corrosion-proofing battery terminals

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  #1  
Old 02-26-15, 09:37 AM
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corrosion-proofing battery terminals

Over the years I've seen or tried the sticky red spray, Vaseline, dielectric grease, bearing grease and lately I use a general clear synthetic grease that looks just like Vaseline. I apply it inside & out.

Does it matter -- as long as the connection is sealed from the air?
 
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Old 02-26-15, 09:47 AM
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IMO as long as the terminal and cable end is clean and tight - that's all that needs to be done. Over the years I've tried grease and those felt 'washers' but I've never noticed any improvement from using them.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 09:48 AM
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Some have anti-corrosive additives, which would better suited for the purpose. I like the red spray made for the purpose, but have also used No- Al-Ox, just because it was handy and I was out of spray.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 10:31 AM
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I use those red and green felt pads. They do make a difference and they do work.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 01:43 PM
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I think those felt pads are hit or miss. They came with the new battery I put in my truck yrs ago and I couldn't keep the corrosion off of it. After cleaning it every few months I took them off and the terminals have been corrosion free ever since [5-6 yrs] BUT I also have them on my wife's car and her battery is corrosion free.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 02:18 PM
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I use the red and green felt pads also. If they don't work its because they were not properly treated.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 06:58 PM
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I've had cars where corrosion started building up beneath the clamp, and others start from the top down. A good coating of almost anything seems to keep them clean.
I think I did use no-al-ox once because I had it on hand and its way cheaper than dielectric grease. Makes sense to use it if it's formulated to prevent corrosion on copper and alloys.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 07:49 PM
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Battery terminals (and hold-downs) corrode because of acid mist settling on them. The biggest cause of the acid mist is overcharging which causes the electrolyte to bubble, turn to mist and escape out the vents of the filler caps. The major contributing factor in addition to overcharging is having the electrolyte level too high. It should never be higher than the split ring which is generally 3/4 to a full inch below the opening.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 07:55 PM
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Back in my motorhead days, we just used regular old grease like you put in U-joints and such. Never had any issues. Now I normally use a spray can of corrosion preventative that sort of forms a grease film. I'm on my last can from my Navy days. No, I didn't steal it! It was past it's expiration date and was getting thrown out. Over 20 years later its still has pressure. Ahhh, love that MilSpec stuff.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 08:11 PM
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i personally have always glued a penny in the middle of the battery. i just replace it ever so often. it some how draws the bad crap to it and keeps it off the terminals. i believe i read along time ago it has something to do with magnetic waves.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 08:15 PM
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Never heard of such a thing. Can't imagine how that would work if not in direct contact with anode terminal. This is when I wish Click and Clack of Car Talk was still around.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 08:22 PM
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Pennies are mostly zinc under the copper coating. What is used on ships to help prevent galvanic corrosion? That's right, big old slabs of zinc...they are even called "zincs". "Hey, we have divers coming tomorrow to inspect and replace the zincs".

Well, that and an onboard degaussing system, as well as wrapping the whole ship in massive cables when major structural work is done.

Kind of like the sacrificial anode in a WH I would imagine.

I've never heard of it either and can't imagine how it would work.

A little OT, but this is kinda fun. Take a penny, sand or file the outer edge until the zinc is exposed. Put it in a PLASTIC or GLASS container (no aluminum or steel) and cover it with a little phosphoric acid like Metal Prep or similar. After the fizzing stops, you'll wind up with the thin copper plating as all that's left
 
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Old 02-27-15, 03:00 AM
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Hey Vic that's interesting info.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 03:29 AM
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I remember hearing of guys that would use a sacrificial penny on the batteries back in the 60's and 70's but had all but forgotten about it until reading iceman's post.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 09:15 AM
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I always suspected the corrosion was due to the acid being vented out the battery...but then doubted my assumption because I haven't had an UNsealed battery in 20 years, but the corrosion continues.
 
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