Ultimate guide to cleaning and preventing corrosion in car batteries

Ultimativer Führer zum Reinigen und Verhindern von Korrosion bei Autobatterien

Maintaining a clean and corrosion-free car battery is essential for optimal performance and longevity. Battery corrosion can negatively impact electrical connections, shorten battery life, and even lead to costly repairs.

In this article, we explore the importance of battery maintenance, discuss the causes and signs of corrosion, provide step-by-step instructions for cleaning corroded batteries, and offer preventative measures to ensure a healthy battery.

What is car battery corrosion?

Car battery corrosion is the deposition of a white or bluish-gray substance on the terminals and terminals of a car battery. It is mainly caused by a chemical reaction between the sulfuric acid in the battery and the metal components. Corrosion can also occur from moisture, dirt and other contaminants.

As corrosion builds up, it can restrict the flow of electricity between the battery and the vehicle's electrical system, resulting in poor performance and possible electrical problems. Corrosion can also cause the battery terminals to become brittle and break, further reducing the battery's ability to deliver power.

What causes corrosion on car batteries?

Car battery corrosion is primarily caused by a chemical reaction between the sulfuric acid in the battery and the metal components. When the battery discharges and produces hydrogen gas, this gas reacts with the lead in the battery terminals to form lead sulfate. This lead sulfate can then combine with moisture and other contaminants in the air to form a white, flaky layer of corrosion.

Factors that can contribute to car battery corrosion include:

Exposure to moisture

Moisture in the air can promote chemical reactions and contribute to the formation of corrosion.


Dirt, dust and other particles in the air can mix with moisture and sulfuric acid to create a corrosive environment.

High temperatures

Higher temperatures can accelerate the chemical reaction and lead to faster corrosion formation.


If the battery is overcharged, it may produce more hydrogen gas, increasing the likelihood of corrosion. Corrosion on the negative terminal of the battery is often a sign of undercharging. This can occur if you frequently take short trips and your vehicle's electronic system uses a lot of battery power for on-board electronics.

Age and signs of wear

As the battery ages, the risk of corrosion may increase due to wear and tear on the internal components.

Corrosion buildup on battery terminals and connectors can restrict current flow, reduce battery performance and potentially cause electrical problems in the vehicle. It is important to regularly check and clean the battery terminals to prevent or eliminate corrosion.

Regular maintenance includes cleaning the terminals with a mixture of baking soda and water or a special battery terminal cleaner. It is recommended to wear protective gloves and eye protection during this process. After cleaning, applying an anti-corrosion spray or petroleum jelly to the connectors can help prevent future corrosion.

Step-by-step instructions – How to remove battery corrosion

Step 1. Prioritize security

The powdery residue around the terminals of your battery can be corrosive and harmful to your skin and eyes. It is important to take precautions. Wear heavy duty gloves and eye protection when handling battery corrosion. If corrosive material comes into contact with your skin or clothing, wash it off immediately.

Step 2. Clamp the LiFePO4


Start by disconnecting the negative terminal. Carefully disconnect the cable from the battery, making sure it is securely removed from the connector. It is important to prevent slipping back. Then remove the positive pole connection.

Note: Consider using a battery storage saver before disconnecting the lithium battery. This device helps preserve stored data and protect your car's electrical system. Please refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for specific instructions on how to use a battery saver mode.

Step 3. Check the battery cables

After disconnecting the battery, take a moment to inspect the cables. Look for signs of fraying or corrosion where the cable connects to the connector. Check whether the insulation is dry or has cracks. Damaged cables should be replaced.

Step 4. Remove the battery from the vehicle

Although it is possible to clean the lithium battery from corrosion while it is still in the car, it is safest for you, your battery and your vehicle to remove it. Place the battery in a shallow bucket or pan to catch any corrosive material that is washed away.

Step 5. Begin the cleaning process

It's time to neutralize and remove corrosion from your car battery. Use a wire brush or scraper to remove any solid, powdery corrosion around the terminals and remove debris from the top of the battery case. Brush away the corrosion so it falls into the pan below.

Step 6. Neutralize remaining corrosion

To completely remove and neutralize the remaining corrosion, you have several options:

  • Battery Terminal Cleaner:This is a commercially available product specifically designed to clean and neutralize battery corrosion. It is a spray solution that changes color as it reacts with corrosion.
  • Baking soda and warm water solution:Mixing baking soda with warm water creates an effective neutralizing solution for cleaning battery corrosion. Remember to dip a rag into the solution and wipe away the corrosion rather than pouring the solution directly onto the top of the battery. This precaution prevents the solution from entering the battery cells and neutralizing the sulfuric acid inside.

