How To Tell If My Battery Cables Are Bad

Now and then, car batteries have been regarded as the most significant components. Despite their significance, they can’t operate alone. Battery cables are much needed. They help relay the current from the battery to the alternator and the starter.

So, how can you tell if your battery cables are bad? You can watch out for signs such as:

● Problems when starting the car
● Physical damage
● Flickering lights
● Dead battery
● No power to run the engine
● Corrosion on the battery terminals
● Clicking sound when starting the car

Bad or Failing Battery Cable Causes These 5 Things Below

1. Car Won’t Start

As said earlier, the primary job of battery cables is to run the charge from the battery and into the starter and alternator. Therefore, with faulty cables, it means that the battery won’t give the charge needed. In simpler words, the battery will be the same as dead.

In that case, you won’t be able to start the car at all. Depending on the intensity of the damage, the vehicle may start on one occasion and fail on another. Hence, if you notice that your car is failing to start now and then, you should consider checking the state of the cables. Broken cables are better off rectified than ignored.

2. Physical Damages on the Cables

How often do you inspect your battery and your car’s electrical system? Most drivers tend to ignore the wires, primarily until when they start showing signs of failure. When it comes to the battery cables, it’s recommended that you check them out regularly. You never what problem may be coming your way. You can trace physical damages on the wires and replace them where the need arises.

One thing that you should have at the back of your head is that battery cables are prone to breaking. Based on their environment, for instance, the wires are prone to wearing out from the heat released by the engine while running. Also, the cables are prone to breaking down.

The fantastic thing about battery cables is that you don’t have to be a professional to spot physical damage. On top of that, you can as well replace the broken battery cable without asking for any special assistance.

3. Shaky Lights

Another reason why you need your car’s battery is to help with powering the headlights. As experts always insist, you can quickly tell when the battery is at fault by observing the state of your lights. For instance, if the battery’s ground cable happens to be worn out, it means that your car’s electrical system will experience some resistance. This occurs when the wires are relaying the power to your headlights.

When dealing with a broken ground cable, the high chances are that you will experience shaky headlights. Besides, the lights may turn dim. The weird behavior may persist as long as the ground battery cable stays in its faulty state.

It will cost you nothing to check on the state of your battery cables whenever you observe flickering lights. You may even learn that the problem is arising from a loose terminal cable. If that’s the case, you can go ahead and tighten the wire by yourself. If the cable is broken, you can go ahead and replace it altogether, at the comfort of your home.

4. Flat Battery

Waking up to a flat battery is a bad nightmare, and no driver wishes it ever occurs. Surprisingly, there is less you can do since the problem is inevitable. Often, a flat battery results from a faulty or old battery. However, there are particular instances, and when the battery goes empty because of a problem related to the cables.

Do you understand how the car’s electrical system operates? Most likely, you have no clue. Your car’s electrical system comprises the battery, alternator, and electrical components, such as the audio system. What the battery does is that it gives the charge needed to ignite the engine. Once the engine has started, the work of the battery is somewhat done as the alternator continues to power up the engine.

The battery transfers the charge needed via the battery cables. Therefore, what happens when you have a faulty battery cable? It merely means that the connection with the alternator will be affected.

In such an instance, it means that the car will have issues starting. If it starts, there will be further problems because the battery won’t charge. As you are aware, your car’s alternator is designed to charge the battery whenever you hit the road. Therefore, if you continue experiencing a flat battery, yet both the battery and the alternator are good, you should check to confirm if the battery cables are in good shape.

5. Low Voltage

How often should one perform a load test on their car batteries? This is one question that many drivers are always asking. It’s important to note that performing a battery load test is much recommended. You should perform it regularly. Testing the voltage in your battery helps determine the condition of your battery. It can help you plan on when to buy a new battery for the replacement.

You can use the same test to tell if the battery cables are bad? Yes, the readings you gather from that digital multimeter can help confirm whether the wires are in check. Say, for instance, you have a new battery with you, the multimeter should show 12.6 volts, indicating that the battery is standard. But, if you notice a reading of below 11.5 volts, it means that there is something wrong with the ground cable.

You can go ahead and pinpoint the problem. Dealing with the issue head-on is better off than letting it slip. You may never know what it may cost you to ignore the issue in the first place.


Battery cables, like other parts of your car, are prone to breaking. If not corrected, the faulty cables can land you in hot soup. Explained in this article are some of the apparent signs you can observe to tell if your battery cables are at stake. Read through the entire article to understand which symptom applies to your car.