Now that summer is winding down, it is the perfect time to inspect your car battery. Sure enough, your battery has battled the heat throughout the summer. But if you know a thing or two about car batteries, they do not mix well with heat – it can cause corrosion.
Corrosion occurs when the battery acid leaks and reacts with the metal connection points. It is expected as a part of wear and tear. However, corrosion can be accelerated from the heat. Fortunately, it is simple to clean up minor decay. If you have larger clumps of corrosion, it may be too late to save your battery. When left on there long enough, the corrosion will block out the electrical charges that are supposed to flow in and out of the battery. As a result, you won’t be able to start your car. Batteries tend to last 3-5 years. With proper maintenance and good habits, you can extend the wear on your car battery.
Inspecting your car is an easy process. We recommend getting familiar with where your battery is and locating the terminals and wires. To inspect your battery for corrosion, open the hood and look for visible white, green, or blue materials collecting on your battery.
If you notice some corrosion on your battery’s connection points, gather the following items to clean it off:
- Baking Soda
- Old Toothbrush
- Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly
Make sure you disconnect the battery wearing a pair of gloves. The baking soda and water should be mixed together to act as the cleaning paste. Using the brush you should apply and scrub the solution onto the corrosion. You should see a chemical reaction as the acid breaks down. Then, you will need to rinse and wipe down the battery terminals. Last but not least, you should dab a small amount of petroleum jelly onto the terminals to prevent corrosion.
If you need further assistance with your car battery, like a battery test, we welcome you to bring your car to Cottman of Waldorf.