Maintaining a car's battery cable connectors requires keeping them clean and tightened. Clean the battery cable connectors with a brush and baking soda solution approximately every three months. Performing a simple battery check at the start of each season will help to avoid any unpleasant surprises that come with having a dead battery.
To clean the battery cables and cable connectors, use a solution of one tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of water.
- Scrub the connectors and cables
- Disconnect the cables
Using a non-metallic brush and the baking soda solution, scrub the connectors and cables. Rinse with cool water.
Disconnect the battery cables, starting with the negative cable. Clean the battery posts with the baking soda solution. Reattach the cables.
Many batteries are labeled "maintenance free" and are sealed, however, in a case where it's not, after taking care of the connectors and cables, pry the covers off the battery's cells to check the electrolyte levels. If they are low, add distilled water, then check the condition and charging capabilities of the battery. If cracks are present, replace the battery as soon as possible. If it fails to hold a charge or has inconsistent readings then it should be replaced as well.
Because batteries contain strong acid, experts recommend wearing rubber gloves to protect the hands and safety glasses to protect the eyes before performing battery maintenance or cleaning. With proper maintenance, a vehicle battery should last for many trouble-free years.