Batteries & Electrical

Replacing a Battery

Tips & tricks for a simple battery replacement

A modern battery will generally last between 1 and 4 years, depending on usage. If yours is on the way out, be sure to pick up a new one from your local Supercheap Auto store before it's too late.

You can find the right battery and parts for your vehicle by using the My Garage tab at the top of this web page. All you need to do is punch in your rego and state or search by make, model and year. Once this is completed you will be suggested the right products to suit/fit your vehicle while searching our site.

Replacing a car battery

How do you know if your car needs a new battery?

There are a few tell-tale signs that your battery needs replacing. Here are a few of the most commonly encountered:

  • Car is hard to start, turns over slowly or not at all - especially if your starter motor clicks instead of starting your vehicle.
  • Dim headlights, slow indicators and other electrical issues.
  • Warning lights or low voltage on voltage indicator gauge.
  • Corroded connectors, or terminals coated with excessive discharge.
  • A distorted, swollen or leaking battery case.
  • You know that your battery is super old and hasn’t been replaced.

What battery does my car need?

The first thing to do when choosing the right battery for your car is to pick one with the right external dimensions - your battery needs to fit in the battery tray. Next, make sure that the terminal posts are the right size, and that they are on the correct side of the battery - this way, your cables and terminals will fit without issues.

Finally, you’ll need to determine how powerful you need your new battery to be. The CCA rating of your new battery should meet or slightly exceed your old one. If you are having trouble matching up your battery, or if your old one is missing, then check out our battery fitment tools in-store at your local Supercheap Auto or ask one of our friendly team members to help you out.

Replacing a car battery

What do the numbers on car battery mean?

A car battery will have a rating on it, written as “CCA” which stands for “Cold-Cranking Amps.” This is a measure of the number of amps a battery delivers at -18 degrees C for 30 seconds without dropping below 1.2 volts per cell. The higher the CCA rating, the greater the starting power of the battery in cold climates.

Many batteries will also display their "CA" or "Cranking Amps" Which is the same as the above but measured at 0 degrees C. Either of the two measurements above is essential for when you are selecting a battery - the general rule is that the more amperage the battery has, the easier it can start your car. For cars with bigger motors, or that run on diesel, it is crucial to get a battery with sufficient CCA or CA since the starter motor on these cars needs to output a lot more torque in order to crank the car over.

The other specifications often found on batteries are RC and AH, which means “Reserve capacity” and “Amp Hours” respectively. Reserve Capacity refers to the time in minutes that a new, and fully charged battery will supply a constant load of 25 amps, without the battery falling below 10.5 volts. The higher the RC is, the longer your vehicle can operate if the alternator fails and therefore means that your car is running on battery power only.

Amp-hours is a rating that is usually found on deep cycle batteries and is a measure of the amperage that is delivered over a specific number of hours - eg. If a battery is rated at 100 amp hours, it can provide 5 amps of power for 20 hours or 20 amps of power for 5 hours. However, consider you don't want to drain your battery completely flat as this may damage the battery long term depending on the battery technology. AGM, wet cell and traditional battery types are best not to drain past 20% while lithium batteries can drain even further than older battery tech.

Replacing a car battery

What brand of car battery lasts the longest?

More often than not, people will worry about which brand of car battery is best, but the real thing to consider is which type of battery is best. The answer to this will depend on how you use your vehicle and what you need out of your battery. A simple starting battery in a runaround car will have vastly different properties to a deep-cycle battery in an RV or motorhome. Supercheap Auto stocks a wide variety of batteries, covering the entire spectrum from high performance, to economy - all from the reputable brands; Century and SCA.

Learn more about the different types of automotive batteries and electrical systems Click Here.

Learn what type of deep cycle battery is right for your application Click Here.

Replacing a car battery

How to replace a car battery

Replacing your battery is a relatively simple process. The only real complications lie with unorthodox battery placement or limited access. As long as you take a little time and care, you can replace your battery with minimal effort.

Tips and Warnings

  • Disconnecting the battery will often clear all memory of security codes, radio presets etc. (A memory minder or jump starter can prevent this)
  • Battery acid is very corrosive and will damage paintwork and metal.

Step 1 - Disconnect Battery

Step 1

(Optional): Plug in jump starter or memory minder to cigarette lighter in vehicle. This is to keep a live voltage in the system to keep radio stations in the system.

Park your car on level ground with the parking brake on and the gear in first for a manual transmission or park for an automatic transmission.

Turn key to off and remove.

Step 1

Wearing gloves remove the negative terminal first - it's the one with the minus '-' sign - then remove the positive terminal.

Tie the cables back if required.

Step 2 – Remove Battery Restraints

Step 2

Remove the battery restraints or other hardware holding the battery down.

Step 2

Keeping the battery upright at all times, remove it from the tray.

Step 3 – Inspect And Clean Terminals

Step 3

Check battery cables for damage and corrosion.

Step 2

Clean the insides of each terminal with the battery terminal and post cleaner. Wipe terminals clean.

Step 2

To prevent corrosive deposits from forming, coat the terminals with anti-corrosion terminal grease.

Step 4 - Install New Battery

Step 4

Keeping upright at all times, place the new battery onto the tray. Make sure the positive and negative terminals are on the correct side.

Step 4

Replace the restraints securely.

Step 5 - Reconnect Battery Terminals

Step 5

Reconnect the battery terminals - positive first, then negative. (optional)then remove jump starter or memory minder from cigarette lighter socket.

Test Starting the vehicle.

If your vehicle is having problems starting, consider the igntion triangle. Spark, Air and Fuel, and check these are all being feed to the engine correctly.

Battery Fitment at Supercheap Auto

If all of this is a bit much, you're pressed for time, or you'd like to have the whole thing over and done within one go, then make use of our battery fitment service - available at most Supercheap Auto locations. Just call up your local store for suitable times.

  • Installation performed by a fully qualified team member
  • Removal and recycling of your old battery
  • Inspection and cleaning of the battery cable terminal ends and battery tray
  • Battery cable terminals chemically cleaned
  • Acid neutralising felt washers installed
  • Protective sealant grease applied to terminals
  • Preserved computer memory
  • Complete starting and charging evaluation
  • 6 months extended warranty on Century branded batteries included