Battery Terminals

The most common types of automotive battery terminals

FIGURE. The most common types of automotive battery terminals.

Terminals provide a means of connecting the battery plates to the vehicle’s electrical system. All automotive batteries have two terminals. One terminal is a positive connection; the other is a negative connection. The battery terminals extend through the cover or the side of the battery case. The following are the most common types of battery terminals:

  1. Post or top terminals: Used on most automotive batteries. The positive post will be larger than the negative post to prevent connecting the battery in reverse polarity.
  2. Side terminals: Positioned in the side of the container near the top. These terminals are threaded and require a special bolt to connect the cables. Polarity identification is by positive and negative symbols.
  3. L terminals: Used on specialty batteries and some imports.