Battery Cables Causing Problems?

Is this happening to your car battery?

My neighbor called me for help yesterday morning to jump start her car. Her battery was dead as a door nail and she could not jump start it like she has been doing the last week! When I opened the hood of her car I immediately found the source of her problem. Dirty and corroded battery cables make up about 25% of the cars that are towed into my shop each week.

When the battery cable gets corroded it makes a ground that stops all electricity from passing through the cable….so no power from the battery makes it to the engine or the starter motor and you are left with a dead battery type of situation although the battery itself might still be fine and fully charged.

Keeping your battery cables clean and tight should be part of your regular routine maintenance. I told my neighbor to have a strong talk with her oil change mechanic! During each oil change make sure your mechanic inspects the battery cables and cleans and tightens them for you.

Yes, pouring a can of 7Up over your cables will remove some of the corrosion, but the cables should really be removed and cleaned with a wire brush to properly remove the corrosion build up.

Here is a picture of her battery, and you can see the large blue/greenish corrosion build up on the left cable.

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Make sure you remove all rings, watches and other metal objects from your hands before you touch the battery or the cables. I have a nice scar on my ring finger as a reminder!


Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."