How to Replace a Car Battery Connection


Battery terminals are used to connect an automotive battery to the automobile electrical system. Over time, battery terminals oxidize and no longer conduct the necessary electrical current to allow the automotive electrical system to operate properly.

Although cleaning the oxidization from the battery terminals prolongs the terminals' useful life, eventually the battery-terminal connector becomes oxidized to the point that it will no longer function properly. When this happens, the battery-terminal connector must be replaced.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel wool
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Slip-joint pliers
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Electrical pliers
  • Hold the battery-terminal retaining bolt with the slip-joint pliers and loosen the terminal retaining nut with the adjustable wrench. Remove the battery-terminal connector from the battery post.

  • Hold the battery terminal with the slip-joint pliers and loosen the bolts on top of the battery terminal with the adjustable wrench until the battery cable wire becomes loose. Remove the battery terminal from the battery wire. If the battery cable is soldered to the battery terminal, cut the battery cable wires off the battery terminal and strip the battery cable of approximately 1/2 inch of insulation. Rub the exposed wire with steel wool until the exposed wire is shiny in appearance.

  • Loosen the top bolts on the replacement battery terminal. Place the wire into the insertion point created by loosening the battery terminal, and push the wire through far enough that some of the wire is exposed at the front of the insertion hole. Solder this wire to the battery terminal and tighten the bolts so the connection is snug.

  • Loosen the terminal retaining bolt by holding the terminal retaining bolt with the pliers and loosening the nut with the adjustable pliers. Install the battery terminal on the battery post and tighten the terminal retaining bolt so that the connection is snug.

Tips & Warnings

  • To prevent corrosion, coat the metal parts of the electrical connection with a small film of petroleum jelly before connecting the battery terminal to the battery post.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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