Most often, when people start encountering problems with their cars, the first possible cause that comes to mind is always a dead battery. Then they will think, maybe the reason behind such drained battery was leaving the light on, probably? Only to find out upon checking that it was still full and that the main problem is attributed to a greasy, filthy, and corroded battery terminal. Have you ever experienced this unfortunate scenario and almost bought a new battery? Had you not realized that the culprit was just corroded battery contacts? Lesson learned – it is important to properly maintain your battery contacts. So, here are some of the most practical ways to do it.
- First thing’s first – you need to wear safety glasses and leather gloves for your protection. You’ll never know what the battery acid and some other toxic deposits can do to you.
- Remove the battery cables from the terminals by releasing the nut on each cable clamp. This should be done in a counterclockwise direction using a wrench. Disconnect the cable clamp connected to the negative battery terminal with the symbol “–“ first. Then the cable clamp connected to the positive battery terminal with the symbol “+“ next. This should always be the sequence in disconnecting battery terminals. However, detaching the cable is not that easy. You have to wiggle and lift it upward until the clamp is detached from the terminal post. If there’s an extreme corrosion, you may need a pair of locking pliers.
- Check the cables and clamps for excessive wear or corrosion. Should there be signs of extensive damage, the best remedy is to change the battery cables and clamps to avoid future problems.
- Examine the battery case and the terminals to see whether there are cracks or damages. If you find either of the two, you better replace the battery.
- Secure the loose battery cables so they don’t flop back onto the battery terminals by mistake.
- Pour baking soda onto the battery posts. Immerse a battery terminal cleaner brush in water and use it to scrub the battery terminal and the cable clamps as well. If you don’t have a terminal brush, a plain toothbrush will do. Also, clean the insides of cable clamps using a clamp cleaner that’s usually attached to the terminal cleaner brush. But if you don’t have it, a clean steel wool pad is a good alternative too.
- Dry the battery terminal with a clean and lint-free rag.
- Smear a small amount of petroleum jelly on the posts to decelerate the formation of corrosive deposits. Coat all the exposed metal surfaces on the battery cables, battery posts, and clamps.
- Then replace the battery cables in reverse fashion of the disconnecting procedure. Replace the positive cable first and the negative cable next. Using the proper sized wrench, make sure to tighten the nut on the cable end to secure it.
- Replace the rubber boot that covers the positive terminal. If you don’t have a reserve, you may want to buy from the nearest local auto parts store.
There you have it. With these simple tips, you are now equipped to get rid of car battery corrosion by proper cleaning and prevention. If you practice proper car battery maintenance, you will definitely keep corrosion at minimum without buying anything. But if you are unable to properly provide care and maintenance to car batteries, you may opt to go for the available paint-on or spray-on corrosion preventive liquids and coated felt pads. These options perfectly fit on the post under battery terminals which absorb any acid that causes corrosion.