipe the cables to clean them up by removing any dirt particles and corrosion accumulation.

b]. Clean the battery corrosion.

For this, you will need a wire brush, baking soda and some water. Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda into 300Ml of water. Deep the brush into the mixture to make the bristles wet.

Afterwards, pour the mixture onto the battery terminals and let it sit for 5 minutes. Next, use the brush to scrub off the corrosion. Afterwards, use a dry cotton-fiber cloth to dry the terminals. Apply petroleum jelly or anti-corrosion grease onto the terminals to prevent accumulation of corrosion in future.

Car battery installation.

Once everything is clean, it is time to reconnect the battery. But first, use a battery tester to ensure that the battery’s voltage is at the recommended level of 12.6 volts.

a]. Return battery inside the tray.

Gently place the battery within the tray. Make sure that the battery stays upright through out this process. Return the battery hold-down clamp and screw it in place. Screw it down and ensure that it is held firmly. This will minimize the vibrations that the battery feels from the engine.

b]. Connect the positive terminal first.

Unlike the process of disconnecting the battery, we start with the positive terminal during reconnection. Place the cable onto the the battery terminal post and use a wrench to turn the screw clockwise.

d]. Connect the negative terminal.

The general rule states that if the battery is to have a connected terminal, either during connection or disconnection, it should be the positive terminal. Therefore, the negative terminal disconnects first and reconnects last.

Place the cable onto the negative terminal post and use the wrench to tighten its hold onto the terminal post. Your car battery connection has been restored. It is time to start the vehicle. But first, close the car hood.

If the spark plug is in the right condition, the engine will be fired up immediately without much cranking. Once the engine is running, the alternator will supply the battery with electric current to recharge it. Because the electric current used by the battery to start the engine needs replacement.

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