How to Change a Car Battery – Standard Battery

Changing a car battery is a basic skill that all drivers today should have. When you purchase a battery at a local business, many of them will change your car battery for free. If your battery is in extremely bad shape, it’s possible that your car won’t make it to the battery store. In that case, you’re going to need to change your own car battery.


  • Battery Terminal Wrench
    • Most battery terminals are 5/16” or 10mm. Using a specialized rubber-handled wrench will help prevent accidental grounding with other metal parts. A combination wrench will also work.
  • Pliers
    • If your battery uses a top-post setup, it might be necessary to hold the nut with pliers as you turn the bolt with a wrench.
  • Optional:
    • Ratchet and socket with a long extension is highly recommended for removing the battery hold down.
    • Baking soda and water cleaning solution.
    • Wire brush.
New Car Battery


  • Clean the battery terminals (Optional)
    • Soak corroded battery terminals in a baking soda and water solution and use a wire brush to knock down any severe corrosion. This will make it easier to loosen the terminal bolts and improve the connection of your battery cables.
  • Remove the negative battery cable
    • Use your wrench to loosen or remove the negative battery terminal bolt.
  • Remove the positive battery cable
    • Use your wrench to loosen or remove the positive battery terminal bolt.
  • Remove the battery hold down
    • At the base of your battery, there is a small plate holding the battery in place. Use your wrench (or optional ratchet, socket, and extension) to remove the battery hold down.
  • Lift the battery out of the car
    • Use the strap supplied on the battery, or lift firmly with both hands on each side of the battery.
  • Install the new battery
    • Install the new battery by using steps 2-5 in reverse order.

Don’t wait for your battery to go bad! For preventative car battery maintenance, it’s recommended to use a battery maintainer. Battery maintainers are proven to significantly increase your battery’s lifespan by adjusting the charging characteristics.

For customers in the Omaha or Kansas City area, give your local Standard Battery location a call and ask us about installing one of our new car batteries for free!

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