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Battery Terminal Corrosion – How To Fix it?

To make sure that your vehicle operates smoothly, your battery must be in a good condition. With a good battery, your vehicle will have the power to turn on electrical components. For this reason, you will have to perform regular checks and confirm if the battery is functioning.

One can easily find battery terminal corrosion. The problem makes the battery terminal materials deteriorate. Battery terminal corrosion is easy to spot and you can clean them conveniently. However, without cleaning them, there can be major damage to the alternator and your battery will never be fully charged.

Tools Required

  • Battery terminal cleaning tool.
  • Eye protection.
  • Acid-resistant gloves.
  • Power supply or 12 volt battery.
  • Cleaning rags or paper towels.
  • Socket or wrench set.
  • Water sprayer.

Materials Required

  • Battery terminal cleaner.
  • Battery terminal spray.

5 Causes of Battery Terminal Corrosion

  • Hydrogen gas leakage:One of the main factors for battery terminal corrosion is hydrogen gas leakage. The battery will turn acid into electric current and the likelihood of hydrogen gas getting into the atmosphere is high. When it happens, there will be poor engine performance. The battery will overcharge when there is corrosion on the positive terminal. On the contrary, the battery will be undercharging when the corrosion is on the negative terminal.
  • Electrolyte leakage:Battery fluid leakage can also lead to a damaged battery. When the liquid leaks, the electrolyte will accumulate on the terminals. This will lead to corrosion. In most cases, it is very common with sealed lead-acid batteries. Even while filling the battery water, electrolytes may spill. Corrosion can also develop on lithium-ion batteries
  • Chemical Reaction In The Copper Clamps:It has to be noted that copper does not corrode easily as it is a good conductor. Despite this, it can produce copper sulfate when an electric current passes through it. This will lead to battery terminal corrosion. One of the factors to consider will be a bluish precipitate on the copper terminals. You will experience troubles with your car when copper sulfate is unable to conduct proper electricity.
  • Overcharging:If the alternator is overcharging the car battery, the likelihood of corrosion will be high. For this reason, you will have to ensure that there is no overcharging. You can always make use of a multimeter to check the voltage.
  • Overfilling the battery:Electrolyte leakage can happen if you overfill the car battery. You must always check if it is not overfilled. However, you must know that not all car batteries come in a refillable design.

How to Fix Battery Terminal Corrosion?

1. Baking Soda – Water Solution:

Getting rid of copper sulfate from the terminals can be done by using a solution of baking soda and water. These are the steps that you will have to perform.

Step 1: Turn off the car’s ignition.

Step 2: Remove the battery terminals.

Step 3: Take a brush for removing some corrosion.

Step 4: Apply the baking soda solution and use the brush for removing the corrosion.

Step 5: Clean the terminals with water.

Step 6: Use wheel bearing grease or petroleum jelly to prevent further damage.

Step 7: Get the cramps back on the terminals.

2. Soda:You can even make use of soda for removing the residue. Carbonic acid is found in most types of soft drinks. All you have to do is to put some soda on the terminals. Use a soft sponge to get rid of the residue.

3. Cleaning Heavy Corrosion:

To get rid of heavy corrosion, you can make use of an old toothbrush along with a baking soda water solution. However, you must never use force to get rid of corrosion. Here are the steps for the same.

Step 1: Remove the battery terminals

Step 2: Take your baking soda solution and keep it in cups.

Step 3: Soak each terminal in the solution for about 20 minutes.

Step 4: Scrub the corrosive materials.

Step 5: Pour the soda solution.

Step 6: Again soak the battery terminals.

Step 7: Use water to clean the terminals.

Step 8: Allow drying of the terminals. You can even wipe with a damp cloth.

Additionally, you can also use sandpaper for cleaning the terminals. Use some Vaseline or grease and begin to reattach the terminals.

How to Prevent Battery Corrosion?

  • Replace the car battery: The best way to prevent leakage of a car battery is to have a replacement. A leaking car battery can lead to battery corrosion. Often you must always replace batteries every 5 years.
  • Copper compression terminals:Another way to prevent battery corrosion is by using copper compression terminals. These come in the form of clamps and have tinned copper. It makes sure to come in contact with the electric current.
  • Battery charging: Overcharged or undercharged batteries can also lead to battery terminal corrosion. There is always a recommended battery voltage by the manufacturer. You must never charge it. Make use of a multimeter to check the voltage if the car is throttling on idle. When the alternator is over 14.5 volts, it indicates something is wrong.
  • Anti-corrosive sprays:There are many sprays available for preventing battery terminal corrosion. For battery terminals, one can easily use coated felt pads. Some people also prefer to use Vaseline or grease.


Your car battery is very important. Battery terminal corrosion can happen due to many reasons. This can lead to poor battery performance. Even overfilling or overcharging your battery can lead to battery corrosion. Thankfully, there are ways to fix battery terminal corrosion. You can even prevent battery corrosion by trying any of the above methods.

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