2001 Dodge Stratus Change the Battery

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At some point the battery in your 2001 Dodge Stratus will die. It's only a matter of time. When the battery finally gives out, you can save money by installing a new battery yourself. You must be aware, though, that changing the battery on your Stratus will be a bit more involved than just opening the hood, as the car's battery is located in the well of the driver's side front fender. Yet, armed with the proper tools, patience and a little know-how, you can get the job done and have your Stratus up and running in no time at all.

[edit] Tools Used

Tools
Jack
Lug wrench
6mm socket
13mm socket
Ratchet
Screwdriver
Battery post and terminal cleaning tool
Petroleum jelly

[edit] Change the Battery

  • Place your Stratus in "Park" and engage the emergency brake. While in the car, make sure all of the accessories are turned off. Then fetch the jack and lug wrench from the trunk, as you'll need to remove the front, driver's side tire to access the battery.
  • Jack the car up so that the front, driver's side tire is off the ground. Use your lug wrench to remove the wheel lugs and slide the wheel/tire off the bolts. Set the tire to the side.
  • Remove the plastic wheel well cover. In order to do this, you'll need to loosen the bolts holding the wheel well cover in place. They are at the front of the wheel well, near the bumper. Use a 6mm socket and ratchet to loosen and remove the bolts. There are also several clips holding the wheel well cover in place.
  • Remove the small plastic clips which attach the wheel well cover to the other parts of the wheel housing. These clips appear to be small bolts, but actually need to be pulled or pried out. Use your flat-head screwdriver to carefully work between the head of the clip and the wheel well and then pry the clip out the hole. After you've removed all of the clips holding the wheel well cover in place, remove the wheel well cover. You'll now see the battery.
  • Loosen the negative battery terminal first and remove it from the battery's post. Then loosen the positive terminal and remove it from the post as well. Tuck the cables to the side so that they're out of your way. You'll also need to use a 13mm socket to remove the bolt from the bracket that holds the battery in place.
  • Pull the old battery out of its compartment and inspect the terminals. If they're corroded, use a post and terminal cleaner to brush them until they're clean. This will help ensure the new battery has a good connection. After the terminals are clean, lift the new battery into place.
  • Secure the battery by reattaching the bracket which holds it in place, again using the 13mm socket and ratchet to tighten the bolts. Once the battery is securely in place, smear some petroleum jelly on the battery's posts and terminals. This will help guard against future corrosion.
  • Reattach the positive terminal to the positive battery post first. Then reattach the negative terminal to the negative post. Make sure you tighten the terminals, as this also ensures a good connection.
  • Reach into the car and start your Dodge Stratus before you replace anything else. You want to be sure the battery is working before putting the wheel well cover and tire back on the vehicle. If the car doesn't start, check your connections to make sure they're tight.
  • Turn the car off if you've started it and replace the wheel well cover, inserting the clips and tightening the 6mm bolts at the front. Also replace your tire and tighten the lugs. Lower the car back to the ground with your jack.
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