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Video:How to Check for Battery Corrosion in a Car

with Nick Jaynes

Learn how to check for battery corrosion in a car so that you know if it's time to replace certain parts.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Check for Battery Corrosion in a Car

Hi I'm Nick Jaynes from DownForce Motoring for About.com and this is how to check for car battery corrosion. I'll be using information found on About.com's auto repair guide site.

Information About How to Check for Battery Corrosion

You should never let anything come between your car and a good battery connection. If you want the day to come to a grinding halt in a hurry, driving with corroded battery posts is the way to do it. It takes only a millimeter of crunchy white residue to keep your car from starting.

Checking for Battery Corrosion in Cars

Your car's battery is the starting point for every system it uses. This is because it's used to start the car. The conditions surrounding your battery posts create the perfect breeding ground for nasty corrosion, which will appear as white, crusty residue around the battery posts. As the corrosion builds up, it becomes harder for your car to connect strongly with the battery.

Determining of the Car Battery Has Corrosion

It's fairly easy to determine if your car's battery is suffering from power-zapping corrosion, as the corrosion itself isn't too subtle. Most batteries are black and most battery corrosion manifests itself in a white powdery substance at the battery posts.Battery corrosion occurs when the battery heats up and sulfuric acid used within the battery vents out through the top of the battery. The acid reacts with heat, dirt, moisture, and other automotive chemicals -- including oil and coolant -- to corrode the metal battery terminals and cables.This corrosion is essentially unavoidable as its route cause is systemic to the battery itself. But you can reduce its effect by cleaning your battery terminals and cables often.

There are many tips, tricks and, products designed specifically for fighting battery corrosion. Some work smashingly, and some don't work at all. Finding what's best for you involves perusing the rest of the about.com auto repair site or visiting your local auto parts store.

If your car won't start, and cleaning the terminals doesn't help, you might just need to get a new battery. But it doesn't hurt to try cleaning the terminals before you condemn the battery and wind up spending $100 or more on a new one.

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