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How to Test Battery Voltage and Replace Install New Battery 98-12 Ford Ranger

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  1. step : Measuring the Battery Voltage (0:42)
    • Press the multimeter leads to the positive and negative terminal to a sitting battery
    • The sitting reading should say 12.4 volts but a higher reading is acceptable
    • Have an assistant hold the leads and start the vehicle
    • The reading should have atleast 13.8 volts
  2. step : Removing the Battery (2:05)
    • Disconnect the 8mm negative terminal
    • Disconnect the 8mm positive terminal
    • Remove the 8mm bolt from the hold down
    • Remove the hold down
    • Remove the battery
  3. step : Installing the Battery (2:50)
    • Insert the battery to the battery tray
    • Insert the battery hold down into place
    • Tighten the 8mm bolt to the hold down
    • Tighten the 8mm positive terminal
    • Tighten the 8mm negative terminal

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Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. I hope this how-to video helps you out, and next time you need parts for your vehicle, think of 1AAuto.com. Thanks.

In this video, we're going to be working with our 2001 Ford Ranger 4.0-liter V6. We're going to be showing you how to properly test the voltage in your battery to see whether or not it's any good. If the battery is bad, we'll go ahead and show you how to change that out.

The items you'll need for this repair include an 8mm socket, ratchet, and extension. If you have to test your battery, you’re going to need a good digital multi-meter.

Touch your multi-meter leads to the positive and negative terminals of the battery. We have 12.95 volts. Normally, it should be 12.4 when sitting. Ours was just running, so there's a surface charge on the battery from the alternator charging it. In order to remove that, we'll turn the high beams on in the truck for about 30 seconds.

Measuring again, we're still a little higher than 12.4, but with the static charge removed from the battery, that's a perfectly acceptable number. Now you'll want to have someone hold the leads and watch the reading, while another person cranks the vehicle over. Starting our car shouldn't allow the battery to drop under 10 to 9 volts. Once our vehicle's running, we'll also want to make sure that we have at least 13.8 volts coming out of the alternator, so we know that's functioning properly.

Our battery dropped to 10.9 at the lowest while cranking. This means our battery has a good charge. Our alternator's also charging—we saw that when it was running. We also know that our battery is flowing the correct amount of amperage, and that the starter is not overdrawing it and causing it to run low and click or shut off when trying to crank.

When removing the battery, always disconnect the ground side, as it has the lowest risk of creating any kind of sparks. We'll loosen it up with an 8mm socket and ratchet, remove the terminal, and place it off to the side before doing the same thing to our positive terminal.

Now, using an extension, we'll unbolt the 8mm bolt, holding our battery hold down in at the bottom inside edge of the battery. Move the hold down and the bolt. Remove the battery from the vehicle.

Reinstall the battery into the battery tray. The side with the two grooves on the battery hold down will face out from the battery. You can see the two slots they align into. Tighten down your battery hold down.

Reinstall the positive terminal first. Just tighten these down until they're firm on there. You don't have to completely close the gap. Reinstall the ground side, and tighten that down as well. Once you’re sure you have good connections, check that your vehicle starts and runs properly. Then you’re good to go.

Thanks for tuning in. We hope this video helped you out. Next time you need parts for your car, please visit 1AAuto.com. Also check out our other helpful how-to and diagnosis videos.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Assistant

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Ratchet
  • Socket Extensions

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 8mm Socket


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