Ultimate Guide To Clean And Remove Car Battery Corrosion Apr 17, 2016
Step-by-step guide on how to clean battery corrosion.
What Is Car Battery Corrosion?
Battery terminal corrosion is easy to identify. It’s the white, green or bluish stuff on your vehicles battery posts, battery terminals or battery cables. The white substance which you see around battery terminals is either lead sulfate or anhydrous copper sulfate. Anhydrous copper sulfate changes to blue color when exposed to moisture. The bluish material which you see around corroded battery terminals is hydrated copper sulfate and typically experience with copper connectors.Battery corrosion is a poor conductor of electricity, as it increases resistance within the circuit. As a result, the increased resistance can lead to transient current flow, which typically leads to your car not starting.
What Causes Car Battery Corrosion?
Battery corrosion is caused by hydrogen gas being released from the sulfuric acid inside the battery. As the gasses react to the ambient atmosphere, it begins to produce a corrosive environment. Other elements such as moisture and salts only accelerate the process. Typically, battery terminal corrosion occurs on the negative battery terminal, which is a symptom of undercharging the vehicles battery. The main culprit in undercharged batteries is that fact the alternator is not giving sufficient time to replenish lost battery capacity due the electrical load demand of the vehicle, and relatively short uses of the vehicle. If battery corrosion is present on the positive battery terminal, this is a symptom of overcharging.
How To Clean Battery Corrosion.
Step 1: Remove Battery Cables
Begin by removing the battery cables from the battery. Always start with the negative battery cable first, which is typically marked by the negative sign (-), its abbreviation (NEG), and/or black in color. Next remove the positive battery cable, which is typically marked by the positive sign (+), its abbreviation (POS), and/or red in color.
Step 2: Inspect Battery Cables
Inspect the battery cables for excess wear or battery corrosion. Look for dried, cracked, and peeling insulation. Insulation is the plastic or rubber cover on the cable. The copper stranding limits current flow and becomes brittle when exposed to the elements. Frayed battery cables is a common reason for a vehicle not starting. Replace the battery cable(s) if any damage is present.
Step 3: Remove And Neutralize Battery Corrosion
Spray a battery cleaning agent wherever battery corrosion is present on the battery or battery cables. Using a commercial-grade battery cleaner is important because it not only removes the battery corrosion but also neutralizes the battery acid. Many home remedies exist, but most do not clean, remove, and neutralize toxic battery acid, as well as, cause additional engine damage. In particular, never use coca-cola to remove battery corrosion. The synthetic sugars and phosphoric acid in coca-cola can cause further damage to your engine and surrounding components. Reapply if necessary. If you are unsure if the battery, and its connections are free from battery corrosion, you can use a battery cleaner with an acid notification agent.
Step 4: Dry And Polish Battery Posts And Battery Terminals
Dry the battery, battery posts and battery terminals on the battery cable once the battery corrosion is removed. A microfiber cleaning cloth is a great option. Remove additional residue with a battery terminal brush.
Step 5: Install Battery Terminal Protectors
Use battery terminal protectors (also known anti-corrosion pads) on each battery post, preferably one that is saturated in a battery corrosion preventative compound.
Step 6: Reconnect Battery Cables
Reconnect the battery cables but in reverse order from Step 1. In other words, reconnect the positive battery cable first, and the negative battery cable last.
Step 7: Apply Battery Corrosion Preventative
Use a battery corrosion preventative spray or brush-on compound, and provide a generous coating on the battery posts on the battery and battery terminals of the battery cable.