Car Battery Corrosion - What is it and What Causes it?

Visible corrosion is one of the common signs of battery terminal problems. It can interfere with the free flow of power within the battery and, in worst cases, block it altogether. Mostly, the corrosion appears like a white, bluish, or green substance on your car battery cables, posts, or terminals. The white-colored substance you observe can either be anhydrous copper sulfate or lead sulfate. Suffice to say, the former will eventually turn blue once exposed to moisture. The corrosion on your battery is a poor electrical conductor and tends to increase the resistance in the circuit. If not timely repaired, the resistance translates to transient current flow, which will ultimately prevent your car from starting.

So, What Causes Battery Corrosion?

Ideally, battery corrosion results from the hydrogen gas released by sulfuric acid present within the battery. As the gasses react with the ambient atmosphere, such elements as salts and moistures act as catalysts, speeding the process. The result is a corrosive atmosphere that mostly occurs on the car battery's negative terminal and a sign of an undercharged battery. One of the leading causes of undercharged batteries is the lack of enough time for the alternator to replenish the battery's capacity. This happens when your vehicle has an extreme electrical load and is mainly used for short drives. If you notice corrosion on the positive terminal, your car battery is most likely overcharging.

Without timely and proper care, your battery terminals will continue to corrode and most probably fail you up at the most inconvenient moment. Fortunately, it is nothing a professional mechanic cannot handle. Drop your vehicle at an auto repair shop and let the mechanics resolve the problem for you with proper cleaning. If you choose to do it yourself, be sure to protect your hands with gloves to avoid coming into contact with the acid as it might irritate your skin.

Do not wait until your battery fails you when you need it the most. If you need car battery service and repair, we invite you to drop by our auto repair shop today for an inspection, recommendations, and quality repairs.