A step-by-step guide to disconnecting and removing your car battery
The battery in your car is a vital component that provides power to start your vehicle as well as keep various electronic systems running. In some situations, you may find you need to disconnect the battery and even remove it entirely. Here's a handy guide to why and how to safely disconnect and remove your car battery.
Taking out your car battery can be a smart move in certain situations, but for the most part, simply disconnecting it should serve the purpose of preventing it from being drained while you're not driving the car.
The basic premise is that if you aren't driving your vehicle, the battery doesn't charge up again although certain electrical systems like the clock and on-board computer continue to use power from the battery to run. Over time, this will drain the battery if it's not started up and run every now and then. Some reasons why you may consider disconnecting and/or removing your car battery include:
If any of the above scenarios apply to you and you need to disconnect the battery, there are a few things to prepare before jumping right in and pulling wires. So, before we give you a step-by-step guide, note the following:
With all the preparations made, here are the important steps for how to disconnect and remove a car battery:
If you're replacing the battery with a new one, or you are ready to reconnect the car battery again, this is the proper way to go about it - as in the above step 1, ensure the car is powered down.
Whatever reason you may have for wanting to unplug or remove your car battery, you should only ever attempt to do so if the vehicle is turned off and the battery is not leaking or severely corroded. Remember to wear safety gear before the removal of your car battery, and follow the negative-first rule when you disconnect the battery cables. The opposite is true when you want to reconnect, starting with the positive terminal first.
If you disconnect or take out your car battery and store it, it will not run down - technically. Although batteries do have a self-discharge rate, it is much, much slower when it's not being drained by anything. A fully charged battery unit can hold its charge for a couple of months when disconnected and stored appropriately.
You can technically touch car battery terminals with your hands without fear of electrocution, but it's still not a good idea to go about testing the theory. There are bigger risks, though, which include touching the terminals with a metal wrench, for example, which would create a spark, ignite the gas in the battery, and result in an explosion.
There are many possible causes for why your car won't start. If your brand-new truck isn't starting, it's unlikely that it's a battery problem as that should be fresh and working fine. However, if your older Ford Ecosport is not starting but you hear a clicking sound or have a slow crank when you turn the key, it's probably a flat battery. Warning signs to look out for include dim headlights or needing to push the gas pedal to get it to start. Here are some tips on how to keep your car battery from dying in cold weather.