If your car has run out of energy, the chances are that you’re in need of a new battery.  Fortunately, this is another task that you can take care of yourself if you’re happy doing a bit of work on your own car.  Here’s our guide to replacing your car’s battery:

  1. Ensure you’re parked on a flat, level surface with the hand brake on and the keys out of the ignition.  Make sure you’ve got goggles, gloves and protective clothes on: car batteries contain corrosive acid that you don’t want anywhere near your skin!
  2. Take note of all your pin codes for your radios, sat navs and other electronic equipment; some cars will reset when the battery is disconnected, and you’ll want to get everything back to normal afterwards.
  3. Open the bonnet and (if your car has one) use the stay to keep it held up.
  4. Locate the battery.  It will nearly always be found beneath the bonnet, but on some cars it will be in the boot.  The best way to check is to refer to your owner’s handbook.
  5. Remove any of the plastic trims or covers from the battery.
  6. Label the battery cables so that you don’t get them mixed up later on: it’s important to disconnect the negative connection before the positive- not doing so may cause damage to your vehicle’s electrical system.
  7. Loosen and then disconnect the negative cable clamp (which should be marked ‘-‘ [minus]) and move the clamp away from the battery post.
  8. Disconnect the positive cable clamp in the same way.
  9. Remove any screws, bars or clamps that continue to hold the battery in place, and then disconnect any vents that are attached.  You can then carefully lift the battery from the vehicle: be warned, they can be heavy!
  10. Fit the new battery by sliding it into place, ensuring that the negative and positive posts are on the right sides.
  11. Re-connect any screws, clamps or bars, and re-attach any vent pipes.
  12. Remove any covers from the new battery terminals.
  13. Reconnect and secure the positive cable clamp (keep it as far down the battery post as possible).
  14. Do the same for the negative cable clamp. Again, keep it as far down the battery post as possible.

You should now be ready to start the vehicle.

Remember, if you’re at all unsure about replacing car parts, consult an expert.