6 Best Car Battery Terminals For 2019

It’s that time of the year. You’ve been saving up, or you may have received an unexpected windfall, but you already had one thing in mind: sprucing up your trusty wagon. As you add a bigger growler under the hood, or increasing the electronics in the car, you will need to make sure the car doesn’t conk out on you when you need it most.

What to do then? Address the issue by also upgrading the power system. A new battery may be on its way but guess what, you’ll also need new terminals.

You may be asking yourself, what are the best pair of battery terminals that you can get for your car in 2019? The explosion of e-commerce has meant an explosion in the number of businesses and individuals selling battery terminals. However, I’ve taken the time to compile a comprehensive list of the best battery car terminals for 2019.

In this list, I’ve taken into account the possibility that you may be looking for a terminal for a variety of reasons. These reasons may diverge wildly from the needs of the next person. Here’s our list of the best battery terminals.

1. InstallGear 0/4/8/10 Gauge Battery Terminals
2. Waterwich Heavy Duty Terminal Connector
3. Cllena Military Style Battery Terminal
4. Keadic Battery Terminals
5. COROTC Battery Terminal Connectors
6. Kicker Battery Terminal

Not satisfied yet? Let’s take a closer, deeper, look at these connectors.

6 Top Car Battery Terminals Review

1. InstallGear 0/4/8/10 Gauge Battery Terminals

This is definitely the best for people who are looking for a bit of glam, but still maintain its functionality. The terminal is engineered to fit a wide variety of battery post gauges. It comes with the possibility to fit 0 to 4-gauge wire, as well as 8 to 10-gauge wire.

This terminal is constructed from nickel and gold, two metals that are known to have excellent electrical conductivity, are excellent at dissipating heat and are oxidation and corrosion resistant. And they look good on the eyes as well.

The terminal is constructed with four holes, two for each gauge range. This offers you versatility in case you’d like to use the battery for different operations. This terminal pack comes in a pair. The positive pair is slightly larger than the negative to fit batteries that have different sized posts.

In case the battery’s posts are small, the terminals are shipped with two nickel shims to ensure they fit as intended.

2. Waterwich Heavy Duty Terminal Connector

If you’re looking for something that is standard looking, no frills, just business, then this is the terminal to go for. They are simple in construction, which is reminiscent of the connectors from when Detroit was an automotive manufacturing heavyweight.

They are a pair or terminals cast from brass. This makes them more durable than any other type of connector. To secure the wires to the clamp, they use a screw clamp mechanism to is made to fit cables of any gauge. As is the standard, the positive terminal (19 millimeters) is larger than the negative terminal (17 millimeters).

3. Cllena Military Style Battery Terminal

If you’re a fan of the hardy hardware that the military use for their vehicles, you will love this terminal. They are an old school build; they look like they came straight off a Jeep that failed to make it across the English Channel on D-Day.

They are so hardy, they are made from lead, the metal. Lead has slowly been removed from consumer grade material for its carcinogenic tendencies when inhaled or swallowed. However, when it comes to forging battery terminals, no other metal offers longevity, versatility and conductivity as well as lead does.

Lead in itself is resistant to the effects of oxidation, hence does not rust. It’s ability to side step corrosion is the primary reason it is an excellent battery terminal material. And also, being a high tensile metal, it cannot crack or disintegrate due to high voltage or excess heat.

This terminal utilizes nut and bolt to fasten around the different sizes of the battery poles. It also comes with different colored covers for easy identification of the terminals: red for positive and black for negative.

4. Keadic Battery Terminals

If you’re not too sure about the lead terminals but still want all the positives it comes with, your next best bet is to use terminals cast from copper. Copper is famous for its unparalleled electrical conductivity. Where it loses out to lead is strength. Copper requires less force to warp in comparison with led.

The Keadic battery terminals were designed with form and function in mind. Aside from using old school materials and design to get power to and from your battery, it also comes with a plastic cover to protect your battery’s posts. These covers are color coded to correspond with the polarity of the posts.

5. COROTC battery terminal connectors

Well, it’s not everything that’s military spec is hardy. Leftover cheese sauce that was left to dry at the bottom of a pan is pretty difficult to break down. Many people probably treat that as the new bottom of the pan.

If you’re looking for something hardy enough to survive a stint in the military, but still looks like it was built in the 21st Century, this connector is your best bet. This one is also built with form and function in mind. It is designed to accommodate wires of different gauges; from It comes with four different holes for the wiring from 0, 4, 8 to 10.

Sticking with the 21st Century theme, this connector is cast from an alloy of zinc and copper. This allows it to maximize on the best properties from each metal. The copper is an excellent electrical conductor and heat dissipator. The zinc is excellent at resisting oxidation or rusting, and is also corrosion resistant. This protects your battery’s post from getting damaged.

