How to Remove a Car Battery


Your car’s battery is one of the most critical parts. The battery starts the vehicle, keeps it running, and helps power all of the other electronic components. However, your battery may need to be removed in order to be replaced, or if you need to check it for damage. Removing your car’s battery is a task that you can do right at home in El Cajon, but there are a few steps you should take to make sure it’s done properly. Learn how to remove a car battery safely with Kearny Mesa Kia, below. 

Preparing for Battery Removal 

Because batteries hold enough charge to deliver a deadly shock, it’s important that you wear insulated gloves. You should also be wearing goggles to protect your eyes from any corrosive agents. Before starting the battery removal process, be sure to turn off your vehicle – running vehicles can produce a spark and ignite flammable materials. Here are some additional items and tasks you should take care of when preparing to remove a car battery:

  • Get some ties, or another type of restraint, to keep the battery cables in place. If the cables touch, they can create sparks and become a fire hazard.
  • Cover the positive cable end with a cloth once it’s removed to avoid metal-to-metal contact. 
  • Be sure to take off any jewelry–including necklaces, watches, and bracelets–to prevent getting shocked if they come in contact with the battery.
  • It’s important to do this task in a well-ventilated area so you can avoid exposure to harmful gases.

If the battery terminal is fused, you’ll have to use a special battery cable removal tool to get it loose. You can purchase these from our parts center near La Mesa or a general auto parts store.

Removing the Car Battery 

Once you’re fully prepared, here’s how to safely remove your battery:

  • Locate the negative terminal. It should have a black plastic cover or a minus sign and can be found either on the post or in close proximity.
  • Grab the bolt head of the negative terminal with a wrench or pliers and hold it still.
  • Use an additional pair of pliers or a wrench to remove the nut, then pull off the negative cable and secure it away from the battery.
  • Repeat the above step for the positive cable, making sure that the two battery cables do not touch.
  • If the battery is held by a securing bracket, use your pliers or wrench to take out the screws and bolts that hold it in place.
  • Lift the battery straight out of the bracket. Keep in mind that it may weigh up to 40 pounds so you may need to use both hands.

How Many Volts is a Car Battery?

If you’re testing or removing your car battery, you may be wondering how many volts it has. Typically, a fully charged car battery should measure at 12.6 volts or higher. When the engine is running, this should bump up to 13.7 to 14.7 volts.

Need to test your car battery at home? It’s important to test your battery and electrical system a couple of times a year when bringing it in for service, but you can also follow these steps for an at-home version:

  • Start your car and turn on your headlights
  • If the lights are dim, they may be running on your battery
  • If the lights get brighter when you rev the engine, the alternator may be producing some current, but not enough when idle to keep the battery charged
  • If the lights have a normal level of brightness, even when you rev the engine, your battery is likely working normally

Make sure to ask our service experts for a battery check the next time you bring in your car for maintenance!

Rely on Kearny Mesa Kia for Vehicle Advice 

Now that you know how to remove a car battery in Chula Vista, check out more of our service tips and tricks such as how to change your cabin air filter. Contact us if you have any additional questions, or schedule service to have our experts keep your vehicle in excellent condition.

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