Clean the electrical ground contact
1 of 2
Photo 1: Clean the contacts
Remove the ground cable at the firewall
or fender and clean both the steel and
the ring with a wire brush.
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Photo 2: Apply special grease
Coat the bare steel with dielectric
grease and reassemble the connection.
Then smear a dab of grease around
the entire connection.
Do the needles on your gauges jump
around, sweep from side to side or just
plain refuse to budge? How about your
other electrical accessories—do they
work intermittently or so strangely that
you swear they’re possessed? If so, it’s
time to clean your ground cables.
The pros always start by cleaning the
ground cables. Carmakers use the steel
body as the return “ground” electrical
path, so when the cables corrode (and
they will corrode), the stray current can
cause all sorts of strange behavior.
A rotary tool with a wire brush works
great. But you can also use sandpaper.
The key is to get shiny metal on all the
connections. Use a shop manual to find
the locations of the other ground connections
in your vehicle.