How do I replace my car battery?

By David Sholicar

Nothing lasts forever and car batteries are no exception. Sooner or later your battery will need to be replaced – a life of stop-starts, short runs from cold, and heavy electrical loads such as lights, wipers, and heated rear screens can lead to a considerably shorter life as the battery doesn’t have time to properly recharge.

On cars that only do a low mileage, such as classics that only go out in fine weather, you can protect the battery, prolong its life, and make sure that the car starts when you want it to by using a trickle charger.
 
One sign that you are getting ready for a replacement car battery is the engine turning over more slowly when you turn the key or press the starter. If the headlights dim when the engine is idling, that too is a sign that your battery is on its way out. Cars with stop-start systems will do their best to protect the battery, by not stopping the engine in traffic when the level of charge is low, for example.
 
It’s important to get the right type of battery for your car. In the past, this was mostly down to getting the right voltage and size. However, modern cars with stop-start fuel economy systems often have specialist batteries. These can be damaged if they are not dealt with correctly or if they are jump started. It’s also important to replace them with the correct type.
 
Changing a battery on older cars is a relatively simple task in our experience. Park the car on a level surface, undo the terminals - always negative first - then undo the clamps holding the battery in place so you can lift it out and insert a new one. Reconnect - positive terminal first this time - make sure the new battery is secure and you’re good to go.
 
With modern vehicles, however, it’s a bit more difficult. In the past when you disconnected the battery you might end up having to re-enter the radio code, but that was it. Modern vehicles, in contrast, have all kinds of computers and electrical systems. These are drawing a small amount of energy even when the engine is off, so disconnecting the battery can land you in a world of trouble. If you’re in any doubt bring your car to Protyre where our qualified fitters will be able to change the battery safely and with minimal disruption.
 
It’s important to dispose of your old battery safely as these contain hazardous chemicals. Most local councils have facilities to accept old batteries at their recycling centres. Of course, if you have the job done at Protyre we will safely dispose of your old battery for you at no extra charge.
 
Obviously, we do more than just batteries; we can supply new tyres from makes including Sumitomo and Bridgestone, take care of your wheel alignment, check your brakes, service your car and more. Contact your local branch or use the Protyre website to book your free battery check.

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By David Sholicar
David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and expertise is dealing with the DVSA and MOT’s for Protyre. As the Authorised Examiner Designate Manager ( AEDM ) David deals with applications for changes to the many Vehicle Testing Stations ( VTS’s) including managing the growth of the Number of MOT testing stations that Protyre operate, allocating MOT tester roles, and monitoring the MOT Test logs to ensure that Protyre MOT standards are maintained as the best in the industry.
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