If you have a car battery that won’t hold a charge, it could be due to corrosion buildup. This is a fairly common problem, and fortunately, it’s fairly easy to fix.
To clean corrosion from car battery terminals, you’ll need to disconnect the clamps from the corroded terminals first and then soak them with a baking soda solution. After that, clean them thoroughly with a steel brush and then dry them with a cloth. After the terminals are completely dry, reconnect the wires.
This is how you do it, but to know the whole process step-by-step in detail, you’ll require to go through this article.
How To Clean Corroded Battery Terminals
It’s easy to remove corrosion from your car battery terminals if you go with the right tools and safety gear.
It’s essential to keep the safety on the top, and that’s why we recommend the following safety gears that you must put on-
- Acid-resistant hand gloves
- Protective eyeglasses
Corrosion is a harmful powdery substance that can cause skin irritation and permanent eye damage, and that’s why you must be equipped with acid-resistant hand gloves and protective eyeglasses before you begin to follow the procedure.
Now you should know about the other things that you’ll need during the process-
- Baking soda solution
- Steel bush
- Spray can
Here’s the step by step process how to clean the corroded battery terminals-
Inspect the battery
The first thing you’ll need to do is to check the battery for any damage or crack. The damage or crack causes the acid to spill out of your battery, which can be hazardous. Make sure you’re equipped with the recommended safety gear while doing it.
Now, if you don’t find any damage or crack, that’s good. You’re ready to move to the second step.
Check the corrosion
Check the amount of corrosion that has built upon the terminals of the battery. The amount of corrosion on the positive (+) terminal might be more than that on the negative (-) terminal for some reasons. Also, check the severity of the corrosion using a long stick or screwdriver.
Disconnect the clamps
Now, disconnect the battery clamps using a wrench. Some people prefer to pour the baking soda solution on the terminals to clean them while the clamps are connected, which isn’t the right approach. It’s important to disconnect them first so that you can clean both terminals and clamps separately.
Make a baking soda solution.
It’s advised to make a thicker baking soda solution if the corrosion seems severe because a thicker solution can cut through the corrosion quickly and easily. Take four tablespoons of water and five tablespoons of baking soda and mix them until a consistent paste is achieved.
Apply the solution
Pour the baking soda solution on the terminals with a spoon and make sure it gets over them properly. Once you’re done with the terminals, pour it on the battery clamps as well and if the solution falls short, make more.
Now, grab the stainless steel brush and start removing the corrosion from the terminals and clamps. I recommend using a stainless steel brush because it cleans the corrosion effectively and lasts for a long time.
Make sure you’ve removed enough corrosion from the terminals and battery clamps.
Rinse the battery
As you’ve done removing the corrosion from the battery terminals and clamps, it’s time to rinse away the remaining baking soda solution and corrosion. The best you can do is to soak a cloth with water and wipe the battery terminals and clamps thoroughly. Make sure everything is cleaned and corrosion-free.
Dry the battery
This is the final touch that you’ll give to your battery. Get a dry cotton or microfiber cloth and wipe the battery terminals and clamps well. Once they seem dry, let them air dry for 10 minutes.
Prevent future corrosion
If you want to protect your car battery from future corrosion, then you’ll need to follow this step in which you’ll require to apply some anti-corrosion grease on the terminals and battery clamps. This will protect your battery from corrosion in the future. It’s all safe, and you don’t need to worry about that because it doesn’t interfere with the electrical connections.
Reconnect the clamps
Now, reconnect the positive clamp to the positive terminal (+) first and make sure it’s tight enough. Repeat the same process for the negative terminal (-) and after that, put the plastic terminal covers/caps back in place if your battery has one. You’re done.
So this is how you remove the corrosion from the car battery terminals. Now you should know why it’s important to remove the corrosion from the car battery.
Why is it important to clean corrosion from car battery
The battery is one of the most important components of the car, and it should work effectively. Your car battery plays an essential role in starting the engine, and if it doesn’t work well, you may not be able to turn your car on.
The battery cables connected to the terminals are responsible for passing the power to the starter solenoid that starts the engine. If those terminals get corroded, they’ll prevent the current from passing properly, which will result in issues related to cranking the engine. The car battery is also responsible for powering the other electrical components of the car, and that’s why it’s essential to keep your battery in optimum condition.
So this is why it’s vital to clean the car battery corrosion. You should check your car’s battery condition at least once in 3 months. If you take care of it, it’ll work effectively for longer, and you won’t have to replace it with a new one.
So this was all about how to clean corroded car battery terminals step-by-step. This procedure of cleaning the corroded battery terminals is the best as well as the safest. Make sure you follow each step properly.
Also, if you see any crack or open in your car battery while inspecting it, get to a technician and get it fixed. The crack or open will cause the acid to spill out of the battery when the car is running, and that’s something you will never want to happen.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Take a look at some of the frequently asked questions related to cleaning the corrosion from a car battery –
Can you clean battery terminals while connected?
Yes, you can clean it while it’s connected but make sure your vehicle is turned off. You’re supposed to disconnect the battery clamps first for a better cleaning because they make it challenging to clean the terminals thoroughly.
Can corrosion kill a car battery?
Yes. If it’s not removed from the battery, then it can drain the power out of it and shorten its life. It’s crucial to take care of your car battery and remove corrosion from it for its optimum performance.
Is corrosion a sign of a bad battery?
If the car battery’s terminals are corroded, it will prevent the power from flowing, and if the corrosion gets severe, it can completely block the flow of the power. If the battery is corroded doesn’t mean it’s bad. If you remove the corrosion and tighten the connection, it will probably start working properly again.
What causes car battery corrosion?
The battery contains the acid that releases hydrogen gas and that causes corrosion. The acid mixes with other things in the air under the hood, causing visible corrosion on your car battery.
Does a corroded battery need to be replaced?
The acid batteries often get corroded because of the release of hydrogen gas from them. Instead of replacing it with a new one, you can remove the corrosion from it easily and make it work again.
Can you clean corroded car battery terminals with Coca-Cola?
Coca-cola can neutralize the corrosion on the battery terminals and clamps. You can pour it on the corroded area and then brush it to remove the corrosion. Afterward, wipe it with a dry cloth.