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Thread: Off topic car battery corosion nonsence

  1. #1
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    Default Off topic car battery corosion nonsence

    It is my conclusion,after many many years that the ONLY cause of car battery terminal corrosion is ACID LEAKING THRU THE LEAD TERMINAL CONECTION.I have read all kind of nonesence about overcharging corrodes positive terminal and undercharging corrodes negative. Also hydrogen gas ect,I just looked at my 2015 hidden delco battery .It is covered with a plastic shield and a plastic computer case.There would be plenty of places for hydrogen gas to linger. Both terminals and connecters were perfectly clean.This is NOT an endorsement for delco. I have seen plenty of corroded delco batteries. After all these years it would seem to be a simple matter to put some o rings in the joint where the terminals come thru. Edwin Dirnbeck

  2. #2
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    Maybe the resident Chemist will comment. Would Lead and Hydrogen react? Under what conditions? What would be produced by such a reaction.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Dirnbeck View Post
    It is my conclusion,after many many years that the ONLY cause of car battery terminal corrosion is ACID LEAKING THRU THE LEAD TERMINAL CONECTION.I have read all kind of nonesence about overcharging corrodes positive terminal and undercharging corrodes negative. Also hydrogen gas ect,I just looked at my 2015 hidden delco battery .It is covered with a plastic shield and a plastic computer case.There would be plenty of places for hydrogen gas to linger. Both terminals and connecters were perfectly clean.This is NOT an endorsement for delco. I have seen plenty of corroded delco batteries. After all these years it would seem to be a simple matter to put some o rings in the joint where the terminals come thru. Edwin Dirnbeck
    Two different animals you are talking about.

    External battery terminals corrode because of leaked acid and it is leaking trough either terminal-case sealing or watering plugs.

    Overcharge corrosion occurs at internal lead grid, not external terminals.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiJ View Post
    Two different animals you are talking about.

    External battery terminals corrode because of leaked acid and it is leaking trough either terminal-case sealing or watering plugs.

    Overcharge corrosion occurs at internal lead grid, not external terminals.
    This sounds logical, It seems that blaming external terminal corrosion on the charging system is an excuse for poor quality control on the part of battery makers.Its an extra slap in the face,when they want to sell you the little anti corosion washers to put under the terminals to absorb the leaking acid from their poorly made batteries. Its kind of like the roofer, SELLING you a bucket to catch the leaks on your new roof. Edwin Dirnbeck
    Last edited by Edwin Dirnbeck; 08-17-2019 at 10:11 AM.

  5. #5
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    Charging (and more-so "over charging") produces acid mist. The hydrogen bubbles are "responsible" because they "burst" at the acid surface. Unless this mist is contained fully within the battery (you always have a pressure release), it will corrode what it lands on.

    I have to deal with sulfuric acid mist at work. Ours is TINY in comparison to a car battery charging, but we have to (OSHA, EPA etc) control it to less than 1mg per cubic meter of air. It's sucked though a sodium hydroxide scrubber that would not fit under the hood of you car

  6. #6
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    Different take on it. Wife drove a Durango, it used the copper clip-on terminals. The positive terminal corroded off, a new cable was 60 bucks. I bought a regular lead ended cable about 6" long with a bolt terminal for 5 bucks, cut off the clip-on terminal and replaced it with a bolt terminal. Bolted the two together with a stainless bolt, used red heatshrink over it, and never had any corrosion for the next five years she drove it. Bought a Dakota pickup ten years ago, six months after I bought it, had the same problem,did the same repair, and haven't had any trouble since. Wife was a sales manager at a Dodge dealer, parts guy told me this was constant complaint.

  7. #7
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    Yes, moving the non-leaded connection point or encapsulation of your battery terminal and termination clamp will protect it. For marine I use use a quality grease. Apply liberally.

    Modern batteries are generally "maintenance free" and so much better then those of the past where every cell cap eventually leaked and over-charging was really common with the mechanical voltage dropout regulators. Charging control today is also much better, but car batteries get beat to all heck with huge starting currents followed by high charging rates. It's balance of expectations... users expect the engine to always start so the "nice" rate of 1/20C doesn't work. Hey, you can still get 8-10 years like in moderate climates.
    Last edited by lakeside53; 08-17-2019 at 11:01 AM.

  8. #8
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    I've been working on cars for a few decades and what I've seen as the cause of most corrosion is someone being overly aggressive when installing the battery terminals. If you put too much force on the battery post while installing the terminal it will brake the bond between the post and the case resulting in acid leaking past the post/cast joint and corrosion follows. Once the corrosion starts there is usually no stopping it. Grease will not stop it and most anti corrosion compounds can't out last the acid. So, don't twist the terminals on with gusto, don't use a hammer, if the terminal is distorted replace it.

  9. #9
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    Grease is not the best for battery terminals, petroleum jelly is better (Vaselene in the UK). The modern maintenance free batteries seem to be less prone to corrode. My Suzuki has one of those AGM batteries lying on its side, and no trace of leakage.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by quadrod View Post
    I've been working on cars for a few decades and what I've seen as the cause of most corrosion is someone being overly aggressive when installing the battery terminals. If you put too much force on the battery post while installing the terminal it will brake the bond between the post and the case resulting in acid leaking past the post/cast joint and corrosion follows. Once the corrosion starts there is usually no stopping it. Grease will not stop it and most anti corrosion compounds can't out last the acid. So, don't twist the terminals on with gusto, don't use a hammer, if the terminal is distorted replace it.
    I'm not a full time car mechanic, but in my experiences working with batteries this post sums it up quite nicely.

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