Cleaning your Terminals

Step-by-step Cleaning Your Terminals

Don't let your corroded terminals go unnoticed! Although they may look clean at first glance, corrosion often builds up between posts and cable clamps and can lead to needless car trouble.
Your DieHard battery terminals should be checked out and cleaned twice a year, and you don't have to be a pro to do it with these basic steps.

  1. With the engine off, begin to remove the battery cables from your DieHard Platinum automotive battery terminals using a 5/16" wrench for side terminal configuration and a 10 mm or 1/2" wrench for both import and domestic applications to carefully unscrew the nut on each cable clamp. Once loosened, unclip the negative cable, indicated by a minus (-) sign. If the cable resists, try wiggling it back and forth while pulling upward until released from the terminal post. Next, disconnect the positive cable, indicated by a plus (+) sign, using the same technique.
  2. Examine the battery cables and clamps for severe wear and tear or corrosion. If major damage is found, replace the necessary parts to avoid future problems. Also, check your automotive battery case for cracks and the terminals for corrosion. If either is visible, replace your battery.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda directly onto the terminal posts. Douse a toothbrush in water and scrub the baking soda into the posts and cable clamps, targeting the buildup. If the toothbrush doesn't cut it, a battery terminal brush or even coarse sandpaper would do the job. Next, dry everything off with a clean rag.
  4. Cover all exposed metal surfaces on the battery posts, cables and clamps with petroleum jelly or grease to slow the return of corrosive deposits.
  5. Reconnect the positive clamp to your positive DieHard Platinum automotive battery terminal and tighten the nut with the proper-sized wrench. Repeat with the negative clamp.
  6. Lastly, replace the rubber or plastic shield that protects the positive terminal. If you don't have one or it's cracked or damaged, you can pick one up at your local Sears Auto Center.