Toyota Tacoma: How to Replace Battery

Batteries can last anywhere from a few months to several years depending on how you treat them. This article will show you how to replace a dead battery.

By Jared Hammond - February 16, 2016

This article applies to the Toyota Tacoma (1996-2015).

When your truck won't start at all it's because the battery is either dead or drained. If you've already tried connecting a charger to the battery or giving it a jump start and the truck still won't start, then it means that your battery has probably lost the ability to hold a charge and needs to be replaced. Don't worry, it doesn't take a genius to replace a battery. The instructions below will tell everything you need to know.

Toyota Tacoma How to Replace Battery

Materials Needed

  • Replacement size 34R battery
  • Box ended wrench
  • Ratchet with 10mm socket
  • Car memory saver (optional)
  • Terminal cleaner or baking soda and water
  • Brush
  • Battery terminal protector spray (optional)


Don't wear any rings or bracelets around your hands, and don't allow any metal to bridge the gap between the positive and negative terminals. It can spark and could potentially ignite gases inside the battery.

Step 1 – Disconnect the battery cables

Before you start, it's a good idea to clean any corrosion built up on the cables. You can either use a professional terminal cleaner spray or a mix of baking soda and water. After the corrosion has been sprayed, scrub it off with a brush.

Whenever you're disconnecting the battery it's always safest to start with the negative (black) cable. This is because with the negative/ground terminal out of the way, you are less likely to accidentally cause a short. So use your box wrench to loosen the nut on the negative terminal. Pull the cable off the terminal, then tuck it away where it won't be able to accidentally touch the positive cable or the battery terminals. Then do the same thing for the positive cable.

Toyota Tacoma battery replacement how to DIY
Figure 1. Disconnect the battery cables.

Step 2 – Remove the battery

Locate the two bolts on the battery bracket and remove them. Pull out the bracket and set it aside. Now you just need to remove the battery. Be careful as you remove the battery that you don't tip it over, because it contains acid that could spill. Carefully lift the battery and set it aside somewhere dry.

Toyota Tacoma battery replacement how to DIY
Figure 2. Remove the battery bracket.

Step 3 – Install new battery

Lift your new battery and carefully set it on the tray in your truck. Make sure that the terminal posts are facing the correct positions, so that the battery cables can reach the respective terminals on your new battery. The correct battery size for the Tacoma is 34R, but you can use smaller batteries as well. Just be aware that you'll have to install spacers around the battery to prevent it from moving around on the tray.

Once the new battery is sitting on the tray, reattach the battery bracket. Before you reconnect the battery, make absolutely sure that you're connecting the battery cables to the correct terminals. Connecting the battery backwards can fry all the electronics in your truck, so be careful. When you're ready to hook it up, reconnect the battery cables starting with the positive cable and then the negative cable. Now try starting the truck. If it doesn't start at first, check the cables to make sure that they're not loose.

Toyota Tacoma battery replacement how to DIY
Figure 3. Install your new battery.

Pro Tip

Remember to recycle your old battery. Take it to the local auto parts store and they will recycle it for you for free.

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