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Battery Cable Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your battery cable replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your battery cable replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by R.E. Fulton, Licensed Insurance Agent —Senior Content Writer

How much does it cost to replace a battery cable?

You can expect an average cost of $50-$200+ for a battery cable replacement, comprising of about $20-$100 for parts and $30-$100 for mechanic labor. Prices can vary depending on factors like your mechanic and your vehicle.
How long does it take to replace a battery cable? A certified mechanic generally takes around 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete the job. Your mechanic will start by conducting a preliminary inspection to diagnose the problem. If you need the battery cable replaced, they’ll follow through with the service.
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for a battery cable replacement and how much do they cost?

Check with your owner’s manual or mechanic for the exact parts you’ll need, but in general, here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need to replace your car’s battery cables:
  • Replacement battery cables: Battery cables allow the electrical current to flow to the alternator, powering electronic systems like the ignition system, the ECM (Electronic Control Module), and the lighting system. New cables have an average cost of about $15. We recommend reputable brands such as ACDelco, Deka, and Standard Motor Products for your replacement battery cables.
  • Basic tools: When removing the old battery cables, you’ll need some basic tools including a screwdriver, socket wrench, wrench, and ratchet. These can cost anywhere from $5 for a single tool to over $100 for a set. We recommend Craftsman, Tekton, and Kobalt for essential tools.
You may also want to purchase a wire brush to clean the car battery terminals before installing new car battery cables.
You can purchase battery cables, basic tools, and a wire brush at various places, including local auto parts stores like AutoZone and Advance Auto Parts, as well as online retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
When it comes to replacing your battery cables, aftermarket parts will do the trick. They’re widely available from numerous retailers and are often significantly cheaper than buying OEM parts.
You can purchase battery cables through many online auto parts stores like AutoZone. You can also find them on Amazon. Check your vehicle’s owner's manual for the specifics of your battery cables.

Where can I get my battery cables replaced?

Finding a trusted mechanic is difficult at the best of times. If you need to replace your battery cables, you can rely on Jerry's
GarageGuard™
to compare costs from over 2,500 vetted auto repair shops across the U.S. 
Jerry's GarageGuard™ compares fair price estimates from repair shops using actual hourly labor costs. You’ll find out whether you’ll have diagnostic fees (and whether they’re included in the service cost) and see reviews from real customers so that you know you’re choosing the best option.
Check out some of our vetted shops below and download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
147 Reviews
Uptown Automotive
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1089 San Mateo Ave, San Francisco, CA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$200
187 Reviews
106 St Tire & Wheel
address
106-01 Northern Blvd, Manhattan, NY
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$25
118 Reviews
Laurel Heights Automotive
address
9109 E Gregory Blvd #6407, Raytown, MO
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$50
151 Reviews
Pep Boys Auto Parts & Service - Providence #463
address
1246 N Main St, Providence, RI
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$100
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my battery cables?

Replacing the battery cables is a simple process. Here are the steps your mechanic will follow:
  • With your car’s engine off, your mechanic will disconnect the negative battery cable and then the positive battery cable.
  • The mechanic will inspect your car’s battery, terminals, and cables for corrosion and wear and tear before being cleaned and repaired. 
  • Then, they will reconnect and test the battery to ensure its output matches your vehicle model’s specifications.

What happens if I don’t replace my battery cables?

Your car needs its battery and cables to function correctly. The battery is responsible for powering up every electrical system in your vehicle. If the cables are corroded and malfunctioning, power can’t get to the rest of your car.

What are battery cables?

The battery in a vehicle is designed to power all the electrical components in your car—but that battery can’t work correctly without battery cables. Think of your car battery like a heart. The cables are blood vessels running an electrical current to the alternator, which powers all electronic systems.
As with any other part of your car, the components of your battery system will wear over time and begin to malfunction. In most cases, the battery cables start to corrode and interfere with the electrical system. This can lead to malfunction in several parts of your car.

How do I know when my battery cables need replacing?

There are a few telltale signs that your battery and/or its cables will need to be checked out by a mechanic. Here are the most common symptoms to watch for:
  • Trouble starting your car’s engine
  • A clicking sound when trying to start your engine
  • Corrosion deposits on the battery itself
  • Battery cables show signs of wear and tear, such as fraying or loosening
  • Interior lighting dimming
  • Engine stalling after startup if your car doesn’t get moving
Remember: Everything runs off your car battery and the battery cables—so if the cable is worn and the electrical current isn’t being transferred to the alternator, your electrical systems won’t work correctly.

How often should battery cables be replaced?

Battery cables will usually last anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Based on an average mileage of 14,000 miles per year, they may need to be replaced every 3.5 and 7 years. But don’t rush into changing them if they don’t show signs of wear and tear. 
Battery cables are constantly used, which means wear and tear can result in corrosion, overheating, or insulation perishing.
If the battery light is flashing but nothing is wrong with the battery, it could also indicate that the cables need replacing.

Can I replace my battery cables myself?

Replacing your battery cables is a straightforward process that you can easily do at home, even if you don’t have extensive automotive repair knowledge. 
This process is as easy as removing the negative and positive terminals and cable terminals, removing the battery, disconnecting the cables, and reinstalling new cables.

FAQs

Changing the battery cables is a quick process for most vehicles, requiring only a few basic hand tools. It’s as simple as disconnecting the terminals, removing the batteries, then removing the cables before replacing them with new ones.
If you’re having a professional change your battery cables—or your car still has a dealership warranty—they can finish the job in about an hour. If you’re changing them yourself, the process may take a bit longer.
If your battery cables are bad, your car won’t start. Corroded or damaged battery cables prevent power from reaching the starter, resulting in an engine that won’t crank. You’ll also have no electrical power since bad battery cables isolate the battery from the car’s electrical system, preventing the lights and accessories from working properly.
Yes, the battery cables are designed to complete the electrical circuit. A loose or corroded battery cable can interfere with the battery charging system and lead to a dead battery. Corrosion can also build up between the battery post and cable, causing electrical resistance.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.