How to Properly Clean Battery Terminal Corrosion
Pubdate: 2024-03-12
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Dealing with battery corrosion might not be on your list of top fun activities, but it's definitely up there on the "essential motorcycle maintenance" chart. Let's dive into the nitty-gritty of keeping your bike's heartbeat clean and efficient, focusing on the pesky issue of battery corrosion, particularly within the realm of powersports batteries like those nifty 12v motorcycle batteries.


How to Identify Battery Corrosion?

First off, spotting battery corrosion is pretty straightforward. You're looking for any white, green, or blueish crusty or powdery substance around the battery terminals and cable ends. It's like your battery decided to grow its own little science project. Not exactly the kind of growth we're after, right?


What Causes Battery Corrosion?

Now, why does this happen? Battery corrosion on the terminals is usually the result of a reaction between the hydrogen gas released by the battery acid and the metal of the terminals. This is more common in lead-acid batteries, including the ones powering your beloved motorcycle. Factors like overcharging, high temperatures, and even just natural ageing can accelerate this process.


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What's the Difference Between Corrosion and Sulfation?

While we're on the topic, let's clear up some confusion. Corrosion is what happens on the outside of your battery terminals, as described. Sulfation, on the other hand, occurs inside the battery when it's left in a discharged state for too long. Sulfate crystals form on the plates, reducing the battery's ability to hold a charge. Both are bad news, but today we're tackling the external enemy – corrosion.


How to Clean Battery Corrosion?

Cleaning battery corrosion is a task you can tackle with some basic household items. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Safety First: Wear gloves and goggles to protect yourself from the acidic corrosion.
  2. Remove the Battery Terminals: Always disconnect the negative terminal first to prevent short circuits.
  3. Cleaning Solution: Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water. This neutralises the acid. Apply it to the corroded areas and gently scrub with a toothbrush or soft brush.
  4. Rinse and Dry: Once the corrosion is removed, rinse the area with clean water and dry thoroughly.
  5. Reconnect: Attach the battery terminals, starting with the positive.


How to Prevent Battery Terminal Corrosion?

Prevention is always better than cure, so here are a few tips to keep battery corrosion at bay:

  • Regular Checks: Make inspecting your battery terminals part of your regular maintenance routine.
  • Anti-Corrosion Washers: These handy little items can be placed on the terminals to help prevent corrosion.
  • Grease Up: Applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly or a specific battery terminal protectant can keep corrosion in check.
  • Proper Charging: Avoid overcharging your battery as this can lead to corrosion. Use a smart charger for best results.


Wrapping this up, remember that a clean battery not only looks better but performs better too. Taking the time to inspect and clean your battery terminals can save you from headaches down the road and keep your motorcycle running smoothly. So next time you're giving your bike a little TLC, don't forget about the power source that makes all the magic happen. Keep it clean, keep it charged, and keep riding!


Thanks for your time reading.


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