No matter what kind of battery you have, the terminals can become corroded over time making them poor conductors of electricity. Contrary to popular belief, corrosion won’t make your battery catch on fire– but it can weaken or cut off its connection to the engine. This is a common cause of rough or failed starts– eventually, you might even need to replace the whole unit. In this article, we’ll discuss a few common causes of corrosion to look out for:
Electrolyte Leaking Out to the Terminals
In sealed lead acid batteries, the electrolyte in the can leak out and corrode the battery terminals. Typically, this only happens when a battery becomes old or damaged. Flooded lead-acid batteries, however, are much more likely to corrode. Because the electrolyte isn’t contained in the same way, it can “jump” out of the battery if you’re too careless while adding water.
Overfilling the Battery
If you put too much water in your battery, the chances of corrosion increase drastically. Overfilling can enable the electrolyte to leak out of the battery’s vents and come into contact with the terminals, thus causing corrosion.
Overcharging of the Battery
When a battery is overcharged, it heats up. This can cause the electrolyte inside the battery to become “jumpy,” meaning it becomes high on kinetic energy and its volume increases. This can cause the electrolyte to overflow out of the vents or sneak out of any cracks caused by age.
Sometimes, the copper clamps that are normally used to connect the battery with the wires corrode. While the copper is not usually reactive by itself, the electricity passing through it can cause it to corrode over time and create copper sulfate. If this happens, the bluish substance can usually be seen around the battery terminals. This can be dangerous for the battery and should be taken care of as soon as possible.
If you suspect that your battery may have terminal corrosion, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician at V&F. Our expert mechanics use latest diagnostic equipment, and high-quality CARQUEST auto parts, to make sure we get the job done right. Plus, our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3 year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.