So lately the Jeep has had a hard time starting. Nothing else was really wrong except for the windshield wipers that were more of a hindrance than a help and one of my fog lights was burned out. So last week I bought 2 replacement bulbs for the fog lights (at $26 each!!) and planned to replace them both this past weekend. I then went to the Canadian Tire site to see how much a battery was going to run me. Since the going rate for a high output battery with over 1000 cold cranking amps was almost $200 I thought it prudent to check Costco. I am glad I did since the same rated battery was only $85 there! So I went home on Firday with the goods ready to work on it Saturday after coaching. Of course, Saturday morning was freezing cold (well, at least for this time of year 3 degrees feels freezing) and the Jeep refused to start. So I ended up boosting it with my trusty plug in booster (something which I recommend everyone have at home) and it seemed to be fine. It even started after gym! So once I got home it was time to make things right. I started with the fog lights, although I am not sure why, and quickly discovered that the water from driving had destroyed the wiring and basically killed the lights. I tried to take off the back of the housing to get one bulb out and the screws basically crumbled away. So I decided that I would return the bulbs and just get new lights since ever since I have had those little HID lights on there I have wanted to replace them with something more substantial. So off I went to Canadian Tire, without having replaced the battery, to get more lights. I did get a refund, Nicole and I found lots of other little stuff to buy and I got 2 sets of lights, one white driving lights and one yellowed fog lights so that the front of the Jeep would look extra cool with lots of lights on it. I am not sure what the mentality is with lights, but it seems that the more lights you have on the front of your truck or car, the cooler it looks… So we left CT and grabbed some bagels and a coffee (caramel macchiato for the first time in years) and headed home. Luckily for me, the Jeep started each time but not without grumbling and complaining.
I got back home and started into the battery. It was pretty straighforward, and goes as follows:

loosen the nuts on the terminals and remove the connectors from the posts
loosen the nuts on the bracket that holds the battery in place, being careful not to let the screw part fall down into the engine compartment
clean everything you take off and spray with a lubricant ( I used Gunk penetrating lube)
once the battery is not bolted down any more, try to get the thing out.
This is where you realize why the battery you just bought has a fancy plastic handle.
Try not to scrape the crap out of your hands while trying to extricate the battery
I found it easiest to turn the battery on its short side (don’t worry, it won’t leak anywhere) and yank it out.
the old battery has a nice warming jacket on that you will want to keep. If your new battery has side terminals also, then slide the tea cosy thingy up from the bottom and snug it up to the side terminals.
Once the warmer is on, drop the new battery into place.
The hardest part of the whole thing was getting the bracket back on since the screw posts are not attached to anything at the bottom and so need to be tightened almost all the way before you can let go and work on the other one. Once this was done it is time to put the contacts back on. If you have been fighting with the install, at some time your terminals will have touched and sparked. Don’t worry, this is not a big deal and even if you do get a shock from it it won’t hurt.
make sure you clean the terminals inside with some sandpaper to get a good contact surface and slide the collars over the terminals and tighten the bolts. MAKE SURE YOU DON”T OVER TIGHTEN THEM!!! They are difficult to replace so I have heard.

Once the battery was done and the thing started it was time to move on to the new lights. Since I was hooking them up to the old fog light electrical it was simple, just drill the hole out a bit and attach the lights to the bumper. Of course it has taken me the past 4 days to get people to stop flashing at me as I drive but they are now all fixed. I now have to attach the second pair but that means wiring them “properly” to a switch and to the battery and since I am going to be doing that, I am also going to put a pair of air horns in there for effective honking…
This is going to be fun!