How to Clean Car Battery Corrosion

Corrosion on Battery Terminal

It’s a moment every driver dreads: you’re driving in Ballwin and one of your BMW warning lights comes on. If it’s the battery light and the engine’s still running, this is probably good news, as it means the problem is likely a loose battery cable or car battery corrosion. Before you schedule a battery charging system test with our service center, you can remove the corrosion from the car battery yourself. Let BMW of West St Louis show you how.


What Causes Car Battery Corrosion?

Time is what causes car battery corrosion. Over months of driving from Ladue to Des Peres, your BMW’s battery is repeatedly heating and cooling, causing it to release hydrogen gases. Over time they mix with the surrounding material and create corrosion where the battery terminals connect to the cables. Along with activating your battery warning light, car battery corrosion can cause your car to have weaker power, and you might have trouble starting the engine.

How to Remove Car Battery Corrosion

When you want to know how to clean car battery corrosion, watch out for old misinformation. Specifically, don’t pour soda onto the corrosion. While it might remove car battery corrosion, soda will leave behind lots of other ingredients that won’t help your battery. Besides, baking soda and water work better, and they cost less. You can also purchase battery cleaner to do the job.

  1. Turn off your vehicle and give it at least 30 minutes to cool before you pop the hood.
  2. Put on your work gloves, goggles, and a respirator mask to protect yourself against potential contact with battery acid.
  3. Disconnect battery cables from the battery terminals. Inspect the battery terminals and the metal on the battery cables. If either is caked in a powdery material that’s white, or sometimes a combination of green, blue, or teal, you have corrosion.
  4. If using battery cleaner, spray it liberally to the affected areas, then brush with a wire brush to remove car battery corrosion.
  5. If you’re using baking soda, pour onto the affected areas, then add water. Dry with paper towels, then brush away remaining corrosion with a scrub brush.
  6. Apply a rust inhibitor spray, a spray battery protector, or an anti-corrosion gel.

Schedule a Service Appointment at BMW of West St Louis

When it’s time for a battery check, schedule an appointment with the service center at BMW of West St Louis. You can also contact us if you have any questions. We want to help keep your vehicle running smoothly for many years to come.


Auto Service Coupons Near St. Louis

Free Loaner with any Service

No Appointment Needed
Free Valet Service
(We will Pick Up and Deliver)

BMW vehicles only. Restrictions may apply. Must present coupon at time of service write-up. May not be combined with other coupons or discounts. May not be used on previous purchases. See dealer for details.


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14417 Manchester Rd. • Manchester, MO 63011

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BMW of West St Louis 38.5937389, -90.5172938.