After turning on the ignition, you expect the car to start but you might be shocked if nothing happens. The first thing that hits your mind is that the battery is dead and something could have taken place to drain it; perhaps you left some lights on. However, after popping up the hood to see what is wrong you realize the problem is a corroded, dirty or greasy battery terminal and you must do something about it.
Corrosion Of Battery Terminal
In case the car is not driven regularly, it is expected that the problem will keep rising. In case the engine has stopped and the battery is just there, the oxidization of the terminals will happen at a rapid rate. It means that battery terminals must be checked all the time for corrosion, which is manifested as an ashy and white deposit on either or one battery post with some color added into the mix, although not all the time. Such deposits happen as a result of a number of chemical exchanges that involves battery post and vapors.
Cleaning Battery Terminals
If you intend to do this on your own, you might need combination tools such as battery clamp brush or battery post brush you can buy from any auto online shop or the auto store next door. They are provided in two main designs where one uses a reamer and two cutting blades while the other employs the elements of a wire brush. Old professionals prefer using the one with the reamer, but each of the two designs will work well especially if you are not cleaning the battery posts daily. Other things you might require include petroleum jelly or grease, wrench, lint-free clean cloth, water, some baking soda, toothbrush and vice grips or locking pliers.
What To Do
Cables should be removed from the terminals of the battery right away through the loosening of the nut on every cable clamp. Always start the removal of the cable clamp beginning with the negative terminal and proceeding to the next. When it comes to replacing the cables, go for the reverse by starting with the positive and ending with the negative. The cable might not come off smoothly and some lifting and wiggling might have to be done until you have removed the clamp from the terminal post. If corrosion is way too much, you might need to use locking pliers to make the work easier. Avoid shorting any tool you are using against the vehicle once the battery comes into contact with it.
Activities To Carry Out
Look into the clamps and battery cables to ensure there is no excess corrosion or wear. If there is extensive damage, the clamps and cables have to be replaced to ensure future problems have been avoided. It is important to ensure the battery case does not have cracks and terminals are not damaged in any way. If there is any in either of the two, ensure the battery has been replaced. Add some baking soda to the posts directly and dip the toothbrush in the water before scrubbing the baking soda into the cable clamps and terminal posts while using eye and skin protection. Before smearing some petroleum jelly or grease, everything should be cleaned off using a disposable clean lint-free rag.