Now, despite all the ups and downs we experience driving our cars, at the end of the day, these hunk of metals are integral to our lives because they help us get to and from places in the most efficient way possible. Whether it’s going on a long road trip with your family or making a quick stop at the grocery store for some food, the car’s just an all-purpose friend to have around you and help you with all your responsibilities.
However, despite how helpful and useful cars can be, they’re also very prone to wear and tear, and one of the worst things to deal with is car battery corrosion that suddenly prevents your car from getting the juice it needs to start up. So, today we’ll be learning how you can clean car battery corrosion safely and efficiently from the comfort of home and even the stuff you already own.
Why is Car Battery Corrosion Bad?
Firstly, let’s understand why the presence of corrosion in the car battery is extremely bad. Although the battery cables and terminals serve the straightforward purpose of transferring and maintaining an electrical current, cutting this out will make your car lose all its power. Now, imagine that small and integral part being affected by something as dangerous as corrosion!
- Car Loses Power: Corrosion accumulates over time, and as it gets worse, your vehicle will start to consume more and more power because there’s too much electrical resistance in the battery cables and terminals. Corrosion causes inefficiency, and you’ll first notice this when the car has trouble starting up when you never had any issues before. A quick check under the hood will help determine the extent of the effects on the car battery.
- Damages Other Parts: Secondly, a corroded car battery doesn’t only mean you’ll face issues with the battery alone, but it can potentially damage other parts of the car as well. When that corrosion gets in-between places, it shouldn’t be; this could cause malfunctions and disrupt the overall engine environment under the hood. So, be vigilant and address these concerns quickly.
- Extremely Dangerous: Last but not least, corrosion is also extremely dangerous to get on the skin or anywhere on the body. It can cause itching, redness, discomfort, extreme pain, and even terrible burns. So, if you accidentally get any of that corrosion on you, don’t take the risk and get immediate medical attention to prevent any further complications.
Here’s What You Need To Do
Now that we’ve defined the extent and dangers of car battery corrosion, it’s time we straight into the things you need to do. Remember, while these tips are catered to doing them by yourself, feel free to ask for help from anyone more experienced. Also, don’t forget that there’s nothing wrong with getting professional car servicing.
Step 1: Disconnect and Diagnose
Step number one, you’ll need to disconnect the car battery cables, check for any damage, diagnose the condition of the car battery, and safely remove it from under the hood. You’ll want to have as much clearance and space to safely work on the car battery because we don’t want to risk damaging any other parts or put you in unnecessary danger.
- Avoid Getting Hurt: Before attempting to fix the car battery corrosion by yourself, ensure that you’re wearing the necessary protective equipment to keep you from getting hurt. The purpose of getting the car battery out is to give you more than enough space to move around and manipulate the car battery in the safest way possible.
- Look for Wear and Tear: Check for any serious damage caused by wear and tear as you diagnose the condition of the car battery. If you see any severe peeling, cracking, fraying, or splintering that’s beyond your skill, don’t take the risk of damaging a perfectly good car battery. Clean it up and leave it to the professionals.
Step 2: Remove Corrosion and Apply Cleaning Agent
Step number two, it’s time to remove the corrosion and apply the cleaning agent. You can quickly tell what the corrosion looks like because it has a distinct white-bluish color and is powder-like. Ensure that you apply a cleaning agent generously and leave no spots unchecked. Avoid getting the cleaning agent on other parts of the car to avoid unnecessary problems.
- Commercial Cleaning Products: If you’re near an auto shop, you’ll find plenty of commercial cleaning products that work best to remove car battery corrosion. Ensure that you follow the specific steps and guidelines printed on the product because mixtures can vary from brand to brand. You can also choose to order them online.
- Baking Soda Method: If you need a quick fix and can’t afford to visit the auto shop, you can also use the baking soda method in cleaning your car battery. All you need is water and baking soda solution, then get a good ol’ toothbrush to start scrubbing all that harmful substance away. Of course, don’t expect it to be just as effective as commercial cleaning products, so only use this as a temporary fix.
Step 3: Rinse and Dry Battery Terminals
Step number three, you’ll need a bristled brush to scrub all of that corrosive material off the car battery terminals and cables and make it look brand new. Typically, these things tend to come off easily, but if it’s been accumulating for over a long time now, put in a bit of elbow grease to get rid of those annoying clumps. Afterward, rinse it all with some clean running water and dry it completely.
- Be Thorough: Although it would take an extreme amount of cleaning agent residue to pose a problem, please remember to be thorough with rinsing and drying off the car battery. It’s much better to be safe than to take any chances of being wrong, plus there’s no telling what will happen if that residue lands on the other car parts.
- Be Safe: We can’t stress enough the importance of being safe. Despite having all the corrosive material rinsed off, there are some ingredients in cleaning agents that people’s skin doesn’t normally react to too well. So, always observe caution throughout the whole process.
Step 4: Take Preventive Measures
Lastly, before you put the car battery back inside and start your daily driver back up, we strongly recommend taking preventive measures to ensure that your car battery remains in top shape and good condition. Although not necessary, this will help reduce the effects of wear and tear and slow down the damage incurred over time. Plus, most corrosion prevention products are generally inexpensive too.
- Corrosion Preventive Spray: We prefer corrosion preventive sprays because they’re easy to apply and accessible in most retail auto shops. A quick scan through the aisles, and you’ll find it within minutes. Still, be generous with your coating, and you’re good to go.
- Anti-Corrosion Pads: Of course, if corrosion preventive sprays aren’t able, you can also try looking for anti-corrosion pads. These little guys are also known as battery terminal protectors and are coated with some really effective corrosion preventive compounds. If these aren’t available, petroleum jelly works as well.
Give Your Car The Care It Deserves
Overall, after all the stuff your car helps you out with, give it the care it deserves, and you’ll be increasing its useful lifespan. With a simple 20-30 minutes, you can easily do away with the battery corrosion that’s messing with your daily driver. As a last note, don’t shy away from car servicing if the car battery corrosion is far more serious than expected!