There comes a time in the life of every car, including your Toyota, that you will need to replace the battery. The battery is key to starting your vehicle, and for it to run correctly. This means, when your Toyota begins to have trouble starting, that the battery most likely needs to be replaced. If it isn’t holding a charge or lacking the necessary power, then you know you need to replace your battery. Though it may seem a little daunting, replacing the heart of your Toyota, installing a new battery in your vehicle is a job you are surely capable of doing. With this guide, you will be well on your way to replacing car batteries like a pro.
- To start, you need to make sure you have the right battery for your Toyota. For your particular model, you may need to look it up in your manual or online. If you are picking the battery up from a local auto parts store, then that store should have the directory for batteries. Once you have found the correct battery, you are ready for the replacement process.
- When you are at a place, whether your driveway or garage or another safe work environment, and have all the necessary tools (ratchet or wrench with appropriate sockets or measurements and pliers), you can go ahead and shut off your engine and remove the key from the ignition. Turn off your headlights and any other drain on your battery, ensuring a safer atmosphere. It would be a good idea to wear gloves and safety glasses, to prevent any battery acid or debris from getting in your eyes or harming your skin.
- Start the removal portion of this process by disconnecting the negative battery terminal cable. To do this, you must lift the clamp cover, normally a soft protective cover, and then loosen the cable/clamp with your wrench or pliers. Once it has been loosened, wiggle the cable/clamp back and forth, while pulling up, to completely disconnect the cable from the terminal base. Next, do this exact process on the positive battery terminal. Pro Tip: Always remove the negative terminal first, marked with a (–), then the positive terminal, marked with a (+).
- You will now start to completely remove the battery itself. You can do this by removing the hold-down bracket. Loosen one of the bolts on the bracket and remove the other one. You can then swivel the clamp assembly out of the way, allowing the battery to be lifted out. Understand, when removing the bracket, make sure your tools or parts do not touch the positive terminal, as this can create sparks or even cause an explosion.
- You should now be able to lift the old battery out of its socket and onto an old towel or newspaper. This is important so as to not let any possible battery acid escape onto your garage floor or elsewhere.
- Before installing the new battery, check your cables and clamps. Check for any corrosion or damage to the cable or inside the battery socket, noticing any necessary repairs. If there is corrosion, you can use a combination of water and baking soda to wash the compartment, the cables, and the bracket. A specialty battery cleaning brush can be helpful in cleaning terminal clamps.
- You can now start the new installation step of the process. Make sure you carefully lift and set the new battery in the right spot and direction. Do not tip or tilt the battery and make sure the cables can reach and are put in the right positions. Pro Tip: Confirm that the positive and negative battery terminals will connect to the positive and negative cables. One millisecond error, connecting the battery backwards, could blow a fuse or fry a computer!
- When the battery is set in the right spot, reattach the hold-down bracket. Tighten to a snug fit, just enough to hold the battery down, or else you may damage the battery case.
- Next, install the positive battery terminal cable. Push down on the clamp until you see it is flush with the terminal top. You can then tighten the bolt down, as with the case of the bracket, do not overtighten the cable clamp either. Do the same step with the negative battery terminal cable as well. Pro Tip: As with disconnecting the battery, always connect the positive terminal first, then the negative terminal.
- Make sure you remove all tools and supplies from the engine bay, and you should be ready to start your car!
- Make sure you bring your old battery to a recycling station or a dealer, normally the place you bought the new battery from will give you a little money back if you bring the old one back after the replacement. Also, it is a good idea to record your mileage and the date is recorded, so that you can keep track of the maintenance done to your Toyota.
If you follow these simple steps to replace your Toyota’s battery, you should have no trouble practicing your DIY skills on a necessary, but doable, project.