Mostly towards the end of the 1990’s, some of the biggest consequences to disconnecting the battery resulted in losing radio settings, seat positions, and side-view mirror adjustments. As we progress into the 21st century, the stakes of not taking the proper precautions before and after disconnecting the battery have increasingly become much higher as well as the need for more sophisticated methods and a broader knowledge base for adhering to these precautions.
For example, for most modern vehicles, the engine’s computer records things like engine misfires and oxygen-sensor performance, and confirms that, over time, the emission-control system is doing its job. Once battery power is disconnected, those settings are cleared and the vehicle needs to relearn this data. The impact of losing data collected by the vehicle can result from something as inconvenient as to failing an emission’s test (depending on the state of inspection) to something much more serious like damaging the battery due to incorrect voltage output settings. Several BMW, Audi, and Lexus vehicle models require the computer system to be reset after battery replacement. Mercedes-Benz models have specific instructions in the owner’s manual for electrical set up requirements, and a few Infiniti models even require the shift release to be reset after battery replacement.
While more extensive procedures can be found in higher end vehicles, other models are in no way immune to extra steps involved when disconnecting the battery. Hundreds of vehicle models require additional steps or precautions when replacing a battery which include:
- Battery disconnection precautions
- Power window, locks, and sunroof programming
- Convenience accessory programming
- Supplemental restraint and ABS system precautions
- Resetting engine and body control systems
Any who replaced a battery should closely regard the need for system resets, safety precautions, or specific instructions when replacing batteries in modern vehicles. Be informed of what the individual owner’s manuals require for battery replacement as well as the numerous guides and resources that solely focus on battery replacement and reset procedures.