Monday, July 8, 2019

How To Replace Your Battery Terminal Clamps

how to replace battery terminal clamps dylan benson random automotive


If the battery terminal clamps on your car are cracked, worn, or don’t tighten all the way anymore, it’s probably time to replace them. Don’t worry! It’s cheap and easy to do with only a few tools that are essential to have for many DIY projects, and about ten minutes of your time.

Tools you need:

  • Ratchet
  • Sockets (whatever size fits your old and new terminal clamps)
  • Snips or wire cutters
  • Wire strippers (or a knife)
  • Sand paper
  • Your new clamps 
how to replace battery terminal clamps dylan benson random automotive tin snips wire cutters wire strippers


I will say again that these tools are a must have for any DIYer.

First, disconnect your battery clamps form the battery. Loosen the bolt holding them on, or just pull them off if they are very loose. Be careful not to touch the positive and negative terminals of the battery at the same time, or you will become a conductor of electricity! 

Second, use your snips or wire cutters and cut off the clamp currently on your battery wire. If you have non factory clamps on there already, loosen any bolts that may be holding the wire instead of cutting the wire. Some batter cables may be thick with thick wire inside. It may take some force to get through. If you have any smaller wires coming out of your old clamps, cut them off too. Make sure you remember which wires were positive and which were negative. To avoid confusion, I would suggest doing one full wire at a time.

Third, you need to remove some of the insulation (the rubber around the wires inside) to expose some fresh wires to make a good connection in your new clamp. Place the cut wire in your clamp to see how much insulation you have to cut off. Once you made the correct measurement, either use a wire stripper or knife to remove the correct amount of insulation.

Be careful if you use a knife. Thicker battery cable has thicker wires inside, so you usually won’t damage them wire a knife. If you have a smaller auxiliary cable, I would suggest a stripper or being extremely careful with a knife as the wires inside are generally much thinner.

how to replace battery terminal clamps dylan benson random automotive wire insulation remington FAST

Fourth, take some sand paper and scuff up the exposed wire. Even though it was under the insulation, the outside of the wire may have tarnished. That will give you a poor connection.

Fifth: After the wire(s) is nice and shiny, place it in the new clamp and tighten the bolts firmly. If you have a smaller wire too, place it in there as well before tightening the bolts. Give the clamp and cable a good tug to make sure they don’t come apart easily.

how to replace battery terminal clamps dylan benson random automotive
how to replace battery terminal clamps dylan benson random automotive

Sixth: Take more sand paper and clean the battery terminals (on the actual battery). You want a good, clean connection for your new clamps.

how to replace battery terminal clamps dylan benson random automotive cleaning battery terminals

Finally, put your new clamps over the terminals and tighten them down! 

With these basic tools, you can get this done in about ten minutes. It’s simple, easy, and safe to do at home! Start up your car, and enjoy a good connection with your battery! 

how to replace battery terminal clamps dylan benson random automotive

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