CarForum.net - Car Forums, Automotive News and Community
Home Gallery Register Calendar Members List

Go Back   CarForum.net - Car Forums, Automotive News and Community > Car Parts and Maintenance > Routine and Preventative Maintenance

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools
Unread 09-12-2009, 04:58 PM   #1
Retired Staff
 
Retrospekt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 599
Rep: 67 Retrospekt will become famous soon enough
Default How To: Clean Your Battery Terminals/Connectors

This may seem simple, but a lot of people do not know how to do it properly. Severely corroded terminals can cause poor electrical connection which can prevent the car from turning over/starting.

Materials needed:
Baking Soda
Wire Brush (Stiff)
Warm Water
Paper Towel
Screwdrivers or Wrench depending on how your battery terminals are fastened on.


Baking Soda


Wire Brush


My dirty battery. (Not really that corroded, but dirty.)

Step 1: Remove any kind of safety fastening you may have on your battery. My car uses a metallic strap kind of device to hold it down. It required me to remove 2 10mm screws.

Step 2: Unscrew/unfasten the terminals. Again, this varies. Always disconnect the negative (black) terminal first, then the positive (red) afterward. When you have these removed, go ahead and remove the whole battery from the engine bay. Set it down somewhere where you can work on it.
Tip: Avoid putting it on your driveway. Baking soda leaves an ugly white stain and it is hard to remove.

Step 3: Obtain a wire brush. These can be found cheap at home depot, and most people have them at home. It should be the very stiff kind.

Step 4: Mix 2-3 Tablespoons of baking soda with a little water. You don't need a lot of water at all, and really you shouldn't use a lot since baking soda isn't soluble in water anyway, it just floats in it.

Step 5: Pour a little of the water/baking soda mixture on both terminals on the battery, and anyplace else on the battery that is corroded. (Fastening contact points). You should hear a "Psssst" sound. With the terminals wet, scrub away at them with the wire brush. Scrub hard, they should practically shine after you're done with it. Wipe the excess water/baking soda with a paper towel.

This is what my terminal looked like after I was done:


Step 6: If your terminal connectors are not detachable and are still in the engine bay, pour the baking soda solution onto a towel and wipe the terminal connectors down. The towel should be very soggy though. Scrub away at them with the wire brush. If your terminal connectors are removable, do the same thing just take them out and you can pour the baking soda solution on them. Wipe them dry.

Dirty terminal connectors:


Clean terminal connectors:


Step 6: This is optional, but it should be done. If you have a petroleum based grease handy, smear the terminals and the terminal connectors with it. This will prevent corrosion (a little).

Step 7: Put everything back together. This time, connect the positive (red) terminal first, followed by the black (negative).

There, you're done.

Retrospekt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 09-12-2009, 05:02 PM   #2
Retired Director
 
mega_option101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: University of Ottawa
Posts: 528
Rep: 16 mega_option101 is on a distinguished road
Default

Nice guide

mega_option101 is offline mega_option101's Gallery  
Reply With Quote
Unread 09-12-2009, 06:23 PM   #3
Community Director
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 7,602
Rep: 153 Mike has a spectacular aura aboutMike has a spectacular aura about
Default

Sweet bro
__________________
"He shouted: 'You've won! Didn't you know?' I didn't, and it's about the nicest thing I've ever been told" -Bruce McLaren, 1968 Belgian Grand Prix
Read the rules! | DO NOT REPLY TO SPAM
Daily Driver: 2006 Mazda 3 S sedan - 2.3L I4, 5 speed manual - 78k miles
Girlfriend's Car: 2013 Chevy Volt - 30k miles
Bikes: 1979 Yamaha XS 750


Mike is offline Mike's Gallery  
Reply With Quote
Unread 09-12-2009, 07:32 PM   #4
GDP
Retired Director
 
GDP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 518
Rep: 20 GDP is on a distinguished road
Default

Very nice. I have to admit I did not know how to clean my terminals but have heard people talk about it.
__________________
Please follow the rules, you may find them *HERE*

