How to Change a Car Battery without Losing Settings (The Easy Way)

We always reminded on how to change a car battery without losing settings as removing a battery and replacing it with a new one is a pretty straightforward job, as long as you connect the right terminals. However, it is one thing to change the battery, and another thing is not to lose your settings in the process.

The following mini-guide covers exactly that - how to change a battery and not lose radio codes.

Nowadays, most auto manufacturers use the battery as an anti-theft measurement. For example, if the car loses power (battery removed), the radio signal stops working.

The radio signal will be down until the car owner enters his or her security codes. At first, this sounds like no brainer, just enter those codes, and you are back in business.

Well, not quite. Sadly, but most folks don’t even know that these codes exist, let alone how to enter them properly. And if you don’t get this right, you expose yourself to massive spending to put things back in order.

If you don’t want to find yourself in such a situation, you need to keep on reading and learn how to change a battery without losing your settings.

When and why change your battery?

If you've owned a car for more than five years, then it's very likely that you had to change your battery at some point.

Car batteries, same as any other batteries, don't last forever, and replacing the old one with a new one is a matter of time.

Ideally, the battery should be changed after three years. After three years of service, the battery cannot be considered as reliable as during the past period.

Most roadside assistance calls are because of a flat tire, or because of a failed battery.

Nowadays, most new cars come with all sorts of gadgets and onboard computers; each of them dependant on the battery. That puts a lot of strain on the car battery. 

Because of that, it is for the best to change the battery every two years. That way, you can rest assured that your battery won't leave you hanging on the road.

On the other hand, car batteries can get depleted because of numerous reasons like extreme weather conditions (both extreme cold and hot), an issue with the car’s electric installation, AC runs over long stretches of periods when the car is idle, or the engine is not running, and so on.

The point is, car batteries are meant to be replaced, and there is no way around it. That's why here is the trick to change the batteries without losing the settings.

how to change a car battery without losing settings
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how to Change a Car Battery without Losing Settings

There is no special trick, nor a need to search for how to change a car battery on YouTube. There is a simple procedure that you need to follow, and you will be able to change your batteries to remain the settings.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Gloves to change the battery
  • Backup battery (12v)
  • Wrench
  • Safety goggles
  • Jump leads
  • Two wires

Step #1 - Identify the Problem

First of all, check if the battery is truly the issue and whether you truly need to replace it. Sometimes, the problem can be in the sulfate buildup formed around the battery terminals.


Typically, the sulfate buildup is in the form of blue or whitish residue. If that’s the case, you need to be extra careful because you are dealing with a sulfuric acid that can burn your skin.

Step #2 - Find The Right Battery Size

For this, you will need to write down the model number, engine size information, and car name. Get that info to any local auto part store, and they will recommend a suitable battery.


Each car model is designed to be compatible with a battery of a certain size, capacity, and a specific holding tray. Miss on any of that, and all effort will go to waste. You can't buy a new battery without all that info.

Step #3 - Secure Your Working Area

It's important to find a place where you can work in peace and not be disturbed by anyone. Car batteries contain sulfuric acids and plenty of other corrosive material, which can lead to flammable hydrogen.

Step #4 - Setup a Secondary Power Source

There are two ways to approach this. One is to use a 12-volt auxiliary battery and jump leads, or go with a jump/booster pack. Cheap 12v Battery can be obtained from places like Walmart or Home Depot.


The alternative approach is if you go with a memory saver. However, many industry experts agree that you can do just fine without one. Plus, things might get complicated, which can lead to saving faulty codes.


Saving faulty codes is also quite messy, and you don't want to be dealing with that either. That is why so many folks like to stick with a 12v battery as a secondary source. This is what you need to do.


First of all, place the auxiliary battery safely on the floor and connect its red lead to the positive terminal, while the black one needs to go on the negative.


Next, attach the crocodile clips to the end of the leads that are connected to the main battery. At this point, make sure you don’t connect both ends of the crocodile clips. Just make sure that black is connected to black and red is connected to red.


The clips need to be attached to a metallic part of the lead, or else it will strike back when removing the leads from the battery.

Step #5 Take Off The Old Battery

Once the secondary power is in place, it is time to take off the old battery. Grab a socket and loosen the lug nuts that hold the battery in place. Once nothing holds the battery down, you can take off the leads from the battery.


At the same time, you need to be careful when removing the negative lead from the old battery. While doing so, the crocodile clips need to stay firmly connected to the secondary power source.


After you remove all the leads, safely grab the battery and take it out from its tray.


If you do everything properly, the only thing powering your car is the secondary power source (12v auxiliary battery).


Just remember to get rid of your old battery properly. If you take it to your local auto store, they will know how to get rid of it safely.

Step #6 - Connect The New Battery

Place the new battery carefully without touching any of the contacts that supply power to the car. Once the new battery is in its place, connect the black to the negative terminal, and the red to the positive terminal of the new battery. Once you finish that, remove the crocodile clips.


Next, tighten the battery tray bolts so that the new battery is firmly attached to the car. After you cover that, you can freely remove the secondary power source.


After that, all is left is to start the car and check if all the settings are ok. If you followed this guide, step by step, then all the settings should be preserved. The only real difference will be that you will have a new and reliable battery.


That’s how to keep radio memory when changing the battery. It is a simple process, and you need to have a few accessories and stuff that don't cost too much.


That way, you don't need to search for battery replacement nearby, and instead, you can do it in your garage.



Conclusion

Always keep in mind that car batteries can be dangerous for people and bad for the environment. Therefore, you must not store a battery in a curbside bin along with other recyclable household items.


As mentioned earlier, it is for the best to take the old battery to a recycling center or some auto store. The thing is that the lead and acid in car batteries are truly dangerous and toxic, and that is why the emphasis on correct disposal.


There are even some shops and recycling centers that will even offer you money for your old battery. But even if you don’t know any of those places, the local auto store should be able to take care of your old battery for free.


On the other hand, if you are not the savvy guy and this DIY approach is too overwhelming for you, then you can always turn to a mobile battery replacement service to get the job done. You can also head to the nearest mechanic shop and let the professionals take care of this on your behalf.


In any case, the entire process will take less than 10 minutes. That’s if you have all the things you need in place and are comfortable with the things you need to do. With all these info, it is sufficient to understand on how to change a car battery without losing settings that can cause a lot of headache. 

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