How to Clean A Corroded Car Battery
How exactly to clean a corroded car battery can be a real annoyance for most of us that aren’t professional mechanics. Most folks that don’t have the knowledge to clean a car battery will just head out and buy a new one. But if you do want to try and clean it yourself, it can be pretty difficult to even work out where to begin. With that in mind, we’ve created this handy guide to show you a few methods to get the corrosion off your car battery fast and easy.
In the list below we’ve picked out the easiest and most natural ways to rid your car battery of corrosion.
Using Baking Soda To Clean A Corroded Car Battery
Baking soda applied on the battery terminals can work well for this task. The first thing you want to do is make sure that the car is turned off. This way you’ll be less likely to ground the cables.
Next, you’ll want to determine the battery configuration. You may need an 8 mm or 10 mm wrench to loosen the cable nuts.
Loosen the nut on the negative cable clam first. Now you should examine the battery and see if there are any cracks. These cracks may point to acid leaks. If you see cracks and there is acid leaking, you will need to replace the battery as fast as possible. And while there, you should also consider checking the battery cables and clamps to see if there are any tears. Usually, if there’s a large rip, you will have to replace these parts as fast as possible also.
Once you performed the check and saw that there’s no issue aside from the terminal corrosion, you should mix some baking soda with a bit of hot water. Dip an old toothbrush in this mixture and then scrub it at the top of the battery. If needs be, you can also dip the ends of your battery cables into the solution. This will help dissolve most of the corrosion in a natural way. It’s a very helpful trick and one that works very well and provides desired results.
You should also use the toothbrush to quickly scour the battery posts and clamps. Make sure that you always soak your brush bit by bit in the baking soda solution. Work with a little liquid at a time and be careful not to drench any battery parts.
After you complete the process, you will need to rinse the battery as well as the cables with some cool water. The idea is to wash away the corrosion and baking soda. You want to leave the clamps and battery as a whole very clean and dry. Use a clean cloth to finish drying it all off.
It’s important to make sure that you lubricate the metal that was exposed to corrosion. For quick and easy lubrication you can apply some petroleum jelly to exposed metal. Complete each step carefully and keep in mind that you need to clean everything and leave it to dry completely.
In the end, you will need to reattach the positive cable and then the negative one. This will complete the cleaning process for your corroded battery. Make sure that you dry everything adequately and avoid leaving anything moist. This method of cleaning is very effective and one that professionals often use.
Using Cola To Clean A Corroded Car Battery
This is another interesting method that you can use. However, this shouldn’t be your go-to cleaning method, even if it works. It will just give you some help in case you need an emergency solution.
You’ll need to put some gloves on and grab a wrench, then use the wrench to loosen each terminal. With this method you don’t need to remove the cables. Instead, they just need to be loosened a little bit.
Next, you will need to pour some Cola over the battery. Make sure that you pour Cola from the center and then go outward. You should do this in a single direction. Once you complete the pouring in this way, repeat by going in the opposite direction.
It’s important to make sure that you leave the Cola soak for a few minutes. 2 minutes should do the trick. Then rinse with a bit of water. You will have to tighten the terminals once that is done, then you will be okay to restart the car if you need to. This method of cleaning the corrosion off your battery is proven to work well. But if we had to choose, we would go with the baking soda method.
Using Professional Supplies To Clean A Corroded Car Battery
Although baking soda or Cola may work well and be a cheap and easy fix, the reality is that there are situations when you need higher quality products. Using professional grade supplies is probably the safest and most effective way to get rid of battery corrosion – though not the cheapest. Battery cleaning sprays and dedicated equipment will get the job done very fast but at a higher cost to you.
To continue with this method, you need to have a battery cleaner spray, a battery terminal brush as well as a protective spray or grease. You will also need a little water to complete the job.
The first thing you may need to do is to spray the cable ends. Using a spray is a lot easier. Do keep in mind that you have to disconnect the cables and you should also spray the terminals. The nice thing here is that the spray will neutralize the corrosion and acid. Most sprays also have a dye in them and this will help boost the efficiency of the anti-corrosion process.
You will need to let the cables soak for a few minutes in the spray compound. This will give time for the corrosion to wear off. Here you’ll notice the rust and color disappearing. Spray again, but this time try to use the cleaner spray. If the color changes slightly or if it doesn’t change at all, then the acid will be neutralized, and the process will be complete.
Lastly, you want to rinse with water, and that’s it. You will need to make sure that all the cleaner spray is removed from the battery before you dry it off. And while there, check the surrounding areas to make sure that you remove any compounds from there too. After all, you don’t want any cleaning spray on any other car component, so try to keep that in mind.
You will want to use a battery brush to clean the battery posts. This will be very important because the stiff wire bristles will remove any terminal corrosion. It’s a good idea to use battery protector spray in order to complete the process. Alternatively, you can also use a bit of petroleum jelly on the terminals if you have it handy.
Are These Methods Safe?
Yes, these cleaning methods are known for being very safe. They do a very good job at helping you clean in a professional manner, and the quality that you receive as a whole is very good. That’s why you may want to check these out, as you do receive an incredible result and the value can indeed be very well worth it. So, take your time, study all the safety information and then proceed as instructed.
Each of the above methods will fully clean the corrosion off your car battery. If you can afford the professional grade supplies to do the job – then we suggest you use that method. If you love to save a few dollars where ever possible, then the baking soda method will work just fine. And if you find yourself in a mad hurry to get your car battery clean, then the cola method is a quick process that will get you sorted.
Whichever cleaning method you use it has got to be better than forking out for a new battery when you really don’t need to.
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