battery terminal corrosion--what causes it? battery terminal corrosion--what causes it?
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    battery terminal corrosion--what causes it?
from Neal Edwards  
6/23/2003 7:11:00 PM


 What causes battery terminals to corrode? Do some batteries corrode worse than others? I just replaced my batteries about 2 months ago. In that time, my terminals have corroded worse than any other battery I've ever owned. I've had two other sets of batteries in this boat and never had a corrosion problem. I ditched the wing nuts for regular nuts, and they still corroded bad. Then I got rid of those and went to the post clamps. They still corrode bad too. The problem is that when they get corroded bad, about every 2-3 weeks, my voltage guage starts to read high and my tach acts up. When I clean the terminal posts, the electrical gremlins go away for about 2 or 3 weeks until they get corroded again. I've got a can of terminal cleaner/corrosion preventative stuff. Spray it on and it turns pink if there is corrosion. Wipe it off and spray it again. Do this over and over till it stays yellow, then there's no more corrosion. I've used 1/2 this can in 2 months. The terminals corrode so bad they are completely coated in white powder in just a couple of weeks. Now that I've go the post clamps, I haven't had any electrical problems in about a month but I assume that's probably just due to more contact area. The terminal posts are already covered in white chalky residue. Any ideas? The batteries are the Bass Pro Shops label batteries. I've had Stowaways, Everstarts, and cheap dealership batteries and none have ever done this. And, these batteries seem to hold a charge better than any battery I've ever had. They outlast all the batteries I've had in this boat.


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   Weather from Jighead (  6/23/2003 7:42:00 PM
 Could it be the weather? High humidity and lots of rain. Just curious. Get some Penetrox. It's made for aluminum wire and keeps it from oxidating. You can get it at Home Depot. Hope that helps...


   Corrosion from ChampioNman (  6/23/2003 7:54:00 PM
 After servicing batteries/replacement I use Vasoline on the post and stainless steel nuts with lock washer. Also use distilled h20 for recharge cycles/top off. Seems to have no corrosion problems. CM

   do you have the batteries in boxes or just clamped down? from Reeelmadnezz (  6/23/2003 8:00:00 PM
 use white grease on the terminals, after cleaning and cover the tops. Also check for current leakage on some part of the boat. electolysis will cause corrosion, maybe dunk can help you out further.

   Battery post corrosion from markG  6/23/2003 8:15:00 PM
 One key cause or source of corrosion are due to small leaks between the case and the post/terminal. Small quantities of acidic gases that are produced during charging side reactions can escape around the post and cause fairly rapid corrosion. Some posts are better sealed than others, but the red and green battery pads or grease/vasoline will help to seal them off.


   Acid leakage is cause of corrosion from Humminbird  6/23/2003 10:36:00 PM
 There is a leakage between battery box and terminals. The free sulfuric acid then reacts with the metal connectors. Try petroleum grease at base of terminals. You could take batteries back and complain about leakage at posts. Over time, this battery (one or two) will die a slow death from acid lost. You said you never had the problem before because you never had these batteries before. Take them back.


   I should add from Humminbird  6/23/2003 10:40:00 PM
 Leakage could be no more than a "sweat" leak. Although small, it will eventually take a toll on the useful life of the battery (ies).


   To add to Hummingbird from Buckselectric (  6/24/2003 7:29:00 AM
 As Hummingbird said, the corrosion is a product from the acid and lead reaction. Also the gas put off by the acid will cause the corrosion. Too much water will block the vents and not allow the the proper venting. Then the gas reacts with the lead for corrosion. Also, they will die a slow death, not to mention the resistance caused that messes up the electronics you've already mention. This resisitance could eventually "get" the regulator/rectifier. JohnJ

   footnote from markG  6/24/2003 12:14:00 PM

As mentioned above most of the problems are due to leakage. No battery has a perfect seal, but if you're leaking fluid, you've got either too much water or a significant defect. The red and green battery corrosion pads are staturated with chemicals that neutralize small leaks, liquid or vapor, but if you're corroding that fast and your electronics are being affected, it seems like you have a significant defect.

good luck, mark



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