Battery Cable Replacement (positive)
Thanks to Steve Beisser for contributing to this FAQ!
I recently replaced the positive battery cable on my 1999 Saab 9-3 185 hp engine. I thought I would share my experience to help others decide if they want to do this themselves or have a professional do it for them.
Summary: The positive battery cable has two wires, a short wire and a long wire. The short wire is very simple to work with, but the long wire proved to be much more difficult. It took me about 3.5 hours to complete the entire job.
Tools/equipment needed: 10 mm socket, 12 mm socket, socket extension, socket driver, 13 mm box end wrench, cable ties, floor jack
|STEP 1 ||Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery terminal and then the positive battery terminal.|
|STEP 2 ||Remove the protective battery cover.|
|STEP 3 ||Remove the hold down bolt clamp at the base of the front of the battery, then remove the clamp and lift the battery out of the car.|
|STEP 4 ||Disconnect the short wire from the fuse box.Follow the short wire from the positive terminal cable to the cable termination point. You will see that it feeds into a fuse box. Remove the black cover to the fuse box and remove the nut holding the end of the cable in place. Lift the end of the cable off the mounting screw.|
|STEP 5 ||Begin removal of the long end of the cable.|
Note: The long cable is connected electrically in two places, and physically in three (not counting plastic wire ties). The electrical connections are to the starter solenoid and to the alternator, each being held in place by a 12 mm nut. The cable is also physically mounted by 3 clamps, 2 being held down by 10 mm bolts and one being help down by a 12 mm nut.
Jack the car up (remember to place jack stands for safety), crawl under the car, and locate the end of the positive cable which is attached to the back of the alternator. Using a 12 mm socket, remove the nut holding the end of the cable in place. Note the angle that the cable is attached to the back of the alternator, and lift the end of the cable off of the mounting screw.
|STEP 6 ||Locate the nut mounting the cable to the starter solenoid. Using a 12 mm socket, remove the nut and then remove the cable from the mounting screw. Note that the 2 nuts are different sizes (the larger one is for the alternator and the smaller one is for the starter solenoid).|
|STEP 7 ||Cut the cable tie that is holding down the cable to the starter solenoid.|
|STEP 8 ||Working from the top of the engine, locate the 3 hold down clamps. If you follow the cable from the battery connection, the 1st connection uses a 10 mm bolt. Using a 10 mm socket and socket extension, remove the bolt.|
|STEP 9 ||The second hold down clamp uses a 12 mm nut. Locate the nut and remove using a 12 mm socket and extension.|
|STEP 10 ||The 3rd hold down clamp uses a 10 mm bolt. Using a 10 mm socket and socket extension, remove the bolt. Note that the engine coolant temperature sensor wires will be very close to where you will be inserting the socket extension. Make sure you do not disturb the wires.|
|STEP 11 ||Remove the remaining cable hold downs. There are 2 cable ties that hold down the short cable and 1 or 2 more that hold down the long cable. There are also two rubber guides that help keep the long cable in place. These can be snapped open, although one of mine had completely disintegrated and I did not bother to replace it as it didn%u2019t really seem necessary.|
|STEP 12 ||Carefully pull the long cable out. After the cable has been removed, check to see if anything has been disturbed. I found I had knocked off one vacuum line located below the long cable.|
|STEP 13 ||Remove the 3 clamps from the old cable and reinstall on the new cable making sure that they are placed back on using the same orientation as on the original.|
|STEP 14 ||Installation is simple the reverse of the removal. I first installed the short cable to the fuse box and replaced the cover. I then ran the long cable to the alternator, replaced the larger 12 mm nut (make sure you have the end of the cable rotated properly. There is a raised plastic guide on the back of the alternator that helps keep the end spade angled correctly. ) I then hooked up the cable to the starter solenoid and reinstalled the smaller 12 mm nut and installed a new cable tie. Then I re-mounted the cable clamps. I found this to be the most challenging part, especially re-installing the 10 mm nut that is located below the coolant temperature sensor. The last step is to install new cable ties in the areas where they had been originally. Then install the battery and battery hold down nut and clamp, the battery cover, and attach the positive and negative terminals. Start the car up and make sure that everything is working properly. It is very easy to disturb other parts of the car, especially when removing and installing the 3 cable clamps so it is important to make sure that all your gauges are working, etc.|
Hope this helps!
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