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The Importance of Keeping Car Battery Connections Clean

Car battery terminal connector

Your car’s battery is a vital part of your vehicle, so you need to keep it in good condition. One of the most important things you can do to maintain your battery is to keep the terminals clean. Here’s how to do it.

Why Is It Important to Clean Battery Terminals?

Car battery terminals can corrode over time due to chemical reactions and exposure to moisture. Corrosion can impede the flow of electricity, leading to starting issues, dimming lights and other electrical problems. Cleaning the terminals helps ensure a secure connection between the battery and the vehicle’s electrical system.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Car Battery Terminals?

When to clean your battery terminals depends on many factors, including the climate you live in, how often you drive and the condition and age of your battery. It’s best to clean them at least once a year and more often if you live in a humid or salty climate.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Battery Terminals?

Dirty and corroded battery terminals can cause problems ranging from minor annoyances to major repairs. Here are some well-documented consequences of failing to keep a clean battery.

  • Reduced battery performance. Corrosion creates a poor connection between the battery and the cables, which can reduce the amount of power the battery can deliver. This can cause a variety of problems and shorten the battery’s lifespan.
  • Electrical problems. Corrosion can cause electrical shorts, which could damage the battery and other electrical components in your car.
  • Difficulty starting the car. Severe battery corrosion can make it impossible to start the car because the battery can’t deliver enough power to the starter.
  • Leaking acid. In extreme cases, the corrosion can cause the battery to leak acid. This can damage the battery, cables and other parts of your car.

How to Clean Car Battery Terminals

Cleaning your battery terminals is a relatively simple process. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A baking soda and water solution in a 1:1 ratio
  • A wire brush
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses

Follow these six steps:

  1. Before cleaning your battery terminals, disconnect the cables from the terminals. Disconnect the negative cable (black) first, then the positive cable (red).
  2. Mix the baking soda and water solution.
  3. Apply the baking soda solution to the corroded terminals with a wire brush.
  4. Scrub the terminals until the corrosion is gone.
  5. Rinse the terminals with clean water and dry them thoroughly.
  6. Reconnect the cables in the reverse order that you disconnected them.

You may need to repeat the process if the corrosion is severe.

Car Battery Testing in Vancouver and British Columbia

At Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres, we offer complete car battery services, including a battery and charging system check to inspect the terminals and case, check electrolyte levels and test the current. Contact us today at one of our 15 locations throughout B.C. and Alberta and book an appointment.


Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres Address Common Issues

Here at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres in British Columbia, we’re always pleased to help our customers get the most out of their cars and trucks. To that end, we’ll add a relevant blog topic from time to time to keep you up to date and getting the most out of your vehicle.