Well, for the first time in my life I have hit up on a battery terminal bolt
that simply will not come loose. It's on the positive side of the battery in
a 1995 Pontiac Firebird. There was major corrosion on the bolt and terminal,
and I sprayed it first with battery terminal cleaner. I used the appropriate
sized socket, and the bolt wouldn't break loose. Next, I sprayed it with
Liquid Wrench and tapped it with a small hammer. Still no go. Finally, I
decided that I would just try to break it loose with vise grips and replace
the damaged bolt. No luck. :-(
I suppose my only hope now is to cut all three of the wires leading to the
terminal and splice a new terminal on to the remaining wires. This really
sucks! I've replaced lots of batteries over the years with no hassles
whatsover. The car was just purchased recently, and I believe that the
previous owner had never cleaned their battery terminals. Is there any other
way possible to get this terminal off without cutting the wires?
S.T. (Very Frustrated!!!)
Soak it with penetrating oil for a few days,
Get a good grip on the bolt shank with a clean pair of vise grips &
turn in unison with the cable. (making sure that the other cable is
disconnected. (potential for sparks if you ground)
It is quite likely that at this juncture you will rip the internal
connections free from the plate destroying the battery internally.
Do NOT try and heat the bolt (think hydrogen gas).
If you have any bottled liquid nitrogen you can "try" applying that,
but be careful you don't damage the battery case resulting in a small
acid leak destroy the body below the box.
I'd say, take a sawsall, cut the cable at the bolt, remove the battery
& replace with a "new" battery & connector. You'll be doing that one
of these winters in a parking lot if you don't, might as well now
while the weather is nice.
PS hitting the battery with a hammer may damage the battery, think
sulphuric acid in a plastic case with a semipermanent lead seal.
Local wreckers sell used batteries tested for $20.00 with a warranty,
Just a thought.
I had something like that once. Baking soda solution cleans it up pretty
good too. Finally the battery terminal broke off and then was able to get
the cable loose from it. . Ended up the connector was so badly corroded I
decided to replace the whole cable. If you can get it loose you might get
away with just replacing the bolt in the connector.
I assume we're dealing with a side terminal battery since its a GM product.
The bolts are replacable in the cable so no need to cut the wires. You can
get the bolts at any auto parts place.
Try to break the bolt off by over tightening it. This is going to mean you'll
need a new battery but if you think its the original 1995 battery, thats not a
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. But I had some luck today. After
soaking the bolt down really good with more Liquid Wrench after getting fed
up with dealing with it on Tues. evening, the thing came right off this
afternoon with vise grips. Same technique as before that had failed me. The
bolt was worthless though, so I picked up a new one at an Advance Auto Parts
store. They come in pairs. Only cost me $2.12 with tax--and the new battery
is now installed. Car starts right up and all is well for now.
FWIW, You can use a regular bolt in there, but you need to be easy on
the torque... they use small heads so you'll strip the bolt before
wrecking the battery, but if you're stuck I think it's a 3/8 or 5/16"
bolt. When I've had to use that method I use a stubby wrench and go
easy on it...
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