Many car makes and models come with a plastic cover for their car batteries. That’s quite different from older cars that leave the battery completely exposed under the hood, with nothing more than a hold-down to keep it in place. Still, how do you remove that plastic cover, and is it even necessary?
You can quickly remove the plastic cover from a car battery with a flat tool. Just remove any fasteners or clips holding the cover in place, then lift the cover off. Remember to replace the cover when you’re done, as it is necessary. The cover helps to dampen vibrations, retain heat, prevent sudden temperature changes, provide ventilation, and overall, protect the battery from damage.
In this quick guide, we’ll look at the steps to remove that plastic cover from your batter. Then, we’ll explore the reasons why this cover is crucial, even though it might not seem like it at first.
How To Remove The Plastic Cover From A Car Battery
Removing the plastic cover from your car battery is a very straightforward process. However, it’s important to note that the designs of those covers are not universal across all car brands and models.
So, you might find the cover in any number of shapes and secured in many different ways.
Still, here is the typical process that you’ll go through to remove the plastic cover that’s concealing your car battery.
Step 0: Prepare And Take Safety Precautions
Before you begin, it’s crucial to prepare the tools you might need and take a few safety precautions.
Again, plastic covers for batteries are secured in several different ways. Some might only have clips that you can remove with your hands. Others might have fasteners that require tools. So, keep a flathead screwdriver with you just in case you need it.
Besides that, you must also remove any jewelry or metal accessories you might be wearing. For example, rings, chains, and bracelets could put you at risk if it falls into the battery compartment as you remove the plastic cover.
Step 1: Identify All Fasteners Or Clips Securing The Plastic Cover
Next, take a few moments to inspect the plastic cover. This step is best done with clear lighting like a flashlight or a work light. The point is to identify all fasteners or clips that keep the plastic cover secure.
There are two reasons you’ll want to do this:
- So you know precisely how many fasteners or clips you need to remove and how you’ll need to remove them.
- To avoid causing any damage to the cover. For example, you might remove all but one fastener and unknowingly try to pull the cover off, cracking it in the process.
So, take a close look and feel to make sure you know how many fasteners and clips you must remove.
Step 2: Carefully Undo All Fasteners Or Clips
Next, carefully undo all of the fasteners or clips that secure the battery cover. Again, it’s essential to remove them slowly so that none of the fasteners get damaged or accidentally fall into your car’s engine bay.
If that happens and the fastener falls straight to the ground, then that’s not a problem. But it will be a problem if it gets stuck on another component within the engine bay.
Step 3: Lift The Plastic Cover From The Car Battery
Once you’ve removed all the fasteners or clips, you can remove the plastic cover. Again, it’s essential to do this part slowly just in case you forgot to remove a clip or fastener.
Set the plastic cover aside, and enjoy full access to the car battery for tasks like:
- Inspecting your battery.
- Cleaning dirt or debris off your battery.
- Changing your battery.
Step 4: Replace The Plastic Cover
After you’re done working on your battery, you must replace the plastic cover. Yes, that cover isn’t just for show (though it does help your engine bay look neat). There are also several practical reasons why the manufacturer included that plastic cover in the first place.
In the next section, we’ll answer the second question of this article: is that plastic cover necessary?
Plastic Cover For A Car Battery: Is It Necessary?
Yes, if your car has a plastic cover for its battery compartment, it is necessary. Unfortunately, not all car brands and models have that plastic cover, as we saw earlier. Even if they do, the plastic cover comes in all sorts of different designs.
Still, suppose the manufacturer included that cover as a standard feature in your car. In that case, that means it’s there to serve one or more purposes like:
1 Vibration Dampening
Excessive vibration is terrible news for pretty much all of your car’s parts, including the car battery. That’s why some manufacturers include a plastic cover for their car’s battery compartments.
With the cover in place, it will help to dampen any vibrations and reduce their effects on the battery. So, the risk of your battery developing cracks is significantly lower because of that plastic cover.
2 Retains Heat
Car batteries cannot function correctly in extremely high or low temperatures. However, in cold climates, the plastic cover helps the battery retain heat to continue working regardless of the weather outside the vehicle.
3 Prevents Sudden Temperature Changes
Besides extreme temperatures, batteries also fail when the temperature changes dramatically. The function of retaining heat mentioned above in #2 also helps to buffer the temperature. As a result, the battery’s temperature changes at a safer pace.
4 Airflow Ventilation
Some plastic covers also have ventilation scoops or holes in them. Depending on their design, the cover can help airflow through to keep the battery cool or also to prevent any hydrogen buildup from flooded batteries.
5 Protect From Damage
Lastly, a plastic cover helps to protect the battery from damage. For example, that damage might come from falling tools while you or someone else is performing repairs under the hood.
So, here’s the bottom line: the plastic cover on your car battery might not seem like a big deal at first glance. Some people might even consider it extra clutter or weight that should be removed.
Well, even though the plastic cover is straightforward to remove, you should leave it where it is. As we’ve seen above, that simple cover offers a handful of benefits or more for your car’s battery, especially in harsher environments.