How to Clean Battery Terminals

Car Battery

Keeping it Simple for Hicksville Area Drivers

Is your car battery covered in a white and powdery substance? If so--and you have yet to find yourself stuck at the side of the road--consider yourself rather lucky. This is a tell-tale sign of corrosion. And when your terminals are corroded, the electricity cannot flow smoothly. Thus, your engine might not start or may stall while idling. With proper cleaning, you can take care of this. Your car battery should last at least four years. So, we at North Shore Honda are here to tell you how to keep your battery terminals clean.

What to Do

Before you can begin, you'll have to go to the store and buy battery terminal cleaner and terminal protectant. Once you've got these, you're ready to start. Make sure to wear goggles, gloves and a work smock (the former two are necessary for safety reasons; the latter is just suggested for cleanliness purposes). Check the battery for cracks and/or leaks; if you notice any, you need to replace your battery. It's gone unattended for too long. You can schedule service with our Honda dealer near Hicksville if you'd prefer to leave this to the experts. If your vehicle isn't due for a new battery, you can begin. It's important to note that NEWER vehicles often require specific precautionary measures before disconnecting the battery. Refer to your owner's manual or ask your mechanic to find out.

With the car off and the hood open:

  • Remove the covers that connect the points where the cables meet the terminals.
  • Identify the negative terminal. Use pliers to loosen the clamp.
  • Remove clamp from the positive terminal.
  • Use the battery terminal cleaner you recently purchased to remove the corrosion. The cleaner will include instructions (it's normal for it to foam once sprayed).
  • Use a wire brush to gently loosen the corrosion on the terminals and clamps.
  • Use a water-filled spray bottle filled to rinse away any remaining foam, grime, and corrosion.
  • Dry the terminals and clamps (with a soft cloth).
  • Apply battery terminal protectant to each terminal (a thin layer will do).
  • Reattach the clamp to the positive terminal first.
  • Attach remaining clamp to the negative terminal.
  • Replace both terminal covers.
  • Close the hood! GOOD TO GO.

We hope you find these instructions useful. It's important that you keep up with your car battery's maintenance. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Honda dealer near Hicksville at (516) 217-8876. We're always willing to lend a hand.

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Prices shown are manufacturer suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license, or doc fee. Manufacturer vehicle accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Please contact us with any questions.

**Based on 2014 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition and other factors.

For 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid, 115 combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) electric rating; 47 city/46 highway/46 combined MPG gasoline only rating. 13 mile maximum EV mode driving range rating. 570 mile combined gas-electric driving range rating. Based on 2014 EPA mileage and driving range ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe/MPG and driving range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, lithium-ion battery age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit