Two Things That Can Go Wrong When You Replace Your Car Battery

Car batteries work hard to power your vehicle's electrical systems, but even these workhorses burn out after a while. Though it's relatively easy to replace a car battery, here are two problems that may occur when you do the changeover and how you can fix them.

Loss of Car Settings

Newer vehicles are basically computers on wheels, run by an electronic system that seamlessly coordinates all its systems. While this increases efficiency and lets drivers enjoy some tech perks—such as connecting to your phone via Bluetooth—the system suffers from the same weakness as any other electronic device; disconnecting it from electricity can knock out all its settings.

Unlike with a computer, in general, there is no backup power source in your vehicle that runs a tiny black box full of information critical to your vehicle's functioning. So, when you disconnect the car battery, any data and programming saved in your vehicle's systems may be wiped out.

Not all cars suffer from this issue. Some manufacturers have gotten wise to this issue and built-in protective measures to account for it. But a good portion of vehicles on the road are vulnerable to this problem, and odds are good your car or truck is one of them.

Luckily, though, you can prevent this from happening by taking precautions before changing your battery; namely, you'll need to connect your car to an interim source of power that will keep your systems online while you replace the battery.

Vehicle repair shops do this automatically, which is why it's often better to have a professional perform this kind of work. If you're trying to save money by changing the battery yourself, though, you'll need to buy a special device that connects through the diagnostic port which will provide just enough energy to the vehicle to power the systems while you swap out the old battery with the new.

You can obtain these devices from auto supply shops or online. Be certain to read the directions carefully before deploying it to avoid creating even more problems.

Car Key Won't Work

Another issue that may occur is your car key may stop working after you have changed batteries. This is typically something that only happens with transponder keys that use radio signals to communicate with the vehicle's engine. That's because, in some vehicles, the computer system will disable the radio signal whenever the vehicle loses power as a security measure against theft.

The good news is, this is typically an easy fix. In most cases, all you need to do is enter a special code on the key or inside the car to reactivate the radio signal, and the information for how to do that is typically found in the owner's manual. However, some vehicles have reset buttons under the hood that you can use to manually restart the signal. On the rare occasion, though, you may need to have the key reprogrammed at the dealership.

For more information about safely installing a new car battery, contact a company like Electro Battery Inc.