A car battery is the most significant component of a vehicle. Most problems arise from a faulty battery, which paves the way for the need to maintain and check batteries to avoid unfortunate circumstances regularly. Let’s learn how to disconnect the negative battery terminal.
Such circumstances require the removing or replacing the battery include:
- Maintenance of the vehicle
- Replacing the battery
- Recharging the battery
- If your car is experiencing glitches
- Cleaning the engine
For beginners, this might seem like a scary job, but it is a simple and manageable task that can be carried out with near perfection in the following steps:
How to Disconnect the Negative Battery Terminal
Take safety precautions before disconnecting the negative battery terminal:
The battery has a very high voltage and can easily put one’s life at risk. This is why we insist on turning the ignition off to save yourself from getting the electric shock of your life. Grab safety equipment like goggles, latex gloves, etc., for extra precaution if possible.
Locate the Negative Battery Terminal:
Once your car is powered down, begin by lifting the hood of your car. The release button is sometimes located lateral to the driver’s seat or on the hood. Locate the battery and search for the negative terminal. While unplugging the battery, the negative terminal is unclipped first, while the opposite is done when the battery is assembled. Targeting the positive terminal while unclipping the battery can lead to a short circuit.
The negative terminal has the following methods of recognition:
- a “-” sign
- The cord attached is usually black or blue
Unclip the Negative Battery Terminal:
Once you have identified the terminal, start by uncapping the battery. Then look for a wrench of the appropriate size to unbolt the terminal. Rotate counterclockwise.
There is no standard size, and the bolt size varies with the car model. We suggest bringing a wrench kit in various sizes so you have assorted options.
Ensure your wrench does not touch both terminals of the battery simultaneously, as it can result in an electrical hazard, even though it is rare.
Disconnect the Negative Battery Terminal
Keep unscrewing until the bolt comes loose, and you can detach the terminal from the battery.
Remove the Negative Battery Terminal
Remove the terminal and put it aside (preferably far away so it only comes in contact with the battery once the purpose is served).
Secure the negative battery terminal
Securing means that the terminal is kept far from the battery so it does not cause short-circuiting, which can happen even though the engine is turned off. The stored charges can add up to an electrical hazard. One can always be careful. You can secure the cord by grounding it or keeping it safe from the battery.
Inspect the Negative Battery Terminal
Inspect the terminal for damage or corrosion. In case of irreplaceable damage, replacement is an option. Usually, just cleaning the battery terminal and the cable is enough.
Learn More: How to Extend Battery Cables Car
Remove the battery cable from the negative battery terminal:
A negative battery terminal has a blue or black colored cable that can be easily disassembled once the bolt is unscrewed.
Clean the Negative Battery Terminal:
Suppose the damage is pretty good. Usually, a dry rag is enough to get the required level of cleanliness. Make sure the rag does not have oil or grease on it. You can also use store-bought oxidizing cleaners for the battery, but that should be avoided.
Apply a layer of petroleum jelly onto the terminals to help prevent corrosion.
Reconnect the Negative Battery Terminal:
For reconnecting the terminals:
- Attach the positive terminal first.
- Attach the clamp and then bolt the negative terminal on the battery.
- Screw on the plastic cap.
- Re-attach the connector cable.
- Your battery is set to be reused.
Car batteries are the powerhouse of the vehicle, and they need to be dealt with safely to avoid safety hazards. Tiny mistakes like touching the terminals with bare hands or with the ignition on can lead to severe electric shocks that are sure to scar for life.
So, paying heed to the precaution is a must. Meddling with the battery terminals is a straightforward task that can save you loads of money and trips to the mechanic.
You can thoroughly tidy up the engine and maintain your battery in proper shape if you know how to play around with the most sensitive part of the battery, i.e., The terminals. Good luck if you are planning to try.
I am an Automotive specialist. I graduated from Michigan with Bachelor in Automotive Engineering and Management. Also, I hold degrees in Electrical and Automation Engineering (BEng), Automatic and Industrial Electronic Engineering, and Automotive Technology. I have worked at General Motors Company for over five years as the Marketing Operations Production Coordinator. Now, I own my garage in Miami, Florida. I love cars and love to share everything about them with my readers. I am the founder of the Automotiveex blog, where I share everything about automotive, like car news, car mechanical issues, and anything else that comes up in my blog posts.