Taking care of your car should be among your top priorities. You actually don’t need any technical skills to carry out simple maintenance procedures such as cleaning the battery terminals. A car’s battery should always be in great shape for you to make it last longer and avoid incurring high replacement costs. All you need when cleaning the terminals is to find the right tools and observe certain precautionary measures as explained below.
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Precautionary Measures When Cleaning the Car Battery
A car battery is safe to clean provided that one observes some precautionary measures. A simple mistake when cleaning the terminals could result to sparks, which may damage your car or cause physical injuries to you. It is advisable not to use metallic substances when touching the battery terminals since they may conduct electricity. Take all the time you need to ensure that you clean all the parts. Always keep tools that you aren’t using away from the battery to avoid accidents.
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Cleaning Supplies that You Need
The wire brush will allow you to clean the battery terminals. You can buy the tool from stores that sell batteries. You can also buy the wire brush online from Amazon, which offers potential customers like you a huge collection of related products.
You’ll need a battery terminal cleaning spray for neutralizing the acid and breaking up the tough corrosion on the terminals. The battery cleaning process won’t be complete unless you use this spray. You can purchase it from Amazon and other retail stores that stock batteries.
When handling the car battery, your hands will definitely get dirty. For hygiene purposes, you need shop towels to wipe your hands. Shop towels, which come in diverse designs and colors are affordable.
Sockets or Wrenches
To remove the terminal ends from your car battery, you’ll need a simple socket or a set of wrenches. Most cars sold in the market today use metric nuts. However, you need more tools to make the process of removing the terminal ends easier.
Step by Step Guide on How to Clean a Car Battery
Step 1 : Disconnect the Car Battery
Before you clean the battery, you should disconnect it from the car’s system. The first thing to do is to identify the location of the battery. You can clean the terminals with a wire brush if there’s any signs of the corrosion. Use a socket or wrench to remove the negative cable (a black cable with a (-) sign) and the positive cable (a red cable with a (+) sign). Be sure to keep the cables in a safe place after removing them.
Step 2 : Clean the Battery Terminal Posts
The metal nubs and posts found on a car battery are prone to corrosion, oil and dust. You’ll notice the corrosion powder by its blue-white color. Wear a dusk mask if corrosion powder (sulfuric acid powder) seems to take long to move from the terminals. You can also sprinkle some cleaning spray on the corroded posts to eat away the corrosion by neutralizing the acid. Use a wire brush to clean the posts further until they appear shiny.
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Step 3 : Clean the Battery Cable Ends
The next parts to clean after the posts are free of corrosion are the cable ends. Clean one cable end at a time to avoid connecting them to the post with a metal. You can also soak the shop towels with a cleaning agent and use them to wipe any dirt on the cable ends. The wire brush will help you clean the entire cable end. Once you’re through with the cleaning process, inspect the cable ends for loose connections, cracks or damages. Replace them if you accidentally cracked them.
Step 4 : Reinstall the Battery Cable Ends and Cover
After ensuring that the terminal posts, cable ends and other parts of the car battery are clean, reinstall the cable ends. Attach the positive cable to the positive terminal and the negative cable to the negative terminal using their respective cable ends. Don’t apply a lot of pressure on the cables when tightening them since they can break. If your car battery has a cover, be sure to reinstall it after reinstalling the cable ends.
One more point
Car batteries require a lot of care and attention when you’re cleaning them. Tools such as sockets, wrenches, wire brushes, cleaning sprays and shop towels can help you clean them effectively. Before cleaning, be sure to disconnect the battery. Proceed with cleaning the terminal posts and cable ends. Complete the process by reinstalling the battery cable ends and cover.