When cranking the car the dash lights and all the electrical goes out
For electrical energy to flow the wiring connections must be secure and free from corrosion.
This is especially true for a high amperage draw such as an
. As electrical demand is increased
through a connection slight amount of heat will develop.
What Goes Wrong?
When an engine is cranked over it demands a high amount of amperage from the
battery and the battery cables. If a bad connection develops it will create
excessive heat causing the connection to stop working which stops the battery's
electrical flow. Since the battery provides electrical power
to the remainder of the car such as the lights, everything electrical stops working. Once the connection cools it can reconnect starting the process all over
When a battery
internally it can cause a loss of power and then regain the power a short time
later as well. Inspect the battery for bulging sides because it could have a
warped plate inside that can short under certain conditions. Never crank an
engine when a person is near the battery or engine. A
battery is filled with explosive gasses that can ignite when extreme heat or a spark
is present as in a bad connection.
Let's Get Started
When working with a battery use protective eyewear and gloves. If battery
acid is present neutralize the area using baking soda and rinsing with water
before work begins. Extreme acid is a sign the
is bad and needs replacement
. When working with a battery be sure not to
touch your face, eyes or clothing with the work gloves.
1. Check Battery Cables
Grasp the battery cable and try to wiggle them loose while inspecting the
terminals for corrosion. In the image below corrosion is present causing the
electrical to go dead. This problem is common for the positive battery terminal and cable.
2. Remove Cable for Cleaning
With the ignition key off use a 8mm or 10mm socket or wrench to loosen the
cable by turning it counterclockwise.
Twist and lift the cable end from the battery. There might be a small spark which is normal.
3. Clean the Battery Cable
Use a wiring brush or a battery cleaning tool which you can get from Amazon for
about $5.00 (US) and work it into the battery cable end to remove all corrosion.
Also clean the adjacent battery terminal as well.
4. Reconnect Battery Cable
Reinstall the battery cable by pushing downward while tightening the nut. Do not
over tighten the nut to avoid stripping.
Once tightened grasp the cable end and check it for tightness to the battery
terminal then reinstall the terminal cover and you are all set.
Got Any Questions?
If you have any
battery terminal cleaning questions
, please visit our forum. If you need
, please ask our community of mechanics is happy to help you and
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Article first published 2017-02-01