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How to Replace a Battery

How to Replace a Battery

Whether you have an all terrain vehicle, motorcycle, scooter, or side by side vehicle, there are certain things you will inevitably replace to keep the machine in top working order. The battery is a crucial part of any machine. It is also one of the more common parts in terms of replacements over the years. Let’s take a look at how to replace a battery the right way with a few tips.

  1. Know the signs of trouble: The first thing to understand about how to replace a battery is when it is necessary in the first place. There are a few signs that the battery is in trouble which are easy to spot if you are paying attention. For starters, a failure to turn over is the most common sign of trouble. The vehicle may even turn on but then it shudders before fading out which is also a sign of a weak battery. Another sign of battery trouble is if the lights appear dimmer than usual.

  2. Check if it needs a charge: There is a chance that the battery isn’t necessarily dead, but simply in need of some juice. If you have a portable battery charger, you can easily test if the battery is completely dead or simply in need of a charge. If you can recharge it and then test with a battery tester to make sure the levels are correct, you may just save yourself the task of replacing the battery for a few more months. You should also check the water if your battery is the type that uses water since a weaker battery may be caused by low water in the battery.

  3. Find the right battery: Another important tip in how to replace a battery is finding the right one for your individual model. You can’t just choose any battery for your ATV, motorcycle, side by side, or scooter. Every vehicle has its own unique needs when it comes to the parts required for proper performance levels. The good news is that finding the right battery based on your needs is pretty easy. Simply look at the old battery to find the information sticker. This sticker will tell you important details such as battery size, voltage, and type to make sure you get the right outcome for your machine. If the sticker is worn or hard to read, you can also consult the owner’s manual for your model to find out which battery is best suited to your ride.

  4. Stay safe!: When you are working on any part of your machine which carries an electrical current, you need to take extra precaution to stay safe. Make sure the vehicle is turned off before starting any work under the hood. You also want to make sure your hands are dry before you touch anything under the hood which could give a shock such as cables. You can even go so far as to wear a pair of work gloves since batteries can have leaks of acid and other chemicals you want to avoid. Another important thing is to make sure you have enough light to see what you are doing while you work.

  5. Check the owner’s manual: Once you have the battery and the work area set up, you should take the time to consult the owner’s manual. Depending on your vehicle type and model, you may need to perform certain steps, such as removing the air box to reach the battery, in a particular order to get the task done. You should always check the owner’s manual before performing any sort of work on your vehicle.

  6. Disconnect negative wire first: Once you have access to the battery, you can get started on what should be a quick and easy replacement job. The tip of disconnecting the negative wire first cannot be stressed enough! The negative wire is the ground cable (usually a black cable) and you want to start there when removing the cables. Make sure you remove the cables one at a time and set them aside so they are away from each other. If they accidentally touch, you will have sparks and current which can be dangerous for you if you touch it.

  7. Remove and dispose of the old battery properly: When changing a battery, you always want to make sure you properly dispose of the old battery in the right way. According to laws in the U.S., you can’t simply throw a battery in with your regular trash and haul it to the road on trash day. Due to the sensitive materials used in batteries, you are required to either recycle it or take it to a location capable of properly disposing of it for you. Many auto parts stores will even allow you to turn in your old batteries with them just to ensure proper handling.

  8. Take time to clean and inspect prior to installing a new battery: Another great tip when it comes to how to change the battery is to take this time to inspect for damages. When you have the old battery removed, you can check the battery housing and cables for any sign of wear and tear. This is a great chance to fix these areas before installing the new battery.

  9. Remember to reconnect wires in the right order: Once you have the new battery in place, all that is left is to replace the wires and you are good to go. You always want to make sure you reconnect the wires one at a time starting with the grounding or negative wire and then moving on to the positive wire. Again, take care to ensure the two wires do not touch one another in the reconnecting process. Tighten up the wires and you are ready to go with your new battery!