How to Clean Your Car Battery

ACA Gives You Tips On Keeping Your Vehicle Battery Clean

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The oil that flows through your vehicle keeps all the moving parts in working order. It both insulates and protects the machine. Meanwhile, your car battery provides the juice that makes the moving parts go. If your car doesn’t start, or has trouble starting, your first decision may be to get the battery changed. However, it’s possible that your battery just needs to be cleaned. The acid inside your car’s battery can cause the casing to corrode over time, but this can easily be remedied.

First, turn off your car. When you inspect the battery, you will need a wrench to loosen the cable nuts that keep it in place (the type will depend on where your cable nuts are located, so consult your owner’s manual). Once you’ve removed the battery, check all over the casing for cracks or damage. If acid is leaking from the battery, you’ll need to replace it. What you’re looking for is corrosion on the battery clamps and posts. This will look like a yellowish or bluish mold.

If you see corrosion, it can easily be removed with this simple mixture. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with one cup water until it makes a paste. Dip an old toothbrush into the mixture and gently scrub the battery and wiring terminals. The baking soda will neutralize the acid. Scrub wherever you see corrosion. (True Fact: You can also pour soda over the corrosion to remove it, but you’ll be left with a much stickier battery.)

Rinse the battery with water, just enough to wash the corrosion off. Dry everything with a clean cloth.

A light coating of petroleum jelly on the battery terminals will keep the corrosion from building up in the future. You can also use a terminal protection spray (purchased from any automotive store).

Reattach the cables, positive first and then negative. Tighten the nuts with your wrench.