How to Replace a Car Battery (the Right Way)



How to Respond When Your Car's Battery Light Goes On

Your car's battery light is an indicator of when your car's charging system is malfunctioning. This can be a result of a malfunctioning alternator, a battery going bad, or a number of other things. It's important to know how to respond when your car's battery light goes on: stay calm, check your vehicle gauges, and reduce power until you're able to have an auto mechanic check for possible problems. It may be a serious situation or a simple one, but it's a situation requiring action just the same.

Steps

  1. Resist the urge to panic.When your battery light comes on, it sometimes results in a very simple solution.
  2. Look at your gauges.Check the gauge that indicates the vehicle's state of charge, called the voltmeter (be aware that not all cars have this gauge). Often, this gauge has a picture of a battery on it. If it is extremely high or low, it's something to worry about. Normal operating range is 12 to 14 volts. If it is measuring about the same as it always does, you probably don't have a major problem.
  3. Reduce the power you are using by shutting off consumers that are not needed.Examples are the radio, fan blower, defroster, dome light. Refrain from using power windows, if possible.
  4. Keep your engine running.You may not be able to restart the motor if you turn the car off. If there is an alternator failure you will be running on the car's battery which may last about a half hour. As your car's engine runs, the battery may continue to charge, depending on the failure. Additionally, one of the biggest battery drains is starting your car. By not having to start the engine after shutting it off, you're not using any additional power that might be running low.
  5. Drive to an auto mechanic shop or local parts store.Ask someone to help you test your alternator. If your alternator is fine, ask them to check your battery. The light could be an indicator of a battery going bad or a faulty sensor.
  6. Check the battery cables.If they appear corroded or loose, that might be your problem. Clean the cables and the battery terminal with a wire brush. Tighten the cables on your battery terminals.
  7. Examine your alternator belt.If it is loose, tighten it or buy a new one. If it is cracked, buy one immediately. If your alternator belt breaks, your car will not charge.
  8. Restart your car after at least five minutes.On newer cars, this will help your car reset its computer system. After it has reset, the battery light may go off. It may have just been a temporary trigger or sensor. If it returns you, will need to have it looked at by a mechanic.
  9. Check with an auto mechanic if all of these steps fail to reveal the true problem.Your car's computer system has many sensors and warning indicators. It is likely a computer system issue.

Community Q&A

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  • Question
    What does it mean if the battery light comes on for one second when I start the car?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The lights in a car often come on when you start it to show they are working. If the lights go off quickly, there is no issue with your car.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    My battery died after leaving the radio on for a while, is there a chance it fixes itself?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Your battery cannot recharge itself. You can have it tested at Auto Zone or Advance Auto Parts free of charge. That will let you know if your battery can be recharged or if you need to replace it.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What is wrong if several warning lights stay on when I start my car, then the car dies?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You may need to replace the battery or the alternator. You can have it checked for free at Auto Zone or Advance Auto Parts.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What if the battery light comes on while idling the engine and charging my phone but goes off when I give the car gas?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    This sounds as if your belt is loose. Check it to ensure that it is tight. It should not have anymore than a 1/4 inch of play.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    My battery light came on while driving and there is a whining noise. Is it the alternator?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The alternator can sometimes make a whining sound a few times before it goes--that is when your car battery light comes on as a sign that it is now completely faulty and needs replacing. It is usually the accessory or serpentine belt that is built inside the alternator that makes that type of noise. You need to get your car evaluated by a qualified mechanic and get him to look at your alternator.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What does it mean when my battery light turns off and on when driving my car?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    That's normally a battery issue. You may have a bad cell in your battery which is preventing recharge to full, so the best way to sort it is buy a new battery.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What should I do if my car's battery light is dim while my car is running?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You should have your battery and alternator checked at Auto Zone or Advance Auto Parts free of charge.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What is an alternator?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It's the device that charges the battery and keeps the belts on your car moving.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    If my car makes a screeching sound when I start it, is that the alternator?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Sounds more like a belt problem. If the belt is too loose, it might fail to get a grip on the pulleys, making it slip and making a screeching sound when put under pressure.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    My car battery indicator is red when I insert the key, but it turns off after I start the engine. I replaced the battery just a day ago. What could be wrong?
    Logic Johnson Lafontaine
    Top Answerer
    There is nothing wrong. The red battery indicator is just your car telling you it's running on battery power, which is completely normal if the engine isn't on. When you start the engine, your power comes from the alternator, so the battery light is supposed to turn off. If the battery light stayed on after you started the engine, that would be bad. It would mean you have an alternator problem.
    Thanks!
Unanswered Questions
  • Why does the battery light turn off when I stop, but come back on when I give the car gas?
  • The battery light is on when alternator is plugged in and running and goes off when I plug in the alternator. How can I fix this?
  • What do I do if my battery indicator light stays on after the car is turned off? The battery and alternator have been checked already.
  • My Chevy J5 battery icon is flashing on the dashboard and the headlights are flickering. What might be the problem?
  • What does it mean if my battery light blinks on and off in rapid succession, stays off for a while, then starts doing it again while I am driving?
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Date: 14.12.2018, 17:12 / Views: 93543