Watch this "Grease On Your Hands" video tutorial from the Washington Post to see how to change your dead car battery properly.
When servicing any automobile, you should always wear appropriate eye-protection as well as ensure your working environment is properly ventilated. When working underneath a vehicle, always secure it with a floor jack and jack stands or drive-on lift ramps. You're going to get greasy as well so keep a healthy supply of rags on hand to sop up the mess!
Necessary Materials: Battery Cleaning Wire Brush and a Simple Socket Set; New Battery (retailers that carry car batteries should be able to provide you with guidance on any compatibility issues)
1. Disconnect the old battery from the vehicle.
2. Unscrew the battery mounting bracket.
3. Lift the old (dead) battery from the car. While most shops will bill you a core (retainer) charge to ensure that you do recycle your battery, it is important to recycle the battery nonetheless since there are many dangerous chemicals contained within the battery and can only be disposed of and handled properly by professionals.
4. If one exists, remove the plastic battery guard plate underneath the battery and clean out the acid and other grime that has built up. You will also want to clean any acid build-up on your battery mount and wire connectors before installing the new battery.
5. Re-install the plastic under-plate and then install the fresh battery. Ensure that your positive and negative terminals on the battery are positioned correctly with access to their respective wire connectors before you bolt it down.
6. Before connecting the terminals back up to the new battery, you will want to prep the power connection points between the battery and you car to ensure both the most optimal connection and life span of the new battery.
7. Connect the wire connectors to their corresponding terminals. Voila! You are done and your new battery should provide several years of good use.