Battery Cable Assembly-The Ultimate Guide You Need To Know

Battery cable Assembly Is used in a wide variety of applications to power your electrical systems. It would help if you used a battery cable to establish a connection between the battery and the vehicle’s electrical peripherals, RV, golf cart, or solar panel.

There are many types of battery cables available depending on the application, and sometimes you may be confused about the required battery cable. Do you distinguish the blown battery cable from the booster battery cable? Can you tell the difference between the ring terminal and the stud top?

You can find all the information about the battery cable and its applications in this helpful guide and determine which ones are right for you.
You can also contact our support team to customize your cable assembly.
Let’s start reading right away.

Chapter 1 – What is the Battery Cable Assembly?

Battery Cable Assembly

Battery cable assembly or harness is a set of cables of varying lengths. You can use the cables to hook up one or more batteries to the electrical system of cars, trucks, boats, solar power systems, and other equipment.

The battery cables come with terminated ends to easily connect with your battery. You can also choose from a wide range of terminals and boots based on your application to meet different jobs’ needs.

The battery cables are generally exposed to harsh conditions like vibration, heat, corrosion, or moisture as they run from the battery to different automobile parts. For this reason, they make use of good quality and thick wires which can withstand extreme conditions.

Battery cables are built according to specifications dictated by OEMs and manufacturers. But you can also order custom battery cables of varying size, length, types, terminals, and color.

Unlike other cables

Battery cables are meant for use only with batteries and electrical systems. They are not general-purpose wires that you can use to connect a device to the power source.

Battery cables often come in the form of harnesses and provide many advantages over loose cords and wires. They are bounded into a harness so that even you can save space and make them withstand adverse conditions like corrosion and vibration. If they came in the form of loose wires, you would need to extend them all over your automobile.

Battery cables are designed to last for a long time and reduce the risk of shorts. You can also expect a standard installation process as the terminals can easily connect to the battery and the electrical system without any confusion.

 Without battery cables, all our vehicles, boats, and equipment would sit idle. You will need battery cables to provide power to the electrical system and make them functional.

Now that you know what a battery cable is let us discuss the different types of battery cables.

Chapter 2 – Types of Battery Cable

Battery Cable Assembly

Battery cables can be of different types, and you must know their specific uses. This section will find out the difference between battery leads, automotive primary leads, welding leads, and marine duty wires.

Cloom provides cable assembly solutions that ensure the correct functioning while optimizing cost, space, and quality. 

Tapered Post Battery Cable Assembly

The company offers tapered post battery terminals in stamped brass, lead, and forged bronze, granting all the pros each material has. Cable assemblies come in many cable configurations, including lengths, different plating options, and even with or without double-headed nuts.

Ring to Ring Battery Cable Assembly

Many ring-to-ring plating combinations are available to fit your needs, including brass and copper options with both open or closed barrel terminals. These cable assemblies have the capability to crimp various wires at a time in one single terminal. Also, they are corrosion-resistant and endure pulling.

Flat/Ground Strap Battery Cable Assembly

Wires come in flat and round presentations and terminals made of stamped thimble, lead cast, open barrel, and lug are also available. 

Booster Battery Cable Assembly

These booster battery cables are perfect to transfer electrical power from the battery to a vehicle without requiring a big space. Cables come in many presentations and offer molded and printed stripe markings to help conductors differentiate the wires.

Fused Battery Cable Assembly

 It’s possible to customize the fuses to fit your power supply needs at all times. Also, they endure temperatures of up to 125ºC.

Chapter 3-Battery Terminals

Said current stability depends on the type of battery terminals. There are four main factors that define battery terminal types. Let’s have a look.

Material of manufacture

There are four metallic materials that manufacturers use for making battery terminal connectors. 

Lead ones are the most common, as they’re cheap and are strong enough to make the job done. However, current conductivity is not as high as other materials and it could melt in high-temperature environments.

Brass battery terminals are easy to install, and almost anyone could put them in place. In addition, they’re highly resistant to water and moisture, making them rust slowly. Nonetheless, brass battery connectors bend and break if you put extra strength or pressure while tightening.

Bronze ones are fairly similar to brass battery connectors but they are stronger, more durable, and more resistant to corrosion.

Copper ones are some of the best options available thanks to its material’s high current conductivity and resistance to corrosion. Yet, they are expensive and difficult to find. In addition, it’s important to check you’re getting the real deal and not a steel clamp with a copper coat copycat.

Installation diagrams

When it comes to the wiring diagrams, battery connectors have it easy. Simply look on the top of the battery and look for the small “+” and “-” symbols. Also, to avoid users and mechanics from damaging both the vehicle and the battery terminal clamps, bolts have different widths. 

The positive battery terminal connector is wider than the negative battery terminal. However, it’s important to know if you’re getting an Asian or European/American car. Asian car battery terminals and bolts are narrower than their European/American counterparts. Knowing this will save you some time and effort when looking for a replacement later on.

Battery polarity

The battery polarity also plays a big part in defining the type of battery terminal you’ll need. As batteries provide current directly, it’s vital to know that the positive pole goes with the positive battery terminal and the negative pole goes with the negative battery terminal. Usually, the positive is on the left and the negative is on the right side of the battery. However, in Asian cars, it is the other way around. 

Forms of compound

Selecting the right car battery and battery terminals is vital for the car’s proper function. Be aware of the size and shape of both the battery and battery terminal before making the purchase. 

Chapter 4-Car Battery Terminal Corrosion

Car battery terminal corrosion is, unfortunately, unavoidable. This chemical reaction is bound to happen sooner than later. When it happens, it leaves a white or blue-is powdery residue that covers both the bolt and the terminal that reduces the current conductivity to the machine.

Types of Battery Terminal Corrosion

Battery terminal corrosion starts in the inside of the car battery when the chemicals start to interact with the gasses said chemicals emit. However, battery terminal corrosion means different things depending on which terminal is present.

Negative Terminal

When the negative terminal corrodes, means that the car battery is not charging properly or is undercharged. This usually happens if the car stops or its owner doesn’t drive it regularly anymore, leading to lead sulfation.

Positive Terminal

On the other hand, when the positive terminal corrodes, it means the car battery is overcharged. This happens after repetitive use of the car for long, consecutive hours leading to copper sulfation.

Car Battery Terminal Corrosion: the Reasons for It

There are a few variables to consider as reasons for corrosion on the battery terminal. These will be vital in the hopes to avoid it from happening so soon.

Aging Battery

This applies to any machine or device running on batteries whether it’s a car, truck, or even cellphone. After 4+ years of consecutive and extended use, the battery will corrode and show poor performance. If you experience this, it’s time to go for a new battery before it’s too late.

Charge Disbalancing

As you saw earlier, charge disbalance happens on any or both battery bolts. However, it all starts on the inside of the battery. Car batteries charge and discharge depending on the use of the car. If users don’t drive the vehicle properly, it will lead to the battery charging poorly, and finally, to corrosion.

Electrolyte Spillage

Car batteries hold water or Sulfuric Acid on the inside to speed up the chemical reaction needed to make it work. However, if the liquid filters out of the battery, it will lead to corrosion and poor battery performance on lead-acid batteries.

Hydrogen Discharge

This is one of the car battery terminal corrosion’s most common reasons, especially on batteries that use Sulfuric Acid instead of water as the electrolyte. It happens due to the interaction between the hydrogen discharged and the battery terminals while being under the cap.

Car Battery Corrosion: the Problems it Causes

As a result, it will come in handy when experiencing the poor performance of the vehicle.

Failing Electronics

All electronics inside the vehicle depend on the car battery, and when this is faulty, all electronics will start to fail as well. This includes the sound system, air conditioner, automatic windows, and even automatic car doors.

Engine Starting Troubles

It’s possible to damage your engine starter and experience malfunction due to low voltage. This translates into a mandatory check-up or even engine starter replacement.

Malfunctioning Transmission

Cars commonly use a computer system that depends on the battery to fully manage the car’s transmission. When the battery sends a low current to the system, it fails and leads to missing gearshifts and ultimately, accidents on the road.

How To Fix Car Battery Corrosion

Chemistry plays a big role in fixing car battery corrosion and it’s easier than you think. In any of the following solutions, it’s important to have the engine off and know there’s no issue on which battery terminal to disconnect first.

Baking Soda Solution

For mild battery terminal corrosion, using a baking soda solution is a great battery terminal cleaner. Mix enough baking soda or Sodium Bicarbonate with water to make a slush-like consistency mixture. Then pour it over the terminals and scrape it around with a brush until the corroded battery terminal is clean. Finally, clean the terminals with water and a cloth.

Soda Water

On another hand, if you look for a corrosion quick fix, using soda water is the solution. If you’re on the road and experience car battery issues, pouring soda water or any soft drink on the terminals for a while can help you. Let it rest for a few minutes, clean with a towel or sponge, and that’s it.

Baking Soda Immersion

Finally, for extreme battery corrosion, immersing the terminals in a baking soda for about 20 to 30 minutes will cause the corrosion to fade. If after this the corrosion is still present, change the clamps completely as shown in the next video.

Battery Terminal Corrosion: How to Prevent It?

Prevention is key to fight battery terminal corrosion. Here are some tips to keep corrosion at ease.

Corrosion Preventive Materials

Using Vaseline or spraying anti-corrosive products will extend your car battery’s life.

Resolve Battery Charging Issues

Another option is to regularly check your battery terminals for corrosion. If present, go to the mechanic to find the main source of the battery’s over-or undercharge.

Regular Maintenance

Checking your entire vehicle regularly will prevent any minor and major issues from happening. Visit the mechanic and keep your check-ups to date.

Chapter 5 – Battery Wire Applications

Battery wires have a wide-ranging application in different industries and equipment like cars, boats, battery banks, and golf carts. Let’s check out some of the applications-

5.1. Automobiles

Battery cables are most commonly found in automobiles and transfer electric current from the battery to the vehicle’s electrical parts. You will generally find two cables- the positive cable, which connects to the starter, and the ground cable, which connects to the engine block or the chassis.

