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Excessive battery terminal corrosion #4550142
10/21/17 11:51 AM
10/21/17 11:51 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,568
The Motor City
Kestas Offline OP
Kestas  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,568
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?

Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas] #4550148
10/21/17 12:06 PM
10/21/17 12:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,870
The Midwest
skyactiv Offline
skyactiv  Offline
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,870
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.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 13' VW GTI 3 door 6 speed manual
Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas] #4550155
10/21/17 12:15 PM
10/21/17 12:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,873
South Florida
bubbatime Offline
bubbatime  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,873
South Florida
These two products are what will fix your ails. WITH a green felt pad under your terminals.





17 Chrysler Pacifica Mobil 1 5W30
13 Yamaha XT250 Valv MC 10W40
12 Suzuki S40 Rotella 15W40
10 Acura TSX 2.4 PZL Plat 5W30
06 GMC Sierra Nextgen 10W30


Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas] #4550158
10/21/17 12:20 PM
10/21/17 12:20 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,215
Toronto, Canada
George7941 Offline
George7941  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,215
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


2006 GMC Sierra 4.3l, NV3500,G80 , Mobil 1 5W30, Dexcool.
1987 BMW R80 - sold
2015 Honda CBR300R

Staying out of the right lane a lot.
Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas] #4550159
10/21/17 12:22 PM
10/21/17 12:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,158
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,158
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.

Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: George7941] #4550180
10/21/17 12:55 PM
10/21/17 12:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,158
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,158
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.

Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas] #4550184
10/21/17 01:02 PM
10/21/17 01:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,834
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,834
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.

Last edited by Donald; 10/21/17 01:11 PM.

2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas] #4550189
10/21/17 01:10 PM
10/21/17 01:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,834
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,834
Upstate NY
Who mfg the battery? Exide??


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: JHZR2] #4550195
10/21/17 01:18 PM
10/21/17 01:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,568
The Motor City
Kestas Offline OP
Kestas  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,568
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.

Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas] #4550209
10/21/17 01:35 PM
10/21/17 01:35 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,094
Colorado
Kuato Offline
Kuato  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,094
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.


Thick vs Thin test: 15k / 43k miles complete
Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas] #4550242
10/21/17 02:42 PM
10/21/17 02:42 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,568
The Motor City
Kestas Offline OP
Kestas  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,568
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.

Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Donald] #4550266
10/21/17 03:27 PM
10/21/17 03:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,072
Cincinnati, OH, USA
bullwinkle Online confused
bullwinkle  Online Confused
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,072
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).

Last edited by bullwinkle; 10/21/17 03:27 PM.

06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas] #4550298
10/21/17 04:13 PM
10/21/17 04:13 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 167
MI
HorseThief Offline
HorseThief  Offline
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 167
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.


I saw a brown dog
Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kuato] #4550315
10/21/17 04:36 PM
10/21/17 04:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,987
Houston, Texas
motor_oil_madman Offline
motor_oil_madman  Offline
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,987
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?


2007.5 dodge cummins 6.7 liter. Chevron Delo400 15w40. 7000 mile or 250-300hr intervals.

Re: Excessive battery terminal corrosion [Re: Kestas] #4550318
10/21/17 04:43 PM
10/21/17 04:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,546
Central Maryland
HangFire Offline
HangFire  Offline
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,546
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.


Various musings: http://hangfire.net
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