Tools Needed to Change a Car Battery
You want to fix your car battery yourself, but don't jump the gun just yet. Get the proper tools together before going under your car's hood.
If you've already created the baking soda and water solution you need to clean your terminals, keep it handy. You'll want to give the terminal cables a more thorough cleaning. If not, then go ahead and whip up a batch and drop a clean paintbrush into it for later.
Break out your toolbox and select a few of the tools you'll need. The battery terminal cables are held fast around the battery terminals by nuts and bolts. This means you'll need a crescent wrench, an adjustable wrench, vise pliers or a socket wrench. Select a 10mm (0.4 in) wrench or socket, as most car battery cables have this size nut attached. Grab another pair of adjustable pliers to hold the bolt head in place as well.
It may sound funny, but you'll also want to bring a hammer with you. A gentle tap or two can help loosen a stubborn terminal cable from the terminal post.
It's also a good idea to invest in a battery terminal cleaner. This handy and inexpensive tool is designed to brush away corrosion from the terminal posts and the end clamp of the cables. It also primes the posts of your new battery for a better connection to the terminal cables. If you have a good narrow metal wire brush, that can do the trick as well. While you're picking up a terminal cleaner, spring for a can of corrosion protection, which will help prevent sulfate buildup in the future.
Lastly, bring along a pair of sturdy gloves and safety goggles. Batteries can be dangerous, (as we'll see in the next pages) and protecting your hands and eyes is a good idea. Also, if you have a Styrofoam cooler, take the top along to serve as a safe and handy tray for your tools and don't forget to bring along a few rags.
Got everything together? Good. It's time to go outside again.