Car Battery Care

by Joe Ferguson on June 24, 2013

Auto mechanic replacing car battery

Your car’s battery is obviously an extremely important component. Without the battery, your car won’t run, and you’ll be reduced to traveling by foot or, even worse, public transportation. Today’s focus: basic battery maintenance.

You should be inspecting your battery’s condition as religiously as you do regular oil changes and tire pressure checks. Battery problems have a knack for striking when you least expect them, so even if there are no glaring problems popping out at you, giving the battery a once-over is a great idea. Today we’ll talk about cleaning corrosion off of your car’s battery.

Corrosion: This is an issue you should be able to spot fairly easily. Car batteries are full of sulfuric acid. This acid interacts with the metal in the battery, causing a powdery, chemical discharge to seep from the positive and negative posts.

Cleaning the battery yourself is fairly simple, but there are some precautions you should take to ensure you’re doing it safely. Wear gloves; you don’t want sulfuric acid on your skin. Disconnect the battery from the negative end first. If you disconnect the battery from the positive end first and accidentally touch it with one of your tools, you could end up being electrocuted.

A tried-and-true method of clearing the car battery of corrosive buildup is to mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda. Use the mixture and an old toothbrush to scrub the corrosion from the battery. The buildup should dissolve easily with the baking soda and water concoction. Next, give the battery terminals a thorough cleaning with your baking soda and water solution.

Your car should be running like a champ after giving the battery a much-needed bath. Simple steps like cleaning corrosion from the car battery and other simple car repair tasks will maintain your used car’s value and keep your car going for years to come.

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