Learning how to disconnect a car battery is an important skill that could save you a lot of money when doing it yourself rather than hiring a professional mechanic. To disconnect the battery, you need to follow these steps:
- Prepare necessary equipment
- Locate the battery
- Differentiate between the negative and positive terminals
- disconnect the cables
- Take the battery out while holding the clamp
Cars batteries are not designed to last forever, and there will be a bit of time to either replace or repair them. In some situations, repairing the car battery requires disconnecting the battery and taking it out. Thus, learning how to disconnect the car battery is an essential skill that could save you a lot of money.
The good news is that you can disconnect the car battery yourself, which means you don't have to worry about hourly rates for hiring a professional mechanic. However, since the car battery has some electrical voltage, it is important to follow a certain procedure to disconnect the battery without causing any issue to yourself or the vehicle.
This article provides you with a step-by-step procedure on how to disconnect the car battery. The procedure is simple enough, and even if you don't have any previous experience with disconnecting car batteries, you should follow along and not have any trouble.
Why do I need to disconnect the car battery?
Before we discuss the details on how to disconnect the car battery, we would like to give you an overview of situations where you need to disconnect the battery here at once you know these situations, you understand how important it is to learn this skill before an emergency happens where you don't have any close by help or support.
Here are some of the common situations where you need to disconnect the car battery:
For maintenance purposes
your car's battery is one of those components that cannot be repaired while sitting in its tray. Therefore, before performing any maintenance, you have to take the battery out. Learning how to disconnect the car battery and take it out yourself can save a lot on repairing the battery.
Note that fixing a car battery is not a cheap process, and the more you can do towards it, the more you can save.
For charging purposes
in some vehicles, you might need to recharge the battery using a certain external charge source. Therefore, you won't be able to do so unless you take it out.
For replacement purposes
obviously, if your car battery is at the end of its lifetime, the only solution for you to get your vehicle going is by replacing the car battery. To replace the car battery, you must disconnect the old one and take it out before installing the new one.
Keep in mind that car batteries need replacement once every two to five years, which is not a very long-time frame during the lifetime of your car. Therefore, learning such skills through a short article can help you save money that you'll have to pay once every two to five years.
For storage purposes
some automotive experts recommend disconnecting the car battery when you're planning to store it for extended time frames here; of course, there might be some debate about whether to disconnect the battery or not, but if you decided to go this route, learning how to do so by yourself without needing a mechanic can save you some money as well.
How to disconnect the car battery?
No, you understand exactly when it's important to disconnect the car battery; here's all you need to do to disconnect the battery safely without causing any problem:
Prepare tools and equipment
before you start the job of disconnecting the car battery, you must collect all your tools to save yourself a lot of time and effort. Imagine you start the job and figure out that you have to purchase a certain range? That will take you a lot of time and will make the process much longer.
In general, you will need the following items:
- The vehicles owner’s manual
- a 10-millimeter open-end wrench
- a socket wrench
- an adjustable open-end wrench
- Eye protection
keep in mind that you might not necessarily use all of these wrenches depending on your vehicle's type, but it's good to have them as a backup.
Choose the right location
although disconnecting a car battery does not involve any mess and will not cause any leaks around you, it is important to choose the right location for disconnecting the battery.
An ideal place would be your vehicle's garage or the backyard, where there are not many people or traffic close by.
determine the battery location
depending on your vehicle's make, model, and year, the battery might be located in different corners. Therefore, you must refer to your vehicle's owner’s manual to locate the battery. Usually, the battery should exist under the hood and be secured with a couple of bolts. Of course, this might not be the case in your vehicle, and your manual should give you a better idea.
Referring to the manual shows you where the battery exists and provides it with some guidance on how to detach it based on your vehicle’s specifications.
Familiarize yourself with the battery terminals
you might already know that the battery has one positive and one negative terminal. Disconnecting the car battery requires a certain order, and you cannot simply remove one terminal before the other. Therefore, understanding where and how to distinguish between the positive and negative terminals is a must.
