What Happens When You Get a Bad Battery Terminal?

by Mike Smith

A bad terminal connection can cause the battery to not work. It is definitely worth the effort to check the terminals because it is easier and less expensive to replace the connectors and clean the terminal posts than to buy a new battery.

Failed Electricity

A defective terminal connection prevents the battery from providing electricity to your car, which may result in electrical systems working poorly or not at all. The lights may become dim and the starter may not be able to start the engine.


A bad battery terminal can cause a build-up of a powder-like substance around the post of the battery terminal. This corrosion can cause a battery's poor connection. You can disconnect the battery cables, negative then positive, and scrub the terminal posts and connectors with a mixture of baking soda and water to remove the corrosion.

Poor Charging

If malfunctioning terminals are preventing a good connection to the battery, the alternator will not be able to properly recharge the battery. This could cause the battery to appear dead.

About the Author

Mike Smith began writing in 2007. He wrote for and edited his school's literary magazine and wrote film and music reviews for the school newspaper. He has also been published in "Indianapolis Monthly." Smith graduated from Franklin College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera dead battery image by Katrina Miller from Fotolia.com