When your car battery is behaving a little sluggishly or giving you grief every time you try to start the car on a cold day, maybe a little maintenance is in order. Here are some steps to take to extend its life and prevent you from beating it to death with a wrench.

How to Clean Battery in Your Car

When a battery ages, it gets some corrosion building up around the battery posts. This corrosion makes the battery a lot weaker. So, here is how to clean the battery in your car.

  1. Turn off your car. Don’t work on your car while its running. Even the battery has the potential to harm when the car is on.
  2. Put some gloves on.
  3. Use a wrench to detach the cables from the posts.
  4. Carefully inspect your battery to see if there are little or big cracks in it. If you see a crack, then stop and go buy a new battery. Don’t waste your time cleaning it. It’s toast.
  5. Make a cleaning solution and grab an old toothbrush. Hey, it was time to get a new toothbrush anyway, right? Fill a glass jar with 1 cup of cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of Baking Soda (Not baking powder – that’s a completely different thing). Stir with your toothbrush until the water is clear.
  6. Keep dipping the toothbrush into the solution as your scrub away the corrosion. It is likely going to take quite a bit of scrubbing to get it all off of there.
  7. When you’re done, use a sloppy wet rag to wipe all the baking soda solution away. You need to get it all off.
  8. Use a clean rag to dry the terminals and battery.
  9. Put a dab of petroleum jelly on each terminal and rub it around.
  10. Reattach the negative cable to the negative post and the positive cable to the positive post. Tighten them down lightly.
  11. Make sure you take the toothbrush, jar and rags directly to the garbage can and throw them in. You don’t want to take the chance of any child or animal picking them up.

Now that you know how to clean the battery in your car, you’ll get a much longer battery life.