Corrosion is a part of every car owner, isn't it? It's not only a part but a menace as well. Dealing with corrosion on or inside your car and the battery can dwindle your vehicle's life and performance. You can face starting issues or issues with wiring if the corrosion keeps on building up further. But the good news is you can easily spot the corrosion on the battery and do a quick battery corrosion removal. If you look closely, you will notice a hardened whitish or greenish substance on the battery terminals, posts, or cables; that's corrosion.
Exposure to sulfuric acid and hydrogen gas causes corrosion around the posts of the battery. The gas vapor can easily escape from the posts and can come out of the top vent blocks. The vapor then mixes with other gases, heat, and other chemicals and solidifies as corrosion. We know by now what battery corrosion is and how it is formed; the good news is you don't even need to take the car to a mechanic shop to remove it from the car battery. You can do it in your house's garage. What you will need is either battery cleaning solutions or baking soda mixed with water. Use a brush tool for the application process. Now, let's hop on to the procedure.
Turn off your vehicle's engine to avoid getting electric shocks or being burned. Open the car's hood and disconnect the negative and positive cable. You can easily identify the cables by abbreviations, such as POS and NEG. POS means positive, and NEG means negative. These abbreviations mostly come with a plus (+) and a minus (-) sign. The plus sign also indicates positive, and the minus indicates negative. If you are still finding it confusing, or if you cannot find the wires with the abbreviations, it's best to see the manual.
Once you have found out the negative and positive ends, it's time to inspect closely to find out the affected area. Look at the terminals well and observe if the battery case is leaking or swollen; leaking means, it's more severe and needs a bit more maintenance than just cleaning. Worn-out battery cables will abstain from the engine from starting, so make sure you get the wires removed as soon as possible. You can get your wires removed in two ways, either you do it yourself or take your vehicle to the workshop. The mechanic will clean and replace the battery and the terminals. However, if you want to clean the batteries by yourself, keep reading below.
Once you remove the cable, you need to neutralize the corrosion with solutions. You can do it in many ways; there's no one rule to it.
Commercial battery cleaning solution: This is the best way to clean battery terminals as a battery cleaner will efficiently clean out the corrosion and neutralize the battery acid. Don't use the cleaner with bare hands, wear gloves. People also say that carbonated beverages work wonders as a cleaning solution, but there is a risk. The sugar or other chemicals can damage your engine furthermore.
Baking soda: If you don't have the commercial cleaner at hand, you can use a concoction of water and baking soda as a substitute. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water, and that's your solution.
Now, take a cleaning brush or an old toothbrush and dip it in the cleaner or the baking soda solution. Put the mixture on the affected areas and wait a few seconds before scrubbing the terminal. You will hear a tiny fizz sound along with some bubbles when you apply the paste. This means the acidic corrosion is being neutralized with a basic solution. Keep cleaning the terminals and pour the solution till the buildup has been thoroughly removed.
After scrubbing and cleaning the areas, it's time to rinse off the residue with water. But don't just wash the battery as the water might cause problems with other parts of the engine. It's best to take the battery off of the car and wash it thoroughly. Fill up a spray bottle and spray that at the terminals. Do it so gently. You can just dip a washcloth in water and clean the areas if you don't have a spray bottle. Now, use a dry cloth and wipe off the water. Let the battery air dry before placing back in the engine box.
This is an additional step, but doing this can ensure your battery terminals' health and delay the process of corrosion. Once the terminals are dry, you can either apply anti-corrosion pads or can use petroleum jelly on them. Doing so will enhance lubrication and prevent corrosion. If you don't have the pads, using petroleum jelly is a much cheaper yet efficient protection method. After that, reattach the cables.
Now, you know how to remove corrosion from batteries, I believe it won't be that difficult for you to remove the corrosion. However, if you are afraid of messing things up, taking your vehicle to the maintenance shop is a cost-effective solution, especially when you are a new vehicle owner with no experience.