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How To Fix Battery Terminal Corrosion: (Learn About Battery Maintenance)

Are you slowly losing your mind over battery terminal corrosion and how it ruins your day? If so, then rest assured. We know how frustrating it can be when you realize the battery is corroded.

Your car had been working up until you noticed the battery is no longer working.

To help you get through these tough times, we will go over how you can fix the battery and how you can avoid such problems in the future.

If you like how that sounds, then you are ready to fix the battery on your own.

How Expensive is it To Fix a Corroded Battery?

If you decide to clean a corroded battery on your own, you can save a lot of money just by getting a few products to get the job done.

While having somebody clean a corroded battery is not expensive, it does get overpriced over time. You need to clean the terminals quite often to avoid further corrosion on the battery.

But if you decide to clean the battery on your own, you will learn a new useful skill.

To get a better idea of how much money you would spend, here is how much money you would need if you did it by yourself:

  • The first thing you need to remove corrosion is a terminal cleaning brush. The cleaning brush costs about $7 in most places
  • The second item you want to get is baking soda. Using baking soda will allow you to clean all the corrosion you find. And it costs about $12

And that’s all you need to get rid of corrosion. So, in total, you would spend $19. That is not a lot of money, considering that it will get you out of so much trouble in the future.

How to Prevent Battery Corrosion

So, one morning you’re about to show up to a meeting, and all of a sudden, the car won’t start. And when you open the hood, you realize that the battery terminal is severely corroded.

But what causes battery terminal corrosion? The battery of the car, at some point, begins to leak acid all over the terminal. Because of that, the battery gets corroded.

There are many reasons why the battery leaks acid over the terminal. It could be either abnormally cold temperatures or overcharging the battery.

But whatever the reason might be, we will teach quite a few tips to prevent battery leakage ever again.

01. Use the battery

We know it’s hard to wrap your head around this but, you need to use the battery more often.

If you don’t use the battery for a long time, chances are the battery will malfunction. And the battery acid could leak.

If you don’t plan on using your car for several months, we recommend getting a battery tender. An excellent way to keep the battery healthy for as long as possible is by using a battery tender.

A battery tender keeps the battery safe and healthy without overcharging it. All you need to do is remove the battery from the car.

After that, hook it up to the battery and then put it back in the car when you need to use it. By doing this, you will not get overcharged, nor will it get corroded over time.

02. Keep the terminals clean

If you want to stop the battery from getting corroded in the first place, you need to keep both the negative and positive terminals clean.

If you have a loose terminal, or corrosion grows on top of it, you will have a resistant problem. So, what are some of the best battery terminal corrosion prevention methods?

A great way to remove corrosion from the terminal is to scrap it off of the terminal.  By doing so, you will prevent it from ruining the battery.

After that, you can use an electrical spray cleaner. Using a spray will allow you to clean off most electrical problems you could run into when cleaning a corroded battery.

And once it has dried up, you can use a battery spray terminal protector. This way, you will not have to worry about corrosion ever again.

03. Check up on the alternator

Another excellent way to prevent corrosion is to check if the alternator is working as it is supposed. If you have a damaged alternator on the vehicle, it will cause the battery to malfunction.

And eventually, the battery will wear out as it is not supposed to work under such conditions.

In the worst-case scenario, if the alternator went bad, it would burn down the battery.

04. Acid Levels

To prevent corrosion on the battery: always check the battery acid levels. To do this, here is what you need to do:

  • Pop the top off and take a good look inside the battery
  • If you can see the acid levels, then the battery is fine
  • However, if you see the plates, you need to pour in distilled water. Otherwise, the battery will get corroded

So, make sure to check the acid levels every so often. If you do this, you can prevent corrosion from getting worse.

DIY Guide: How to Clean Battery Corrosion Off the Vehicle

Running into battery corrosion is quite common. So, do not feel bad about it. But what causes car battery corrosion on the positive terminal? Battery corrosion is caused by acid leakage all over the terminals.

The acid liquid spreads all over both the positive and negative terminal, which causes the battery to perform poorly.

But don’t worry! In this guide, we will go over the steps you need to get rid of the corrosion.

01. What you will need

Before we move any further, you need to gather a few tools to complete the tutorial. To get rid of battery corrosion, here is what you need to have:

  • A socket—we will use the socket to unscrew the power wire
  • A terminal cleaning brush—this tool will allow us to remove the corrosion inside the terminals
  • Gloves—you will need gloves when cleaning chemical processes as they are harmful to the skin
  • Safety glasses—get glasses to protect your eyes. If corrosion gets in your eyes, things could get pretty bad for you
  • Baking soda—using baking soda will allow us to clean the chemical change on the battery
  • Water—get a cup of water to mix it with the baking soda

Once you gather all those things, you are ready to continue with the rest of the tutorial.

