Once upon a time when a battery cable became corroded and unusable, replacing it was a fairly simple job. In most cars today, the battery cables are part of the wiring harness and cannot be replaced individually and to compound the problem, the terminal ends are not always lead, but metal which will not hold up well with corrosion. It is not unusual to see these cables sell for over $800 and require many hours to install.
Battery corrosion is the main cause of cable failure and will in time completely eat through the battery cable clamps used on the newer cars and
should be attended to as soon as it's noticeable. Maintenance can really save money as well as prevent a call for a tow truck.
Inspect your battery cables periodically for any corrosion and take care of it as soon as its visible!
If there is corrosion on the outside of the terminal, it has probably accumulated between the cable clamp and the terminal. To clean this, the cables need to be removed from the battery and both the clamps and terminals need to be wire brushed until shiny. Don't breathe the dust, It is very corrosive.
If its a top post battery install battery protectant pads on the terminals
below the battery cables. This will help prevent gases from getting back to
the terminals. A little battery protectant spray on the terminals is a good
Note: disconnecting the battery may cause you to lose your radio presets and possibly cause the vehicle to run different for a little while as the computer relearns.
Acid residue or a build up of dirt on the battery case can cause a small
electrical discharge and weaken the battery, so it should be cleaned off
also. Its a good idea to remove the battery and clean the battery tray, as
acid running down it can cause it to eventually rust out.
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