Are Battery Terminals Universal? What Size Are Battery Terminals?

Many times, when the battery terminal gets damaged, we may need to fix it or change it. This raises the question, are all the battery terminals the same? Can you use any terminal for any battery?

Well, the right answer is, NO! The terminals in the battery vary in size, dimensions, etc. Even different companies make different types of terminals. Hence, you can’t use one terminal in another one unless it matches.

In this article, I will tell you everything about the terminal size and matches in detail. So, bear it with me. 

What Size Are Battery Terminals?

Automobile mechanics may be difficult to master. The automobile manufacturers throw you a curveball just when you think you’ve got a grasp on parts and sizes.

The size of the battery connections varies. The size you obtain is determined by the car’s manufacturer.

Then, what are the sizes of a battery terminal? 

The normal battery terminal size for most automobiles is between 11 and 13 mm, which is slightly under 1/2 inch to a little over 1/2 inch. The positives on marine batteries are normally 3/8ths and the negatives are just 5/16ths.

This is quite puzzling if you have less idea about these terminals and if you miss checking them. If you ever need to buy one make sure you have measured it correctly or checked the terminal or battery information so that you can buy the right one.

What Size Are Battery Terminal Bolts?

As we have learned about the size of battery terminals, let’s know talk about the bolt used there. These bolts are usually only available in metric sizes. The M8 or 8mm bolt length is the standard size for one kind of battery. However, that isn’t the only number you’ll need to know.

You’ll have to know the entire equation to appropriately identify this bolt, which is M8 x 1.25 x 12 mm. The M stands for metric, the 8 represents the nominal diameter of the bolt in millimeters, and the 1.25 represents the thread pitch in millimeters. Finally, the 12 represents the bolt’s length.

The distinction between the bolt measurements and the terminal measurements is that the depth of the terminal aperture is 12m in the M8 x 1.25 x 12mm.

The charts for individual brands will be different.

Are Battery Terminals Universal?

The electrical connectors that link a single cell or several cell batteries to a load or charger are known as battery terminals. The layouts, sizes, and attributes of such terminals are generally not well recorded. However, many companies share details about lead battery terminals.

Lead Battery Terminals are made of an antimony-based lead alloy that assures the terminal’s strength and durability are sufficient to satisfy today’s high electrical demands. 

Compression battery terminals, which employ a compression plate to join the battery cable, or wing-nut, and conventional battery terminals, which need a ring lug or terminal to link to the battery cable, however, it also enables the addition of numerous wires or cables, exist in three distinct designs. 

Lead battery terminals are universal due to their flexibility, and the same terminal may be used for both positive and negative battery posts.

However, it is not always true. In many cases, you will find different terminals for a different battery of various cars. Hence, it can be said battery terminals are not universal.

Are Battery Terminals Different?

I have already mentioned that battery terminals are not universal. Hence, there are different terminals available in different batteries. I will now talk about the various types of terminals.

Auto Post Terminal (SAE terminal):

It is the most common sort of battery terminal, and anybody who has changed a car battery knows what it looks like. The positive post is usually bigger than the negative to avoid accidentally attaching the terminals in the opposite phase.

Pencil Post (found mostly in batteries for Japanese automobiles – JIS kinds) is yet another terminal that you’ll come upon. The Pencil Post is considerably smaller than an SAE terminal.

Stud terminal:

This is a 3/8″ ring “The threaded stainless-steel connector is used to secure the terminal link to the terminal ring on the terminal’s lead base.

Marine Terminal / Dual Post Terminal:

An Automated Post and a Stud (5/16) are included in this terminal type “(Imaginative+ paraphrase). A standard pressure connection or even a ring terminal plus a wing nut connector can be used to form the connection.

Button Terminal:

Insert terminals are another name for them. These terminals are available in sizes ranging from M5 to M8, which refers to the metric dimension of the bolt thread.

If your battery has an M8 terminal, for instance, you’ll need a screw with an 8 mm diameter thread.

Absorbed Glass Mat batteries, which are extensively used during emergency backup and uninterruptible power systems (UPS) battery systems, have these connections.

AT Terminal (Dual SAE / Stud type terminals):

They’re often seen in traction batteries, which are utilized in heavy-duty applications like floor scrubbers and off-grid solar panels. The Automotive Post and a Stud (3/8″ threaded stainless steel termination) are included with this terminal variant.

Does Ring Terminal Size Matter? 

Yes, since there is no such thing as a universal ring terminal size. Each ring terminal is designed to fit a certain stud size. That implies you’ll need a 1/4″ ring terminal if your stud is 1/4″ in diameter.

If you’re unsure about the size of the ring or stud, pick the old one with you to the hop or hardware shop and compare the sizes. Even if the smaller ring terminal is less expensive, it is pointless to purchase it. It isn’t going to fit.

If you go bigger, you won’t be able to decrease the ring terminal to the proper size. The ring terminals are often color-coded so that you can match colors and therefore obtain the proper one even if you don’t know the size.

Which Terminal Should You Connect To First?

We need to connect the positive one first. The voltage may only pass through two positive ends if we attach the positive terminals first. In the circuit, the jumper’s negative wire is not linked at all.

The goal is to get rid of the sparks and grounding. Once the negative terminals are finally connected, you’ll be able to select a path that you can ground the wires to reduce resistance against the body.

While making the proper connection with the battery terminals, you can limit and ease the sparks you created. It lowers the chances of a flash, an explosion, and, finally, a fire.

This statement is correct when jumpstarting a car and also remains true when replacing a battery. Always begin by connecting the positive cable connectors.

This procedure reduces the likelihood of a voltage traveling through your body and electrocuting you.


The terminals of batteries are not usually universal. There may be some common grounds for them but you need to pick the right one for your car battery. Otherwise, it will not fit perfectly and may cause some problems. Hence, be careful while you buy a battery or change the terminal.

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