How to Secure a Battery Clamp

Written by leigh kelley
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Making sure that the battery clamps on your vehicle are secure ensures that the electronic components in your vehicle, including the alternator, have enough power to function properly. This is a do-it-yourself job. It is important for you to make sure that the positive terminal is always attached before the negative terminal.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Anti-corrosive spray

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  1. 1

    Make sure that the car is turned off and the keys are out of the ignition. Engage the parking or emergency brake. Pull the hood release lever to release the primary latch for your hood. Find the secondary release latch and release it. This is located behind the grill of some vehicles and directly above the grill in others. Secure the hood with the safety bar.

  2. 2

    Inspect the battery terminal cables and the battery posts for signs of damage and corrosion. If you see any damage, replace the damaged parts before continuing. Any corrosion should be cleaned before you attach the battery clamps.

  3. 3

    Slide the positive battery clamp over the positive battery terminal. On most vehicles, the positive battery clamp is attached to the red cable. Look on the side of each post on the battery. The positive battery terminal post is marked with either a plus sign (+) or the letter P. Tighten the positive battery terminal clamp using an adjustable wrench. Once you have tightened it as much as possible, try to wiggle the clamp. If it moves easily, you need to tighten it more.

  4. 4

    Place the negative battery clamp onto the negative battery terminal. This clamp is attached to the black wire. The negative battery terminal post is labelled with a minus sign (-) or the letter N. Secure the negative battery clamp the same way you tightened the positive battery clamp.

  5. 5

    Spray both battery terminal clamps with an anticorrosive spray. This protects the terminal posts and clamps from becoming corroded. Corrosion can lead to decreased battery performance.

  6. 6

    Close the bonnet and try to start the vehicle. You will need to reset the clock and any other electronic components in the car.

Tips and warnings

  • Never allow the negative and positive terminal clamps to touch each other when one of them is hooked up to the battery.

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