Cleaning Battery Cables-5 Quick Easy Steps

March 1st, 2016

Your Battery & What You May not Know:

Ever have dirty battery cables be the cause of your ride not starting?  Here's one of our annoyingly over used words: MAINTENANCE.

The cables on your battery are subject to corrosion and, eventually, that will prevent your car from starting despite your battery being just fine.  The ultimate result? Your day will be delayed or perhaps ruined. What if this happens in the middle of the night after a night out? Inconvenience is guaranteed, where it happens could be a dark and dangerous place.

A small amount of maintenance can prevent the above.

Here's how to do it:

1-always loosen, wiggle the cap off the cable and disconnect your negative terminal first and use a plastic tie to make sure to remove it from your work field. Why? Glad you asked. If your negative terminal is connected, it's still wired and connected to your entire car. Drop a tool on the battery or touch the wires and an electrical short may result. By leaving the negative terminal disconnected you are preventing "a complete circuit" between your positive terminal and your car which is absolutely what you want to do.

2-then do the same to the positive terminal so the battery is disconnected completely.

3- use a wire brush to scrap and clean both poles on your battery so that bare metal is exposed. You want to remove the corrosion and debris that keeps these electrical connections making great contact. Is this something you want to do in the rain, snow or darkness? This is part of maintenance and should be done 2 times a year or whenever you see corrosion building on the terminals. If your battery cables are dirty you are limiting the amount of electrical current that passes through your ignition system and starts your car. Some cars and batteries need it more often, some less but waiting could leave you in the cold in more ways than one. An ounce of prevention could mean the difference to being stuck somewhere.

4-thoroughly clean the caps that will reattach your cables to the battery

5-reconnect your battery in reverse of the way you disconnected it. Positive terminal gets connected first for the reasons above. Then negative terminal second. When you slip the negative connector on, there will be a spark as it gets close and makes contact with the negative battery terminal. Don't be afraid of this - it's nothing to worry about. Make sure the terminal caps are done up nice and tight.

Congratulations, dirty battery cables are not going to ruin your day. Repeat when needed.

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