You probably pay close attention to the condition of your vehicle. Whether you wash and wax the outside or vacuum the interior on a regular basis, you want your car to remain in good condition. However, have you checked under the hood recently? The inside of our cars can often become corroded, especially the battery. As a power source, you want to clean battery terminals safely. In fact, when you remove battery corrosion, you’ll be helping the car to run better.
If you’re not sure of how to go about this, you’ll simply need a few household materials and you can do this at home. You’ll want to have protective gloves, baking soda and an old toothbrush, rags, and some petroleum jelly.
Cleaning the Battery Terminals
Before you get started, get your materials ready. Make sure that you have them available to make the task more efficient. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water and stir the solution until it’s thoroughly mixed.
Before you get started on the cleaning, you’ll want to reduce the risk of harming yourself. Make sure that the car is turned off and the engine is completely cooled. If you’ve recently driven the car, it’s best to wait a few hours for the engine to cool before you clean the battery.
Once it’s cooled down, open the hood and locate the battery. Remove the negative battery cable first and then the positive one. If you’re not sure about the location of any of these items, read through the owners manual for more information. Some cars may have the battery in the trunk or under the seat.
Take a look at the battery to get an idea of its general condition. A corroded battery or even buildup and grime on the terminals can affect the way that it runs. If you notice that the battery case is leaking, bloated, or shows signs of swelling, skip the cleaning. Instead, this is a sign that you likely need a completely new battery. Head out to get a new one if yours shows any of these signs.
Scrub the Battery and Dry
With the old toothbrush, scrub the terminals until you’ve removed any grime or corrosion. Dip the toothbrush into the baking soda and water mix. Scrub the terminals gently but firmly. This step may take some time and you’ll probably need to clean the toothbrush as you go. Clean them thoroughly until all of the buildup has been removed. Discard the toothbrush or save it for another dirty task.
After you’ve gotten all of the corrosion off, give the battery a quick rinse to remove any excess dirt or grime that may be lingering. You can fill up a spray bottle and spray down the terminals to do this or use a damp cloth to wipe them down. Use another rag that’s clean and dry to dry the terminals completely. You want to ensure that the battery is completely dry before re-installing the battery as this could be hazardous.
Use Petroleum Jelly and Reattach the Cables
Once you’ve dried the terminals, use a small amount of petroleum jelly to coat them. This provides lubrication and will help to prevent corrosion in the future. It also helps to strengthen the connection. Reattach the positive and negative cables to the battery and close the hood. Your battery is clean and you can then use the car. Be cautious as too much petroleum jelly can cause a poor connection. If you notice any problems, you may need to wipe it off.
When you have a clean battery, your car will start easier and also run easier. Battery corrosion can be a cause of cars not starting or a weak battery flow. If you clean the battery and are still having problems, you may need to test the battery to ensure that it’s working as it should. While some older batteries may need to be replaced, often cleaning them is all that’s needed in order to get your battery in good shape. Take note of the condition of your battery to determine if cleaning it will help your car run better. These simple steps are easy to do at home as needed.
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