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How to Disconnect a Car Battery

It's important to learn to disconnect a car battery, because if you need to work on your vehicle, you don't want to risk electrocution.


  • Step 1: Find the negative Find the negative terminal on the top of the battery. It's usually covered with a black cap, but if not you should be able to find a small minus sign near it or on the top of the connector.
  • TIP: The positive terminal usually has a red cap or a plus sign in case you're unsure which is which.
  • Step 2: Choose a socket size Figure out what socket size you need to loosen the nut on the negative connector in order to disconnect the battery.
  • Step 3: Put together the socket wrench Put the correct sized socket on the socket wrench. You may need to use a socket extender to be able to properly reach the nut on the connector.
  • Step 4: Loosen the nut Loosen the nut on the negative terminal by placing the socket onto the nut and turning the nut counter-clockwise. It should take only a few turns to loosen.
  • Step 5: Disconnect the negative connector Disconnect the negative connector once the nut is loosened by pulling it off. Set it aside, away from the battery.
  • Step 6: Disconnect the positive connector Loosen the nut on the positive terminal and disconnect it from the battery. Remove the battery, being careful not to let the positive terminal touch any metal part of the car.
  • FACT: Almost 99 million wet-cell lead-acid car batteries are manufactured every year.

You Will Need

  • Car with a battery
  • Socket wrench
  • Socket wrench extender

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