One of the main reasons for a decrease in vehicle battery life is corrosion. If allowed to build up, battery corrosion can not only cause problems with your Toyota starting, but also cause damage to the car’s wiring and air conditioning. Fortunately, it is not only easy to identify battery corrosion, but also fairly easy to eliminate it (provided you catch it before it gets too bad.) Preventing corrosion and cleaning it away can extend the life of your Toyota’s battery and also improve its performance. To assist you in identifying and cleaning up the corrosion, our Westbury Toyota staff has put together a quick list of tips to follow.
Battery corrosion is quite obvious as it appears as either a blue, green, or white-tinged substance covering the battery posts, cables, or terminals. If you pop the hood on your Toyota and see this kind of substance on your battery, the first thing you need to do is disconnect the battery cables. You will need to do this safely in order to prevent being shocked, so disconnect the negative battery cable (marked by the ‘-’ sign and/or colored black) first and the positive battery cable (marked by the ‘+’ sign and/or colored red) second. A lot of the time, worn down or damaged battery cables can be responsible for the engine not starting.
Any cracks, fraying, peeling, or splitting is considered damage and means that you should replace the cables as soon as possible.
Once you have removed the cables, you can begin working on the corrosion. The easiest way to do this is by using a cleaning agent made specifically for this purpose, but you can also use some common household items such as Coke or baking soda. A brief explanation of some of these methods follows:
Once you’ve applied the cleaning agent, you will use your brush to get rid of the corrosion. It might be best to remove the battery from your Toyota entirely to make the process much easier. Once all the corrosion is scrubbed away completely, it is time to rinse the battery and the ends of the cables with clean water. You can let the area air dry or use an air compressor to speed up the process.
Battery corrosion is an inevitable part of owning a vehicle, but there are some things you can do to prevent it from getting too bad, such as using terminal protectors or putting petroleum jelly on the terminals. The best thing you can do is check regularly and clean the corrosion as it forms. In doing so, you will be extending the longevity of your Toyota’s battery while also increasing its performance.