Steps to Remove Corrosion from Car Battery Terminals at Home
Is your vehicle having a hard time starting up? When you opened your hood, did you notice a flaky substance on your car battery terminals that are blue or white in color? This substance is called corrosion and forms due to chemicals from the battery oxidizing with the air. Not only is it not pretty to look at, but corrosion can also block electrical currents, causing electrical issues with your vehicle such as a difficult startup. In this case, you will need to remove that corrosion. Here’s how you can safely clean corrosion from a car battery.
[ READ MORE: Symptoms of a Failing Car Battery ]
Guide to Cleaning Car Battery Terminals Safely
- Park your car on level ground and turn off your engine. Then, allow it to cool before opening the hood. This is to keep you safe!
- Use a wrench to disconnect the negative battery terminal. Disconnecting the negative side first will help prevent a short from occurring. Mind your wrench, as you wouldn’t want to get shocked due to the wrench coming in contact with the positive terminal as you do this.
- Disconnect the positive battery terminal. Like with the negative side, watch where your wrench moves.
- Check for damage on the battery. If you notice dents, cracks, or warping, cleaning the corrosion might not help and you should start shopping for a new car battery. Proceed to step 5 if the battery looks fine.
- Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of hot water. Stir until the baking soda is fully dissolved. With an old toothbrush, dip the bristles into this solution and scrub at the corrosion. If the corrosion is too difficult to remove, it may be wise to buy a battery terminal cleaner brush.
- Dry the battery terminals. Remember, water and electricity don’t mix well!
- Reconnect the positive battery terminal first and the negative terminal second. The idea here is to reconnect the terminals in the opposite order than from when you disconnected to prevent the battery from short-circuiting. Don’t forget to watch your wrench!
- Start up the engine. If your vehicle starts up good, you should be good to go! Also, consider getting your battery tested so you know if it will need to be replaced soon. If your vehicle does not start up properly, your battery is likely dead and will need a replacement.
If you aren’t comfortable with cleaning the corrosion off your battery or you think your vehicle may need a new one, our team at Radley Acura will be happy to help! Schedule a service appointment with us online and we will take a look for you. If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to reach out.