Contact! How are those battery terminals doing?

By Javier Mendez, Jo's Garage

Javier Mendez, owner and operator, Jo's Garage, Inc., at the Kerechuk building. Contact Mr. Mendez at 626-872-0705. Visit the website at www.josgarage.com.

Over the last few months I have dealt with quite a few battery related repairs stemming from corrosion build up.  Some customers had no idea there was a problem developing all summer, while other customers came in with starting problems and some with performance issues and warning lamps on.  All of these problems can be avoided with detailed inspection and simple servicing. 

Corrosion happens when batteries release gas during the recharge process as we drive.  Good connections at the battery and maintaining a good state of charge help minimize this gas release.  Corrosion build up can range from invisible to heavy white or blue green build up on battery tops, hold downs and connections.  If left to build up it will weaken and eat away at battery connectors and cables. This reduces current flow to critical systems and comfort accessories.  Your vehicles alternator can also be over work as a result.  

These days battery cables are often part of and expensive wire harness.  I have come across quite a few repairs to these harnesses with weak temporary type materials.  These repairs eventually fail and cause problems of their own. Repairs should be performed with quality materials and need to meet original factory specifications in order to go the distance.

If you find corrosion on your battery terminals it can be cleaned with a solution of baking soda and water. Some professionals recommend one-part baking soda to 2 parts water, others recommend a table spoon of baking soda to 8 ounces of water.   Brush the solution on to the problem area and wipe the buildup clean.  Be sure to look for hidden build up behind the plastic protective covers and in to the wires themselves. Once cleaned a corrosion inhibitor should be sprayed on. This is available at most auto parts stores for just a few dollars.  A popular alternative is felt pads but be careful that these pads do not shim your cable connection leading to a poor contact.  If the buildup is heavy it may be necessary to disconnect the cables for thorough cleaning. If this is the case I recommend you leave the task to your trusted professional as there is risk of damage from shorting out cables and because vehicles these days have memories that need to be maintained during the process.

Have a great month Alhambra! 

For more information on this topic or previous topics visit us at www.josgarage.comor give us a call at (626) 872-0705.  


batteriescorrosion build upcables

Nov 2021


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