What Is The Common Cause Of Battery Corrosion?

What Is The Common Cause Of Battery Corrosion?

Have you ever opened the hood of your car and noticed a white, chalky substance on the battery terminals? This is a telltale sign that your battery has experienced corrosion. But what exactly causes battery corrosion, and what can you do to prevent it? In this article, we’ll discuss the common cause of battery corrosion and how to protect your vehicle’s battery from further damage.

Battery corrosion is caused by a buildup of sulfuric acid, which is naturally present in batteries. The acid combines with oxygen when exposed to air and creates a chemical reaction known as oxidation. This process produces corrosive elements like sulfates and oxides that create an unpleasant-looking residue on the terminals. If left unchecked, this corrosion can eventually eat away at the metal components of your battery, causing it to malfunction or fail completely.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to avoid costly repairs down the line. By taking preventive measures such as cleaning your battery terminals regularly and using protective covers on them when possible, you can ensure that your car’s power source stays healthy for years to come. Read on to find out more about how you can protect against battery corrosion!

What Happens If Battery Terminals Corrode?

Battery corrosion is a common issue that can lead to reduced battery performance or even complete failure. It occurs when a buildup of oxidized metal forms on the terminals of the battery. This oxidized metal, typically called sulfate, is created by chemical reactions with sulfuric acid in the electrolyte of the battery. As this sulfate builds up, it can cause electrical connection problems and impede current flow to the starter motor or other components.

In severe cases, enough sulfate may accumulate that it short circuits across the terminals and causes sparks or smoke. If left unchecked, this build-up can prevent a car from starting at all. In addition to reducing performance, corrosion can also lead to dangerous situations such as leaking acid or exploding batteries.

The best way to avoid corrosion is to keep your battery clean and free of dirt and grime. Regularly check for signs of corrosion like whitish deposits on the terminals and clean them off with baking soda and water if necessary. Additionally, make sure your car’s charging system is working properly so that the battery isn’t overcharged or undercharged, both of which can contribute to increased corrosion over time.


Corrosion of battery terminals is a common issue that can lead to a range of problems. It’s important to take steps to prevent it and be aware of the signs so you can address it quickly if it does occur. Corrosion occurs when an electrolyte, usually sulfuric acid, reacts with the metal terminal and causes oxidation. This reaction creates a white crust that can interfere with the electrical connection between the battery and its components.

It’s important to keep the battery clean, dry, and free of dirt or foreign materials. Be sure to check your terminals regularly for any signs of corrosion. If you do spot any discoloration or white powdery residue, take steps to remove it using a solution of baking soda and water or a commercial cleaner specifically designed for cleaning battery terminals.

The best way to avoid corrosion is by taking preventive measures such as regular maintenance and inspection. Cleaning your battery terminals at least once per year is highly recommended in order for them to remain corrosion-free for years to come. Taking these steps will help ensure that your battery operates correctly and efficiently without interruption from corrosion-related issues.

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