Removing Old Car Batteries

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When it’s time to replace your worn-out car battery, follow these steps for a safe and efficient process. There are many hazards to avoid when handling and disposing of a battery, so follow these steps to enjoy a convenient maintenance task at home and at your local auto parts store.

Car batteries use lead and acid to store electricity and power your car’s electrical systems. Improper handling or disposal can lead to acid burns, exposure to lead, or contamination of groundwater. These materials are safely sealed in a plastic case, but older batteries may be damaged or leaking. Follow these steps to remove your battery safely.

Which Battery Terminal Do You Take Off First?

Before you remove either battery terminal, it’s essential to prepare your work area. Find a wrench or socket set, safety glasses, gloves, and other work clothes. Park your car on level ground where you have plenty of light under the hood. If possible, avoid working in the engine compartment of your vehicle in adverse weather.

Use extreme caution when handling an old battery, particularly if you notice any cracks in the case. Leaking sulfuric acid can be harmful to you and the environment, so don’t come in direct contact with any liquid on, in or near your battery. If you need to remove your battery, promptly take it to a recycling center or auto store for safe disposal.

Consider testing your battery before removing it. A dead battery that’s over three years old may need to be replaced, but a newer battery may simply need a recharge. Use an auto battery charger to easily recharge your battery at home or anywhere else your battery unexpectedly fails.

Always remove the negative cable from the terminal first. This will prevent the risk of electrical shock. The negative terminal is marked with a minus symbol and is typically gray, black or unpainted. Once the negative terminal is removed, put the cable out of the way to avoid accidentally connecting it with the positive terminal.

Your battery cables are connected to the battery terminals with a tightened bolt. Loosen this bolt before removing the negative cable, then remove the positive cable in the same way. Positive battery cables and terminals are red and marked with a plus sign. Most batteries have a plastic protective case to go over the positive terminal.

Most batteries have a strap or cover that keeps them safely in place. Remove this safety system and set it to the side. You’ll need to replace it after you replace your old battery. Install a new battery in reverse. Be sure to connect the positive cable first, then the negative one.

How To Dispose of Your Vehicle Batteries

Don’t let an old vehicle battery sit in your garage or on your property. Promptly recycle these components to prevent accidental leakage from damaging your flooring or harming the environment. Your local hazardous waste collection center typically accepts automotive batteries.

For a more convenient disposal, stop by your trusted auto parts store. Enjoy full-service support with a free VIN lookup, affordable replacement battery, complete installation and safe disposal of your old battery. One-stop servicing keeps you moving forward and enjoying a safe, efficient driving experience.