Best Battery Terminals: Meet The High-Current Demands of Your Battery
Maintain stable battery performance with these battery terminals
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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON October 24, 2019
The best battery terminals can improve the performance of your vehicle’s convertor and help you achieve higher speeds. If you notice that your vehicle isn’t accelerating, take a look under the hood and you may find the culprit: the battery terminals may be corroded, and that could be the reason behind your car or truck's insufficient horsepower. Consider some of the aftermarket battery terminal replacements in our buying guide below.
This is a battery terminal kit from Fastronix that includes battery terminal covers. These battery terminals form a tight connection on battery top posts and maintain stable battery performance.
- Works for several battery installations
- Lead alloy adds to overall strength
- Safeguards against electrical shorts
- Works with all types of vehicles
- Clamps are not compatible with all battery terminal sizes
- Bolt screw is fairly large
- Proper fastening relies on correct installation
An affordable Schumacher BAF battery terminal kit that offers an easy replacement for a damaged primary battery cable on your car battery.
- Intuitive installation process
- Zinc coating helps prevent corrosion
- Features debris-collecting sections to keep dust off your battery
- Enhanced overall conductivity
- Metal components are easy to damage during setup
- Doesn’t fit with all size of battery posts
- Can be tricky to install
A military-spec battery terminal kit from Cllena that can be used for ground connection, parallel connection, and battery extension.
- Constructed using conductive steel alloy
- Resists rust and corrosion damage
- Comes with all necessary mounting hardware
- Works on land and water-based vehicles
- Plastic components are made out of weak polymer
- Polymer covers vulnerable to cracks or heat damage
- Lacks protections against incorrect installation
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Benefits of Battery Terminals
- Increased conductivity and efficiency. Because quality battery terminals increase conductivity and efficiency, you can expect your vehicle to have the ability to accelerate better and faster. This means more response off the line and increased agility and maneuverability as you drive.
- Better electronics performance. An up-to-date pair of battery terminal connectors provide better performance of electronics across the board. This includes headlights, taillights, and marker lights. It also gives you more responsive electric windows and door locks, and a more powerful blower.
- Better battery charging. New battery terminals allow your alternator to charge your car battery more completely and thoroughly. This, in turn, provides longer battery life because an incompletely charged battery is a short-lived battery.
Types of Battery Terminals
These are the most common type of battery terminals, and if you have ever replaced a truck or car battery you will recognize it. Auto post terminals have a positive battery terminal post that is larger than the negative battery terminal post. This is to prevent reverse polarity if you accidentally connect to the wrong battery terminal post.
These look identical to auto post battery terminals, but they have a smaller circumference. Pencil post battery terminals are smaller because they fit on smaller-sized batteries, which are designed to fit in smaller spaces. These battery terminals are found mostly on Japanese-made cars and trucks.
Stud Battery Terminals
You will find these stainless steel 3/8th-inch threaded battery terminals on the batteries of most heavy- and medium-duty Class-8 trucks on the road. This design securely fastens and holds the connection to the lug onto the battery terminal’s lead base. It looks like an upright stud or bolt.
Dual Post (a.k.a. Marine) Battery Terminals
Dual post battery terminals are made with an ⅜”-16 automotive post and 5/16”-16 stud. The automotive post is for connecting to the positive battery terminal post; the 5/16” is for connecting to the negative battery terminal post. You make your connection to the battery terminal posts with either a ring and wing-nut configuration connector or a normal pressure contact. You will find these battery terminals on marine battery applications but also on electronic equipment, such as floor scrubbers and off-the-grid, solar-application battery setups.
Button Battery Terminals
Also called insert battery terminals, these are used on absorbed glass mat batteries on uninterruptible power systems and emergency backup applications. They come in M5 to M8 sizes (metric measurements). This means that if your battery has an 8mm terminal, you need a bolt that has an 8mm-diameter thread.
Top Battery Terminal Brands
ACDelco began business operations in 1908. The company supplied parts to airplanes that Charles Lindburgh and Amella Earhart flew. ACDelco helped build equipment for use in World War II and for the Apollo space program. Although it is a global company with distribution centers in North America, India, and Japan, among others, its home office remains in Detroit, MI. Top battery terminals include the GM Original Equipment Battery Terminal and the Professional Battery Cable Terminal.
