For efficient functioning of your car, you need an efficient car battery. But do you know that the efficiency of your car battery depends upon the condition its battery terminals in many cases?
Yes, dust buildup, dirt, and battery corrosion on the terminals of your car battery can greatly impact your battery functioning and eventually your car performance.
Hence, proper maintenance of the battery terminals is important in order to maintain your car battery properly.
I think you might have heard of many things regarding maintenance of batteries and its terminals. Things such as using anti-corrosive sprays, battery anti-corrosion washers and even di-electric grease. All of these can be used to prevent corrosion of your car’s battery terminals and maintain them. But you need to spend a few dollars for buying the above-mentioned products. And some sprays are too costly to use.
But what about the best and cheapest way to keep your battery terminals free of corrosion. Heard of vaseline? Yes, the vaseline that you usually have in your house.
Is it a good idea to use Vaseline on battery terminals? Can you apply petroleum jelly for battery terminals? If yes, how to apply vaseline to battery terminals? Does it cause any issues?
This article answers all the questions regarding the use of vaseline on car battery terminals.
What are car battery terminals exactly?
Where are the battery terminals present actually? What do they do?
Battery terminals are the two metallic objects protruding out from your car battery. They are usually made of lead and function as an interface between the battery and your car.
They are the electrical contacts used to connect a load or charger to a battery. The electricity flows out of the battery and the terminals transmit the electricity to your car through the cables.
In case of a car battery, you usually find them either on the top of the battery or sometimes on the side of the battery.
Battery terminal problems
One of the major problems with battery terminals is its corrosion.
Have you ever observed the whitish, green or blue colored powdery covering near or around your vehicle’s battery terminals? This is nothing but corrosion.
But why do battery terminals corrode? Is there any specific reason?
Battery terminals corrode due to many reasons. The car batteries which you mostly use are lead-acid batteries and they contain sulfuric acid inside them. The acid sometimes can escape or leak outside due to battery damage or due to the battery’s age and accumulate near the battery terminals.
Otherwise, the hydrogen gas produced inside the battery finds its way outside in some cases and react with the other substances outside leading to the battery terminal corrosion.
Or else the chemical reaction in the copper clamps resulting in the formation of copper sulfate is another case of battery terminal corrosion.
This issue of corrosion has to be taken care, otherwise, it could lead to the issue of your vehicle not starting when necessary.
Using Vaseline on battery terminals
When you notice corrosion on both battery terminals or even one of them, you usually hear many methods to remove corrosion and also techniques to prevent corrosion too. You might have heard about things like anti-corrosive sprays, battery anti-corrosion washers and di-electric grease.
What about vaseline?
Yes, vaseline is one of the easiest and cheapest things to use on your battery terminals. Using it is very easy too.
1. Wear your pair of gloves and take a tablespoon of petroleum jelly.
2. Slowly remove the battery cables with the help of a wrench.
3. Now rub the petroleum jelly on both the terminals.
4. Make sure that the vaseline completely covers the battery posts.
Does Vaseline prevent corrosion?
The process of corrosion occurs due to the chemical reaction that occurs near the battery terminals.
Application of vaseline helps, as it acts as a protective layer around the battery terminals. Simply, vaseline acts as a protective shield around the terminals to protect them.
It also lubricates the terminals and strengthens the electrical connection.
Procedure before applying vaseline
You cannot apply vaseline directly to the corroded battery terminals. Before applying vaseline on battery posts, you have to follow a proper cleaning procedure.
Take some essential equipment such as protective gloves, baking soda, water, an old toothbrush and one wet cloth and one dry cloth.
Now follow the procedure…
1. Remove the battery cables attached to the battery. First, remove the negative one and later the positive one. Remember to keep these cables away from the battery.
2. Prepare a mixture of baking soda and water for cleaning. Take a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water and stir the mixture thoroughly until it forms a paste-like consistency.
3. Now take your old toothbrush and dip it in the baking soda mixture and start scrubbing the terminals. Slowly scrub the entire area until the corrosion build up has been removed completely.
4. Now you need to remove all the corroded material and dirt from the terminals. Take a clean wet cloth and wipe the terminals so that it gets cleaned.
5. Take a dry cloth now and wipe the terminals. Make sure that there is no wetness on the battery terminals.
Now the actual work- It is the application of petroleum jelly.
Make sure that the terminals are dry. As i told you, take some petroleum jelly and rub it over the terminals completely.
After the application of petroleum jelly on battery terminals, reattach the cables correctly.
Now your battery terminals are fully repaired and protected against corrosion.
Is vaseline a good option for battery terminal coating?
Keeping your car battery terminals clean without corrosion is important to keep your vehicle moving. Petroleum jelly is one of the common methods used for sealing the battery terminals in order to prevent corrosion.
But is it the best option?
Vaseline application has its disadvantages too. The vaseline applied to battery terminals attracts dust and dirt very easily. When it is exposed to high temperatures, sometimes it may not last for a longer duration.
In spite of these small issues, it has been used by many people for maintaining their batteries from many years with great success.
In spite of going to the auto electric store and spending money on expensive anti-corrosive sprays, using vaseline is the cheapest and easiest way to protect your car battery terminals.