Car Battery Corrosion: Causes, Removal and Prevention
One of the main causes of declining battery life and performance is car battery corrosion. Build up corrosion can prevent your vehicle from starting and can lead to a number of issues, including damage to the electrical wiring, and the vehicle’s air conditioning system.
Thankfully, car battery corrosion is easy to spot. Usually, a white, green, or blue-tinged covering around your vehicle’s battery posts, battery terminals, or battery cables indicates corrosion.
However, corrosion can take on different colours depending on the type of chemical reactions that have taken place. Corrosion buildup, no matter how small, is usually harmless, but it can have severe consequences if not treated.
Causes of Car Battery Corrosion
Here are the most common causes of car battery corrosion.
- When vented hydrogen circulates around the engine compartments, it can cause corrosion.
- The battery is leaking electrolyte solution
- The car battery is overfilled
- Your batteries are too old and need to be replaced
- Overcharging batteries lead to recurring corrosion
- Chemical reaction over copper clamps
- Long exposure to heat can affect car battery adversely
How to Remove Car Battery Corrosion
It is advisable to take your vehicle to a mechanic for corrosion removal and further battery maintenance. However, if the corrosion isn’t too bad and you have previous experience of fixing your car’s battery, you may proceed with the DIY.
First of all, make sure you have all the required equipment.
- Cleaning solution – battery cleaner, baking soda, etc.
- Wrench for detaching battery cables
- Battery brush for scrubbing
- Gloves or rags
STEP 1: Inspect the battery for signs of swelling or bloating. If you detect those issues, it may not be the best idea to continue with this DIY. You might need to replace the car battery.
STEP 2: Turn off the car ignition and detach battery cables. Make sure you detach each cable sequentially to avoid hazards. Remove the black cable (negative) from the negative terminal. Detach the positive cable from the positive terminal having plus sign.
In case the terminal of your car’s battery is badly corroded and stuck, apply the terminal cleaner instead of breaking the terminal.
Clean car battery corrosion. There are several solutions that will help loosen the build-up.
- Apply baking soda solution. A chemical reaction is triggered when the baking soda solution is applied.
- Place a paper towel or tissue paper soaked in baking soda solution on the battery terminal.
- Additionally, a corroded battery clamp can be soaked in the baking soda solution for a few minutes.
- Scrub after about 20 minutes
- Battery terminal cleaner: You can apply a terminal cleaner to neutralize the battery acid on top of the terminal.
- Carbonated drinks Fizzy drinks can also loosen the corrosion. But make sure it doesn’t touch any other parts of your engines.
STEP 4: Now that the corrosion has loosened up, use a battery brush to scrub the car battery. You may also use old and discarded toothbrushes.
STEP 5: Rinse the surface of your car’s battery well so the corrosion comes off smoothly. Let it dry until you use it back again. Rinse and dry
STEP 6: Now that the corrosion is removed, reconnect the battery back into its place.
Ways to Prevent Battery Corrosion
Here are some ways that will help you to prevent car battery corrosion.
- Protective grease coating : Apply silicone-based protective grease on your battery to prevent them from corrosion.
- Felt battery washers: Place felt battery washers on top of battery terminals. They will absorb the vapor released at the battery post and seal out acid fumes coming from terminals.
- Maintain a regular inspection schedule: Routinely vehicle inspection ensures that your car battery is regularly maintained and inspected.
Long-term Effects of Battery Corrosion
If left unchecked, corrosion can affect the lifespan of car batteries. It can also interfere with the electric current flow between the battery and engine resulting in car battery drain.
In other words, a corroded battery terminal can prevent your car from starting normally. A poorly performing battery can also damage other electrical components, such as the air conditioner, or even the vehicle’s computer system.
That is all you need to know about car battery corrosion and how to prevent it. Keep an eye on corrosion and replace it if the damage has seeped into batteries. There are a variety of used car batteries available in the UAE online.
For more information, updates and maintenance tips, stay tuned to the UAE’s top auto blog.