Your car's battery is what powers all of the electrical systems of your vehicle, from power steering to the air conditioner. Age and use can cause your battery to physically wear down, which most commonly takes the form of rust and corrosion on the actual battery. This can affect the efficiency and performance of your battery, and by extension, your car itself. Thankfully, if your car battery connectors have become corroded, you can clean them off with a few simple tools yourself.

What You'll Need

Before you get started, gather up all of the materials and tools that you'll be using so that the process is as quick as possible. You'll need an adjustable wrench, a pair of pliers, two spray bottles (one with plain water, the other with baking soda and water mixed in a 1 part to 5 part solution), and a wire brush or a piece of steel wool. You'll also want to wear rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect your skin and eyes from battery acid, which can be irritating and painful. All of these items can be found at most hardware and auto supply stores if you don't have them already at home.

Cleaning the Connector

First, you'll want to make sure that the battery is safe to work with. Apply the mixture of baking soda and water onto the battery using the spray bottle. If there's acid present, there will be a chemical reaction that will form foam. Once the foam has stopped bubbling, you can rinse the area using plain water, though you may want to apply the baking soda twice to be sure you removed all the acid.

Next, use the wrench to disconnect the cables that are connected to the connectors on top of the battery. Depending on how bad the corrosion is, you may have to use the pair of pliers to grip the cable and remove it from the connector.

Next, you can use the wire brush or steel wool to clean off the corroded connector. Take extra care to clean the inside of the cable as well. Of course, if you can see any battery acid on the connector or cable, be sure to apply some more of the baking soda solution before using the wire brush.

Once you've adequately scrubbed all the corrosion off of the connector and the cable clamp, you can reconnect them to the battery. Be sure to use your wrench to ensure that they are securely and snugly fitted.  

For help with a project like this, contact a company like GSBP Automotive.