Own a overland truck long enough and you will need to replace the battery. In this article we use our Lexus GX470 as the demo truck but the same procedures will work for all vehicles, although access to the battery will be different.
The trend these days is for truck manufacturers to value esthetics over function under the hood. Engine bays with plastic covers look great but that sleek, clean look costs time (translate to dollars at a dealership or local garage) when it comes to working under the hood.
On a Lexus GX470 about half of your time will be spent removing the front plastic engine cover in order to gain full access to your truck’s battery.
The plastic cover retainer clips (buttons) are intended to be reusable. Be prepared to replace several plastic retainer clips. I find that many dealership technicians are focused on speed often at the expense of broken retainer clips. Reusing damaged clips may save you a few dollars but this is the start of the down hill slide to those little rattles that drive me nuts. I always keep a handful of various retainer clips around knowing it is a small price to pay for peace and quiet.
The steps to replacing the battery in a Lexus GX470 are easy:
- Remove the 12 (or so) retainer clips on the front plastic engine (radiator) cover. These retainers release their grip by sliding a flat head screwdriver in the channel then gently lift the button head of the retainer.
- Remove the 2 retainers that hold the front plastic cover to the power steering cover, located toward the front on the passenger side of your Lexus GX470. These retainers will release their grip by pressing down on the center button with a screw driver.
- Lift the positive lead cap (usually marked with “+” sign) from the battery terminal (some will tell you to remove the negative ground first). A 10mm socket will quickly loosen the clamp. Carefully lift the wire lead and tuck the wire lead out of the way ensuring it does not fall back onto the battery’s terminal.
- Remove the negative lead cap (referred to as the ground and usually marked with a “-” sign) and lead wire from the battery terminal. Tuck the lead out of the way.
- The battery hold-down comes off next. A 10mm deep socket will loosening the nuts. The rear hold-down hook should have a clip holding the ground wire (it did when it came from the factory) that will need to be unhooked.
- Carefully lift the battery out of your truck. Use care not to strain yourself, the battery is heavy and awkward.
- This is a good time to clean out the area of any dirt and debris. Check the tray for cracks and replace if needed, before setting the new battery into place.
- Attach the battery hold-down. The shorter of the two hook rods attaches in the rear. Remember to re-clip the ground wire to the hold-down rod.
- Before connecting the battery, smear a thin coat of no corrode gel (available at most parts stores) on the battery terminal and slide on anti-corrosion fiber washers.
- Connect your leads to the battery terminal. Avoid touching your tool against both terminals or other metal on the truck.
- Make sure to fully tighten the wire lead connection to the terminals. Lose connections can cause corrosion and hard to find electrical issues down the road. Reattach the terminal lead caps.
- With the battery securely connected, set the front plastic engine cover back into place and secure it with plastic retainers. To avoid breaking retainer clips, ensure the button is lifted allowing the bottom prongs to come together. You may want to gently press the prongs together so they easily slide through the lined up holes. Press down on the button top gently locking the retain into place.
- Don’t for get the two retainers holding the front cover to the power steering cover. For these retainers pull the center pin up allowing the retainer to slide in, then press it back down flush with the button top to secure it in place.
Your Lexus GX470 or other overland truck should start right up. But you will notice your clock needs to be reset. You will also need to reset the driver’s remote window controls console.