How to Install a Battery Disconnect Switch

A battery connected inside of a red vehicle.
  • 2-4 hours
  • Advanced
  • 100-200
What You'll Need
Battery switch
Socket wrench
Philips screwdriver
Drill bits
Silicone caulking

A great little device that can be used as a safety and security is a battery disconnect switch. By installing this, you gain control over thieves who want to drive off your vehicle. With a push of a button, you can shut off the power from the battery so the car will not start. You can easily install a battery switch on your vehicle without any special tools and by dedicating only about an hour of your time. Here are the steps to take to install this yourself.

Step 1 - Buy New Battery Switch

When installing a battery switch, you need to pay very close attention to the actual switch that you buy. Look at your owner's manual and find out the exact power output of your battery and other components. The battery disconnect switch that you purchase should match up with this. If it does not, then you will continue to blow the switch, and if this happens as you are driving down the road, the results could be pretty devastating.

Step 2 - Remove Cables from Battery

A dangerous habit that most people get into is to only remove the negative cable from the battery when working on the electrical components. You should always disconnect both the positive and the negative cables from the battery poles to ensure your safety. This is also a good time to clean them off so you know you have a good connection point.

Step 3 - Remove Negative Cable Terminal

Once you have both cables removed, you need to remove the terminal from the end of the negative one.

Step 4 - Wire in Switch

After you have removed the terminal, you can now install the switch. Wire it in between the cable and the battery terminal so that the switch will break the connection to the battery when it is off. Make sure when you add the switch that you install it in the "On" position.

Step 5 - Reconnect Terminal

Now that the switch is wired at the end of the battery cable, you can reconnect the terminal.

Step 6 - Screw Switch to Frame

Find a concealed area to secure the disconnect switch, as this will ensure that anyone who wants to steal your car will not be able to easily locate it. Once you have found a spot, mark the holes for the screws that will be holding the switch in place with a marker. Drill pilot holes with your drill and make sure that any burrs are removed. Then, position the switch with the holes lined up and secure with the supplied screws. You may want to cover the wire connections with a little dab of silicone caulking to act as a weatherproofing agent so the wire connections do not start to corrode and fall off.

Step 7 - Connect Battery Cables

Once you have all of the wires connected and the switch installed, you can now reconnect the battery cables to the battery poles. Feel free to also test the switch at this time by turning on your car and activating the switch.