If your vehicle has trouble starting but the battery has full power, you may need to replace the battery cable. The battery is the central component of the vehicle. The battery sends current to the starter, and it lets you run the radio while the motor is off.
It is simple to replace a vehicle battery cable. Here are tips to replace a vehicle battery cable.
Prepare to Work
For this project, you need:
- work gloves
- safety glasses
- masking tape
- old tooth brush
- petroleum jelly
- combination wrench set
- battery post cleaner
Turn off the engine, and let it cool, if it has been running. Take the car keys out, and engage the parking brake. Turn off the auto-theft system, if needed.
Open the hood or the trunk, and prop it so it won't fall. Wear gloves and eye wear, since batteries have sulfur acid, which could leak or spew.
Remove the Old Battery Cables
Locate the battery. The battery commonly is a big, black box with terminals protruding from the top.Identify the wires. Red wires are positive and black wires are negative. If there are two black wires, look for a positive or negative mark at the end of the cable.
Detach the tape or press the clips on the boxes on the negative cable terminal. Detaching the negative cable first avoids shock from the car battery.
If there is a metal or plastic retainer on the housing with wires, do not remove the wiring. Just cut the tape, so you can reach the bolts. Stick a small piece of masking tape where the cable connects.
Remove the positive terminal in the same manner. Detach the battery from the engine bay, and lay it upright in a safe place. In some cases, you may not need to remove the battery to replace cables, but it makes the job easier.
Follow the cables back to the connecting bolts, noting the direction. Detach the negative cable bolt first and then the positive cable bolt with a wrench. Note the make and model of your vehicle to use this information as a guide to buy replacement cables.
Install the New Battery Cables
Clean the battery terminals with a post cleaner and old tooth brush. Use a rag to polish them.
Rub some petroleum jelly on the clamps to prevent corrosion. Check bolts for rust, and scrub it off. Reattach the cables, and tighten the bolts.
Close the hood, and test the repair. If the battery still doesn't work, or you don't trust your skill, contact an auto repair service like Wolfe's Foreign Auto.