Steps to Follow When Cleaning Your Car Battery Terminals

Posted on: 20 October 2017

The function of car batteries is supplying the requisite current to your car's ignition system to introduce cranking thereby starting your engine. Batteries are high on the list of auto servicing requirements, without which you'll experience terminal corrosion among other problems. Terminal corrosions are as a result of hydrogen gas from the battery's acid escaping where the terminals meet the case. The gas then mixes with atmospheric components to form corrosion. Excessive build-up of corrosion on the car's terminals would cause poor performance of your battery. 

To avoid your car from acting up due to low current supply, you need to know how to remove any residue on the terminals and connection points of your battery. Here's how to clean your battery terminals: 

Disconnect your battery from the power outlet.

Your battery is connected to the car using two clamps. It is advisable to loosen the negative clamp first followed by the positive clamp. This will protect your sensitive electronic components from damage and any static sparkling. Excessive corrosion will require you to use pliers to avoid getting to contact with the corrosion. You need to be gentle and patient while disconnecting the clamps from your battery as excess pressure would break them. If they are loose enough, safely secure them from contacting the battery or any other electrical components.

Visually inspect your battery.

Inspecting your clamps, cables, terminals and battery will help you identify any damages and the extent of corrosion on the components. Corrosion is likely to extend to the inside of the cables. If there are powdery residue on the connection points may alert you to corrosion with your cable. Also, check for any signs of damage and warping on the casing of your battery. If you notice any of the issues with the cables and the battery, perhaps it's time to consider replacing your cables and battery. 

Choose your cleaning agent and removing the corrosion.

Use baking soda as your cleaning agent because it works effectively and it's readily available. Make a solution of the baking soda with water and gently stir to form a paste. Apply the solution on both terminals. The solution will react with the corrosion to produce a sizzling sound. The baking soda will help you neutralise the sulphuric acid to avoid any damages and environmental harm. Use a soft brush to get rid of the remaining residue. Afterwards, rinse the terminals using water to remove any dregs that may have remained.

Finally, connect your battery back to its position in the car. Connect the positive clamp first followed by the negative clamp. Don't hesitate to clean any residue that you may spot while reconnecting your battery. Remember, a tidy connection will enable maximum conductivity of current, making your battery work effectively.