What Causes Automobile Battery Corrosion?

by Editorial Team


There are several factors that cause automobile battery corrosion--high temperatures, improper use and wear and tear. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to avoid dealing with this problem.

External Automotive Battery Corrosion

The most damaging factor that causes automobile battery corrosion is actually on the battery terminals. Hydrogen gas is admitted by the sulfuric compound inside of your car battery, and very little of this gas is actually vented out through the grill or other openings of the hood. While most cars with a modern battery do not experience this issue, it still does occur and can cause a large amount of corrosion to build up on your battery terminals. Typically, the problem starts when you have green, white or blue material begin to build up on your battery terminals. If enough of this material builds up, it can cause your battery terminals to lose their ability to transfer the charge from the battery to your engine. In order to avoid having this problem, you should remove the corrosion by using a toothbrush and a battery terminal cleaning solution. Do not touch the solution with your hands as it can be extremely toxic.

Internal Automotive Battery Corrosion

While battery corrosion on the terminals themselves is a common cause of automobile battery corrosion, other types of corrosion exist within the battery itself. Acid usually will appear on the outside of your battery if there is a crack inside the battery. When you encounter acid, you will need to replace your battery as soon as possible, as the battery acid that leaks out is dangerously toxic. Loose terminals also can create corrosion on your battery. Terminals that are loose on a battery should be replaced as soon as possible. Not only can electrical current possibly spark a fire in your engine, but toxic battery acid can also leak out and damage anything that it touches.

Problems Caused by Automotive Battery Corrosion

A battery that is corroded, either on the battery itself or on the terminals of the battery is in danger of not starting. While your battery not starting may be a major issue, your car's on-board computer can begin to have issues as well, and may not operate at all if leaking battery acid affects it. This is why it is essential to have your automobile battery replaced as soon as possible if you notice that it either has battery acid leaking from it, or you are unable to remove corrosion from the battery terminals on the top of the battery.


Hydrogen gas venting out from the battery is the most common cause of any problems that you may have with your car battery. However, your battery may also become cracked due to being dropped or could have loose terminals. A automobile battery that has corrosion on the top of the battery terminals can be cleaned quickly and easily with a toothbrush and a solution of water and baking soda. Whenever you have any issues with your battery, you need to have your battery replaced as soon as possible. The toxic acid within the battery itself can be extremely dangerous to humans as well as any other objects that it touches.

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