How to Install a Car Battery
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.
Shop car batteries
Shop car batteries
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.
- Remove the ground (black) cable first. Remember: use the proper size box or open wrench when removing the cables.
- Take out the old battery.
- Place the new battery into position.
- If the original battery had a cover or heat shield, place it on the new battery.
- Re-tighten the hold-downs until they’re snug.
- Connect the positive (red) cable to the positive post of the battery.
- 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.
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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.