Most drivers won’t notice car battery corrosion until it’s too late and their car won’t start. If you take a look at your battery terminals, you may see a white or green powdery substance. This is corrosion and it can damage your car battery and prevent it from starting your engine, as well as electrical problems.
Battery corrosion is a common problem in cars. The corrosion is caused by the battery acid (sulfuric acid) in the battery breaking down the metal. If you have battery corrosion, it’s important to clean it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the corrosion can spread and cause more serious problems.
Generally, there are two ways you can clean corrosion off of your battery terminals. You can use a commercial battery cleaning agent, or baking soda with water. The following are the steps of how to clean car battery corrosion.
Table of Contents
- Step 1: Ensure That Your Car Had Been Turned Off
- Step 2: Remove the Connecting Cables, Black (Negative One) first, Then Red (Positive One)
- Step 3: Using a Wire Brush to Scrub the Corroded Area to Check for Any Damages
- Step 4: Clean off the Corroded Area of the Battery With a Cleaning Agent or Baking Soda and Water
- Step 5: Attach the Cables in the Reverse Order
- Step 6: Check for Any More Corrosion and Repeat the Process if Needed
- Final Thought
Step 1: Ensure That Your Car Had Been Turned Off
The first step is to make sure that your car has been turned off. You don’t want to be working with any live electrical components. This step is to ensure the safety of you and your car.
Step 2: Remove the Connecting Cables, Black (Negative One) first, Then Red (Positive One)
The next step is to remove the connecting cables from the battery. You’ll want to start with the black, or negative cable. This is because if you accidentally touch the red, or positive cable to the metal of the car, it could cause a spark. Which will lead to an explosion if there’s any build-up of hydrogen gas around the battery.
After you’ve removed the black cable, you can remove the red cable.
Step 3: Using a Wire Brush to Scrub the Corroded Area to Check for Any Damages
The next step is to use a wire brush to scrub the corroded area. This will help to remove any build-up of corrosion. It will also help you to check for any damage to the battery terminal, as well as the body of the battery. If there are any cracks or leaks, you’ll want to replace the battery/terminal before proceeding.
Step 4: Clean off the Corroded Area of the Battery With a Cleaning Agent or Baking Soda and Water
Method #1 – Using a Battery Cleaning Agent
Spray the battery cleaning agent on the battery until the corrosion is gone. Then wear thick rubber gloves to protect your hands, and use a wire brush to scrub off the corrosion.
Method #2 – Using Baking Soda and Water
This is a more common method, as most people have baking soda in their homes. First, mix together one tablespoon of baking soda with two cups of water. Then use a cloth to apply the mixture to the corroded areas to neutralize the battery acid and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then clean and dry the area with a cloth.
Step 5: Attach the Cables in the Reverse Order
After you’ve cleaned and dried the area, it’s time to attach the cables in the reverse order. So, start with the red cable. And then finish with the black cable. Be sure to snug the cables down, but don’t over tighten them.
Step 6: Check for Any More Corrosion and Repeat the Process if Needed
Once you’ve replaced the cables, it’s a good idea to check for any more corrosion. This is especially true if you see any greenish-white powder around the battery terminals. If you do see more corrosion, simply repeat the process until the area is clean.
Cleaning a corroded battery terminal is a relatively easy process. However, it’s important to be careful when working with any type of battery acid. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, then take your car to a professional mechanic. They’ll be able to clean the terminals and check for any other damage.