The last thing you want is a bad battery cable. A bad battery cable can prevent your car from starting. This is why overheating concerns car owners. They know that overheating is a sign of trouble in a battery cable. But it isn’t enough to replace the hot cable. You should find out why it became hot. Otherwise, the new cable will suffer the same fate.
Why Is My Negative Battery Cable Getting Hot?
A car’s Negative battery cables can get hot because of a loose connection, damage, corrosion, wrong cable size and bad quality cable.
1). Loose Connection
This is one of the most common causes of overheating in battery cables. Make sure the connection between the line and its terminal is secure. A loose connection can ruin the starter motor.
2). Frayed Cable
Have you checked the condition of the negative battery cable? Battery cables are just like electrical conductors in any other setting. They wear out over time. A frayed cord with exposed wires can cause arcing. Besides making the cable hot, the arcing will melt the terminal.
In most cases, cables overheat because of the resistance in the conductors. The hotter they get, the more resistance the current encounters, creating a cycle that eventually melts the line and its terminal.
There is high resistance on corrosion. This is why it isn’t enough to make a cable connection firm. Make sure the terminal is clean. Otherwise, corrosion can compromise the integrity of the cable’s connection.
Corrosion is not that difficult to identify. Look at the spot where the cable and its terminal meet. You will observe a powdery substance. Technically speaking, corrosion is normal. The substance is a byproduct of the work the wires and terminals do.
Unfortunately, corrosion increases the resistance. Electricity generates heat when it passes through a conductor because it encounters resistance. Increasing the resistance generates more heat.
4). Wrong Cable Size
The wrong cable size creates resistance, and resistance produces heat. Electricity will generate more heat if it passes through a small cable. This is why electricians increase the cable size whenever they install wiring covering a considerable distance.
They know that increasing the conductor length also raises the resistance. They reduce the resistance by getting bigger cables. This shows you the vital role size plays.
5). Bad Quality Cable
Some cables are simply bad. They are low-quality, which is why their price tags are so low. If you recently replaced the negative wires, investigate the manufacturer. Manufacturers that make bad cables cannot hide. Reviews from previous clients will expose them.
If the company behind your cable has a poor reputation, you should consider the possibility that you bought a bad cable.
Make sure the cable is at fault before you replace it. Sometimes, the cord will overheat because the terminals are hot. Battery terminals can become hot for various reasons, including loose battery clamps that cause arcing, broken connectors, etc.
According to Southern States Enterprises, the sulfuric acid in a battery can burn holes through the insulation of a negative battery cable, corroding the jacket and exposing the wires. The acid can also cause the cord to swell.
This is why amateurs are better off consulting a professional. An amateur will focus their investigation on the cable. An expert will look at all the other facets of the battery.
Don’t ignore a hot cable. It can melt if it gets hot enough, which can have disastrous consequences for your car.
How To Test If A Negative Battery Cable Gets Hot?
- While it is very risky, you can try touching the cable. If the line is too hot to touch, you have a problem. This approach is dangerous because you may sustain burns if the wires and terminals are too hot.
- Look for corrosion on the terminals. If the terminals are corroded, you have a problem. You may not observe the consequences immediately. But eventually, your car’s operations will deteriorate.
- Look for frayed insulation and exposed wires. You cannot trust a cable with obvious signs of damage.
- Look for dirt on the contacting tips. They should be clean. Otherwise, the resistance will lead to overheating.
- Use a multimeter. I want you to connect the positive probe of a multimeter to the battery’s positive terminal. Start the engine and look at the display. You want a reading that is close to 0.
- Some cables will become hot enough to melt or smoke. If you haven’t noticed any smoke, look for burn marks.
Is It Normal For The Negative Battery Terminals To Get Got?
It isn’t normal for the negative battery terminals to get hot because they only get hot when the connection is loose or corroded. If you have bad cables and terminals, you will observe several irritating signs.
Batteries have two terminals. The positive terminal transmits electricity to your vehicle’s electronic components. The negative terminal grounds the car by connecting to the frame. It plays a crucial role.
The ones rainbow muffler has noted include dimming lights, an engine that won’t start, clicking noises whenever you turn the key, no electricity, stalling engine, and an engine that is slow to crank.
On occasion, you can jumpstart a car with bad cables. But this won’t work if the wires cannot transmit electricity to the computer. If your vehicle is still working, take it to a mechanic the first chance you get.
You cannot ignore bad terminals and cables. You will suffer the consequences sooner or later. If you wait too long, you run the risk of destroying your car’s electrical components.
Don’t wait for the cables to smoke or melt. Take action the moment you notice corrosion and fraying.
What Should I Do If The Negative Battery Terminals Get Hot?
- Start by checking the connections. Look for corrosion and eliminate any deposits you see at the connection points.
- Scrutinize the cables. If they seem brittle, get replacements. Do the same thing if you notice exposed wires. You can patch the holes and tears in an emergency. But this is a temporary solution. Replace the cables the first chance you get.
- Check the connections. They should be tight.
- Clean the connection points with water and baking soda. Some people use carbonated drinks. Others will simply wipe the dirt and deposits away with a dry cloth.
- Check the terminal clamps. Are they loose? Loose clamps can create sparks. You can solve this problem by tightening the bolts. You should also apply grease to the terminals before installing the clamps. The goal is to create an air-tight seal by eliminating the micro gaps between the clamps and terminals.
- Pay close attention to the quality of the replacement cable. Don’t buy aftermarket cables. You are more likely to purchase a substandard cable that is guaranteed to melt down the line.
- Replace thin wires with cables of the correct gauge.
You should always consult a mechanic, especially if you don’t have any experience in this field. A mechanic knows the best cable brands to buy. They can also identify the appropriate size.
They can determine whether or not the cable is at fault. You may spend money on a new cable when the problem lies with an entirely separate issue. A mechanic will save you a lot of time and money.