6. Kicker Battery Terminal

This list was a bit of a headache to put together, mostly because it became very difficult to leave out some connectors that are definitely excellent. Here though, we couldn’t just complete the list without this terminal.

This connector is crafted from a metal alloy that has been a staple of industry for hundreds o years, and there was once an age where it dominated. This, is brass. Even though other metals and alloys are revered for their rigidity, brass is still around due to its malleability.

As an alloy of copper, this makes it an excellent conductor of electricity. The zinc part of brass makes it resistant to various forms of corrosion. Together, they dissipate heat very quickly, hence reducing opportunities for it to react to any battery acid that will leak.

This connector was designed with versatility in mind. It can connect to a variety of wire gauges from 0/4/8/10. The well-designed post receiver can screw tight around posts of different sizes. Even if your negative post is too small, a brass shim is provided to add width to the post, and the connector can grip it tightly.

It also comes with a cover whose design is some ways away from conventional. Well of course branding is important for a business and this cover is nothing less of a statement. It still maintains its function though; helping the user to differentiate between the polarities of the posts.

How to Replace Car Battery Terminals

Whether it is upgrading your trusty wagon, building a DIY project in your garage or making a quick swap on the side of the road, knowing how to replace battery terminals is a surprisingly good skill to have. Aside from getting yourself out of a pickle, it’s a good way to win brownie points with that special someone.

The most common problem with battery terminals that you will come across is corrosion. Corrosion can happen from a variety of reasons but here are the most common.

Hydrogen gas leakage: Acid batteries operate by the acid giving off electrical energy and then restoring that energy. In this process hydrogen gas is given off. The gas will then start to leak. In a pressurized environment with heat added on, the gas reacts with everything under the hood of your car, with the terminals being the most affected.
How the corrosion happens can be an indicator to how your car is operating. A lot of corrosion around the negative terminal of your battery indicates that it is not receiving enough charge. If it is around the positive terminal, this indicates that the battery is overcharging. The most common side you will see corrosion on is the negative side.
Electrolyte leakage: This is a common issue with lead-acid batteries. This happens mostly when there is damage to the battery, or as a result of normal wear and tear, or age. In case of damage, overfilling the battery with battery water will cause the electrolyte to overflow. The leak will start to show around the terminals as corrosion.
Copper Corrosion: Even though copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, it can still be subject to corrosion. This happens mostly due to electrolyte leakage combined with the voltage of the batteries. These result in the formation of copper sulfate.
Copper sulfate is a poor conductor of electricity. Your car will then start having trouble charging and discharging the battery. If you do come across bluish deposits on the terminals, this is copper corrosion.
Overfilling and overcharging: As mentioned earlier, filling the battery with battery acid beyond the recommended limit can cause the electrolyte to leak. This is true even in the absence of any sort of damage. When doing battery maintenance, stick to the limits.

The next logical step would be to get rid of the corrosion. If you were a fan of chemistry in school, you probably know ten different ways to do this. If you weren’t, worry not. Getting rid of corrosion is a matter of using two or three household items and a little bit of elbow grease.

To begin with, you’ll have to disconnect the terminals from the battery. Start by turning off your car’s engine. Allow it sufficient time to cool off. If it was already off, continue to removing the negative terminal.

1. Solution Number One: A Solution of Baking Soda and Water

Yes, that baking product is an excellent cleaner capable of many things. Make a solution with water and pour on the terminals. If you have access to a wire brush, use it to scrub the terminals clean. If not, a toothbrush would still work fine.

Once dean, douse the terminals with clean water and wipe dry. Further corrosion is preventable from here. You can use wheel bearing grease to stop any further chemical action. A good alternative is to use trusty old Vaseline. It does not, however, last as long as wheel bearing grease does.

2. Solution Number Two: Using Soda

I’m sure you’ve come across a ton of content about how fizzy drinks, most notable classic Coca Cola should not be consumed as food due to its chemical properties. Scaremongering aside, Coke does make a good cleaning agent. This is due to dissolved carbon dioxide gas making small amounts of carbonic acid.

Pour enough on the terminals and let it fizz for a little while. From there, simply use a cloth to wipe away any residue left behind. This solution works best in case you’re far away from any baking soda and you want a quick fix.

3. Solution Number Three: Aspirin

Sometimes, it could be that it’s not just the corrosion that is affecting your battery, but also it has reached the end of its life. Cleaning the corrosion may not just be enough to get you back on the road.

