The Day KT Changed a Battery

Today has been one of those days that just makes you want to dust off that blog that’s been sitting in the cupboard unloved for a while.

The last day or so I’ve been having car trouble (well, longer than that with general or “other” car troubles. This specific issue has been a couple of days)

Blue Car

I’ve been getting warning lights. Two of them specifically, one that looks like a wee battery and one that usually comes on when the hand brake (parking brake) is applied, so I assume that one relates to the brakes some how. I did what any self respecting girl does, I simultaneously Googled, phoned my dad and looked through the handbook.

The handbook and my dad told me that those lights meant possibly problems with the drive belt and brake pads/ brake fluid levels. Google was pretty useless to be honest. Rare, but true.

Of course the problem was nothing as simple as a broken belt. The belt is intact and turning but the battery is not charging. Uh oh, alternator issue. (The brakes appear fine and I think that warning light is just keeping the battery one company). Now, replacing the alternator in this car is not going to be cheap. She was still starting so we didn’t worry too much. I took spare batteries (two) and jump leads so that I could start the car even if the battery got too low.

That happened today, away from home… The jump start worked perfectly, but then a few other warning lights decided to join the party. The safest thing to do was to change the battery before going home. Conveniently I was in the next street to a tool shop. I am now the proud owner of my very own 10mm spanner!

Now, I am typing this in a coffee shop. I haven’t tried to start her yet, but the battery has been changed. The moment of truth will be when it comes to starting the car to travel home. But assuming all is well, here is how to change a car battery!

 How to Change a Car Battery

Step 1: Locate a second battery of comparable size.

Step 2: Ascertain the size of nuts used to hold everything together (in my case all were 10mm, yours might be 13mm or something else entirely)

Step 3: Loosen the bracket holding the battery in place.

 (You might want to double check you have plasters nearby, mine bit me.)

Step 4: Loosen the nuts holding the battery connections in place and remove connectors & lift old battery out.

Top Tip! At any of those points, should any nuts be rusted in place use anything greasy to loosen them. Lipstick is a suitable option if that is all you have (according to my dad). I used hand sanitising gel. Don’t worry too much about any scary creaking noises the nuts make, that is them freeing off.

Step 5: Lift up replacement battery into place reconnect everything remembering that black is negative and red is positive.

Step 6: Go into the pharmacy next door and purchase wet wipes for hands and that oh so sexy, well placed, grease smear across your nose and right cheek. In the event that you have not conveniently broken down outside a seller of wet wipes or a bathroom you will need to either ask a stranger for somewhere to clean up or continue your journey looking like Charlene from neighbours (showing my age here, played by Kylie, worked as a mechanic).

Step 7: (Untested by me at this point) Start car and go home!

UPDATE: She started first time.


In other news, I went for a job in addition to my self-employment. I got it! So now, in the same college where I do most of my interpreting work and in the same department (additional support needs), I am going to be a lecturer! I will have two classes a week at first and it’s all subject to change based on the college merger that goes live on 01Nov13.

I have a lot of prep work to do before I start but I’m really excited about it.

Tonight I am off out with a group of people I’ve never met before. We’re off to a comedy night. I’m hoping it will end off the day nicely.


KT :-)

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