How to clean car battery corrosion?

8 Min Read
We show you how to clean the corroded terminals of your battery

Minor battery damage might impair the vehicle’s performance and necessitate expensive repairs. One of the important factors that, if ignored, can seriously harm your battery is battery corrosion.

It may also result in problems with electrical wiring and the air conditioning system in vehicles. Cleaning the battery when it’s subjected to corrosion is the only way of prevention.

How to Clean Car Battery Corrosion

It is advisable to clean it yourself rather than hire a mechanic. You must adhere to the procedures outlined in this comprehensive guide to removing rust from automotive batteries.

How can you tell if your automobile has battery corrosion and what does it entail?

Luckily the corrosion around the battery is easy to identify. The corrosion on the battery post, battery terminals, or battery cables is white, green, or bluish material.

If your automobile exhibits multiple of the problems listed below, it is an indication that you should clean the battery corrosion before it necessitates replacing the entire battery with a new one.

  • The car takes time when starting up.
  • The car’s headlights are flashing and dim.
  • The vehicle engine heats up quickly.
  • The car air conditioning is not working correctly.
  • Find a slight change in the performance of the car.

Any of these issues may be a sign of corrosion in your automobile battery. The vehicle’s undercarriage will then be properly inspected.

Wait 30 minutes for your engine to cool down before opening the hood. Look at the wires and terminals on the battery posts to see where corrosion will form.

Your battery suffers corrosion if you discovered a white powdery substance with a tinge of green or blue tones. You’ll need to look for ways to remove corrosion from the battery. But fear not.

Anyone may easily remove rust from a battery thanks to its simplicity. If you follow these instructions, your battery will be free of corrosion.

Steps to clean battery corrosion

Materials that you’ll need:

  • Protective gloves, like dish gloves
  • Wrench
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Petroleum jelly

1. Disconnect Battery Cables

The battery cables need to be disconnected first and foremost. To do that job, you’ll need a wrench. Verify that the negative cable is removed before the positive one.

You can get shocked if you let the wrench touch the positive side. Here are several telltale signals that a cable is positive or negative to assist you.

Negative Cable:

  • Its color is BLACK.
  • Its abbreviation is “NEG.”
  • It is identified by the negative (=) symbol.

Positive Cable:

  • Its color is RED.
  • Its abbreviation is “POS.”
  • It is marked with a positive (+) sign.

2. Inspect the battery for any damage

A damaged and worn battery would result in severe damage to your car engine. Your battery may not benefit from cleaning if you find any cracks, dents, bulging, or warping in it.

These are signs that it’s time to replace your battery.

3. Remove the Corrosion from the battery

The next step is to clean the rust from the battery after thoroughly inspecting it for any damage. We’ll briefly explore the ways available to finish this stage because there aren’t many of them.

To the battery’s corroded area, apply the battery detergent. Your first option should be to use a battery cleaner made for commercial use to remove corrosion. Removing rust and neutralizing battery acid, are quite effective.

The second alternative is to utilize common household items to eliminate rust, such as Coca-Cola and baking soda if you don’t have access to battery detergent.

Although some people think Coca-Cola is a good way to get rid of corrosion, we advise using caution because the drink contains artificial sweeteners and phosphoric acid that might harm your engine.

The baking soda approach is a quick and efficient way to clean the batteries of corrosion.

To make the solution, all you need is a glass of water and some baking soda. Then, using a toothbrush, scrub the prepared solution onto the battery’s corroded parts. Apply baking soda solution to the battery terminal and any corroded locations.

The interaction of two components will cause a bubbling response. The acidic corrosion is neutralized and becomes safe to handle through this process. Once the white stuff has disappeared, thoroughly clean the corroded area.

4. Dry and Rinse off the battery

Pour water to completely rinse the battery and cable end after you’ve scrubbed the white stuff away.

To safeguard your car from potential harm caused by the other engine parts, take care not to spill water on them. After that, use a cloth or any other material to dry the battery.

5. Take Some Corrosion-Preventative Steps

After everything has been done, you must take important actions to shield the battery from corrosion in the future.

Put anti-corrosion pads on both the terminals’ sides. These tiny creatures aid in preventing corrosion on your battery. Also, apply petroleum jelly to the airport and clamps. This will help from future corrosion.

Safety precautions when cleaning a corroded battery

Regarding safety, nothing is more important than your life and well-being. Here are a few safety measures to take into account when cleaning a corroded car battery.

  • Make sure to turn off the engine before beginning to clean the corroded battery. This is for your safety.
  • Wait for the engine to cool off after running your automobile for a time before opening the hood.
  • Disconnect the battery’s negative terminal first before the positive one. 
  • Avoid touching the positive terminal with the wrench; it may shock you.
  • Avoid using the wrench to touch the positive terminal; you risk receiving a shock.
  • To protect your eyes, be sure to use safety glasses.

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