Best Battery Disconnect Switches: Prevent Battery Drain
Avoid dead batteries and unauthorized vehicle use with these top battery disconnect switches
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON October 24, 2019
Battery disconnect switches are an easy and cost-effective way to improve your vehicle’s battery life and to protect against theft. Completely disconnecting battery power while your vehicle is in storage will defend against full battery drain, so your car, camper, ATV, or boat is ready to go when you need it. Here are our picks for the best battery disconnect switches.
- Best OverallBlue Sea Systems 350 AMP E-Series Battery SwitchSummarySummaryA marine-rated disconnect switch with a range of options to cover all uses. It comes with ignition protection for safe use with diesel or gasoline and is suitable for both rear panel and surface mounting.ProsProsUnit is used and recommended by professional boat builders as their battery cut-off switch of choice. It’s a heavy-duty and professional-looking switch but is sleek enough to be mounted internally.ConsConsThe switch may be uncomfortable to handle. Also, it does not include mounting hardware or an instruction manual.
- Best ValueWaterproof Heavy Duty Battery Isolator SwitchSummarySummaryA heavy-duty battery kill switch suitable for devices up to 48V. Package includes removable sides, backplate, and mounting screws for easy installation. Its Contour Locking System means it can stand alone or be locked alongside other switches.ProsProsCovered by a one-year guaranteed replace or refund warranty. Fully enclosed to protect wiring from dirt, corrosion, and rain.
The switch is smooth but solid and stays securely at either position.ConsConsPositive/negative labels on the faceplate are back to front. Connecting battery cables requires a whole side to be removed, which is not as tidy as channels within panels for wires.
- Honorable MentionBEP Battery SwitchSummarySummaryThis waterproof battery master switch is available in panel-mounted and easy-fit options for any setup. It comes with a removable control knob for added security and a rear insulating cover to guard against short circuits.ProsProsThe fully-enclosed, waterproof casing provides extra protection against corrosion. The switch is smaller than others available but is robust and easy to turn with a mechanism to prevent accidental application.ConsConsBecause the wiring and proper installation are universal, no instruction manual is included. On/off labels on the faceplate are small and in a difficult to read position.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
- Waterproof options are not just for boats. A marine-rated switch will better resist corrosion, especially if you’re attaching it directly onto the battery terminal.
- Make sure you measure the battery posts on your battery and check what amp rating you need before choosing a master battery disconnect switch, so you can be sure that it will fit securely.
- Most switches don’t come with wiring instructions since they’re relatively universal, but there are lots of helpful how-to videos online. If you’re not confident in connecting the switch, seek advice and assistance for proper and safe installation.
Q: What does a battery disconnect switch do?
A: They disconnect batteries from boats and RVs that are either in storage or used infrequently as a way of protecting against battery drain while the vehicle is not in use. It’s also a great theft deterrent and a super easy way to guarantee safety during vehicle maintenance.
Q: There’s no space on my dash. Can I put a switch on the battery itself?
A: Yes. While most disconnect switches are fully enclosed in plastic and are designed to be wired up at a distance, there are options for attaching the switch directly to the battery terminal.
Q: What causes the battery drain?
A: Battery drain is caused by electrical appliances or parts of your vehicle that continue using very small amounts of battery power even though you’re not using them, such as digital clocks or security features.
The marine-rated, multi-option Blue Sea Systems 350 AMP E-Series Battery Switch stands out as our best overall battery disconnect switch, while the Waterproof Heavy Duty Battery Isolator Switch is our top pick for the best value.