How to Change the Positive Battery Cable on the Starter

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How much does it cost to replace a positive battery cable?

The average cost for battery cable replacement is between $277 and $295. Labor costs are estimated between $71 and $89 while parts are priced at $206. This range does not include taxes and fees, and does not factor in your specific vehicle or unique location.


These are the steps to take to replace the battery terminal clamps:

  1. Disconnect the negative, then positive battery cables.
  2. Cut, or grind, off the old connector.
  3. Clean the exposed battery cable with a cleaning agent.
  4. Attach new clamps using a 10mm wrench.
  5. Reconnect the battery cables starting with the positive side first.

Now let’s go into more detail on each of these steps.

Step-by-Step Procedure to Replace a Battery Terminal

As promised, we will now provide a step-by-step procedure to replace a battery terminal. 

Open the Hood

The first thing you need to do is to open the car hood. Be careful and look for battery terminals you need to replace. You’ll find them at the top of the battery, and they contain (+) or (-) signs. To avoid an electric shock, make sure to remove the (-) terminal first. 

Loosen the Terminal Nuts 

Each side of the terminal has nuts. Loosen them by rotating them using an adjustable wrench. 

Move the Terminal 

The next thing to do is to move the terminal from the battery node. Then, grab it with a towel or rag, and do not let it come in contact with the node. Now remove the positive terminal as well using the same steps. 

Remove the Wire Plate

Next, remove the wire plate carefully from the bolts and put them on the side. At this point, the terminals are already disconnected, and you can use your hands to remove the plates. 

Secure the Parts 

Now put the flat washer and the screw-on head given with the new terminal sequentially on the vertically placed bolt. To secure the wire plate, rotate the bolt head. If you only get a nut with the battery terminal, make sure to tighten the nut. 

Attach the Terminal Nuts 

The last step is to attach the terminal nuts. Use a rag or towel to put the positive and negative terminals back on the node. Use a wrench to tighten the side nut of the negative terminal. Repeat the steps for the positive terminal to complete battery terminal replacement. 

Symptoms of Failing Battery Terminals

Battery terminals serve an important purpose and are usually engineered with lead and other highly conductive metals that are heavy duty in nature but provide low electric resistance. 

Since battery terminals are the first point of contact between the vehicle’s electrical system and the batteries, if the battery terminal has any issue, it can seriously affect the vehicle. When battery terminals fail to work, you’ll notice the following symptoms. 

Difficulty in Starting the Vehicle

Facing problems in starting the vehicle is the first symptom of a problem with battery terminals. Any corrosion developed on the battery terminal will interfere with the connection, and the vehicle will have trouble starting. 


Another common symptom of a battery terminal issue is corrosion on a battery. Since the battery terminals are in direct contact with the battery, they get exposed to acidic fumes, resulting in corrosion. Unfortunately, corrosion can severely interfere with the battery terminal’s ability to conduct power. Make sure to thoroughly inspect for any signs of powdery blue or white corrosion on the terminal or along the cable. 

Loss of Electric Power 

A bad battery terminal may also lead to loss of electric power. This problem occurs when a terminal is very corroded or broken. Since a corroded or damaged terminal cannot make good electric contact, it may cause a total loss of power. This situation demands a replacement of the battery terminal. 

Although battery terminals are a simple and inexpensive component, they play a vital role in the overall functionality of a vehicle. In case you suspect any of the above-mentioned issues, consider replacing the battery terminal at the earliest. 

Where does the positive cable go on a starter?

Does positive or negative go to starter? Negative cables bolt directly to the body of the car or engine block, positive cables attach to the starter. The battery will have labels marked with a + and a – sign. The plus is the positive cable terminal, the – is the negative.