Car battery

How to Clean Corroded Car Battery Terminals

How to clean corroded car battery terminals
Written by Autofot
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 Car battery terminals are essential; without proper care, your car’s battery would be damaged. To that, there are simple ways you can avoid waiting till it finally breaks down. This article shall guide you on how to clean corroded car battery terminals; how to revive one that is already damaged, and tips for maintenance.

How to clean corroded car battery terminals

A car battery is an essential component of a vehicle. It provides the power needed to start the engine, and for it to work efficiently, it needs to be clean. If not, corrosion may form on the terminals. This can lead to a car’s battery failing. To clean corrosion off car batteries, you need baking soda and water, which should be mixed. The mixture should then be rubbed on the car battery’s terminals with a toothbrush. After you have cleaned off all of the corrosion, dry everything off with a towel and apply petroleum jelly to the terminals.

Steps on how to clean a corroded car battery

1. Remove the battery’s negative terminal with a wrench or hex key and set it aside, then remove the positive terminal similarly.

2. Pour baking soda on the corroded terminals and scrub them with a brush or toothbrush. The baking soda will clean the corrosion off, leaving you with shiny metal surfaces.

3. Rinse the terminal thoroughly to remove the baking soda and let them dry.

4. Put the terminals back on the battery, reconnecting them to their respective cables in reverse order from how you removed them (positive terminal first).

5. Reinstall the battery in your car and start it up, then let it idle for a few minutes to ensure everything is working correctly.

6. Clean off any baking soda that may have spilled on the engine compartment.

7. Reattach any ground cables that you disconnected to get at the battery, and wipe off any grease or grime from your hands with a rag or paper towel.

8. Drive your car for a few days or weeks to check the corrosion on the terminals again, and if it’s still there, repeat steps 1 through 7 until you’re satisfied with the result.

How to prevent corrosion on car battery terminals?

Corrosion on your car’s battery’s terminals can be a nuisance. But there are some things you can do to prevent it from happening or at least slow its progress.

1. First, you should ensure your battery is kept clean. This means cleaning the terminals and brushing off any dirt or grime from around them, so they don’t come in contact with the terminals. You should also ensure that your battery is always well ventilated, especially if it’s in a place with a lot of moisture or water vapor in the air.

2. If you live in an area where the temperature is boiling, you should ensure that your battery has plenty of ventilation, so it doesn’t overheat and damage its plates. You can also install a fan to help keep the battery cool.

3. Lastly, you should always disconnect your battery from the rest of your car’s electrical system when it’s not used for an extended period. This will help prevent corrosion from forming on the terminals. If your battery is corroded, you should take it to a professional if you can’t clean it for a small fee. 

What causes corrosion on car battery terminals?

A sulfuric acid buildup usually causes corrosion on car battery terminals. This happens when the battery isn’t used for an extended period, and all its power has been drained. The acid starts to evaporate and can build up on the terminals. This is why you should always disconnect your battery from the rest of your car’s electrical system when it’s not in use for an extended period.

Alternatives to Baking Soda for cleaning corroded car battery terminals

How to clean battery terminals with vinegar

You’ll need to mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with a gallon of water. Next, pour the mixture into a bucket and use an old toothbrush or steel wool pad to scrub the terminals. Next, rinse off the battery with water and dry it thoroughly. Do this monthly to prevent corrosion buildup on your vehicle’s battery terminals. This will also extend the life of your battery and prevent you from having to replace it more often than necessary.

How do you clean battery corrosion with Coca-Cola?

You can also use Coca-Cola to clean corrosion from your vehicle’s battery terminals. The coca-cola contains phosphoric acid that helps remove the corrosion from the battery terminals.

To clean your vehicle’s battery terminal with coca-cola, pour about a cup of the soda into a small bowl and dip an old toothbrush or steel wool pad into the soda. Scrub the terminals with this mixture to remove the corrosion buildup and rinse any residue.

How often should you clean battery terminals?

You should clean your vehicle’s battery terminals once a month if you drive your vehicle often. If you don’t drive your car very often, clean the terminals every 3 to 4 weeks or once a year at most. If your vehicle is having trouble starting, that could be a sign you need to clean the battery terminals. Another telltale sign is if the engine cranks slowly or

If your car battery terminal is dirty, it can lead to a poor connection and cause your car battery to wear out quicker. If you don’t clean the terminals on your vehicle’s battery, it can cause corrosion, damage electrical components in your car, or even cause a fire. Simply washing with baking soda, water, and a toothbrush will do the trick.

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About the author


Autofot is a website that blogs on the importance of taking good care of our automobiles. Little things that are ignored matter the most, hence we try to educate car owners and other different auto owners on how to go about taking care of their cars with little or no cost.

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