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How to install a car battery

The battery provides electricity to the starter and ignition system, to get you going. Replacing one is a relatively simple job that generally requires only a few tools. We’ve got the basic steps, but each vehicle is different, so be sure to consult your owner’s manual for information specific to your vehicle. 

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Take safety precautions

Remember to work in a well-ventilated area and always wear hand and eye protection. Keep all sparks and flames away from the battery. 

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Turn off the car

Make sure the vehicle is turned off and the parking brake is applied.

Consider using a memory saver device to maintain on-board computer, security, radio and other settings while the battery is disconnected.  

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Locate the battery

Look for the battery. It’s usually located in the engine compartment, but in some vehicles it can be located in the trunk area or even under a seat in the passenger compartment.

You might want to mark the cables for easy identification later.

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Disconnect the ground cable

First, disconnect the negative cable marked with a minus sign. This cable is normally black.

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Disconnect the positive cable

Then, disconnect the positive cable marked with a plus sign. This cable is normally red. 

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Remove the battery restraint

Undo and remove the battery restraint. This can be a bar across the battery or a clip at the base of the battery. 

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Remove the battery

Lift the battery straight up and keep it level as you remove it from the vehicle. 

Municiple garbage will not collect lead acid batteries. Be sure to return your old battery to Canadian Tire for a refund of your core charge and safe recycling. 

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Compare old and new batteries

Compare the replacement battery to the old battery, to make sure that the positive and negative posts are in the same locations. 

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Check cables and connectors

Check the cables and connectors. If there’s wear or damage, replace them. If not, simply clean the connectors with a wire brush. 

You may need to clean the battery tray. Use a solution of baking soda and water. Be sure to wear gloves and goggles.

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Place new battery

Install the replacement battery in the same position as the old battery. Ensure the battery terminals don’t touch any metal parts in the engine compartment. 

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Reinstall battery restraint

Reinstall and tighten down the battery restraint. 

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Reconnect positive cable

Reconnect the positive cable to the positive terminal first. 

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Reconnect the negative cable

Connect the negative cable last. Make sure the connections are tight. 

Spray the terminals with anti corrosive grease. Corrosion can keep your battery from delivering full power to the starting system. 

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Start the vehicle

Start the vehicle and check for any warning indicators on the instrument panel. 

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