Obviously, the vehicles owner’s manual might have some details, but in general, the positive terminal is either marked with a “+” or comes in red color in old vehicles. On the other hand, the negative terminal is marked with a “-“sign or comes in black color.
Disconnect the battery cables
Among all steps in disconnecting a car battery, is connecting the cables is the most sensitive step that needs to be done with caution. Before you do so, you must put on any protective glasses and make sure that the ignition switch is turned off.
When disconnecting the cables, it is essential to remove the negative cable before the positive one. To do so, you'll need to use a certain wrench, and you might have to wiggle the cable a little bit to get it out freely.
Note that you must not let your wrench touch both the positive and negative terminals at the same time because this could cause some sparks that might put your life at risk. Even if you will know for sure that your car's battery doesn't have any charge or it's not in bad condition, it does not necessarily guarantee that you don't have any residual charge.
When taking out the negative terminal, it is very important to place it away from the positive one while you're working on it. It is not rare that as you are wiggling the positive terminal, the negative cable touches the positive one and causes some damage is.
The worst part about messing up between negative and positive terminals is that it might cause some damage to the electrical components in your vehicle.
Once you are familiar with the right way of disconnecting the cables, disconnecting a car battery should be a piece of cake, and you won't have any trouble in the other steps.
Take the battery out
once the positive and negative terminals and cables are disconnected, the final step is to take the battery out. Remember that depending on your vehicle's type, the battery might sit on a certain clam connecting it to the tray, so it doesn't get out by itself.
Therefore, an additional step of removing the clamp is needed. To do so, you can use a socket wrench, and you will most likely need some extension because the bolts that are holding the clam are usually located at the bottom, where you can't easily reach them.
After disconnecting the clam, you can go ahead and remove the battery from the tray.
That's it! You did it!
Which battery terminal do you take off first?
Whether you’re disconnecting the battery or trying to perform a jumpstart, it is very important to understand the order of which terminal to disconnect first.
In general, you must disconnect the negative terminal before the positive one. When you're putting the battery back, you must connect the positive terminal first and then the negative one.
Long story short, you don't want to leave your negative terminal connected to the battery by itself without a positive one.
Why is it recommended to disconnect the battery for storage purposes?
As we indicated before, some automotive experts recommend disconnecting the car battery if you're planning to store it for extended timeframes. When disconnecting the car battery, you'll get the following benefits:
You'll save a lot on the battery charge
When you disconnect the car battery, you are preventing it from draining. However, many internal components might still deplete the car battery even if the engine is not running. For example, the car's clock and the onboard computer system still uses the battery charge when the engine is not running.
You'll save a lot on buying a new battery
if you disconnected the car battery, it would not rain, and therefore, its lifetime can get extended. Thus, you don't have to worry about purchasing a brand-new battery even though it is not very expensive, but it's still a good amount of money to save.
Are there any alternatives for disconnecting the car battery?
If you did not have the time to disconnect the car battery and still would like to save its charge, you could use a trickle charger. The trickle charger can slowly recharge the battery as it drains out. Therefore, it will act like the battery is not connected to any electrical components, and no charge is taken away from the battery.
How long can a battery last if disconnected?
According to experts, if you disconnected the car battery, it could last up to six months. But, of course, it can last even longer if you charge the disconnected battery from time to time.
Understanding how to disconnect a car battery is a very important skill for any driver. It can save you a lot of money do it yourself down hiring a professional mechanic.
To disconnect the car battery, you'll need to prepare the necessary equipment, locate the battery, differentiate between the positive and negative terminals, remove the cables, and then take the battery out.
If you notice that you will need to remove the battery frequently, it might signify that your battery is not in great condition. If that's the case, replacing the battery might be a must to keep your vehicle going and save you many headaches. Keep in mind that battery prices are not very cheap, and if the car's battery is not the only problem in your vehicle, it might be the right time now to sell your car to Cash Cars Buyer instead and use the money towards a better vehicle.
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