02. Take off the terminals

The first thing you want to do to clean the corrosion is to take off the terminals. But before you go and take off the terminals on your own, here is what you need to know:

  • Get the socket and remove the screws from the terminals
  • Start off by taking off the negative side first. You don’t want to take off the positive side first—even if it just for cleaning the battery
  • And when you need to put them back on, start by putting back on the positive side and then the negative side

If you do this correctly, the battery will not get damaged. So, make sure you read the steps from top to bottom if you want to protect the battery.

Here is a video you can watch to take off the terminals:

03. Mix The Baking Soda

To clean battery terminal corrosion: you need to mix baking soda with water inside a cup. Using baking soda will allow you to remove any rust that you find on top of the battery.

To do this, here is what you need to do:

  • Put on your gloves before removing the corrosion on the car
  • Get a cup and then fill it up with water. Alternatively, you can use a container if you don’t like using a cup
  • After that, pour in a little bit of baking soda inside the vessel
  • Make sure to stir the solution up if you want to get rid of all the corrosion. This formula will allow us to neutralize the corrosion. So, make sure to give it a good stir
  • Now get a power towel and dampen it in the formula
  • From there, you want to rub the rag back and forth on the oxidation to clean it off
  • If the current solvent is not enough—carefully add more baking soda inside the container
  • Keep rubbing against the surface until the corrosion is gone
  • You might need to apply more pressure if you’re having a hard time removing the deterioration from the surface
  • Now you want to get a dry rag and clean any residue you find

Make sure to use a container for the solvent. You do not want to pour the baking soda over the battery. It will cause a mess, and the solvent could leak into the acid.

04. Clean The Terminals

So far, we have only removed the corrosion from the battery, but there is still some left inside the terminals.

Removing corrosion on positive battery terminal is quite simple, and all you need is a terminal cleaning brush.

To get rid of the rest of the corrosion inside the terminal, here is what you need to do:

  • First of all, you need to get the tool and stick it on top of the terminal
  • From there, you want to twist the cleaning brush around the terminal. By doing this, you will remove the corrosion left
  • Keep spinning the cleaning brush around the terminal for better results.
  • Do not apply too much pressure. All you need to do is twist it around, and the rust will begin to come off as you move it
  • After that, lift it up and remove any corrosion inside the tool by hitting it against any surface
  • Now put it back on to remove any residue inside the terminal
  • After that, you want to repeat the same process as before on the other terminal
  • Now that you have removed the corrosion on both the negative and the positive terminal. You need to wet a rag to remove the residue
  • Make sure the rag is not leaking water to prevent the water from getting inside the acid liquids

And now you have a clean and healthy battery. If you need help for the final step, here is an excellent video you can watch:

05. Put everything back on

Once you have eliminated the car battery terminal corrosion using baking soda, you need to put both the positive terminal and the negative terminal back on.

But before you try to connect the terminals without reading the steps down below, you must know a few things. To connect the terminals in the right order, here is what you need to do:

  • Start by putting the positive terminal first. Do not put the negative side first
  • Once you do that, you can put the negative terminal back on. By doing this, the battery will not get damaged
  • And now you have a perfectly working battery

And that is all you need to get the battery in perfect shape. The process behind cleaning a corroded battery is pretty is straightforward. You don’t need an engineering degree to perform any of these steps.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Welcome to the FAQS section. In this section, you will find common questions about corrosion on the battery and useful knowledge that will come in handy in the future.

01. What dissolves corrosion on battery terminals?

Here is how to clean battery terminal corrosion:

  • To dissolve the corrosion on the vehicle, you need both baking soda and water
  • Mix water with the baking soda inside a container
  • After that, apply it to the area you want to clean
  • Keep doing this until you get a nice and clean surface

02. Is corrosion a sign of a bad battery?

Yes, it is an early sign of a bad battery. If you don’t take care of it now, the battery will stop working. And in the worst-case scenario, the corrosion will burn down the battery.

03. Can you use vinegar to clean battery terminals?

Yes, you can use vinegar to clean the battery terminals. To do this, here is what you need to do:

  • Fill up a container with water
  • Now mix the water with the vinegar
  • After that, you need to dampen a rag with the solution
  • Now scrub the rag on the surface you want to clean
  • You need to keep doing this process until there is no residue left

04. How to clean corrosion off battery terminals?

You can use coke to get rid of corrosion. It works just like baking soda. To do this here, are the steps to follow:

  • Pour some coke over the corroded area
  • Make sure it does not leak get into the battery
  • The coke will slowly eat up the corrosion

Conclusion

Did you learn how to battery terminal corrosion? We hope that you can now get rid of the corrosion you find on the battery.

As you already know by now, getting rid of corrosion is super easy and barely takes any time. And if you get rid of it now, you will not have to worry about it in the future.

But if you do not clean it now, it will get pretty bad soon. And you will have to spend a lot of money to fix a corroded battery.

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