You may have come to a point where you desperately need a new battery, but it’s somehow still a little bit far away from you. You need to literally squeeze any little life into the battery, to give you a final charge before you get the new one.

Aspirin contains an acid known as acetylsalicylic acid. This acid has been known to rejuvenate a battery’s charge. Crush two to four tablets and pour the powder into the battery. Crank the car and go get yourself a new battery.

Now that you are armed with requisite knowledge how to get rid of corrosion and maintain the battery, it’s time to replace the connectors. For this, you will need the following tools:

• Hacksaw.
• Ratchet set (or sockets).
• A set of wrenches.

The first step is to, obviously, buy the set of car battery terminals that you fancy. Once they arrive, or you have them with you from a local store, it’s time to get to work. Disconnect the terminals from the battery. Cleaning the battery posts is a prerequisite for a fresh start.

It may look like the obvious choice would be to simply unscrew the cable from the connectors (if yours have such an option) but corrosion doesn’t just happen at the battery post/connector meeting point. Depending on severity, it may have affected some few inches of the cable, hence the hacksaw.

Cut off the cable right where it exits the connector’s weld. You may need to inspect the cable for corrosion. For this strip off an inch of the sheathing. If the cable appears blue or green, you will need to clean the corrosion. Simply use soda or the baking soda solution to clean them. You can wipe them dry and give it time, or you can use compressed air to blast the cable dry.

Slip the heat protection sheathing onto the cable then slide it away from the ends. You then need to put the cable into the new connector and screw it tight. Slide the sheathing right to the base of the connector and apply a little heat to shape it into place.

There are preventative measures you can take to keep the overall health of your battery in top form. These are just but some of the most important.

Use high quality connectors: High quality connectors are better placed to provide continuous operations without intensive maintenance. They are also less likely to break down while you’re driving through the wilderness. Alloys are made to give connectors the best of both metals. For these copper and nickel are the best as they provide both excellent electrical conductivity and protection against corrosion.
Battery charging: Even though most corrosion is attributable to other reasons; battery charging is still a valid reason that is highly overlooked. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual to find out the correct procedures for the battery. Overcharging and undercharging can, and do cause, corrosion around the terminals.
Anti-corrosive sprays: If you do feel like using grease and Vaseline are not the best methods to prevent corrosion around terminals, then there are quite a number of anti-corrosive sprays present in the market. These provide more balanced protection and they’re not as messy.
However, if you’re looking to cut down on costs, trusty old Vaseline is still unbeatable. You will just have to apply it more frequently to the connectors.

6 Types of Battery Connectors

As you head out to buy connectors, getting the proper one for your battery will save you a lot of frustration and trips to the store. Battery connectors are not only used for car batteries, but also with other vehicles such as motorcycles, boats, RVs and so much more.

As such, there are different types of batteries connectors that you may have come across but had no idea they were different from every other one. These include:

Auto post terminal: Also known as SAE terminal. These are the most common type of connectors you can find on car batteries. These were designed to prevent people from connecting cables to the wrong terminals.
The positive post is usually larger than the negative terminal. This is the main method of distinguishing this type of battery.
There is another similar type of battery, but they are physically smaller. These are known as the Pencil Post. They are mostly found in batteries meant for use in vehicles manufactured in Japan. They are also known as the JIS type.
Stud terminal: If you have worked with, or are a fan of tractor trailers, then you might recognize this type of battery. This is a 3/8-inch stainless steel terminal that is designed to fasten to, and hold the terminal connection to the lead base of the battery terminal.
Dual post terminal: These are utilized mostly by marine vehicles, and are therefore known as marine batteries. These utilize both the auto post terminal and the stud terminal. This means that a variety of connectors can be used to get power from this battery. These could be a wing nut and ring terminal connection, or a traditional pressure contact connector.
Button terminal: These types of batteries can also be referred to as insert terminals. If you are familiar with the metric sizes for bolt threads, these terminals will be found from sizes M5 through to M8. What this means is, if you have a battery that is M5, you will have to use a terminal connector whose bolt thread is five millimeters.
Even though they can be used in cars and other vehicles, they are commonly found in power backup systems such as uninterrupted power supplies and are typically made of Absorbed Glass Mat.
AT terminal: These are also referred to as Dual SAE, or dual stud type terminals. Aside from being able to power vehicles, they can also be used for power backup and other generation systems like solar grids. They can also be used to power other vehicles and tools such as floor scrubbers and other large power tools.
Drop terminals: These are also known as bus bar terminals. These are rare and they are mostly used to convert batteries from top side studs to side studs.

Sources:
1. 12 Volt Battery Terminal Connectors – WiringProducts. Ltd.
2. Different Types of Battery Terminals – Canadian Energy

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