You Got to Be Kidding Me!

Battery Terminal Corrosion

Posted in Four Wheels by Stacy McMahon on September 29, 2008

This is a new one on me, though as my dad points out, a light switch is either on or off. Saturday night, I’m waiting in the parking lot while Louise runs into Shoppers to pick up a couple things for dinner. I literally shut the car off for five minutes, and when I tried to start it again — nothing. Not really expecting to find anything, I looked under the hood – and found the problem (though I didn’t quite recognize it at the time)

The roadside assistance guy chipped some of the corrosion off and was able to jumpstart the car, so I got away without having to be towed or pay someone else to do what I ended up doing the next morning:

Yes, that’s a can of coke, and no it’s not for me to drink while I’m working! The coke is supposed to be able to clean the battery terminals. Here is our patient before treatment:

And after. Yes, coke. Cool, huh? And I’ve chipped this junk off battery posts before without using any solvent. It’s not easy.


3 Responses

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  1. Clint said, on September 29, 2008 at 9:52 am

    We used to have to do that on Carolyn’s vehicle a lot. Never used Coke, tho. Never had it. I usually just used a sharp rock from the driveway 🙂

    What I find most striking is — BLUE paper towels? That’s just crazy!

  2. Carolyn said, on September 29, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    I had heard of the coke trick before. I think I may have done it once.

  3. Stacy McMahon said, on September 29, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    This afternoon there’s a thin layer of corrosion on the pos post already .. guess I’ll have to pick up some dielectric grease tomorrow and clean it again.

    Oh, and the blue paper towels are available at Lowes. They’re stronger and more absorbent (meant for cleaning up oil and other garage-y junk) …softer too. I could see using them in the kitchen.

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