Have you noticed a white, ashy substance on your battery terminals? Then it’s time to clean your car’s battery corrosion. Sometimes, especially with vehicles that aren’t used frequently, the battery terminals may oxidize. This means your car isn’t making a good connection to the battery, so you may have trouble starting your car, and the battery may also not be fully charging when you are driving. So, you need to clean it, but how?
Follow these easy steps:
- First, make sure your car is turned off for safety’s sake. You’ll be touching the battery, so it’s best to turn it off.
- Find the battery and remove the terminals. You’ll need a wrench to help you remove them. Remove the negative terminal first, then the positive one.
- Check for any damage to your battery. While you’re in there, you might as well make sure there’s no bulging, cracking or warping present on your battery. These are signs you may need to replace your battery.
- You’ll see a white substance on the terminals and inside the cable clamps.This is the material that needs to be removed. Now you’ll need a few materials: a toothbrush, water, baking soda, steel wool, a cloth or towel for drying, and petroleum jelly.
- Mix a very small amount of water with some of the baking soda in a lid or small dish. Then, use the toothbrush to apply the paste to the terminals and clamps. Scrub thoroughly until the white substance disappears. If necessary, you can make use of steel wool to help remove the corrosion. Pay special attention to the insides of the clamps in order to ensure that your battery connection will be the best possible.
- Dry everything off with a towel or cloth.
- Add some petroleum jelly to the terminals and the clamps. This will help prevent future corrosion.
- Reconnect the battery, connecting the positive terminal first, then the negative one.
If the corrosion is tough, you may want to let the paste of baking soda and water sit for a few minutes to work on dissolving the corrosion.
Some also report using coca cola instead of baking soda as a cleaning liquid. Basically, the carbonated water is what does the trick, which is like baking soda in water. The good news is that both items are commonly found in your kitchen or pantry, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one of the two to clean your battery corrosion.
To ensure a great battery life and optimal driving, you should check your battery regularly for corrosion and any other damage. Most batteries have a life of about 2.5 to 5 years. However, this depends on the use and whether your car is exposed to extreme temperatures as well as a number of other factors.
Now, grab your materials and go clean your car battery! You’ll notice a more robust start and improved battery charging.