Note: Don't forget to clean the terminal ends that connect your battery to the cables. You can dip the ends in a solution of baking soda and water or use a commercial battery terminal cleaner.

Step 7. Dry and polish

Dry the battery case, terminals and connectors with a microfiber cloth. Use a contact cleaning brush to remove any dirt or debris from the contacts that may be interfering with the connection.

Step 8. Replace and reconnect

Replace the battery in its compartment in the engine compartment and reconnect the terminals. First attach the positive pole firmly to the cable and then attach the negative pole. Finally, replace the battery holders.

How to prevent battery corrosion?

To prevent corrosion on the battery terminals, proceed as follows:

Keep the battery clean

Regularly check and clean the battery terminals to remove any dirt, grime or debris. Use a wire brush or battery terminal cleaner to remove any corrosion or debris on the terminals.

Apply a protective layer

After cleaning the battery terminals, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or terminal protection spray to the terminals. This creates a barrier that prevents moisture and corrosive substances from reaching the metal surfaces.

Make sure the battery is installed properly

Ensure the battery is securely fastened in its compartment to minimize movement and vibration. Loose batteries can cause the terminals to come loose and promote corrosion.

Tighten the clamp connections

Regularly check that the battery terminal connections are secure. Loose connections can lead to electrical resistance and increase the risk of corrosion. Use a wrench to tighten the terminals securely without overtightening them.

Avoid overcharging the battery

Overcharging a battery can generate excessive heat, which can lead to corrosion. When charging, follow the manufacturer's recommendations and avoid leaving the battery on the charger for an extended period of time.

Prevent acid leakage

Ensure that the battery vent caps are properly closed to prevent acid leakage. Acid leaks can accelerate corrosion and damage surrounding components. If you notice any leaks, fix them immediately and consider replacing the battery.

Check the vehicle's electrical system

A faulty electrical system can cause excessive charging or discharging of the battery, resulting in corrosion. Regularly inspect and maintain the vehicle's electrical system, including the alternator, voltage regulator and wiring.

Store the vehicle properly

When storing a vehicle for an extended period of time, disconnect the battery or use a battery trickle switch to maintain charge. Storing a completely discharged battery can cause sulfation, increasing the risk of corrosion.

Upgrade to a LiFePO4 lithium battery and say goodbye to battery corrosion

Upgrading to a LiFePO4 lithium (lithium iron phosphate) battery is a great way to say goodbye to battery corrosion. Unlike traditional lead-acid batteries, LiFePO4 batteries are not prone to corrosion problems and provide a more reliable and maintenance-free power source. Here are the benefits of upgrading to a LiFePO4 lithium battery:


LiFePO4 batteries do not generate any corrosive gases during operation, which eliminates the risk of final corrosion. This is because they use a different chemistry that does not contain acid or lead, resulting in a cleaner and safer battery solution.

Longer lifespan

The LiFePO4 batteries offered by Timeusb have a much longer lifespan than traditional lead-acid batteries. With life cycles of up to 4.000-15.000, these batteries can last up to 10 years. They can endure a higher number of charge-discharge cycles, providing more years of reliable service without the need for frequent replacement.

Light and compact

LiFePO4 batteries are significantly lighter and more compact than lead-acid batteries with similar performance. This makes them ideal for applications where weight and space are critical factors, such as: b Recreational vehicles, boats or off-grid solar systems.

Higher energy efficiency

LiFePO4 batteries offer higher energy efficiency, meaning they can provide more usable energy from the energy stored. They have a lower self-discharge rate, allowing them to retain their charge for longer periods of time without the need for frequent recharging.

Fast charging functions

LiFePO4 batteries can handle faster charging rates compared to lead-acid batteries. They can be charged at higher currents without negatively affecting their performance or lifespan, allowing for shorter charging times.

Advanced security features

LiFePO4 batteries have built-in safety features BMS (battery management system), including thermal stability and improved resistance to thermal runaway or overheating. This makes them less vulnerable to dangerous situations such as explosions or fires and provides additional safety.

Environmental friendliness

LiFePO4 lithium batteries are considered more environmentally friendly than lead-acid batteries. They are recyclable, have lower toxic content and do not release harmful gases or chemicals when used or disposed of.

It is important to note that upgrading to a LiFePO4 lithium battery may require some adjustments to the charging system and battery management. Consult a professional or consult the manufacturer's guidelines for proper installation and use of LiFePO4 batteries in your specific application.

By upgrading to a LiFePO4 lithium battery, you will enjoy the benefits of a corrosion-free, long-lasting and efficient power solution, making it a reliable choice for various applications.