Car Battery – For GM and Others

Car Battery – For GM and Others

Car and Truck Battery

Vehicle batteries come in many different sizes and shapes.  The two different ones I’ll be talking about today are the Top Mount and the Side Mount battery and also the DUAL Mount batteries.  (There are also Gel batteries like Optima and Deep Cycle batteries for Diesel.)

The battery is determined by the Year, Make, Model and Engine size of a vehicle (4 cylinder, 6 cylinder, or 8 cylinder are the most common sizes). Most people go into an auto parts store to find a battery. The counter person can help you look up the battery for your vehicle on the computer. They can even test your battery (if the store has the free battery service).

Let’s say you own a 2012 Ford Taurus SE (stands for Special Edition). There are numbers located on some batteries that specify the size. Looking it up in one of the local part store sites I found, specifies that it’s a series 58 or 59. Both will fit as they are about the same size. Some batteries may show an R after the number, which means that the terminals are reversed.


Date Stamp

The batteries usually come with a date on the side and sometimes on the top. It is the date that the battery was made. Most batteries have a life of 2-5 years on average. This helps you to determine (if you still have a date on your battery) should you change your battery or not. (If you get 5 or more years out of your battery – then you got a really great battery.)

This battery shows a date of 6/17 so it was made in June of 2017.  It’s still a good battery. I believe that the warranty on this particular one is 2 years.

There are batteries that will have a 1-3 year warranty depending on the battery itself. They are usually viewed as Okay (1yr), Good (2yrs), Great (3yrs), Best (3yrs).  It used to be 1 year, 3 years and 5 years, and 7 years but companies have changed the warranties on the batteries.

There are also batteries with Dual Posts. This means that they have both a Top Mount Post and a Side Mount Post. You can use them for any vehicle that has these type of posts. Say there isn’t a battery in stock with the side posts, you can always use the Dual Post battery instead. Just leave the covers on the top mounts to keep out the dirt and stuff.


Side Mount Battery

Side mount battery – GM

If you have reverse terminals rather than the normal ones (+ Positive connection on Left and then – Negative connection on Right). The Reverse terminal would mean that you have a – Negative connection on the Left and a + Positive connection on the Right.  These are usually specified by looking right near the battery terminals as they will have a + for Positive or a for Negative. On the older cars the wires to the connections were RED for Positive and BLACK for Negative.

Side Mount Batteries are usually for GM (General Motors, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Buick).

You should always remove the covers that are on them. This one shows a RED (Positive) and a BLACK (Negative) cover. Those are the way that they are connected on the car. You should connect them to the vehicle that way.  These terminals can be a real pain to connect and disconnect as they aren’t always in place where you can access them easily.


Battery Terminal Cleaner Tool

Connection cleaner

Always clean the terminals first. You will get a better connection and remove any dirt or anything that is on it. Use the battery terminal cleaner tool.  The long brush part goes into the side mount holes to clean out any debris that doesn’t belong there.

On the bottom of where the brush is, there is brushes that are inside the tube to clean top mount batteries. It’s a combination tool. I keep one in the tool box as you have to occasionally clean the terminals when you see them getting corroded or turning green around the connections.

Battery Terminal Protectant

It’s also very helpful to use a type of conductive grease. Like the bulb grease, it keeps out dirt, keeps the corrosion down to a minimum, and it creates a better electrical connection.

When changing a battery, you use the terminal tool to clean the connections, then put the grease in or on the terminals you’re connecting. I use this every time I change the battery or clean up the terminals on it.

Always purchase the grease with the battery.


Top Mount Battery

Top Mount Batteries are usually for Fords and other cars. They have two posts on the top of the battery and are easily accessible.  Like the side-mount terminals, you should always clean the posts first.

Always remove the covers. The ones on the top mounts have to be peeled off first.

You clean them with the battery terminal tool.

You add the grease and connect the wires to them.


Once you change your battery out (or had help with changing it out), then get in the car once everything is connected and turn it over. You may notice that the lights on the dash are brighter, it seems to run better, or any other little thing. If it doesn’t turn over, make sure you didn’t connect it with the terminal covers on it.

I hope that this helps you in any way. I do my best to try and educate people about the different things with their cars, so that they can take better care of them.

Thanks for visiting!  Please like/share this article with others! Please leave a comment or question below as I check back often.

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19 responses to “Car Battery – For GM and Others”

  1. mercy says:

    I love the nice article keep up the good work

  2. Malachi Mcphail says:

    I love the article. This is a great site to start learning about working on your car. Each article you can learn from. Starts with the basics and shows with a little knowledge automobiles aren’t that scary and anyone can work on them.

    Keep up the articles!

  3. Jeff Messick says:

    I learn things every day. R on the battery is reversed terminals…never knew that. Awesome post.

  4. Thanks for sharing the articles. This will helps people to understand better about cars and it’s working.

  5. One basic thing I learned about keeping your car’s battery life long is to turn off electronics like A/C and radio when your car is idle or your engine isn’t running.

    • Agreed!
      When you shut off the vehicle, you should always shut off everything before shutting off the car. This way, there is nothing to drain the battery even when it’s off.
      Old school Chevy’s used to be infamous for that. You’d leave the radio on when you shut the car off and it would still drain the battery – still being in the “on” position.

  6. Lovely post !! 15. Thank you so much for your article. It really gives me information that I am looking for 🙂

  7. Gary Puntman says:

    It’s good to know that you should clean battery terminals so that you can get a better connection. I’ll have to invest in one of those brushes that will allow me to clean it easier. It’s good to know that this also prevents them getting corroded, like you said.

  8. Thanks for the interesting article about car batteries. I had no idea that you should try to clean the terminals first because you can get a better connection that way. I’m kind of interested to learn how often the terminals should be cleaned.

  9. One of the most interesting article for all the people out there. It is really helpful because it helps one get the knowledge about the car battery’s properly and it can be really beneficial for them if they read this.

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