car battery corrosion

Car battery corrosion: causes, problems, how to clean and prevent

The electricity required to start your car is provided by your car battery, which is why it is important to clean and prevent car battery corrosion. It also supplies electricity to your car’s electrical systems, like the audio and the power windows. The battery in your automobile may become unable to work if rust accumulates on it.

On the tops of one of the two battery posts, you will almost certainly notice some corrosion forming when you open the hood of a car that has had the same battery in it for some time. You can be questioned regarding alternative terminal protection options while buying a new battery. This can appear to some people to be insane “snake oil” or to be a superfluous thing, but it isn’t. It’s critical to comprehend the specific causes of corrosion in order to comprehend how corrosion functions as a guard against it. Well in this article we’ll be discussing car Battey corrosion, there causes, problems, and how to clean and prevent it.

Read more: Dead car battery: causes, signs and how to charge or fix it

car battery corrosion

  • What is car battery corrosion?
  • What are the causes of car battery corrosion?
  • How do you clean a corroded car battery?
  • How do you prevent car battery corrosion?
  • What is the effect of car battery corrosion?

So, let’s begin!


What is car battery corrosion?

Battery corrosion appears as a white, green, or blue-tinged residue on the posts, terminals, or cables of your car’s battery. Battery acid emits hydrogen gas, which interacts with the air and creates an atmosphere that is corrosive. The battery can corrode in this atmosphere.

Read more: How long does it take to charge a car battery? What you need to know

What are the causes of car battery corrosion?

The sulfuric acid and hydrogen gas vapor that can leak from the battery induce corrosion around the battery posts. Small amounts of this vapor occasionally seep out in the space between the posts and where they seal to the plastic battery casing, while other times it is vented out of the top vent blocks on the battery. Corrosion is caused when this vapor interacts with other gas under the hood, the heat of the engine, the variations in lead composition between the posts and terminals, and the copper of the battery cables.

Temperatures under a car’s hood can reach above 250 degrees, and this heat causes the battery’s plastic shell and metal posts to expand at various rates. This explains why you hardly ever notice rust on a battery post that is behind a seat or in a car trunk. The high temperatures found beneath the hood are not present with these batteries.

Corrosion might also result from age. The typical lifespan of a car battery is five years. It’s typical to start noticing corrosion if yours is getting close to the end of its useful life.

Read more: How to charge a car battery with a charger in 6 simple steps

How do you clean a corroded car battery?

Below shows how to properly clean a corroded car battery;

Disconnect the battery cable

  • Put on gloves to protect your hands first. In order to separate the battery connections in a newer vehicle, you might need to enter a security code into the navigation system.
  • First, unplug the negative battery cable. The cable may be black or marked with a negative sign, the term NEG, or both. Next, disconnect the positive (red) cable. To pry the cables loose, you might need to use a wrench or a pair of pliers.
  • Examine the cables carefully for any indications of excessive wear or insulation that is flaking. You must repair the cables if they are frayed or broken.

Read more: How to recondition a car battery

Neutralize the corrosion

  • To neutralize the corrosion and begin removing it, use a battery cleaning spray or a paste made of baking soda and water. You might need to clean the corrosion off the terminals with a wire brush if there is a lot of it. After you’ve scrubbed it all off, rinse it with water.

Read more: How to disconnect a car battery in 5 straightforward and safe steps

Dry the battery

  • Once the corrosion has been removed, use the microfiber cloth to dry the batteries, terminals, and cables.

Read more: What can drain a car battery? Warning signs of a low car battery

Reconnect the battery cables

  • Reconnect the cables after the battery has dried. Be careful not to tighten them up too much. This is the time to attach any new cables you may have changed.
  • Read more: Understanding car battery

How Can You Prevent Battery Corrosion?

Below are the preventive measures recommended to protect your battery from corrosion;

carry out regular maintenance

  • Every so often, check your battery for corrosion. Doing this when you get your oil changed is a smart idea. By regularly inspecting your battery, you may identify any early indications of corrosion and address them before they lead to more issues.

