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How to Replace Battery Cables in a Ford Explorer

by Contributor

Use a stool or small stepladder if you can't easily reach the top-post battery that's located high behind the driver's side headlight on the Explorer. Check the cables regularly as part of your routine inspection. Look for corrosion on the cable ends. If the teeth on the cables are touching, the cables need replacing.

Put on gloves, so you don't get acid on your skin before touching the battery. If you don't have or don't want to wear gloves, keep your hands away from your face, especially your eyes, and wash them thoroughly as soon as you're finished.

Loosen the bolt on the black negative battery cable first with a box wrench or cable clamp pliers. Carefully wriggle the cable end off the post. Repeat the process on the red positive cable. Always take off both battery cables, even if you're replacing only one of them.

Follow the negative cable to where it's grounded on the front frame of the Ford Explorer. Remove the end of the cable with a wrench. Track the positive cable to its connection on the front of the engine and remove it with a wrench.

Attach the new positive cable first, reversing the process in Step 3. Put the negative cable on last and start the SUV to ensure that the connections are working on the Ford Explorer.

Tips

  • Tap the cable ends gently with a small hammer, if they stick when trying to remove them. Be careful to avoid cracking the posts.
  • Clean the battery posts with a small wire brush or cable cleaner while you have the cables off.

Warnings

  • Never work on your battery while the SUV engine is running.
  • Never smoke while replacing your battery cables, as there may be fuel fumes in the engine compartment that could ignite.

Items you will need

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