Tips

How Do You Clean Dirty Battery Terminals?

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You can clean your vehicle’s battery terminals by yourself if you feel like a DIY project this weekend. If you don’t feel like cleaning them on your own, just swing by Mike’s Auto Service & Repair and we’ll clean them for you. If you do, here’s how to do it step-by-step!

Make Battery Cleaner

Don’t waste your money at the auto parts store by purchasing battery cleaner. You can make your own cleaning solution quickly and easily with stuff you have in the kitchen. Grab a container and put 1 tablespoon baking soda in the bottom. Add 1 cup of water to the baking soda and stir well. Seriously, that’s it. That’s all you have to do.

Head to the Garage

Head out to the garage with your cleaner and an old toothbrush. Put on some protective gloves and pop the hood to disconnect the battery cables. Undo the negative cable first and then detach the positive one. If you need guidance, check your owner’s manual. Inspect your battery for bloating, leaking, or swelling. If you see any of it, stop. Bring your vehicle in for a new battery.

Scrub the Terminals

If all looks well, dip your old toothbrush into your cleaning solution and scrub the battery terminals. You might need to put some elbow grease into it depending on how corroded the terminals are. Clean the toothbrush as you go along if it gets dirty. A cup of plain water will do. Then, dip it into more cleaner and scrub-a-dub-dub. Repeat until the terminals are clean.

Rinse and Dry

Once the terminals are sparkling clean, rinse the battery quickly with water. Don’t open the hose on it. Rather, fill a spray bottle with water and use that. If you’d prefer to use a damp rag, you can rinse off the terminals that way, as well. Once you’ve rinsed them clean, dry the terminals with a soft cloth but be careful the cloth doesn’t leave fuzz or another residue on them.

Coat the Terminals and Reattach the Cables

Grab some petroleum jelly from your bathroom and apply just a little to each battery terminal. This helps to keep the terminals lubricated so they won’t corrode again. Oddly, the petroleum jelly also helps the battery’s connection, strengthening it. It must be the petroleum. Reattach the positive cable first, and then reattach the negative cable. Start your vehicle to ensure it runs.

If you hit a snag or, as said above, you don’t feel like doing this yourself, call Mike’s Auto Service & Repair at 413-737-7806. We service the West Springfield, MA, area.

Call Mike's Auto Service & Repair at 413-737-7806 for an appointment today!

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