H.R. Schumacher founded the company in 1941 because he saw a need for processes that could provide corrosion and abrasion protection for metals. The company subsequently bought several other enterprises that have helped them expand their capabilities and their customer base. Now in its third generation of family ownership, one of Schumacher’s best offerings for battery terminals is the Coated Top Terminal/Post Washer set. The company’s main offices are in Houston, TX.
Battery Terminal Pricing
- $2-9: On the lower price end, you will find basic zinc- or brass-plated battery terminal connector sets that can fit both ⅜-inch and 5/16-inch battery posts.
- $10-15: These battery terminal pairs provide great conductivity and are long lasting, yet they are reasonably priced.
- $16-18: These attractive battery terminal connector sets (some have nickel or gold plating) offer superior conductivity and longevity. The screws on many versions of battery terminals make for a secure connection.
The ability to conduct electricity efficiently from your alternator to your car battery is very important when choosing battery terminals. The battery connectors must be made of a metal that can conduct electricity like lead, zinc, or steel (or a combination of these metals), and they must conduct electricity well so your vehicle operates at top performance.
Battery terminals connect to the battery and battery cables with a number of devices: bolts, screws, or wing nuts. The fasteners should work well, but where and how they are located on the terminals are also considerations. Placement should make it relatively easy to work with the battery terminals, i.e., there should be room to work when you remove, clean, or install them.
Choose the battery terminals that are right for your application. Your choice of battery terminals must fit your battery and be right for your vehicle, whether it’s a truck, car, or SUV. The battery terminals also must fit your battery cables. Researching battery terminals before you buy is a big help in making your choice.
- Functionality: The most important consideration is whether the battery terminals provide power to your battery. Read reviews and the product descriptions about battery terminals for hints on how well the battery connectors you want to buy do the job. Battery terminals that look nice or have additional equipment included, like battery terminal covers or cleaning tools, but don’t do the most important job of conducting electricity are undesirable.
- Price: Consider your budget and your needs when choosing battery connectors. Prices vary widely and it does not make sense to buy an expensive set of battery terminals when a more reasonably priced set of battery terminals does the job just as well.
- Fancy or Basic: Do you want a battery terminal kit that includes protective covers, fiber washers, and a cleaning tool? Or do you just need a basic set of battery terminals? A set of gold- or brass-plated battery terminals will look great under the hood, so maybe you want those instead of the more utilitarian versions of battery connectors. Research your options to see what quality of battery terminals you can get for the money.
Best Battery Terminals Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- An inexpensive method of protecting the battery terminals from corrosion is to rub petroleum jelly on the positive and negative terminals. You could use a wrench to remove the cables from the post for better access to the terminals.
- Monitor the condition of your battery terminals on a regular basis. Pop the hood and disconnect each terminal to inspect them for any signs of rust, wear, or corrosion. Clean them if need be.
- A mixture of baking soda and white vinegar (or water) is the best solution for cleaning your battery terminals. First, wipe off the grease residue with a clean rag. Then, put them in a bowl of the mixture for a few minutes to remove the tough corrosion or grease stains.
Q: How do improve the connection of the battery terminals?
A: If you notice that you are not getting the best out of the connection of your battery terminals, it may be due to a dirt layer or a metal oxide coating. The latter forms when the terminals are exposed to heat and humidity and result in an extra dull layer on the metal. To get a better connection, use a wire brush to scratch off the terminals until they are shiny.
Q: How do you prevent battery terminal corrosion?
A: You could use small amounts of dielectric grease that will neutralize and prevent the corrosion attack. You could also use an anti-corrosion washer, which are typically felt pads with an anti-corrosion formulation. Detach the terminals from the battery before you apply the anti-corrosion agents.
Q: What causes battery terminal corrosion?
A: When a vehicle’s battery is damaged, there is usually a build-up of corrosive acid powder. The acid powder, which is either white, yellow, or green, leaks onto the terminals and corrodes the material. In the end, the terminals will not be able to maintain an electrical connection. The battery won’t be able to complete a discharge when required and may eventually die.
Our top pick is the Fastronix Military Spec Battery Terminal. They allow for superior signal transfer from your vehicle’s battery to the electrical system, and the terminals are designed for durability.
The Schumacher BAF-TTC Terminal are affordable replacements for corroded stock battery terminals, and they are easy to install.