What causes car battery corrosion?


Corroded battery terminals can have a considerable impact on the overall performance of your vehicle in addition to causing reliability issues when starting the engine.

Modern cars include a growing number of electronic devices as standard, safety or security features. The features require a steady and stable flow of power from the car battery, so the ability of a battery to re-charge optimally is important.

Why clean your battery terminals?

Battery corrosion

Corroded battery terminals impede the ability of the clamps to maintain a clean contact with the terminals and corrosion is an extremely poor conductor of electricity.

This means your car probably isn’t getting all the power it needs from the battery and often means your battery is not recharging at the rate it should. In short, corrosion is shortening the life of the battery.

Cleaning battery terminals is also a chance to thoroughly inspect the battery and connections for any other signs of wear or damage. Allowing you to pick up potential issues early.

What causes corrosion of battery terminals?

Car batteries use sulphuric acid to create the ionic differences that are needed to produce an electrical current. Sometimes hydrogen fumes emitted by the acid escape at the point where the base of the battery terminal meets the case. The result can be a build up of corrosive material around the terminals, which inhibits the effective transmission of current from the battery to the electrical system of the car.

Excessive build up of corrosion around the battery terminals can indicate the battery is in poor condition and should probably be taken to your mechanic. If the corrosion is minimal, here is our guide to removing battery corrosion and preventing its return.