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I recently had my battery fail on me and need to get a new one. While I was removing the battery terminal clamps I noticed there was a lot of corrosion. After I cleaned off the corrosion, I also noticed that one of the rings of the battery terminal clamps is missing some material. Please see the image below. You can see that there are two metal rings and the bottom one has a piece of metal missing. Does this indicate that the clamp must be replaced? Or is it safe to just clean it up and attach to the new battery. How does one generally know when it is time to replace the clamp itself?

battery terminal clamp with part of metal broken off

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In a word: Absolutely

The lack of material means a lack of electron flow. You won't get the proper charge of the battery, the right amount of power out of it come starting time, nor the full buffering effect a battery provides to the electrical system. It is a lose/lose/lose situation here. Replace it. It doesn't have to be exactly the same type. In fact, I'd get one which is a solid one. It will last longer and will resist corrosion.

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    And pay attention to the cable as well. With this much corrosion on the clamp, it's likely that the clamp-to-cable connection is awful, and that the cable itself is damaged. And the able has another end, too. If this were my car, I wouldn't change just the clamp, I'd change the entire cable. – David supports Monica Oct 12 at 20:30
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    I totally agree with Paulster2 on this one @KodosJohnson, replace it. Not only is it going to impede electron flow but it also is likely to continue to degrade, and will completely fail at some point. – GdD Oct 12 at 21:10
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    Start time is when a poor connection like this will be put to the test. You could find that this is one of the highest resistances in the circuit, leading to a lot of heat being produced and possible fire. – HandyHowie Oct 13 at 8:44

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