How to Treat Car Battery Corrosion

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 5-10
What You'll Need
Vise grip Toothbrush Bicarbonate of soda Cloth Grease

If you find that you have car battery corrosion, then you will need to treat it quickly before it becomes too difficult to remove, and the battery has to be replaced. Removing the corrosion from your battery is the quickest solution, but you will also need to do your best to prevent the corrosion from reccurring, and that means finding out what has caused the problem in the first place. Cleaning up car battery corrosion is easy enough to do, and you should be able to completely finish your project within one day of starting the project.

Step 1 - Remove the Battery

Begin by removing the battery cables from your battery, and then pull out the connections. You may need to use a vise grip to get the cables removed, if you have a lot of corrosion on the top of your battery. Take care to take off the negative cable first, in order to ensure that the tools do not short circuit.

Step 2 - Use Bicarbonate of Soda

Baking powder, also known as bicarbonate of soda, is the cleaner's friend, and it can help to get rid of any deep corrosion around the terminals. Add some bicarbonate to the terminals, and using a wet toothbrush scrub away the corrosion. You should be able to see some of the corrosion moving as soon as the baking powder touches the terminals, and scrubbing will loosen the rest, hopefully. Put some elbow grease into cleaning those terminals, and you should soon see your battery shining like new. As well as using this method, you can also find a cleaner brush designed for car batteries, and use it to clean off the cables and the rest of the battery.

Step 3 - Prevention

Once the terminals are properly cleaned, wipe them down with a cloth in order to ensure that they are properly dry. You can then practice a little bit of prevention by cleaning the terminal points with some grease. This helps to prevent corrosion from forming on the terminals, and also on the cable connections. You should make sure that everything below the grease is moisture free, as this will ensure that the terminals do not corrode.

Step 4 - More Prevention

Now that you have cleaned the battery, you should maintain it regularly. Make sure that you check the water level in your battery regularly, as lack of water can encourage the corrosion. You should make sure to use distilled water, not tap water which has minerals added, as this can contaminate the battery and cause premature failure. You can also scrub down the battery and terminals every few weeks, in order to discourage more corrosion. Keeping the car working properly will ensure that there is less likelihood of electrical charges which can encourage the formation of corrosion.