How To Disconnect Car Battery In A Safe Way

Working on a car battery can be daunting to a lot of people, especially for those who have just bought their first cars. One big mistake in handling any car parts, and you might have an accident. That’s why knowing how to handle car parts such as how to disconnect car battery is very crucial. Fortunately, disconnecting and reconnecting a car battery is one of the easiest things to do when working on a car project.

A lot of people would ask why removing a car battery is an essential knowledge to have. The main reason for removing the car battery is to prevent any electrocution accident, especially if you're working on other parts. Listed below are other possible reasons why disconnecting the car battery is needed.

1. Cleaning Purposes

Corrosion, dirt, and grime can accumulate in your battery. When this happens, enough electricity can’t be passed to the terminals. That’s why some of your electrical components might not work correctly.

To clean your car battery, you need to use an old toothbrush. Mix one heaping tablespoon of baking soda to a pint of water. Dry the battery and terminals using a dry towel.

2. Replacement

There will always be a time when you need to replace your car battery. Usually, car batteries can last from three to five years on average. When you have difficulty in turning on the ignition of your car, then you might need to replace it with a new one.

3. For Storage

If you're not going to drive your vehicle for a considerably long time, we recommended you to disconnect car battery for storage. One of the good examples is when you are away for vacation. This way, you can prevent the battery from draining. Frequent charge drainage causes the battery to have a shorter lifespan.


Precautions Before You Disconnect the Battery

  • Make sure that the vehicle is turned off
    It is essential to turn your vehicle off while working with the battery. Ensure that all the devices of your car powered by battery are off. Working on a car battery with car ignition on can cause accident or electrocution.
  • Work in a flat surface and well-ventilated area
    As much as possible, avoid changing the battery on the side of the road. There are a lot of things that might cause unfortunate events such as traffic or accident.
  • Remember important codes
    You might ask questions like, "If I disconnect my car battery, will it reset the system?" Disconnecting the battery will usually reset the clock, navigation, radio, and alarm settings of your car. Before you start disconnecting your battery, you must take note of important things.
  • Remove any jewellery
    You should avoid wearing your precious jewellery when you're working on your car battery. Remove your watch or your wedding ring to prevent getting an electric shock.
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Parts You Need to Know

how to disconnect car battery

There are two crucial things you need to know before you can work on your car battery. The most important parts are the negative terminal and the positive terminal. 

In a regular "AA" size battery, the negative and the positive terminals are usually labeled. In a car battery, the negative terminal is the one with a black cap or the one with the negative or "-" sign. Meanwhile, a positive terminal is the one with a red cap or a"+" sign. 

After determining where these terminals are, you need to determine the socket size for the socket wrench to work on the nut.


Tools You Need

You need proper tools to work on the battery car safely. The safety goggles are used to protect your eyes from unexpected sparks, which can become dangerous.

You will also need a wrench set to loosen the nut. Make sure to have your wrench extender ready in case you'll need it.

Last but not least, use insulated work gloves to protect your hand from electrocution, as well as flammable hydrogen gasses.


How to Disconnect a Car Battery?

1. Know the Battery's Location

Different cars have different specifications and part locations. Some cars have their battery compartment on one corner of the engine bay. Other cars would place the compartment near the windshield. For newer cars, possibly there will be a battery cover. 

2. Select the Correct Sized Socket for A Wrench

Typical socket sizes for the wrenches are 7-mm, 8-mm, 10-mm, or 13-mm. You'll need the wrench based on your vehicle. It will be easier if you have quick-release clamps as you won't need to use any tools. 

3. Loosen the Nut on the Negative Terminal First

Why you should disconnect the negative terminal first? This is to avoid causing a short circuit which might damage some electronic equipment in the vehicle. Always work on the negative terminal first. 

4. Disconnect the Negative Cable

The next thing to do is to remove the cable from the terminal. Use some tying material to make sure that that the cable will not make any contact to any metal. 

5. Do the Same with the Positive Terminal

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the positive terminal. Make sure that both cables will not touch metal, as well as each other's end.

6. Remove the Battery from the Car

Finally, remove the car battery to start cleaning, replacement, or simply for storage. Some car batteries may weight more than 20 pounds, and you might want to ask another person to help you lift the battery.


How to Reconnect A Car Battery?

1. Put the (New) Battery in the Car

First, you need to clean both the negative and positive cable with a terminal brush. After that, put the (new) battery in the car compartment. 

2. Put Battery Washers 

Put anti-corrosion washers on both terminals. The red washer would be for the positive terminal while the black one is for the negative terminal. They are easily available on online stores or any garage shop nearby.

3. Attach the Positive Cable First

When attaching a new battery or the previous one, insert the cable to positive terminal first and make sure the cable will go to the bottom of the terminal. Use the wrench to tighten up the nut. 

4. Do the Same with the Negative Cable

Do the same step for the negative cable. Spray some Battery Protector and Sealer in both terminals. This will prevent the buildup of corrosion. 

5. Test the Car for Issues

Last but not least, test your battery by starting your car. The car should start easily if the battery is installed correctly. If that doesn’t work, you will need to check for the possible errors.


Final Thought

Performing a car battery replacement is one of the most basic things that a car owner should master. There are times where the battery should be replaced or stored, and knowing the proper process on how to disconnect car battery and reconnecting it back is a must. Before proceeding, it is worthy to note essential codes. Disconnecting the battery will reset some functions of the car such as navigation, alarm settings, and clock. 

In removing the battery, work with the negative terminal first. This terminal is usually labeled with "-" and a black cap. In reconnecting the battery, connect the positive cable first. The positive terminal is often labeled with "+" and has the red cap. 

Avoid working on a busy street or a place with a lot of hazardous elements such as water or fire. Work in a well-ventilated area and on a flat surface. Prepare the tools that you will need. Remove any metal jewelry such a ring or a watch while working in your car battery. 

Remember these things and working with your car batteries won't sound like a chore anymore.

Check Out Other Types of Car Batteries

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