How to Safely Handle Your Car’s Battery
Whether you’re an advocate for DIY or the option of “leaving it to the experts” isn’t available, working around your car’s battery can prove hazardous. It’s worth noting the following precautions before taking to your toolbox.
An impressively complex component, the inner workings of a car’s battery include any number of potentially harmful materials, liquids, and fumes. While appropriate gloves are a must (no, not your open mitts), also consider whether the rest of your body, as well as your favourite cardigan are suitably protected against any unforeseen spills or damage. This includes eye- and footwear. Recommended PPE (personal protection equipment) includes at least an apron or dust coat and safety goggles.
It’s worth revisiting your Grade 7 science class notes before taking any tool to a connected battery. Operating within an electrical circuit, take care to not make careless contact between either of the battery’s terminals and body work of your car with metallic objects, including tools, jewellery and belt buckles.
Look to disconnect the (black) negative terminal’s connection first, thereby breaking the battery’s connection with your car’s chassis.
Handle with care
Some modern car batteries offer the convenience of integrated grab handles. It’s good practice to make sure these remain free of any corrosion or unforeseen damage before relying on their load-bearing capabilities. Where handles aren’t included, look to use both hands to establish a healthy grip on the base of the battery before attempting to lift it. Dropping a car battery is never a good idea, if not for damage to its casing that could expose acid or fumes, then for the loss of a pinkie toe.
Lift with your knees
The yelp associated with a sharp pain to your lower back is never a flattering one. Remember that a modern 12V car battery can weigh a hefty amount of kilograms. Given that the positioning of this item within an engine bay is optimised for efficiency rather than how comfortably it can be handled, take care to check your posture before attempting to lift it from its cradle. It’s also worth considering where you’re going to place the battery once it’s free. First prize is a cleared, clutter-free, and dry space on a nearby workbench. This removes any chance of dropping the battery or, indeed, relying on your core muscles once more to lower it to ground level.
What’s the plan?
Are you removing your car’s battery because this item is no longer working efficiently, or with a view to safely working on another component within the engine bay? If it’s the former, consider how best to transport the expired battery to a retailer or depot that will responsibly recycle the item.
If you’re removing the battery with the intension of storing it while other work is being done, think about storing this intricate item in an uncluttered, dry place. Depending on the length of time it’ll be disconnected (because life happens), consider making use of a trickle charger to avoid any potential drain on the battery’s operating lifespan.
Visit our website for more information on your SABAT battery here.