Battery Cable

A battery cable is generally used to connect an automotive battery, usually of lead-acid type, to the electrical system of an automobile. The battery supplies electrical energy to power the vehicle’s starter motor, lights, and engine ignition system.

Battery cables are made up of strands of copper wire insulated with PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene). This insulation prevents short circuits and other electrical problems that may be caused by the cable contacting metal or other grounds within the engine bay and allows safe handling, connection, and disconnection. Most battery cables consist of two individual lengths of cable running in tandem, connected to each other by their insulation for the majority of their length. Their ends are separated to allow connection to the individual terminals of the battery.

Traditionally, the insulation on the power, or “positive,” cable is red in color (though white is sometimes used), while the insulation on the ground, or “negative,” cable is black.

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