5 Easy Steps to Disconnect a Car Battery

Have you ever tried to start your car and it won’t start? You should check the battery because it might be dead and needs replacement. However, you should first know how to disconnect a car battery before you can take it out for replacement.

Most people who take out their car batteries employ the DYI tactic to save money and time. The reason is that it’s effortless to remove a car battery. You can remove a car battery in no time with a select set of equipment and this guide on how to disconnect a car battery

Needed Set of Tools

  • Flexible Wrench or a pair of pliers: Work great to take out the head of the bolt from the terminals of the battery. Ensure that the handles are covered with plastic to avoid electric shock. You can pack all these tools in a portable equipment chest.
  • Hollow wrenches for GM type battery terminals
  • Wadded gloves: A standard car battery emits enough electric current to cause acute electrocution. Ensure to always put on the cushioned gloves before you work a car battery.
  • Zip Straps: Zip straps are crucial as they are used to bind the electric cable together to prevent like heads from touching — the touch causes short-circuiting and damage to the junction box.
  • Safety Glasses: While it’s true you won’t want to look like the bad boys, you won’t want to get injured in the eye too. Sparks or the acid on the battery could splash into one’s eyes, causing harmful effects if no protective covering is worn. It is advisable to put this on whenever you’re working on a car battery.

Step by step Guide on How to disconnect a Car Battery Effectively

Follow these steps to disconnect a car battery safely

Step 1: Find the Battery Location

Find the Battery Location

The car battery is mostly located on the engine block under the bonnet. You may have to raise the hood to access the battery. See the user guide to know how to open a vehicle bonnet.

You will see where the battery is stuck in one corner of the hood. Again, when you open the trunk, you could use the different colors of the terminals to know. Check the guide to which color depicts negative or positive.

Step 2: Find the Terminals (Positive Or Negative)

Find the Terminals

Another essential step is locating the terminals correctly. While this tends to be confusing at times, the manufacturers make it simple by placing + or – signs n them. The + sign shows the positive terminal, and the – sign depicts the negative terminal.

In some cases, a rubber flap covers the battery terminal, which you have to remove to get to the battery heads. The battery head holds the cable that connects the battery to the whole car engine. You can unplug these heads with a wrench or a pair of pliers

Step 3: Get Accurate Tools

Get Accurate Tools

The tools which you will use depend on the type of battery head you have fixed in your car. Some batteries use one clasp while there are ones that use two bolts on different sides. In any case, you will need a flexible wrench and a pair of pliers to pull off the battery head.

Get these tools from your toolset box or hire from a car parts shop; you can even get from a close pal. Car batteries come mainly with 10mm nuts, so the flexible Wrench should 10 inscribed at one open end of it. Use this end to unscrew the nuts before taking the battery head.

Some battery heads require hollow wrenches for you to be able to get them out.

Step 4: Loosen the Nuts Holding the Wires

Loosen the Nuts Holding the Wires

Before starting this step, ensure that the car engine is turned off completely. Put on the proper personal protective equipment (PPEs) like the wadded hand gloves and safety glasses. When you have protected yourself enough, disconnect the car battery negative wire first, and drag it out.

Dragging out battery heads might be a bit hard, so you have to pull with energy to bring it off. Make sure metal tools do not touch the negative and positive terminal at the same time. Although you have switched off the ignition, there are remnant charges that could flick a spark. And believe me, a battery spark is the last thing you want to experience.

The short-circuiting that results from this could be detrimental to the electrical connections in your car. When you have finished disconnecting the negative wire, do the same for the positive wire.

Step 5: Unfasten the Clamps that Hold the Battery in Place

Unfasten the Clamps that Hold the Battery in Place

You will see a clamp that fastens the battery to the platform it is kept on. Without taking out this clamp, you cannot lift the cell from its position. This process might need a hollow wrench with a flange attached to reach the nuts holding the clamp.

Helpful Tips

When you don’t disconnect a car battery for storage, you should have in mind that after six months, you need to recharge it. In this case, it might mean disconnecting the negative terminal only and separating it from the positive. Ensure you hold it down firm enough to avoid it accidentally reconnecting; use a zip snap to tie it down at a place.

If you’re still not sure of the zip snap, get a battery-disconnect button and attach it to the negative terminal. Once it’s turned off, no electric current flows into the battery, and that’s just it.

Safety Precautions

Follow these precautions to disconnect your car battery safely.

  • Ensure you have thoroughly worn your PPEs before disconnecting a battery. This is very necessary because cells are stores electric current and can electrocute you if you’re not careful.
  • Make sure you remove every metallic ornament you’re putting on like a bracelet or ring. Metals are good conductors of electricity, so if you don’t want to jerk a bit better, leave them out.
  • Endeavor to do all battery disconnection work in outer space with enough air circulation. This helps to diffuse the toxic gases emitted from the battery and reduce the possibility of inhalation.
  • Work in a dry and completely wet free environment. Water is not suitable for electrical connections, so avoid areas with water or excess moisture.

Wrap Up

The electrical powerhouse of every car is the battery, and sometimes they tend to disappoint. Maybe for a recharge or replacement, we all may one day need to disconnect our car batteries. It might be to disconnect the car battery when on vacation, or just for servicing work.

Whatever the reason may be, these steps will guide you on how to disconnect a car battery with ease. However, do not forget safety tips such as

  • Always wear protective covering (gloves and glasses)
  • Ensure you turn off the ignition completely

Be safe!