Car Battery Cable Replacement Made Simple

January 27, 2012

Car battery cable replacement is a relatively easy process that most people can do in a short amount of time. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on your battery cables, checking them once a month or so, in order to prevent a situation in which you can become stranded. Cables should be checked for excessive corrosion and tears or holes in the casing of the cable. If you are getting a bad connection to your battery it may be time to replace them.

Safety Tips
When working on your car battery, remember to keep all of your metal tools away from the posts and the battery in order to lessen the odds of an electrical discharge. It's also a good idea to wear eye protection in the unlikely event that battery acid is released from the battery.

  • Inspect and clean the connections. Prior to removing your old cables, check and clean the connections, as a bit of corrosion can often muddle up the process. Disconnect the cables from the battery, negative side first. Use a wire brush to clean both the battery post and the cable connection. You can also use a concoction of baking soda and water and dip your batter cables into it to clean them. This solution can also be dumped onto the battery posts to aid in cleaning. This could likely fix your problems, so reconnect the battery and double check to see if it works prior to replacing your cables. If your cables are cracked or the ends are corroded and broken, you need to replace them
  • Remove the old cables. Assuming you are still experiencing problems and your battery is fine, it's time to replace the cables. Since the cables should already have been disconnected from the battery, disconnect the negative cable from where it is grounded. Next, disconnect the positive cable from the starter. Replace any cable that has obvious signs of damage or is in need of replacement
  • Attach new cables. Using the same size, length and gauge cables you can now replace your old ones. Cables can be purchased at any auto parts supply store and it usually a good idea to bring your old ones into the store to ensure you get the proper replacements for them. First, attach the positive cable to the starter and then attach the grounding cable. Make sure the connections are clean when attaching these cables. Prior to attaching them to the battery you can apply a layer of petroleum jelly to the battery posts. This will greatly decrease the corrosion on the battery posts and cables. You can now attach the new cables to your car battery