How to Install a Car Battery

Knowing how to safely install a car battery is a great skill to have. After all, it can be the difference between waiting on a pricey service call and hitting the road.

Installing a Battery 101

The battery is a vital part of your car. It powers your engine, and it also keeps your accessories running smooth — like your lights, radio, and GPS. A dead battery is never convenient, and you never want to find yourself stuck in your driveway or on the side of the road with a dead battery. Before you set the pedal to the metal, it’s important to know how to change your car’s battery in case of an emergency. Remember: these tips are general guidelines, and you should always check your manufacturer’s directions before doing any work on your vehicle.

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Step 1: Safety First

Before you start anything, you should take the necessary precautions to help avoid injuries. Consider these tips when handling or working with a lead-acid battery:
  • Always wear safety glasses or goggles and a face shield.
  • Wear clothing that protects your face, hands and body.
  • Make sure your work area is well ventilated.
  • Never lean over the battery while boosting, testing or charging.
  • Keep cigarettes, flames or sparks away from the battery. They could ignite the battery and cause an explosion.
  • Do not charge your battery, use booster cables, or adjust post connections without instructions and training.
  • Keep vent caps tight and level.
  • If you come into contact with battery acid, immediately rinse the area with water and call a physician.
  • Keep car batteries out of reach of children.

Step 2: Check for Damage

Before removing or installing a battery, check the battery, cables, and the surrounding area for any damage such as:
  • A cracked or broken case
  • Terminal damage
  • Damage to the cables
  • A bloated battery
  • Missing vent caps
  • Missing hold-down

Step 3: Installation Steps

Before you install a battery, make sure you have the right one for your car. You can use the Battery Part Finder to help you find the right size and fit.
  1. Remove the ground (black) cable first. Remember: use the proper size box or open wrench when removing the cables.
  2. Take out the old battery.
  3. Place the new battery into position.
  4. If the original battery had a cover or heat shield, place it on the new battery.
  5. Re-tighten the hold-downs until they’re snug.
  6. Connect the positive (red) cable to the positive post of the battery.
  7. Connect the negative (black) cable to the negative post of the battery.

Step 4: How to Dispose of Your Old Battery

You should never throw your old battery out with your household trash. Instead, you can bring any lead-acid battery into Walmart and we will dispose of it for you for free. If you buy a new battery during the same visit, you can also save on the core fee. For more information on Walmart car services, visit our Tire & Lube Express Battery and other services.

Accessories & Related Products:

This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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