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How to Clean the Battery Terminals in Your European Automobile

Cleaning your car’s battery terminals is a DIY project that you can do yourself. Peak Euro warns, however, that you shouldn’t have to clean them too often. If your European automobile’s battery terminals get corroded constantly, you need to replace the battery. Battery corrosion can be caused by battery leaks as well as internal chemical reaction problems.

1. Inspect Your Battery

First, make sure you have your vehicle parked with the parking brake set, turned off, and in good light. If you aren’t in good light, use a flashlight. Inspect your car’s battery for more than just corroded terminals. Look for bubbling, cracking, or warping of the battery case, as well. If you see it, replace the battery.

2. Gather Your Supplies

If everything looks okay, gather the following supplies:

  • Baking soda
  • Clean, lint-free cloth
  • Distilled water
  • Mixing container
  • Old toothbrush
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Spray bottle

Once you have these gathered, it’s time to mix up your cleaning solution.

3. Mix Your Cleaning Solution

Pour 1 cup of the distilled water into the mixing container and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Using the old toothbrush, mix the solution until it runs clear. Pour distilled water into a clean spray bottle, as well. These are your cleaning and rinsing solutions.

4. Remove the Battery Cables

Set the cleaning supplies aside and remove your battery cables. It is crucial that you undo the negative battery cable before you undo the positive one. Do not remove the battery cables any other way.

5. Clean the Terminals

Once the negative and positive cables are removed, wet the toothbrush head with plenty of cleaning solution and put some elbow grease into scrubbing the corrosion off each terminal. Repeat this until the battery terminals are completely clean.

6. Rinse the Terminals

Set aside the cleaning solution and toothbrush and spray rinse the battery terminals with the distilled water in the spray bottle. Make sure to rinse the terminals thoroughly until all of the baking soda, water, and corrosion have been cleaned off.

7. Dry the Terminals

Using the dry, lint-free cloth, dry off the battery terminals and battery case completely. Make sure there is no moisture left on anything before you move on to the next steps of this automotive DIY project.

8. Apply Petroleum Jelly

Once the terminals are completely dry, dab a little petroleum jelly on each terminal and rub it around. This will protect the terminals and keep dirt and grime from building up on them again.

9. Reconnect the Cables

Reconnect the battery cables, again, in this specific order: positive first and then negative. Remember, to disconnect, negative and then positive. To reconnect, positive and then negative.

Voila! Your battery terminals are clean. If you think you need a new battery, stop by Peak Euro in Bend, OR. We’ll hook one up for you in no time.

Photo by khunkorn via Canva Pro
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