Posted on July 20, 2018
How To Keep Battery Terminals free from Corrosion
Many of our customers in Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga ask about regular maintenance tasks they can do themselves. It’s a great way to protect your investment and the optimal functioning of your vehicle in the GTA, where every moment of your daily drive counts. Strangely enough, an often-neglected aspect of car maintenance is the battery, a vital mechanism on any car, truck or SUV. But for those of you who aren’t self-identified mechanics, you may ask: How do you maintain a battery? What am I looking for? Corrosion. Following these proper steps and safety measures, battery maintenance can be a DIY item on your vehicle maintenance checklist.
- Always wear gloves and safety glasses. You do NOT want battery acid on your skin, car or clothing.
- Disconnect the battery. First, always start with the negative cable. Secure each of the cables so that they cannot come into contact with the battery at any point during the cleaning process.
- Natural cleaner: make a paste with baking soda and water. Use an old toothbrush to apply the paste and scrub those terminals and cables clean. We know you have your gloves on for this, right? An alternative to baking soda paste is Coke. Yes, to clean battery terminals. Whichever cleaning solution you opt for, follow up with a wire brush to clean the more stubborn bits of corrosion.
- Common sense moment: Electrical connections do not like water. Rinse away the cleaner very thoroughly, but do take care not to splash water on other parts of the battery. Take a few moments to completely dry the battery with a clean rag.
- Reconnect the cables: in the reverse of the step above, start with the positive first, then the negative cable. Take your time and secure them properly. Poorly connected battery cables introduce new operational problems.
- Spray the now-sparkling battery terminal with a reputable protectant to prevent future corrosion.
- What should I do if the battery corrosion on my vehicle is really advanced?
- Sometimes the corrosion is so far along that it will necessary to replace the terminals on the cables or the actual cables themselves. Your mechanic in our service department is the person to reach out to.
- Take-away: A properly maintained battery and cables will last quite a long time. Take a look at your vehicle’s battery on a regular basis to check the terminals for corrosive buildup and deal with it immediately. You’re protecting your ride, yourself and your passengers.