You have received your new replacement battery for your car or van, now what?

Rather than go to the local garage, you might want to save a few quid and do some DIY. It is much easier to replace a car battery at home, then you might think. At The Battery Guys, we are always here to offer advice and support, so we have put together a comprehensive guide on the fitting of car/van batteries.

Please note, if you wish to proceed in changing a stop-start battery (AGM model) – please consult your local garage or auto-electrician. The following information will not apply to you.

What you need;

  • Half an hour
  • Adjustable spanner. Socket or full spanner set can be useful too.
  • Car radio codes, satnav codes, and any appropriate pin codes.
  • Insulation tape

Replacing the car battery can reset any of the saved codes and settings on your system, so it is important to have those handy for those occasions. Unfortunately, there is no fool-proof “how to change a car battery without losing settings” guide available.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Find the battery of your car. Usually located under the bonnet, can occasionally be found under the passenger seat. If stuck, get in touch.
  2. Carefully remove the plastic cover
  3. Remove the nuts holding the battery bracket, keep them safe to one side.
  4. Check the battery and the surrounding area for any acid leakage. Battery acid is nasty stuff, should you find any please contact your local mechanic to take it from here. You should also ask them to check for any damage that may have occurred from the acid.
  5. There should be two terminals on top of the battery – positive and negative, with clamps connecting the leads to them. The positive terminal is usually denoted by a red cap, plus sign (+) or both. Please do not in any circumstances rest your spanner on the battery in case of any shortages that could occur.
  6. Without forcing it, unscrew the negative terminal gently until you are able to pull off the clamp and lead. Wrap this in insulation tape until the new battery has been installed.
  7. Repeat this process with the positive terminal.
  8. Once both terminals have been disconnected, you should now be able to lift the battery up and out of the battery bay. When removing the car battery, it can be heavy, so take care when lifting it. Some batteries come with a ‘hold down’ clamp. In this instance, you should just be able to unclamp this and then proceed with taking out the old battery.
  9. Insert the replacement battery into the battery bay. If you needed to undo the hold-down clamp to uninstall the previous battery, ensure the reverse is done in this step.
  10. Remove the plastic terminal casing, to reveal the metal conductive surface of the terminal.
  11. This time, you must connect the positive terminal first. Remove the insulation tape applied earlier and push the screw onto the terminal and slowly screw the clamp into place until fully secure
  12. Repeat with the negative terminal.
  13. Replace the clamp and plastic covering from the first steps, use the screws set aside earlier.

Voila! Your replacement battery is now installed! If you are still having issues turning over your engine, consult your local mechanic or auto-electrician.

We recommend that you dispose of your previous battery at your local refuge centre. Most should have a dedicated car/van battery skip. When doing so, make sure that the terminals are covered with insulation tape and the battery is held the correct way up in transit to the refuge center, to avoid shortages and leakages.