Symptoms of Bad or Failing Battery Terminal Ends

Battery terminal ends serve the simple but important purpose of connecting the battery cables (and the vehicle's entire electrical system) to the battery. They are usually made of lead or another highly conductive metal that is heavy duty in nature but still offers low electrical resistance.

Since they are the first point of contact between the battery and the vehicle’s electrical system, if the battery terminals have any problems, this can affect the entire vehicle and should be serviced to restore functionality. When battery terminals do begin to fail, they will usually produce a few symptoms that can notify the driver of a potential problem.

1. Problems starting the vehicle

Difficulty starting the vehicle is one of the first symptoms of a problem with the battery terminals. If any corrosion develops along the battery terminals, this may interfere with the connection and the vehicle may have trouble starting. This can be caused by corroded or even loose battery terminals. The vehicle may experience difficulty starting, slow cranking, or rapid clicking when the key is turned.

2. Corrosion on the battery

One of the most common symptoms of a battery terminal issue is visible corrosion. Since the terminals are in direct contact with the battery they are exposed to the acidic fumes from the battery acid and as a result are prone to developing corrosion. Corrosion can interfere with the battery terminals ability to conduct power and in severe cases can even completely block the flow. A careful inspection for any signs of powdery white or blue corrosion anywhere on the terminal or along the cable can reveal if there is a problem.

3. Loss of electrical power

Another common symptom of a bad battery terminal is loss of electrical power. This usually occurs when a terminal is severely corroded or has broken. A severely corroded or damaged terminal that does not make good electrical contact may cause total loss of power. Terminals corroded to this degree will usually require replacement.

While they are a very simple and inexpensive component, battery terminals do play a very important role in the overall functionality of the vehicle’s electrical system. For this reason, if you suspect that the terminal ends may be having an issue, or are showing any signs of corrosion, have a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic inspect your battery to determine if you require a terminal ends replacement, or if another repair is more appropriate.


Next Step

Schedule Starting And Charging Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Starting And Charging Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Starting And Charging Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(158,996)

Rating Summary
149,057
5,399
1,100
778
2,662
149,057
5,399
1,100
778
2,662

James

30 years of experience
790 reviews
James
30 years of experience
Chevrolet Suburban 1500 V8-5.3L - AC is not working - Windermere, Florida
James is great! Arrived on time and was friendly and extremely good at explaining the car's problems to me. We have to order some parts so he can finish the job, but I highly recommend James to anyone.
Mazda CX-5 - Battery - Orlando, Florida
James was great! He arrived 15 minutes early and swapped out my battery in no time. He was very hospitable and a pleasure to interact with. I definitely recommend this service, and James in particular. Thank you James!!

Matthew

33 years of experience
1084 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Infiniti G35 V6-3.5L - Battery - Williamsburg, Virginia
Matthew is smart, knowledgeable and very professional. He also explains everything and works quickly and neatly and thoroughly. I'm so glad to have found him. I've never felt so confident about the condition of my car and knowing that it's in good hands. And it was so convenient! He called ahead and was able to come a little earlier than scheduled if I wanted, and it worked out perfectly. Just a great experience all around. I'm grateful.
Mitsubishi Endeavor - Car starts and then dies - Norfolk, Virginia
He was great came early and talked top is about the car and tge next steps needed

Greg

22 years of experience
180 reviews
Greg
22 years of experience
Infiniti G35 V6-3.5L - Starting And Charging Inspection - Tempe, Arizona
Great experience

Joseph

20 years of experience
583 reviews
Joseph
20 years of experience
Chevrolet Camaro L4-2.0L Turbo - Starting And Charging Inspection - Salt Lake City, Utah
Friendly, thorough , and most importantly (to me) was not dismissive or condescending. My cursory knowledge of some Chevrolet's interesting design choices with the Camaro, coupled with Joe's experience and perseverance is how we both found upon the problem. Highly recommended.

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

Related articles

How Long Does a Car Battery Last?
The life of your car battery depends on how long it can hold its charge, and is capable of being recharged. Once it can’t...
How Long Should a Car Battery Last?
Eventually your car battery will become worn out and need to be replaced. Most car batteries should last about six years if well taken care of.
How Long Does a Car Battery Last?
The life of your car battery depends on how long it can hold its charge, and is capable of being recharged. Once it can’t...

Related questions

No power, used a working battery car won't start

Check for a failed or inadequate battery ground at the body. If the battery is used, to determine the battery's condition it must be load tested. If the battery passes a load test, confirm that the engine immobilizer system (security...

My vehicle has electrical issues after replacing the wiper motor.

Hi there. There is a parasitic draw that is making your battery go dead. First, charge up the battery to the maximum voltage that it will go to, ie: 12.4 volts to 12.6 volts. Anything under 12.4 volts, then the...

Light in the trunk doesn’t come on anymore

The tailgate open switch is part of the tailgate latch on the Kia Soul. Being that you say it works sometimes and other times it does not, I suggest looking at the latch when you open the tailgate to see...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com