The car's starting battery is a vital part of the engine operation; it provides cranking power to the starter to turn and start the engine.
Therefore, maintaining it is crucial; regular inspection and cleaning of the battery terminal will ensure longer battery life.
Symptoms of bad battery terminals and cables include:
- Ignition turns on, the car won't start
- Interior lights dim
- Headlights are dim
- Dashboard goes dark when you try to start the engine
- You hear a click when trying to start the engine
- include a few tick sounds when engaging the starter.
- Dash lights don't turn on after a failed start.
- The engine turns over very slow
- The engine turns over but won't start
You most likely have bad battery cables or terminal if the dash lights turn on but the engine won't start but only clicks when you try to start it. As you try to start the engine, the dashboard lights will also dim.
It can be challenging to determine if the battery is dead or the cables are loose. Try jump-starting your vehicle to get back on the road. Have an auto mechanic test your charging system and inspect the battery terminals.
What you will need to clean battery terminals
- Battery terminal cleaner
- 10mm or 12 mm socket wrench
- Battery terminal protector
- 100 grit sandpaper (optional)
How to clean a battery terminal
- Detach the negative battery clamp or connector from the pole by loosening the bolt while taking precautions not to short out the battery.
- Remove the clamp or connector out of the way to make room for you to clean the pole.
- Disconnect the positive clamp from the positive pole by loosening the bolt while taking precautions not to short out the battery.
- Remove the clamp or connector out of the way to make room for you to clean the battery post.
- Use a wire or copper brush to clean deposits on the negative and positive poles/terminals. Clean the negative and positive battery terminals /poles using the battery terminal cleaner or battery pole cleaner. You may also use sandpaper to do this.
- Use the brush part of the battery cleaner to clean the negative and positive battery clamps.
- Reconnect the battery clamp, positive first, then reconnect the negative clamp.
- Spray the poles/terminals of the battery with a battery spray protector to protect against battery corrosion.
- Start the engine to verify your work.
Can a car battery fail without warning?
- Proper Maintenance Will Keep You on the Road. Often, a car battery will die without any warning, leaving you stranded. When you check the date of your battery, also clean off any white corrosion around the terminals.
What happens if battery terminals are corroded?
- Car battery corrosion is one of the main causes that decreases battery life and performance.