If you're checking under the hood of your vehicle one day and notice that the battery terminals — the metal brackets on the ends of two cables that attach to the battery — are corroded, it's important to take action. One option is to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop and have a mechanic replace the terminals for you. Another option is to tackle this project yourself, which isn't overly difficult and won't cost you much money. Replacing the corroded terminals with clean, new terminals will allow for a better connection between the battery and the terminals and prevent issues in the future as the corrosion worsens. Here are some details about doing this job yourself.
Remove The Terminals
The first thing to do when you decide to complete this project on your own is to check the size and style of the terminals and buy a pair of replacements at an auto parts store. Then, loosen the terminals from their respective battery posts. This can be a challenge if the area is heavily corroded, but you can do so with a screwdriver or a wrench, depending on the style of terminals, and a little patience. If you have a wire brush,, scrubbing the area vigorously will help to loosen and remove the corrosion, allowing you better access with the screwdriver or wrench.
Attach The New Terminals
Once you've disconnected both terminals, use the cutting section of a pair of heavy pliers to slice through the battery wires just below the terminals. Then, it's time to attach the new terminals. The exact process can differ according to the specific style of terminals, but it's generally a matter of loosening the terminal brackets with a screwdriver, feeding the wires into the designated slots and then screwing the brackets back down into place. In some cases, you'll also need to strip a bit of the wires before you attach the terminals.
When the new terminals are in place, you simply need to slip them over the battery posts and tighten them in place with a screwdriver or wrench. If there was any corrosion remaining on the battery after you initially removed the terminals, use a brush to sweep it away. The battery posts should be clean before you attach the terminals. Start the car and make sure it runs; because you had the battery disconnected, you'll need to reset the clock. If you're having trouble with anything, simply call your local auto repair shop.