Why is my car’s battery terminal corroded?
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.
In fact, 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 battery corrosion and tell-tale signs you can look out for.
Leaking Electrolyte Fluid Leaking Around the Terminals
In sealed lead acid batteries, electrolytes 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. In this system, the electrolyte isn’t contained in the same way, meaning it can “jump” out of the battery if you’re not careful while adding water.
An Overfilled Battery
If there’s too much water in your battery, the chances of corrosion increase drastically. Overfilling the battery can cause the electrolyte fluid to leak out of the battery’s vents and come into contact with the terminals, thus causing corrosion.
An Overcharged Battery
When a battery is overcharged, it heats up. This can cause the electrolyte inside the battery to become “jumpy,” or high on kinetic energy, and increase their volume. This, in turn, often causes 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 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.
Repairing Battery Corrosion At V&F
If you suspect that your battery may have battery corrosion, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician at V&F. Our expert mechanics use the 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.
This article was originally published in 2019, and has been updated.