The battery cables of your car connects the battery to the rest of the electrical system. Through them, your battery is able to provide power to your vehicle. There are two battery cables: a positive one, usually red, and a negative one, which is usually black. The positive battery cable attaches to the positive battery terminal at one end and to the starter motor on the other end. The negative battery cable attaches to the negative terminal of the battery on one end and a grounding point at the other end. The battery cables are much larger than other types of cables you may have it home due to the large amounts of energy they are required to carry.
Signs of a bad battery cable
- Car won’t start – Damaged battery cables can prevent electricity from reaching the starter motor, causing ignition issues.
- No electrical power – Failing battery cables can prevent the voltage from your battery from reaching the lighting and accessories of your car.
- Slow engine crank – Corroded battery cables will cause excessive resistance along the circuit pathway to the starter, causing the engine to crank more slowly.
- Dashboard warning lights are on – Your car’s dashboard contains many warning lights that will illuminate when something is wrong with the car. If your battery cables are causing issues, one or more of these warning lights may turn on.
- Problems driving – Since power delivery to the car’s electrical system is being interrupted, poor battery cables can cause all sorts of issues when it comes to drivability.
This may include intermittent engine stalling, which poses a safety issue.
Battery cable maintenance
If you notice any of the above signs, get your car serviced by a car care professional right away. If the cable itself is damaged or corroded, it will be replaced entirely. Otherwise, the issues above may stem from a compromised battery terminal, in which case the terminal can be replaced instead.
In either case, the best way to get maintenance done on your battery cables is to book your appointment through CarAdvise. CarAdvise makes car care simple and guarantees that you’ll pay less than retail price on all car maintenance services.« Back to Glossary Index