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Apply a preventative treatment

  • To stop corrosion from forming, you can purchase commercial brush-on treatments or sprays at auto parts stores. Before using the battery cables to move between the terminal and the cable, disconnect them.

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Ensure that your battery is properly charged

  • Corrosion might result from charging your battery too much or too little. Take your battery to a professional if it frequently overcharges or undercharges so they can determine the cause.

Read more: How to test a car battery with a multimeter

Use battery grease or petroleum jelly

What is the effect of car battery corrosion?

  • If your skin or eyes are exposed to a corroded battery it might irritate or burn them.
  • If battery corrosion is not addressed, your automobile may suffer additional damage that will cost more to fix the longer you wait.
  • Because car batteries contain sulfuric acid, the battery acid has the potential to produce explosive gases.
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Car battery corrosion FAQs

What causes batteries to corrode?

The electrolyte or electrolyte vapors that are emitted from the top of the battery are the most frequent cause of battery corrosion. The acidic electrolyte may condense on top of the battery due to hydrogen gas that is naturally generated from the battery.

Read more: How to tell positive and negative on a car battery

Can you fix the battery corrosion?

Baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid on corrosion. Dab baking soda with a cotton swab or an old toothbrush that has been thoroughly moistened with vinegar or lemon juice. Allow it to bubble for a few minutes, then scrub the corrosion away and rinse with cotton swabs dipped in fresh water.

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How do you treat a corroded battery?

Apply baking soda to the entire corrosion-affected area. The battery acid will be reacted by doing this. To activate the baking soda and trigger a chemical process that will eliminate the corrosion, add a small amount of water. Use a paper towel to clean and dry the area, then a scrub sponge to remove any leftover grime.

Read more: Most common and possible reasons why your car battery won’t hold a charge

What happens if you touch battery corrosion?

Chemical burns can result from contact with battery acid. It’s possible that these burns don’t manifest right away. The onset of symptoms can happen minutes or hours later. Chemical burns can cause skin irritation, redness, and blackened or dead skin.

Read more: What does the service battery charging system message mean? How to fix it

What stops battery acid corrosion?

The simplest technique to neutralize alkaline leaks from the gadget is to gently dab with a few drops of mild acids, such as white vinegar or lemon juice. An old toothbrush bathed in vinegar or lemon juice works wonders for difficult leaks.

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Can corrosion cause battery failure?

A battery’s life can be shortened by corrosion, which can drain its energy. Battery corrosion is frequently visible at the terminals; this issue can be fixed by thorough cleaning.

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How long does it take for a battery to corrode?

Your battery may become hot if you overcharge it. The battery’s internal liquid may expand as a result of the additional heat, leaking corrosive liquid onto the battery cables through the vent holes. Corrosion is a possibility if your battery is getting close to the end of its 5- to 7-year lifespan.

Read more: Battery light on in car: meaning, causes, & what to do when the light appears on the dashboard

Does battery corrosion mean a bad battery?

Battery corrosion is a common occurrence that can be brought on by everyday wear and tear. But simply because something is typical doesn’t mean you should disregard it. In truth, corroded battery connections are a frequent reason why batteries last less time and have electrical issues in cars.

Read more:  Understanding car battery

Does battery corrosion mean a new battery?

If corrosion is forming around your battery terminals on other vehicles with regular flooded lead-acid batteries, it does not necessarily indicate that your battery needs to be replaced but rather that there is likely significant resistance accumulating around that connection, which may make it more difficult for your battery to accept and deliver power.

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What are the signs of battery corrosion?

You may notice a whitish-blue, granular residue surrounding the battery terminals if you frequently open the hood of your car to check the oil, washer fluid, transmission fluid, or anything else. Corrosion is indicated by this, and it should never be disregarded.

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That’s all for this article where we discussed the answers to the following questions related to battery corrosion;

  • What is car battery corrosion?
  • What are the causes of car battery corrosion?
  • How do you clean a corroded car battery?
  • How do you prevent car battery corrosion?
  • What is the effect of car battery corrosion?

I hope it was helpful, if so, kindly share. Thanks for reading.