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#4550142 - 10/21/17 11:51 AM Excessive battery terminal corrosion
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12221
Loc: The Motor City
My car has developed corrosion on the positive battery terminal. The problem is that it seems excessive and needs cleaning more often than I can remember. I've had this car for 15 years. I normally don't bother with terminal coatings or felt pads, but I may have to with this car. It's a Durolast battery. What could have changed with my car to enhance this corrosion?

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#4550148 - 10/21/17 12:06 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4170
Loc: The Midwest
ONE cause could be micro cracks around the battery post in which gas is escaping and causing the issue. Usually caused by improper handling.
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#4550155 - 10/21/17 12:15 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5456
Loc: South Florida
These two products are what will fix your ails. WITH a green felt pad under your terminals.



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#4550158 - 10/21/17 12:20 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas]
George7941 Online   content


Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2111
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I used to service a 1998 GM G3500 diesel van with a second frame mounted battery under the van and it always had a lot of corrosion on the positive terminal and I had to clean it every few months. The three other battery terminals on the van were fine. This corrosion persisted over the life of the van, through multiple battery replacements, from multiple battery sources - Delco, Costco etc. The experience seemed to rule out the usual causes - overcharging and cracked case around positive post
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#4550159 - 10/21/17 12:22 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41418
Loc: New Jersey
In no particular order:

1) you clamped the battery too hard/right, and compromised the plastic to metal seal slightly.
2) age has worn/removed the protective coatings from the cable.
3) dirty/bad ground, including on the voltage regulator, causing more time at elevated voltages where gassing may occur.
4) bad/failing/intermittent diode that turns the alternator from a six pulse rectifier (terrible dc) to a four pulse (even worse).
5) poor quality battery
6) too cold at too low a charge at some point compromised case slightly

I always put a thin coat of dielectric grease around the metal to plastic junction and on the terminals, and then spread the grease on the top of the terminal to coat the top of the cable clamp.

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#4550180 - 10/21/17 12:55 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: George7941]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41418
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: George7941
I used to service a 1998 GM G3500 diesel van with a second frame mounted battery under the van and it always had a lot of corrosion on the positive terminal and I had to clean it every few months. The three other battery terminals on the van were fine. This corrosion persisted over the life of the van, through multiple battery replacements, from multiple battery sources - Delco, Costco etc. The experience seemed to rule out the usual causes - overcharging and cracked case around positive post


If the parallel batteries weren't perfectly matched and replaced in pairs, all sorts of funny stuff could happen.

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#4550184 - 10/21/17 01:02 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20241
Loc: Upstate NY
Your battery is a leaker. The seal between the case and post was damaged.

Felt pads may help.

Aside from it being a PIA to keep clean it does does hamper the battery being a battery.


Edited by Donald (10/21/17 01:11 PM)
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#4550189 - 10/21/17 01:10 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20241
Loc: Upstate NY
Who mfg the battery? Exide??
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#4550195 - 10/21/17 01:18 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: JHZR2]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12221
Loc: The Motor City
Originally Posted By: JHZR2

2) age has worn/removed the protective coatings from the cable.

This is on my 1995 Mercedes E320. The terminal head is brass, same shape as the thick lead ones. I can't remember if it ever had a coating. After two months, the corrosion was so thick the battery brushes couldn't remove it, and I had to scrape it off like a dental hygenist.

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#4550209 - 10/21/17 01:35 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas]
Kuato Offline


Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 7094
Loc: Colorado
All good info above....add short tripping to the list of things that can cause the condition.

If the integrity of the battery case is good then gluing a penny next to the positive terminal will get the corrosion on the penny instead of anywhere else.
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#4550242 - 10/21/17 02:42 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12221
Loc: The Motor City
I just checked how old my battery is... over 8 years old! I'm going on a long trip in a couple weeks. I'm glad I caught this. This explains why it recently takes just a bit longer to crank the engine before it starts. Hopefully a new battery will cure this ill.

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#4550266 - 10/21/17 03:27 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Donald]
bullwinkle Offline


Registered: 10/09/04
Posts: 7473
Loc: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted By: Donald
Who mfg the battery? Exide??
No, it's the awesome Johnson Controls leak fest! I had one that leaked from DAY ONE with never having a clamp put on it (dual terminal battery).


Edited by bullwinkle (10/21/17 03:27 PM)
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#4550298 - 10/21/17 04:13 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas]
HorseThief Offline


Registered: 10/12/17
Posts: 119
Loc: MI
Most batteries made by East Penn (Sam's club Duracell, Napa, Meijer powercell, or Deka) have sealed tops and side vents that severely cut back on gassing and build up on terminals. Use plenty of cleaner and neutralizer and follow up with neutralizer coating or dielectric grease. If possible, a nice bath in some hot water and baking soda will help to clean and neutralize most of the acid. Make sure you really cover any exposed copper to cut back on green/blue copper sulfur corrosion.
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#4550315 - 10/21/17 04:36 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kuato]
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4717
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By: Kuato
All good info above....add short tripping to the list of things that can cause the condition.

If the integrity of the battery case is good then gluing a penny next to the positive terminal will get the corrosion on the penny instead of anywhere else.


Does the penny have to make contact with the post?
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#4550318 - 10/21/17 04:43 PM Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas]
HangFire Offline


Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 2505
Loc: Central Maryland
Originally Posted By: Donald
Your battery is a leaker. The seal between the case and post was damaged.

This.
Originally Posted By: Kestas
I just checked how old my battery is... over 8 years old! I'm going on a long trip in a couple weeks. I'm glad I caught this. This explains why it recently takes just a bit longer to crank the engine before it starts. Hopefully a new battery will cure this ill.

Yes.

I've seen this multiple times. When the green fuzz grows crazy fast, the problem is a leaky battery, and a new battery is the real fix.
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