While it’s the engine that gives your car, van or motorbike the power it needs to move, it’s the battery that sparks everything into life. It might be a vastly different shape to the batteries found in your television remote, but it still serves the same purpose and without one your vehicle will be left standing on the driveway while you’re left running for the next bus.
We’ve all been there at some stage when batteries have run out and you’re left either unable to change the channel or your remote controlled car has ground to a halt. So off you go to the drawer or cupboard where you normally keep the spare batteries.
That’s because different makes and models of cars, vans and motorbikes require different sized batteries. Some are specially built to fit particular models – especially in the case of motorbikes where they need to be small enough to fit on the bike but powerful enough to get the electrics going.
While it’s very rare for a modern battery to just stop working, it can wear out over time. It’s also common for vehicle batteries to fail in the cold, damp winter months especially if the vehicle isn’t started for any length of time. You may be able to breathe some life back into it by jump-starting the battery or using a battery charger, but once you’ve done this it’s probably worth investing some time and money into finding a new car battery that’s fresh off the shelf and full of charge.
Choosing the right battery for your car
Unfortunately you can’t just go to the shops and come home with generic car batteries. Instead you need to look for the right model for your vehicle.
Car batteries are rated according to their Amp Hours and Cold Cranking Amps. Put simply, Amp Hours refers to how long the battery will last if it’s not re-charged and Cold Cranking Amps refers to the power it has to turn the engine over sufficiently in order to get it started in cold conditions, (diesel engines will need more cranking power than petrol engines incidentally).
The old battery will have this kind of information printed on it, allowing you to make a note of the type of battery you might need, but you can use the Fast Finder feature on our website to find out without having to even venture out to the vehicle.
Just enter the registration of your car, van or motorbike or the make, model, year, engine size and fuel type and we will be able to tell you the ideal type of battery for you.
We keep a wide range of car, van and also motorcycle batteries in stock and have more than 190 branches nationwide, offering competitive prices and free next-day delivery so you’ll be moving again in no time.
Finding and removing your old car battery
Again, unlike normal household batteries you cannot just slide a car battery out from beneath the bonnet of your car. You will need several tools, and even some safety gloves and goggles if you wish, to safely remove the old battery – and it is vital that the engine is switched off completely before you even start (that includes the ignition too).
If you’ve never attempted to remove the battery before then it’s worth having someone who has experience of changing car batteries on hand to advise you, although it is usually a black or grey box with one positive and one negative terminal.
Having located the battery it’s vital that you disconnect the negative connection first otherwise you risk causing damage to the engine.
You may need some , such as a screwdriver or spanner to loosen the negative clamp and move it away from the battery itself. Then do the same with the positive clamp and carefully remove the battery – remembering that they are often quite heavy, but the majority have a handle on the top making it easier.
Fitting new car batteries
Having received your new car battery, carefully place it in the exposed bracket and ensure that the terminals are on the correct sides (the rubber tops often have a plus and minus on).
Start by connecting the clamps that hold the battery in place and then reconnect the positive cable clamp, followed by the negative clamp.
Once the battery has been reconnected, make sure that you have removed all of your tools, close the bonnet and start the engine to make sure that the vehicle runs, and off you go.