Your car battery withstands a great deal of use. Naturally, with use comes wear, and with wear can come buildup. Corrosive buildup on a battery is not a simple nuisance; the issue can prevent your battery from functioning correctly, such as preventing it from starting. Knowing how to clean your battery the correct way is essential to get your battery back in working order. Learn how you can clean your battery.
If your battery needs to be cleaned, you need to allow your car to cool first. Never try to clean a battery when the terminal is still hot. The concern is not that you will cause damage to the battery, but you could instead cause serious injury to yourself in the form of a burn. Typically, allowing your vehicle to rest for several hours is a good idea.
Once your car's engine is cooled, you need to look over the battery. If the battery is corroded, it does, in fact, need to be cleaned. However, in some instances, it is not recommended for you to attempt to clean the battery on your own. Look at the battery to see if its sides are bulked or if the battery seems to be leaking. If you notice any of these issues, you may need to replace the battery, rather than clean it. A repair professional can help make the determination.
Disconnect the positive and negative cables attached to the battery before you attempt to do anything to it. If you don't know how to perform this step correctly, don't move any further. It's best to take your vehicle to a repair shop in this instance. You could damage the battery if you don't remove or replace battery's cables the proper way.
Use a toothbrush and a battery-approved cleaning agent to gently scrub down the surfaces of the battery. Make sure that the toothbrush is not overly wet so that you don't saturate the battery casing. Once you have removed the corrosion, you can dampen the toothbrush and rub down the terminal to remove any residual product from the cleaning agent. Once that's removed, apply an anti-corrosion grease to the battery to prevent future corrosion buildup. Give the grease a few moments to settle along the surface, reapply the cables, and you're finished.
If you are uncomfortable cleaning your car battery or you still experience problems after cleaning the battery — visit an auto professional. A technician can inspect your battery to determine the cause of the problem and take care of any other auto maintenance needs you have.