Keeping Your Auto Battery Terminals Clean with the Columbia SC Auto Repair Pro

Corrosion on battery posts is one easy auto repair situation that, left uncorrected, will leave you standing still fast!  Even the smallest amount of residue is capable of preventing proper battery function. 

What does corrosion look like?

Battery connection corrosion is the gross, crusty, white matter that builds and grows around the battery posts.  When this corrosion is allowed to build up, it becomes harder and harder for your vehicle to keep a strong enough connection with the battery.  Get enough corrosion in there and you won’t even be able to start it up after a while.

How do I get rid of corrosion on my battery terminals?

To remove corrosion build up, you will first need to remove the battery cables from the posts.  Take a look at your battery terminal to see if you will need one or two wrenches to disconnect it.  Always start by removing the negative battery cable first.  This is very important: Always the negative first!

Beginning with the negative terminal, put one wrench on the nut on the outside, and another wrench on the other side if it is necessary.  You will want to turn the outside nut in a counterclockwise direction until there is about 1/16” of unscrewed space.  At this point, a little twist should get it free pretty easily.  If not, try using a flat head screwdriver inserted in the small gap above the bolt to softly pry the terminal open.  Be sure not to pry your terminal upward right off of the post or you could suffer severe damages to your auto and yourself.

Once the negative terminal is free, remove the other side as well.  After that, you should be able to easily access the battery and terminals to get them properly cleaned off.

What do I use to clean off battery terminal corrosion?

Depending on your situation, you have a couple of choices when it comes to choosing a solution to help break down the corrosion build up.  If you are headed to an auto parts store, there are a variety of corrosion removal fluids.  Which you choose is entirely up to you…most work pretty much the same.  Some kits may come with a brush for getting off really tough build up, but only you can look at your situation to determine which is right for you.

If you want to go with a DIY corrosion remover solution, try mixing some baking soda and water.  This is usually enough to do the trick and it basically what goes in the removal solutions you go purchase.

If you have broken down on the side of the road or find yourself in a pinch somewhere less than convenient to break down, some Coca-Cola poured over the terminals will usually get through it pretty well.  Of course this method leaves quite a sticky nasty mess behind, when worse comes to worse, it will do.

With the battery terminals both off, just put a little bit of the corrosion removal solution on the battery posts and the terminals.  You will likely see it start to foam a bit.  Let it sit and foam for a few minutes or so.  If you have a brush and the corrosion is significant, you may want to gently brush away any especially tough build-ups.  Rinse them off with water.  If your kit included little fuzzy anti-corrosion discs or if you purchased them separately, be sure you install them before replacing the terminals.  Simply slip the red disc over the positive post and the green disc over the negative one.  You can now replace your battery terminals, starting with the positive side first this time.  Make sure you have a good, tight connection and you are set to go!