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Battery Cable

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What are automotive battery cables and where are they located?

The battery cables allow electrical current to flow from the battery to your vehicle’s electrical parts. Your battery has two cables: the positive cable (which runs to the starter), and the negative or ground cable (which runs to the engine block or the vehicle’s chassis). Most of the car or truck’s electrical parts ground to the engine block or chassis. This circuit allows the battery to power all of your car or truck’s electrical parts. That’s what allows you to operate the starter and start your engine. 

How do I know if my battery cables need to be replaced?

Battery cables lose their effectiveness over time. As the copper in the cable ages, it loses its conductive properties. Cuts or mars in the rubber jacket can also expose the cable and allow it to oxidize. The ends and terminals can corrode. The cable ends can also warp, which results in a poor connection. 

As any of these problems occur, it will become more and more difficult for the battery to power the starter and other electrical parts. That can make it hard to start your engine — if it will start at all. In some cases, you may experience the problem only intermittently. 

You may want to check your battery cables before you decide to replace them. First, you should check that your problem doesn’t stem from another source such as a dead battery. Then you can inspect the battery cables’ rubber covers for tears or cracks. Even small ones can make your battery cables less effective. Then check the cable ends for corrosion or warping. Even if the cables look good visually, you can test them by performing a voltage drop test using a multimeter to find resistance in the cable. To test the negative cable, connect the multimeter to the negative battery terminal and the chassis or engine ground and start the engine; the max voltage reading should be less than .5 volts. To test the positive cable, simply do the same by connecting the multimeter to the positive terminal and the starter solenoid.

Can I replace automotive battery cables myself?

Replacing the battery cables should be a fairly easy job. You may need to remove some battery hardware to reach the battery. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery before doing anything else, to avoid a short circuit. Follow the negative battery cable and disconnect it at the ground. Then follow the same procedure, but disconnecting the positive cable at the starter. If there is any corrosion on the battery terminals, they can be cleaned with a paste of water and baking soda and a brush. There are many products on the market that can clean and protect the battery terminals as well. Then, reverse these procedures to install the new cables, being sure to connect the negative cable to the battery last. 

Need a battery cable replacement for your car or truck?

Getting stuck somewhere because your car or truck suddenly died or won’t start is no fun indeed. This is what will happen if your car or truck’s electrical and starting systems are not receiving any electricity from the battery. To prevent this, you need to make sure that your battery cables are functioning properly. If they aren’t, you and your vehicle won’t be going very far buster, or anywhere for that matter. Well, look no further than 1A Auto for a replacement! We carry replacement battery cables for many makes and models, and at great prices.

At 1A Auto, we make shopping for replacement battery cables for your car, truck, SUV or van easy - we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our cables, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online. If you are experiencing hard starting or no starting, new battery cables from 1A Auto may be the solution to your problem.

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