You are about to head out to work or an errand and discover that your car battery has died. It’s been giving you grief for a while, but now it seems to have given out entirely. With an unreliable battery like that, it’s certainly time for a quality replacement. After all, you probably don’t want it to stand you when you’re away from home and jump-starts might be hard to come by. Fortunately, you have options when it comes to installing a new battery.
AutoZone’s Free Battery Replacement for Standard Under the Hood Vehicles
You may think your only options are to install a new battery yourself or take it to your mechanic and pay a premium. In fact, you may have another option. As long as you have a standard and accessible battery in your vehicle, AutoZone can replace it for you for free when you purchase your new battery through them. They can help you identify the best car batteries, or you can use their VIN lookup service which will bring up a list of specs for your precise vehicle.
How to Properly Install Batteries at Home
If your battery is dead and unable to be revived, you may be considering replacing it at home to avoid the expense of a tow. While this may seem daunting, it’s usually a simple and fast process as long as a safe and effective procedure is followed.
- Your vehicle must be off, level, cool, and parked in a dry setting before beginning.
- Use protective equipment. Safety glasses, gloves, and a tieback, if you have long hair, will be needed. If the terminals require cleaning due to corrosion, grit, or other matter, a mask will also be necessary to protect your lungs against particulates. Do not wear loose or dangling clothing or jewelry.
- Remove the clamp or restraint strap and the old battery. When detaching the battery terminals, always start with the negative. Its cable will typically be black and a “-“ will be on the battery by the terminal. If corrosion or other grit and grime is left behind, clean it with a wire brush.
- Insert the new battery and attach the clamp or restraint securely. Add washers and a little dielectric grease to the terminals before reattaching the cables. Always connect the negative terminal last! Remember: negative is always first off, last on.
- Test the vehicle by trying to turn it on. If it doesn’t start immediately, wait several minutes between attempts.
A new battery may sit unused for a few weeks or months between its manufacturing date and when a customer purchases it. Whether or not your vehicle starts up right away on the first try, it’s a good idea to immediately take steps to bring the battery back up to full charge before resuming normal use. You can do this by driving continuously, such as on a freeway, for 30-60 minutes. If driving isn’t an option right then, a quality battery charger is a great way to set it right without the extra driving time from you.
Struggling to tackle this project is possible, or your vehicle may still refuse to start. If that happens, be sure to reach out to your sales associate for further advice or additional assistance with your battery.