GDP is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 09-12-2009, 07:37 PM   #5
Community Director
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 7,602
Rep: 153 Mike has a spectacular aura aboutMike has a spectacular aura about
Default

I've done it but i usually just take a screwdriver or wire brush and get the big crap off. Never went to town with the baking soda etc
__________________
"He shouted: 'You've won! Didn't you know?' I didn't, and it's about the nicest thing I've ever been told" -Bruce McLaren, 1968 Belgian Grand Prix
Read the rules! | DO NOT REPLY TO SPAM
Daily Driver: 2006 Mazda 3 S sedan - 2.3L I4, 5 speed manual - 78k miles
Girlfriend's Car: 2013 Chevy Volt - 30k miles
Bikes: 1979 Yamaha XS 750


Mike is offline Mike's Gallery  
Reply With Quote
Unread 09-12-2009, 09:32 PM   #6
Now accepting bribes.
 
lautinjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Currently Las Vegas
Posts: 4,311
Rep: 193 lautinjr has a spectacular aura aboutlautinjr has a spectacular aura about
Default

I always use a air die grinder with a wire wheel some MOC cleaning product and a EZ Red Tool kit for the small stuff.
http://www.ezred.com/index-12.htm
http://mocproducts.com/

Same job but i might have to do this 5-10 times a day
__________________
Please help reduce our mini van population and wear condoms!

lautinjr is offline lautinjr's Gallery  
Reply With Quote
Unread 09-13-2009, 09:13 AM   #7
Veteran Member
 
endo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: omaha nebraska
Posts: 696
Rep: 24 endo is on a distinguished road
Default

my step dad is an electrician and there is this copper stuff that is a paste and very conductive that he puts on his battery terminals and that prevents them from corroding.

forget the name will get that asap.

year and a half on my car with no corrosion.
__________________
2012 Dodge Ram 5.7 extended cab 4" lift


Endo's 357 ish Build

endo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 09-19-2009, 09:03 PM   #8
Spah sappin' mah susp!
 
Kenny McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Earth...I think
Posts: 3,271
Rep: 96 Kenny McCormick will become famous soon enough
Default




I use one of those. No need for baking soda 99% of the time, especially on OP's car. You'd only need the baking soda if there's white foam clinging to everything IMO, one of those 5 dollar tools will take care of it pretty easily.



I hit my terminals once a year with that and I don't get the foam forming.
__________________
Tired Iron ain't got no time to wear out...

My rigs:

1985 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci OHV inline six | 4-speed OD manual | 310K | No power brakes | Running 100% - It hasn't driven this good in 15 years!

1984 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci six | granny four | 3.55 rear end | 210K | Brakes shot. Rear drums are doing most of the work. Not fit to drive due to that.
1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

Kenny McCormick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Unread 09-19-2009, 09:07 PM   #9
Now accepting bribes.
 
lautinjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Currently Las Vegas
Posts: 4,311
Rep: 193 lautinjr has a spectacular aura aboutlautinjr has a spectacular aura about
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by endo View Post
my step dad is an electrician and there is this copper stuff that is a paste and very conductive that he puts on his battery terminals and that prevents them from corroding.

forget the name will get that asap.

year and a half on my car with no corrosion.
Did you get the name of that stuff it sounds interesting.
__________________
Please help reduce our mini van population and wear condoms!

lautinjr is offline lautinjr's Gallery  
Reply With Quote
Unread 09-19-2009, 09:33 PM   #10
Veteran Member
 
endo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: omaha nebraska
Posts: 696
Rep: 24 endo is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lautinjr View Post
Did you get the name of that stuff it sounds interesting.
wow totally forgot about this thread.

ill get it tomorrow when he wakes up.
__________________
2012 Dodge Ram 5.7 extended cab 4" lift


Endo's 357 ish Build

endo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:27 PM.

Shogun Interactive Development Copyright 2015 Shogun Interactive Development. All rights reserved.