A car owner should be able to detect signs of corrosion on a battery terminal when he sees one before it develops from an early stage problem into pricy damage to the car’s engine.
There are many proven ways to knock out corrosion from your car battery. The stress-free method and another that is quite confusing to newbies.
What method to use will depend on the type of car you drive. Either way, if you notice consistent battery failures, deeming headlights, or a malfunctioning car computer, you could trace it to a corroded battery.
Corrosion on your battery terminal will cause a decrease in battery life and extend further to tamper with other important parts of your car like the electrical wiring, and air conditioning, and when it is not quickly fixed, it could also cause your vehicle from starting.
So, what are those things that can prevent corrosion on battery terminals? What to put on battery terminals to prevent corrosion?
You can put Petroleum jelly like Vaseline, anti-corrosion washers such as the AMSOIL heavy-duty metal protector, or a tiny amount of dielectric grease on your battery terminals to protect them from corrosion.
Why Does Car Battery Corrode?
Do you see traces of white, blue, or green residue on the battery terminals and you wonder what they are and why they are there? Your curiosity is right. Your battery is corroded.
If you start to notice this on your battery terminals, you need to know why it is there, and what caused it in other to avoid such some other time.
There are many reasons battery corrodes, here are a few:
1. Escaped Corrosive Gases
The electrical functionality of your car rests solely on your car’s battery terminals. These terminals are made of Lead, designed to be highly conductive and resistant to corrosion.
The battery terminals are tightly connected to the car battery to allow ignition. Gases are able to find their way out of lead-acid batteries, and these gases (hydrogen and sulfur) are bad for metals.
These gases are not only a danger to the terminals; they are also a quick way to get the lungs damaged after consistent inhaling.
2. Too Much Water Is Used In Maintenance
Excessive addition of distilled water will cause the acid in your battery to find its way out. This happens during maintenance.
Car owners are fond of adding too much water to the battery when cleaning which makes the battery experience leaks. This is common with refillable batteries. When the leaks happen and it touches the battery terminal, it causes corrosion.
3. Escaping Sulfuric Gases
The gasses are the major problem; sulfuric acids can escape the tiny vents of your batteries. When these gases escape their vents, they can touch the battery terminal, which at the very end, after exposure, leads to corrosion.
4. Excessive Charging
Overcharging is killer; you should give it its due honor. Overcharging will cause your battery to heat up. This extra charging makes the liquid in the battery expanding.
This allows the liquid from the battery to travel out through the vent unto the battery terminals. Ensure your alternator doesn’t overcharge your battery. With a multimeter, you can check your voltage. Ensure charging doesn’t go over 14.5volts.
5. Maybe It Is Time For Corrosion To Take Place
Corrosion can happen naturally. The lifespan of every battery lies between 5-7years afterward corrosion can take place. Don’t freak out if corrosion happens after a few years. It means you need a new battery.
What to Put on Battery Terminals to Prevent Corrosion
There are many options for what you can put on your battery terminals to prevent corrosion. Petroleum jelly is “inexpensive” and efficient in ensuring your battery terminal doesn’t corrode.
Some other choices you have is to use, anti-corrosion washers (AMSOIL heavy-duty metal protector is an excellent example of anti-corrosion), or a tiny amount of dielectric grease can also be of help to protect your battery terminal from corrosion.
However, it is important to note that before you apply any of the aforementioned things to use to prevent corrosion on car battery terminals, it is crucial you first clean the battery terminals.
Doing so will help remove the corrosion already on the terminals while you apply the preventive products to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Disadvantages of Corrosion in Battery Terminals
Preventing your battery terminal is as important as keeping your system healthy. There are observable details that show the defects of corroded battery terminals, they are:
It Blocks Your Battery Power Flow
The electrical ability of your car solely rests on your battery terminal. Imagine your house in a complete blackout, you can’t use the heater, nor can you switch on the television.
The same is how irritating it is when your terminal corrodes, it affects your car computer, the headlight, and everything electrically powered in the car.
It Causes Engine Failure
Engine failure is a wild problem, and we can also trace this to a failing battery terminal. A failed car engine won’t serve you anything.
A quick notion of knowing when your battery terminal is in an awful state is when your car engine doesn’t start or it at some points fails repeatedly.
It is a blueprint to ensure you take a quick look at your battery terminal. If it is, you should replace it or have it cleaned properly.
Car owners should add battery terminals amongst the myriads of things you check in your car as a daily “car check” routine.
This way, you detect corrosion at the early stage. If you see any white or blue powdery substance on your battery terminals; make some moves on it to have it fixed.
Advantages of Preventing Corrosion on Battery Terminals
Why not prioritize prevention over spending a few dollars on getting a new battery terminal? In case you haven’t found a better reason to do a routine check on your battery terminals, here are a few reasons you should consider:
It Saves You A Few Dollars
Santa doesn’t come all the time. I assume you need funds for things better than a consistent change in your battery terminal.
Corrosion happens gradually. Your engine doesn’t fail all at once. It is a gradual process from powder formulation on the terminal to a consistent warning until your engine finally crumbles. This could be because of a simple gas leak.
If you do a constant check, you could find out if there’s a leak in your battery and if corrosion is already taking place. This way you save some cash and prevent spending on a damaged car computer or an engine failure.
It Could Cause Burns On Your Skin
The escaped gases are not only dangerous to the car battery or the terminal, but they also cause burns to your skin.
Corrosion happens because of leaking gases that come in contact with the battery terminal. When these gases leak out, it is acidic and able to damage your good looking skin.
Will Vaseline Prevent Corrosion on Battery Terminals?
Petroleum jelly like Vaseline can prevent corrosion from happening on your car battery terminals. Vaseline allows lubrication that strengthens the connection between the battery terminal and the battery itself.
Being excessive with the application of Vaseline can cause poor connection, but when you are moderate with the application, you can prevent the battery terminals from corrosion.
To do this, you will need to take off the battery terminals and have your ignition off to be on the safer side.
Will WD-40 Keep Battery Terminals From Corroding?
One of the supper abilities of WD-40 is that it prevents metal from corrosion or rust. When applied, it takes out or prevents humidity.
All you need to do is to spray WD-40 on your battery terminals (both positive and negative) and take a few-minute break while you let the sprayed content do its work.
After a few minutes, scrub with a brush and rinse using hot water. Repeat the process until your battery terminals look okay, away from any form of corrosion.
A corroded battery will do you no advantage neither will your car also get lucky. It’s better for your device as a means to protect your battery terminals from experiencing any form of corrosion. This way, you save yourself from any consequences that may align with a corroded battery.