Symptoms of Bad or Failing Battery Terminal Ends

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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.


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YourMechanic Car is hard to start Inspection Service

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Number of Reviews

141

Rating Summary
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Peter

23 years of experience
230 reviews
Peter
23 years of experience
Jeep CJ5 - Car is hard to start - Los Angeles, California
Peter is amazing. I just requested another appt and I want Peter to come Wednesday. I can’t imagine ever doing this any other way. You guys have amazing people working for you.
Audi A4 - Car is hard to start - Simi Valley, California
Peter was very friendly and knowledgable when he first arrived and gave me very informative details about my car that I didn't know existed. After diagnosing the car he was able to find the issues with the car and describe each issue with the car throughly. After today Peter gave me confidence in knowing there wasn't a major problem with my car like some mechanic shops and dealerships have said. I'd love to have him back with my car once iv had some time to figure the parts I will need to service the car.

Robert

18 years of experience
627 reviews
Robert
18 years of experience
Chevrolet Tahoe - Car is hard to start - Broomfield, Colorado
Robert was great. He was on time and he did a great job completing the work booked. He was very friendly, answered all my questions and gave me quotes for additional work I wanted done. He even set an appointment for me. I would highly recommend Robert and look forward to booking him again!

Ben

39 years of experience
1129 reviews
Ben
39 years of experience
Infiniti JX35 - Car is hard to start - Houston, Texas
Ben is so great. He has been working on all our cars for over a year and we could not be happier. Today he came out on a Sunday to make sure that my car was running well for the beginning of the week, even though the earliest booking time was on Monday. He texted and asked if I would like him to come out on Sunday instead. When he was hear he quickly diagnosed the problem. Showed me what he found and how we could get me fixed up right away. He is always fair and looks for ways to save us time and money. Super honest, knowledgeably and always has a great attitude. We will continue to have Ben work on our cars from the regular oil change to the more complicated fixes. Thanks Ben!!

Eduardo

20 years of experience
61 reviews
Eduardo
20 years of experience
Ford F-250 - Car is hard to start - Richmond, Virginia
Came to do an inspection on an issue with the starting of the truck. Listen to everything I had to say and what has already been done to the truck. Was thoughtful courteous got right up there and check things out any issue is solved. Definitely use Eduardo again

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