Loose Car Battery?

Tips & Support
OPTIMA Batteries
Milwaukee, WI
Loose car batteries are far more common than one might think and they certainly aren't limited to cars. We come across all kinds of vehicles with loose batteries, from cars & trucks to boats and even the occasional airplane! Batteries are inherently heavy, so when they aren't properly-secured in a vehicle, the only thing keeping them from moving around tend to be the cables connected to the positive and negative terminals.

If you can move your battery with your hand, as easily as we moved the batteries in the video above, it is loose and needs to be secured!

When loose batteries tug on terminal connections, they can often damage those connections, which can effectively render a battery useless. Even if they don't damage the terminals, they can loosen the connection, which can make it harder for batteries to accept and deliver current. This is most obvious in batteries connected by side terminals. When these terminal connections are not secure, all the current tends to travel through very small contact points. Those small points of contact often end up becoming super-heated by the electrical current and melt out.

An even more dangerous and potentially catastrophic situation is possible if the terminals of an unsecured battery both come in contact with a metal surface, like the underside of the hood of a vehicle. For those reasons and plenty of others, we strongly recommend that every battery be properly and safely secured in vehicles.

In many instances, a battery is loose in a vehicle, because it was replaced and the battery hold-down was lost or not re-installed. Batteries tend not to fail at convenient times, so when they are swapped, the owner may be more concerned with getting to work on time or making an appointment, than properly re-installing the battery hold-down.

However, these are safety items that should definitely be re-installed and substitutes such as bungee cords, zip ties, string or tape are not adequate alternatives. If your vehicle is missing a key component to keep the battery properly-secured, there's a good chance your local auto parts store will have everything you need from specific components that typically cost $10 or less, to complete hold-down systems to replace the OE hold-down or re-locate your battery.

If you don't feel comfortable doing the work yourself, take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic or dealership. Whatever the cost involved, it's a small price to pay relative to making sure your vehicle is safe.