It astounds us, without sounding biased, how many do-it-yourself vehicle battery installations are performed without knowing the real dangers to both the person involved and the vehicle’s electrical system. Take into account also; they are items filled with “Highly Corrosive” sulfuric acid which produces hydrogen and oxygen while being charged making them “Highly Flammable”. There are specific safety procedures, equipment and installation know-how to ensure a safe environment when fitting batteries.
So, Should You Change The Car Battery Yourself For The Sake Of Saving A Few Dollars?
Firstly and foremost, only qualified personnel should undertake the replacement of automotive batteries to avoid costly repairs to both your vehicle and possible injury to oneself. It is especially true since they are classified as “Dangerous Goods” and “Hazardous Waste”.
For example, if you remove the battery cables in the wrong sequence you will most certainly create a “Spark” or “Short Circuit”. It will either weld the ratchet being used to remove the battery to the chassis of the vehicle, leaving the battery in a volatile state for exploding and causing a fire. As you can see, the danger is real and the very reason why you should avoid doing it yourself.
Secondary factors, after your safety, is the damage your vehicle’s electrical system is prone to if a “Short Circuit” is produced. The cars electronic circuit boards and onboard computers are susceptible to “Shorts” and may experience permanent damage. It is especially true in modern cars, and the replacement of these components can be a very costly exercise. Also, when disconnecting a battery from a vehicle, it is essential a “Power Source” is still available to avoid losing your driveability computer settings and radio’s security code.
Once again, this can be a costly inconvenience looking at it from a perspective of the time required to acquire the radio’s security codes if you have no record of them or worst scenario; the vehicle needs re-programming of onboard computers at the dealership’s workshop due to complete loss of power.
In some cases, it’s not the battery that’s at fault!
The first step, before you change the car battery yourself, is to diagnose if it’s faulty by performing a “Digital Test”. Once again, this is where experience and the correct diagnostic equipment is required to determine if the battery is defective, or another major auto electrical problem is present. In some instances, we see them unnecessarily replaced when the main underlying problem was either a faulty alternator, starter motor or parasitic drain.
It’s essential you dispose of your old battery responsibly
Once the old battery is removed, it must be discarded responsibly and legally. The fact is, too many do-it-yourselves, discard of old auto batteries in an illegal way, i.e., in household rubbish bins which end up in landfills, and in some cases we see them thrown onto the roadside and bush-lands.
By hiring the services of professional battery installation personnel, you can rest-assured that the old battery will be properly recycled to manufacture new products and hence protect our environment.
Keep These Three Battery Maintenance Tools Handy!
By regularly checking the state of your battery you will avoid getting stranded with a dead one. Ongoing inspection is the key to have years of trouble-free starting power, longevity and not having to call a roadside replacement service for a Long, Long Time.
Fact: Short distance driving and not using your vehicle enough leads to undercharged batteries which equals acid stratification and sulfation. The number one reason they fail prematurely.
1) The Matson Electronic Battery Tester with Printer will give you an Instant State of Health in the condition of your battery. This is a “Must Have Tool” if you would like to increase the Longevity and Replacement Intervals.
2) In the event the digital tester says it requires a charge the Ctek MXS 10 12V 10 Amp Smart Battery Charger (56-823) and will keep your battery in Optimum Condition at all times.
3) If you accidentally leave your Headlights or an Interior Light on you must keep a portable Matson 12 Volt Lithium Jump Starter in your Glove Box. It’s happened to most of us only to find out our battery has gone completely flat and unable to start the vehicle.
Truthfully, from a safety perspective, we advise not to change your car battery yourself. Book the professionals, “It’s better to safe than sorry.”
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