Your car battery is the most important part of your vehicle, right after the engine. If your battery isn't functioning properly, then your ignition, engine, and every electrical system in your vehicle won't be able to function. Over time, corrosion can occur on various metal parts of your automotive battery, which can then block the electrical current from the battery from reaching the rest of your vehicle. Thankfully, you can clean this corrosion off yourself using a few simple tools:
Before You Begin
Before you get started, you should get all of the tools and materials that you'll need together to speed the process up as much as possible. You'll want a clean paintbrush, a piece of steel wool, baking soda, clean rags, water in a small bucket, a wrench, a pair of pliers, lubricant or automotive grease, rubber gloves, and safety goggles. All of these things can be found at most auto supply and hardware stores if you don't already own them.
Removing Battery Corrosion
First, make sure your vehicle has been off for at least an hour before you start working on it, as it will otherwise be too hot and will represent a danger to you.
Then, you'll want to open up the hood and remove the battery cables from the battery, taking the black (negative) cable off of the battery first. You may need to use the pliers to remove the cables from the terminal if the corrosion is particularly bad.
Inspect the ends of the cables and the terminals to see just how bad the corrosion is. If they've experienced significant structural damage and don't look like they'll be able to attach to one another, you'll have to contact a professional to have them replaced. However, if they're only covered in a moderate to small amount of corrosion, you can likely clean them off.
Sprinkle the baking soda on the areas that are covered in corrosion. This will neutralize the corrosion and break it down, making it easier to remove.
Next, use the steel wool soaked in water to scrub the corrosion away. You may need to apply more water to the wool and more baking soda to the corrosion: it is the reaction of the baking soda and water that aids in the removal.
Once you've removed the corrosion, you can wipe the terminals and cables dry using a rag. You should apply grease or automotive lubricant to the terminals and cables, as this can help prevent rust and corrosion from setting in in the future.
Finally, you can reattach the cables to the battery terminals, taking care to attach the red (positive) cable before attaching the black (negative) cable. If necessary, you can tighten the terminals using the pliers or wrench.
Contact a company like Professional Automotive for more information and assistance.