Car Battery Corrosion: Your Best Course of Action

Car Battery Corrosion: Your Best Course of Action

Understanding the Dangers of Corrosion on Car Battery Terminals and What to Do.

A little stick-to-it-ness can pay off in big ways. For example,  The Junior League of Wichita has completed a mission it started last year to raise $2 million for an outdoor expansion at Exploration Place. And that’s a win for our Wichita community. So, it seems that keeping on track and doing your best pays off in a big way; this goes for basic vehicle maintenance tasks, as well. And, a common yet often overlooked issue that you may find when doing maintenance is the corrosion of battery terminals.

Corrosion can significantly impact your vehicle’s performance and longevity. So, in this blog, the experts at Tracy’s Automotive and Tire Pros in Downtown Wichita look into the dangers of battery terminal corrosion. And then provide practical tips on how to prevent and address it.

The Dangers of Battery Terminal Corrosion

  1. Reduced Electrical Conductivity: Corrosion on battery terminals acts as an insulator, reducing the conductivity between the battery and the electrical system of the vehicle. And this can lead to a range of issues, from difficulty starting the engine to erratic electrical performance.
  2. Starting Problems: One of the most immediate and noticeable effects of corrosion is difficulty in starting your vehicle. Because, the corroded terminals can cause poor connection, leading to insufficient power reaching the starter motor.
  3. Alternator Overload: When the connection between the battery and the car’s electrical system is compromised, the alternator has to work harder to compensate. And this added strain can lead to premature alternator failure, an expensive and inconvenient problem.
  4. Battery Drain: Corrosion can create a parasitic drain on the battery. And even when the vehicle is off, the corroded terminals might allow a small amount of current to flow, gradually discharging the battery over time.
  5. Reduced Battery Lifespan: Prolonged exposure to corrosion can damage the battery itself, reducing its overall lifespan and necessitating early replacement.

Identifying Corrosion

Corrosion typically appears as a white, ashy substance around the battery terminals. Or, it can manifest as greenish or bluish deposits if copper connectors are present. And, regularly inspecting your battery for these signs is crucial for early detection and intervention.

Preventing and Addressing Corrosion

Prevention Tips

  1. Regular Inspection: Check your battery terminals every few months for signs of corrosion. Because, this allows you to catch and address the issue early before it becomes a significant problem.
  2. Use Anti-Corrosion Sprays: There are specially formulated sprays available that can help prevent corrosion. And applying these to your battery terminals can create a protective barrier against the elements.
  3. Grease the Terminals: Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or dielectric grease on the terminals after cleaning. Because this can prevent corrosion by keeping moisture and air away from the metal.
  4. Ensure Proper Ventilation: Ensure that the battery is properly ventilated. Because, overcharging can cause excessive gassing, which can lead to corrosion. And make sure your charging system is functioning correctly and not overcharging the battery.

Addressing Existing Corrosion

  1. Safety First: Before attempting to clean the battery terminals, ensure the vehicle is turned off, and the keys are removed. Also, wear gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from acid and debris.
  2. Remove the Cables: Disconnect the negative cable first (marked with a minus sign) and then the positive cable (marked with a plus sign). Because, this sequence helps prevent short circuits.
  3. Clean the Terminals: Mix a solution of baking soda and water (1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup of water). And then use an old toothbrush or a battery terminal cleaning brush to scrub the terminals and cable ends with this solution. Because, baking soda neutralizes the acidic corrosion deposits.
  4. Rinse and Dry: After scrubbing, rinse the terminals with water to remove any residual baking soda solution and dry thoroughly with a clean cloth.
  5. Reconnect the Cables: Reattach the positive cable first, followed by the negative cable. Ensure the connections are tight and secure.

Tracy’s Automotive | Wichita Car Battery | Wichita Auto Care

These Simple Steps Offed by Tracy’s Automotive and Tire Pros Can Help Keep Your Battery in Good Condition

Battery terminal corrosion is a common but manageable issue. In fact, regular maintenance and proactive measures will help prevent corrosion and extend the life of your battery. So stay vigilant and address corrosion promptly, and avoid the headaches and costs associated with more serious electrical problems down the road.

Tracy’s Tire Pros can help you take the best care of your vehicle. And they have three locations for your convenience:  West Maple Street auto care and auto repair, East First Street N. and West 21st Street N. Furthermore, Tracy’s Automotive is a proud dealer for Jasper Engines and Vogue Performance Exhaust systems.

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