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How to Treat & Prevent Car Battery Corrosion Problems

Corrosion on battery terminals can reduce the effectiveness of a car battery. There are simple ways to eliminate the white or bluish corrosive fuzz and keep your electrical connections in good working order.


  • : Car batteries contain sulfuric acid, which is highly caustic. Wear gloves and goggles or a face shield when working with them.
  • Step 1: Remove battery cables Remove the battery cables from the battery terminals by loosening the nut on each cable clamp. Use vice grips to remove the battery cables if there is a lot of corrosion on the battery.
  • TIP: Always remove the cable clamp from the negative terminal first.
  • Step 2: Apply some baking soda Place some baking soda on the terminal posts. Dip a toothbrush in water and scrub the baking soda into the terminal posts and cable clamps. Dry everything with a clean, disposable, lint-free rag.
  • TIP: If the toothbrush doesn't do the trick, purchase a battery terminal cleaner brush from an auto parts store. Clean the insides of the cable clamps with the cleaner packaged with the brush.
  • Step 3: Add some grease Place some grease or petroleum jelly on the posts, battery cables, and clamps. This will slow down the formation of corrosive deposits.
  • Step 4: Replace the clamps Replace the positive clamp first, followed by the negative one. Cover the positive terminal with a rubber boot or plastic shield.
  • Step 5: Check the water level Check the battery's water level every few months. Refill with distilled water to the bottom of the refill hole as needed. Don't use tap water, which will corrode the terminals.
  • FACT: Americans purchase nearly 3 billion dry-cell batteries each year that power toys, cell phones, watches, laptops, and portable power tools.

You Will Need

  • Protective equipment
  • Battery cables
  • Battery terminals
  • Nuts
  • Vice grips
  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Rag
  • Grease or petroleum jelly
  • Positive terminal covering
  • Terminal cleaner brush (optional)
  • Cleaner compound (optional)

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