Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Attach a Car Battery-Mounted Power Cut-off Switch

car battery switch

Many people who store their vehicle for a length of time like to disconnect the battery from the electrical system of the vehicle. This prevents the vehicle from unintentionally draining the battery. With the battery disconnected, the risks of sparking and fire are also lessened dramatically.

Disconnecting the battery is generally accepted to be a safe storage practice because you never know what kind of furry critters or outside forces could cause an unexpected electrical problem during long-term storage.

Rather than using tools to disconnect your battery cables each time, a battery disconnect device (also known as a power cut-off switch) can be easily installed at the battery, and the power can be disconnected in a matter of seconds using a knob.

Part 1 of 1: Safely install a battery disconnect switch onto your vehicle

Materials Needed

Step 1: Locate the battery in your vehicle. Most car and truck batteries are located under the hood of the vehicle, but in some models, they may be located under the rear seat, or in the trunk.

wrench on cable end

Step 2: Remove the negative battery cable. Disconnect the negative battery cable using a wrench.

  • Tip: On older American vehicles, you would need a 7/16 or 1/2 inch wrench to do this. On newer or foreign vehicles, a 10-13mm wrench is most commonly used to disconnect the battery cable.

cut of switch attached to battery

Step 3: Install the battery cutoff switch. Install the battery cut-off switch onto the negative battery terminal, and tighten it on with the appropriate size wrench.

Ensure that the switch is set to the open position.

negative battery cable connected

Step 4: Connect the negative terminal to the cutoff switch. Now connect the factory negative battery terminal to the battery disconnect switch, and tighten it using the same wrench.

Step 5: Activate the switch. This is typically done by turning a knob that is part of the battery cutoff switch.

hand turning switch

Step 6: Test the battery switch. Test the battery switch in the “On” and “Off” positions to make sure that it is working as expected.

Once functionality is confirmed, visually inspect the battery and connections to confirm that nothing else is coming in contact with the battery terminals or newly added battery cut-off switch.

Whether you are storing your vehicle for a period of time, or you have a vehicle that drains your battery for unknown reasons, a battery terminal disconnect is an easy solution.

If disconnecting your battery on a regular basis due to a drain isn’t the solution of your choice, consider getting a certified mechanic from YourMechanic to inspect the battery if it is dead and replace it.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...


Related questions

Q: I came out for work yesterday and tried to start my car (push start ) and it would not crank on. I took my wife's car and left.

Based off your description, it sounds to me that the problem is a bad battery. Batteries could start going bad in colder weather depending on how old it is. I recommend replacing your battery to fix the issue. If you...

Q: Car won't start and doesn't have normal power

Thanks for writing in today about the issue with your Saturn. Without being there to physically inspect the car, it's very hard to give you a precise diagnosis, but one common problem that occurs when people install accessory items like...

Q: It needs a jump to start and then it dies after 45 seconds. Hitting the gas chokes the engine like it's getting to much fuel or something.

It is possible that you could be having issues with your battery or your alternator. I would recommend hiring a qualified professional to test your battery and alternator for proper function. When it has been determined whether your alternator or...