How to Replace the Stud on a Side-Mount Battery Terminal

Written by jody l. campbell
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

Almost all types of vehicles that use side-mount batteries have a clear-cut way to remove the stud. That is, except for GM vehicles. GM uses the plastic cover of the battery terminal and a moulded edge on the stud to hold the stud in place with the terminal once removed from the battery. Removing it has confounded many GM owners/do-it-yourself enthusiasts for years when the stud gets compromised from age or cross-threading.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Box-end wrench set
  • 9-inch pair of channel locks
  • Replacement stud

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Open the bonnet. If the positive terminal stud is being replaced, first remove the negative terminal stud. All GM models cover the negative battery terminal in a black plastic cover and the positive battery terminal in a red plastic cover. Removing the negative battery terminal stud will help prevent accidental sparks from occurring when removing the positive battery terminal. If the negative battery terminal stud is the one being replaced, the positive battery terminal and stud can remain intact.

  2. 2

    Remove the battery terminal stud from the battery with a box-end wrench and turn the stud counterclockwise until it comes off the battery.

  3. 3

    Hold the battery terminal base with one hand and use the channel locks to turn and slightly angle the stud inside the battery terminal until one side of the ridge of the stud remains above the plastic terminal cover.

  4. 4

    Turn the stud again the opposite way with the channel locks until the ridge of the stud is fully on top of the plastic cover. In some instances, the centre hole of the battery terminal can be a little tight for the threads of the stud, but it should come out fairly easily.

  5. 5

    Insert the new stud threads through the battery terminal centre hole. Take the channel locks again to angle the stud until one portion of its ridge tucks underneath the plastic cover. Spin it clockwise while pressing downward on the stud to seat it into the plastic cover.

  6. 6

    Reattach the battery terminal and stud assembly to the side post battery. Hand thread it into the side post and tighten it snugly with the wrench. If the positive battery terminal stud was replaced, be sure to attach that one first and then the negative one last to prevent accidental sparks.

Tips and warnings

  • The plastic covers can also be pulled off to inspect any corrosion build-up on terminal ends. However, side-post batteries have a better tolerance for corrosion than top-post batteries. If any corrosion is present, clean the exposed terminals with a solution of baking soda and warm water and a metal-wired scrub brush.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.