– Step 1: Take a few precautions before handling the battery
– Step 2: Prepare your battery
– Step 3: Insert the battery into the battery compartment
– Step 4: Connect your battery terminals
– Step 5: Grease the terminals
You’ve charged your car starter battery or bought a new one.
Now you need to reconnect it to your car’s engine.
Here’s how to reconnect a car battery.
1. Take a few precautions before handling the battery
– Turn off the ignition.
– Remove all jewelry from your hands.
– Be careful never to touch both battery terminals with the same tool.
2. Prepare your battery
If your battery is not new, clean the terminals before plugging it back into your car. You can remove oxidation by applying baking soda:
– Sprinkle baking soda on both terminals.
– Scrub with an old wet toothbrush or wire brush if needed.
– Dry the terminals well with a cloth.
3. Insert the battery into the battery compartment
– Place the battery in its compartment in the motor. Lock it in place.
– Then, use a pipe wrench to tighten the clamp that holds the battery in place in case of an impact. Be careful: this part can be heavy at arm’s length.
4. Connect your battery terminals
– Start by connecting the red cable to the positive terminal (indicated by a thicker +).
– Then, connect the black cable to the negative or ground terminal (indicated by a -).
– The battery terminals work with clamps: position the loop around the terminal, then tighten the nut with a wrench.
Note: when disassembling, you had done the opposite: first disconnect the negative terminal, then the positive terminal. Indeed, the negative terminal, or ground, is in contact with the chassis of your car, while the positive terminal makes the current flow. If the positive terminal inadvertently contacts the car’s metal chassis while the ground is still connected, it is a guaranteed short circuit.
5. Grease the terminals
Once the terminals are tightened, add grease to delay corrosion. Then remember to replace the covers on the positive and negative terminals.
Materials needed to reconnect a battery.
Baking soda $2 per 250 g
Used toothbrush Recovery
Pipe wrench $3
Thick protective gloves $10 approx.
Gloves, mask, and goggles $14 approx.
Grease Starting at $4 per 400 g
Safety glasses $6 approx.
Read more about car batteries:
Eco-Driving and Electric Cars: Tips for Optimizing the Battery;
Electric Car Battery: Rent or Buy?
3 Easy Steps to Test a Car Battery;
3 Easy Steps to Recharge a Motorcycle Battery;
Tools for Car Maintenance: Battery Cables;
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