The car battery is the main source of power for a vehicle's electrical components. The electrical components are connected to the car battery using a negative and positive battery cable. The positive battery cable connects the positive side of battery terminal to the vehicle motor starter and electrical system. The negative side provides grounding, or return path, back to the battery.
Like any battery, car batteries have positive and negative terminals labeled with a plus (+) and minus (-) sign or red and black color indicator. Red is often used to indicate positive battery cable and black is used for the negative one. When other colored wires are used besides red, the colored wire is usually positive and white or black is negative.
Another method to determine if it is negative or positive battery cable is by tracing the cable to see where it is connected to on the other end. The positive battery cable is usually larger in size and is usually divided into two sections, with one section going to the engine's starter motor and the other to the electrical system. The negative cable is the grounding cable which bolts to the engine block and the chassis of the vehicle.
Positive battery cable can be sold pre-terminated or not. If you choose to buy pre-terminated positive battery cable, make sure it has the appropriate termination in order to connect the cable from the battery source to the vehicle starter motor or other electrical components of the vehicle. If you choose to buy unterminated cable, you can terminate your own wire using a crimper.
Crimper - A crimper can be purchased for home use to terminate your own negative and positive battery cables.
Battery clamp - A battery clamp connects the negative or positive battery cable to the battery terminal. Be sure to purchase a battery clamp with the appropriate size that fits your battery post.
Lugs - U-shaped lugs are used for screw terminals. Closed ring or O-shaped lugs are used for bolt-on applications. Both U and O-shaped lugs are common terminations on positive battery cable for bolting to the engine block and the vehicle chassis.
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