Most of your automobile’s electrical components will be ground to the chassis or engine block. Battery cables enable you to start your engine and provide power to different electrical parts.

5.1.1.Advantages and Disadvantages

One of the main advantages of battery cables is that it is used to power the electrical of your automobile. You will not be able to operate your automobile without a proper battery cable assembly.

A disadvantage of automobile battery cable is that you cannot use it for other purposes. You may also need to replace them after some years as they withstand harsh conditions, vibrations, and abrasion daily. 

Battery Cable Assembly

5.2. Gauge Golf Cart Cables

Golf Carts form a unique application of battery cables. You will need a battery wire for your golf cart to connect the electrical parts if you have installed extra batteries. People who modify their golf carts with larger motors will also require battery wires.

You can customize the terminals to match the needs of your final application.    

Battery Cable Assembly

5.3. Cables for Solar Battery Banks & RVs

Solar panels are connected to sets of batteries to store the power generated from the sunlight. You will have to use a battery cable to connect the solar panels to the battery banks for transferring the power.

If you drive an RV, you may also require battery cables to connect extra batteries to various electrical peripherals like lights, TV, and other gadgets.

Battery Cable Assembly

5.4. Braided Ground Cables

Braided ground cables come into use when you are mostly dealing with restoration projects. You can order flat braided cables that perfectly match the stock cables in your vintage car, including the terminals.

They come with a ring terminal on one end and a top post terminal on the other. 

Battery Cable Assembly

5.5. Booster (Jumper) Cables

The booster cables, also known as jumper cables, are necessary when you need to jump-start another vehicle.

Booster cables can have either universal clamps or parrot clamps. Universal clamps are suitable for connecting to side post terminals in restricted spaces.

Parrot clamps come in handy when you are connecting to top post terminals. 

Battery Cable Assembly

In the last chapter of our post, we will discover the implications of positive and negative battery cables.

Chapter 6 – Positive Battery Cable Vs. Negative Battery Cable

6.1What is a Positive Battery Cable?

Battery Cable Assembly

You will need a positive and negative battery cable to power your car’s electrical systems. The positive cable is red and connects to the battery’s positive terminal and the car’s motor and electrical system.

6.1.1Termination

You can purchase a pre-terminated positive battery cable or use a crimper to terminate your connectors. If you are buying pre-terminated cables, ensure that the terminators match your vehicle’s electrical systems, battery, and starter motor.

6.1.1.1. Battery Cable Crimper

You can use a crimper to terminate positive and negative battery cables manually.

6. 1.1.2. Battery Clamp

Battery clamps enable you to hook the battery cable with the positive or negative ends of your battery. The size of the clamp should match the end of your battery for an appropriate connection.

6. 1.1.3. Battery Cable Lugs

You can find O-shaped and U-shaped lugs on positive battery terminals to connect to your engine block and car’s chassis. O-shaped lugs are mainly used for bolt-on applications, while U-shaped lugs are suitable for screw terminals.

6.2 What is a Negative Battery Cable?

Negative battery cables are marked with a negative sign and generally black. It is a large cable and may have smaller wires coming out of the battery connector side.

Negative cables connect to the engine block and supply grounding for the ignition system. The smaller wires go into the chassis and enable a return path for the electrical components.

6.2.1 How to Replace Negative Battery Cable?

Battery Cable Assembly
  1. First,trace the negative battery cable where it connects to the electrical parts and your battery.
  2. Secondly,remove the cap from the terminal of the battery and use a wrench to undo the clamp.
  3. Now twist and turn the cable to detach it from the battery post.
  4. Next, detach the smaller wires from the electrical parts and unbolt them from the engine block.
  5. Remove the negative cable.

6.2.2 Difference between Positive and Negative Cables

Battery Cable Assembly

Positive battery cables are larger and red. They are used to connect the battery to the starter motor and the electrical system.

The negative cable is smaller and black. It is used to ground the electrical parts and connect to the negative post of the battery.

So, If you want to connect the battery to different electrical parts, you will need a positive battery cable. On the other hand, negative cables are suitable when you want to ground your ignition system and provide a return path for the current from the electrical components.

Conclusion

We can help you zero in on the right type of battery cable to use in your car or solar panels. You can also place custom orders and specify the length, width, diameter, colors, terminators, and other specifications. Cloom Tech provides tailor-made services to match your quality demands- contact us today to find out more!

Hey, I am John, General manager of Cloom and OurPCB.

I am a responsible, intelligent and experienced business professional with an extensive background in the electronics industry.

Reach me at sales@wiringo.com to get a quote for your projects.

Lets Cloom Suport Your Projects

Get a free wire harness or cable assembly sample?

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.

Get A QUICK QUOTE

Fill in your details and we’ll get back to you in 24 Hours.

Get A QUICK QUOTE

Fill in your details and we’ll get back to you in 24 Hours.