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How to Remove Corrosion From Car Battery

Car battery corrosion on the terminal

So, you’re trying to start your car, but the engine isn’t turning over. Before you jump to conclusions, call a jump-start service, install a new battery, or call a tow, it’s a good idea to check for battery corrosion! In advanced cases, this issue can cut off the connection between your cables and your battery terminals. However, learning how to clean car battery corrosion is relatively easy! What’s more, once you know what causes car battery corrosion, you can prevent the problem from recurring. We’ve covered everything you need to know below.

What Does Corrosion Look Like?

In most cases, you’ll experience weaker power output or have trouble starting the car before corrosion cuts off your power supply completely. A low-voltage or battery warning light may also appear on your dash. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms on the roads near Ridgewood, check for corrosion. It’s usually as easy as opening up the hood:

  • Wait at least 30 minutes after turning off your vehicle, then open up the hood. You want the vehicle to be completely cool.
  • Check out the battery casing: if the terminal where your cable connects is caked in a white, blue, or teal-colored powdery substance, you’re dealing with corrosion. 

How to Clean Car Battery Corrosion

Whenever you work with a car battery, it’s important to exercise caution. For inexperienced DIY mechanics, scheduling service is often safer than attempting an at-home fix. If you do decide to tackle the issue at home, take these steps to ensure your safety:

  • Make sure to put on electricity-safe gloves, googles, and a respirator before you get under the hood.
  • Remove all metal (including watches and jewelry) from your person, too.
  • Then, use a wrench to disconnect the negative battery cable from its terminal. Don’t let the wrench touch the negative and positive terminals at the same time.
  • Lastly, disconnect the positive cable. Make sure it doesn’t touch any metal, as it may contain a small charge.

Now that that’s out of the way, drivers who want to remove corrosion from a car battery have two methods at their disposal:

Cleaning Car Battery Corrosion with a Professional Solution

  • Pick up an electrical contact cleaning spray or a battery cleaning solution from our parts department.
  • Spray the solution onto any affected areas. Use a wire brush to work the spray into the corrosion and remove it from your battery terminal.

Cleaning Car Battery Corrosion with a DIY Solution

  • Don’t have time to visit our parts department? You can achieve a similar effect by mixing baking soda and water.
  • After you’ve mixed the solution, clean the affected area with your scrub brush.

With a little bit of petroleum jelly, anti-corrosion spray, or rust-inhibitor spray, you can prevent corrosion from recurring. Apply a small amount before you reconnect the terminals.

What Causes Car Battery Corrosion?

Car batteries naturally release hydrogen gas as they heat up and cool down. When this hydrogen comes into contact with the electricity around your terminals, it causes corrosion. While understanding what causes car battery corrosion won’t necessarily prevent it from recurring, this issue is easily prevented with the fix we mentioned above!

Schedule Service at Jaguar Paramus!

In some cases, replacing a battery may be smarter than cleaning it. Jaguar Paramus has OEM-recommended batteries that you can trust in your Jaguar vehicle, and we also have all the tools and products you’ll need to keep it in excellent condition as the years roll by. Schedule service or explore our parts and service specials before you drive in from Englewood or Saddle River.

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