How to Clean Battery Terminals

Battery Terminals

The Run-Down for Columbia Ford Drivers

If your car battery is covered in a white and powdery substance--and you have yet to find yourself stranded at the side of the road--consider yourself lucky. This white, powdery substance indicates corrosion. When your terminals are corroded, the electricity cannot flow properly. This can prevent your engine from starting or cause it to stall while idling. With proper cleaning, your car battery should last four years (at the least). Thus, we at Apple Ford Lincoln are here to tell you how to keep your battery clean.

What to Do:

Before you can do anything, you'll need to go to the store and buy battery terminal cleaner and protectant. Once you've got these products, you're ready to start. Make sure to put on goggles, gloves and a work smock. Check the battery for cracks or leaks; if you notice any, the battery needs to be replaced. You can schedule service with our Ford dealer in Columbia if you'd prefer to leave this to the pros. If your vehicle is not due for a new battery, you can begin. It's important to note that NEWER vehicles often require you to take specific precautionary measures before disconnecting the battery. Refer to your owner's manual or ask your mechanic for this information.

With the car off and the hood open:

  • Remove the covers (rubber or plastic) that connect the points where the cables meet the terminals.
  • Identify the negative terminal. Use pliers to loosen the clamp.
  • Remove clamp from the positive terminal.
  • Use battery terminal cleaner to remove the corrosion. The cleaner will include instructions (it may foam once sprayed).
  • Use a wire brush and gently loosen the corrosion on the terminals and clamps.
  • Use a spray bottle filled with water to rinse away any remaining foam and corrosion.
  • Dry the terminals and clamps with a soft cloth.
  • Apply battery terminal protectant to each terminal (a thin layer will suffice).
  • Reattach the clamp to the positive terminal first.
  • Attach remaining clamp to the negative terminal.
  • Replace both terminal covers.
  • Close the hood!

We hope you find these instructions helpful. It's important that you keep up with your car battery's maintenance. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Ford dealer in Columbia at (866) 841-9642. We're always willing to lend a hand.

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