TribLIVE

| Business


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Under the Hood: Stop corrosion on battery post

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

By Brad Bergholdt
Friday, July 4, 2014, 8:57 p.m.
 

Question: Could you explain why my 2011 Lincoln MKZ battery post develops green corrosion on the positive post? The mechanic at the dealership and the service manager said that some batteries do that and it is normal. The manager said the vents on the wet batteries cause the post to gather this acid and corrode. He suggested a couple of deterrents, such as a copper penny between the posts, spray-painting the post or putting grease on the post to shield it from corrosion. Do you have a solution or idea?

Answer: I believe your battery has a poorly functioning seal between the battery post and case that is allowing vapors or acid to sneak up into the terminal connection. This is more of a nuisance than a problem. I've had fairly good luck using the red and green felt terminal protectors, placing them beneath a just-cleaned terminal. Coating the post and terminal with some “Brush-on NCP-2 Battery Corrosion Preventative” is another method that can bring relief.

If your battery terminals have crud growing atop them, there's a good chance corrosion is working into the more critical, less visible clamp/post connection. Corroded or loose battery terminals can cause difficult or no-starting, charging system issues, and some really weird symptoms to occur with on-board electronics. The good news is vehicle damage is unlikely. It's the symptoms that can be unpleasant.

Cleaning terminals is a fairly easy process. A check of the owner's manual for precautions involving battery disconnection/replacement is a good first step. Yours indicates the transmission will need to undergo a learning period after reconnection to restore shift strategies and may shift a bit firmly or softly until things sweeten. An inexpensive battery “memory saver” can be plugged into the lighter socket.

Eye protection is a must. The black negative terminal should be removed first and installed last, and don't allow the terminals to touch each other or any other parts! Never disconnect a battery cable with the engine running or key on.

Avoid twisting the terminals excessively. Loosen the nut further and gently spread the clamp apart with a large screwdriver. Mix up a container with 2 cups of water and 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Immerse the removed cable clamps for a minute or so, one at a time, and pour a small amount of fluid/paste over the vacated battery posts. Clean and pat all parts dry with a dampened rag, then use the terminal cleaning brush to bring up some shiny connecting surfaces. Finish up with your preventive products and securely snug the clamps. Wash your hands right away!

Brad Bergholdt is an automotive technology instructor at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, Calif.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Consol Energy cutting retiree health benefits, phasing out pension
  2. Highmark to increase premiums, limit access to health care in new plans
  3. Coca-Cola shaves incentives for executives
  4. Oil, gas industry boom leads to expansion of laws in Pennsylvania
  5. Hospitals, doctors in Pa. received $32M in 5 months from drug, medical device companies
  6. Roundup: Pittsburgh Corning plan confirmed; II-VI reorganizes segments; more
  7. Canadian company wins bid for casino
  8. Truck deals give auto sales a lift
  9. Bond experts fear inevitable sell-off
  10. New models, China sales key to GM’s future, Barra tells investors
  11. LNG exports get federal approval from Dominion’s Cove Point terminal
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.