All batteries have a shelf life, and that includes the one sitting under the hood of your vehicle. Usually, the battery in your vehicle needs to be replaced every 3 to 6 years, depending on the type of vehicle you drive, and the conditions you drive under. If your engine is having trouble starting (or won’t start at all!) it may be because your battery is nearing (or at!) the end of its life.
How do you find out if your battery is to blame for your issues? Well, there are a few warning signs to watch for; a swollen battery case, or foul odour coming from it are signs something’s gone wrong. Your engine struggling to turn over when you go to start it can also be an indicator it’s having problems drawing enough power to start. Also, a check engine light is a pretty solid indicator something is wrong.
We have a little experience when it comes to helping you deal with battery issues for your vehicle. As such, your friends here at Go Auto Don Mills Chrysler have put together a handy step-by-step guide for you to take a look at if you suspect it may be time for you to change your battery.
Step 1: Find Your Battery
Usually speaking, the battery for a vehicle is located in the front right corner of the engine. It’s worth noting this isn’t universal, though, and the battery might be a little trickier to find in some models! Fortunately, your owner’s manual will be able to show you exactly where to find your battery, if need be.
Step 2: Disconnect the Old Battery
Once you’ve found your battery, it’s time to get it out of the engine. You’ll need a wrench or a ratchet to loosen the bolts holding the terminals in place. Now, find the black connector—this is the negative terminal, and disconnect it first. Next, move on to the red connector for the positive terminal. Once the terminals are disconnected, it will be safe to carefully remove the battery from the tray.
Step 3: Clean the Battery Tray
Now that the old battery is out, take a few minutes to clean out the tray before inserting the new one. Corrosion, rust, and even dirt can accumulate in the tray, and those can all shorten the life of a new battery. Use water, a brush, and a little elbow grease to clean it up, as well as the cable connectors. Once it’s all dry, it will be safe to put the new battery in place.
Step 4: Connect the New Battery
To connect the new battery, you’re going to essentially reverse the steps of disconnecting it. First, attach the red positive terminal to the battery, and tighten the bolt holding it in place. Second, you’ll attach the black negative terminal, and then tighten that bolt. Be careful! Attaching the negative terminal first can cause a short circuit when you attach the positive! Once the new battery is connected, close up the hood, and give the engine a start, just to make sure you’ve done everything correctly!
Be sure to dispose of the old battery at either a local recycling depot, or a service centre. As always, if you’re having any problems replacing your battery, or you’d just prefer to let a professional handle it for you, our service centre here at Go Auto Don Mills Chrysler is happy to help. We’re even open late on Wednesdays!