On the 2012 Ford Escape the negative battery cable clamp is very different from the positive cable clamp. The negative has an upright bolt and nut that compresses a set of split bars when you tighten the nut. I have removed the nut but cannot remove the bolt as it has to be removed downward and the battery is in the way. The clamp is still blocked by the split bars and will not allow the clamp to be lifted and removed. So i ask, how do you remove the negative clamp from the post?

  • It would be great if you could add a photo of the negative battery post.
    – dlu
    Sep 10, 2016 at 17:10
  • Update: I went to Ford and they could not get the clamp off either. They said I was faced with 2 choices: Replace it ($110) or replace teh clamp only ($70). I said no to both. The car is running so I went home, sent an email to Ford Corporate Cust Svc and complained about the design problem and why should I pay that kind of money for this poor design. They say they will get back to me. We'll see. Sep 19, 2017 at 19:30

3 Answers 3


If this is what your battery clamp looks like:

enter image description here

Take the nut off from (in the image) right side. Then take the small piece under the nut off. The bar which goes through there should now be loose. Take a screwdriver an place between the two sides of the clamp just outside of the battery post, then twist the screwdriver to loosen the clamp up. You should now be able to remove the clamp by moving it back and forth and pulling it up. You don't have to remove the small bolt to get the clamp to release.


If the bolt looks something like these photos:

battery clamp assembly detail of bolt

Then all you probably need to do is to tap gently on the top of the bolt (leave the nut on, but loosened, to protect the threads). A tap or two should be all that you need to get the bolt to drop down a bit and release the terminal clamp.


I just went thru that exercise. It turned out that the clamp had worn a groove in the battery terminal. You couldn't easily remove the clamp even though it was obviously loose. I finally inserted a tool underneath and pryed the clamp up and off. It took a surprising large amount of force for a little groove barely a 1/2 mm deep.

  • Did you try spreading the clamp, like @Paulster2 suggested? That will often help. When prying up, I'm always concerned about damaging the case of the battery. I'll sometimes use a wide putty knife or something similar to spread the load. Also, it helps to keep the clamp level as it comes up, otherwise it can cock and dig in.
    – dlu
    Sep 11, 2016 at 20:10
  • In my case the battery was totally dead, tested and verified. We were replacing the battery and we knew it. The clamp was QUITE loose, and still wouldn't come up. It was one of those stamped metal clamps and not the cast solid type. It was surprising how wide we opened the clamp and it STILL WOULD NOT COME OFF THE BATTERY. It was a surprise that there was even a groove there. So no, we did not try to spread the clamp any more because if we did that, we would have bent it beyond use or snapped it in two. Why, do you think I offered this as a separate answer? Its a different root cause!
    – zipzit
    Sep 11, 2016 at 22:50

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