How to Replace a Side Post Battery

  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 250-300
What You'll Need
New battery (rated for your vehicle)
Wrench or screwdriver
Baking soda
Stiff brush
Latex gloves and safety goggles
Battery grease

A side post battery has the positive and negative terminals located on the side of the battery rather than on the top of the battery. Generally, car batteries need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years as they are being used every time you run the car as car battery supplies the power necessary to start your car. Below are the steps on how to replace your faulty side post battery.

Step 1 – Preparation and Precaution

Put on the latex gloves and safety goggles whenever working around a car battery to prevent any battery acid from contacting your skin or getting into your eyes.

Step 2 – Removing the Bad Battery

Raise the car hood and locate the bad side post battery. Remove the hold down assembly that holds the battery in place and set it aside for later. Find the proper sized socket or screwdriver and gently unscrew the black-colored negative cable from the negative post. Set this cable aside without letting it touch any metal parts of the car. Repeat this procedure for the red-colored positive cable. Lift the old battery out of the car and set it on the ground.

Step 3 - Cleaning the Battery Cable Connectors

Create a mixture of 1 Tbsp. Baking soda to 8 ounces water and dip the negative cable connector into the mixture. Use the stiff brush to scrub any debris off the connector. Repeat this procedure for the positive cable connector.

Use the baking soda mixture to clean the battery box and check to make sure the battery box is securely attached to the car. Dry the battery box and the battery cable connectors.

Step 4 - Replacing the Battery

In order to replace the battery, place the side post battery securely into the battery box and reinstall the hold down assembly. Apply the battery grease to the side post terminals to prevent corrosion build-up. Connect the red-colored positive battery cable and tighten the clamp. Connect the black-colored negative battery cable and tighten that clamp. Apply the battery grease to the cable connectors also.

Verify that all the connections are secure. Once done, you have done with the project of replacing your side post battery.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some auto parts stores will test a suspect battery to determine if it is bad or not.
  • Some batteries come with a warranty that will prorate the price of a new battery over the length of the warranty.
  • Always use care when working around the car battery. Never lay any metal across the positive and negative terminals as this will cause the battery to short and possibly explode.
  • While replacing the battery, it's a good time to inspect the battery cables for wear and tear. Replace these at the same time you replace the battery if necessary.
  • Take the bad battery to your local auto parts store or repair shop for proper disposal. They may or may not charge a nominal disposal fee for providing this service.