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  1. #1
    King of the Ohio River artcarney_agr's Avatar
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    Battery post corrosion! What causes it?

    Man, this is frustrating! My battery post got so corroded that a couple of the wire terminals were practically gone. What is causing this?!? This the second time in 5 months! ARGH!

    Is it a sign of battery in need of replacement? It seems to be holding charge okay, date on it is 4/08

    Any ideas? Overcharging?

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  3. Alabama Bass Club Moderator buzzn's Avatar
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    #2

  4. USAF Retired Astro-T's Avatar
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    #3
    I know on a car it sometimes means that the connect is not tight

  5. Member
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    #4
    Dont know what causes this but there is a way to prevent it get a wire brush baking soda or something with with acid such as coke cola or a citrus drink sprinkle baking soda on the terminals pour the drink on it let it sizzle use wire brush to clean may take a few times to clean. Then smear a good coat of grease on the terminals. Be sure to get terminals extra clean i believe this will solve ur problem.

  6. Member cody161's Avatar
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    #5
    The sulfuric acid used in batteries produces hydrogen gas, which is the primary factor behind the corrosion process that naturally occurs on your battery cables. Very small amounts of gas are released through the vent cap. When released, these fumes naturally combine with the heat, dirt and humidity in your bilge area and form corrosion on your battery cables and terminals.

    Put dielectric grease on your terminals/connections and it will keep the hydrogen gas from being able to corrode the terminals.

    List: Dielectric Grease | O'Reilly Auto Parts

  7. Member
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    #6
    Astro as i said i dont know what causes this humidity or not but may or not be caused by a loose connection i have always have had good luck when i clean the terminals when some type of liquid that has acid and smear some grease on the connection.

  8. Lowrance/Garmin Sonar Moderator MarkNY's Avatar
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    #7
    Connections that are not tight enough or do not fit properly can also lead to corrosion. If your using wing nuts get rid of them and use regular nuts and tighten them down good. Agree on the dielectric grease too.

  9. Member cody161's Avatar
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    #8
    A mixture of baking soda and water is a good battery terminal cleaner.

  10. Member haveme1's Avatar
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    #9
    I got some cleaner and some conditioner for battery connections at the auto parts. Keeps em like new.

  11. Member
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    #10
    It's caused by dissimilar metals, electrical current, moisture, and acid, which causes the moisture to conduct. It is also exacerbated by loose connections which allow slight slight differences in the voltage and speeds up the process. Greases can prevent oxygen from contacting metals which slows the process. One thing many fail to take into effect is corrosion will travel under insulation especially if non marine rated wire is used and change the conductor value to a non-conductor if allowed to flourish.
    Bare copper falls victim easily. One good cure is to re-make all the connections, and instead of using the battery post as a connection point for small wires, run one wire from each post to a buss bar positioned high enough to stay relatively dry, and far enough away to keep the acid off.

  12. Mercury - 3 Liter Moderator EuropeanAM's Avatar
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    #11
    Scott:

    Plenty of good advise above.

    You might also want to monitor your voltage AT THE BATTERY, while the engine is running (and after a good run... with engine still ON).

    Should NEVER exceed 14.6 VDC. If it does... you have a problem (direction to look would depend on precisely what engine you have).


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  13. King of the Ohio River artcarney_agr's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by EuropeanAM View Post
    Scott:

    Plenty of good advise above.

    You might also want to monitor your voltage AT THE BATTERY, while the engine is running (and after a good run... with engine still ON).

    Should NEVER exceed 14.6 VDC. If it does... you have a problem (direction to look would depend on precisely what engine you have).
    This is on a jon boat with a 40 hp Yamaha. I've actually been fishing an electric motor only lake for the last few months, so really all that battery has been powering is the power tilt on the engine and the occasional flipping on of the lights. The trolling motor runs off of separate batteries and they've been just fine. I have an onboard charger that basically charges at a trickle, so I'm thinking it may have something to do with that...but yet I have no issues with the trolling motor batteries. The corrosion is not a white flaky mess, but rather a bluish gray sludge with a consistency of mud or grease.

    I'll try cleaning the posts as you guys have described and see what happens.

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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by billnorman1 View Post
    It's caused by dissimilar metals, electrical current, moisture, and acid, which causes the moisture to conduct.
    I always thought the metals seem to play a part in this. I've had some vehicles that would never corrode and I never maintained them at all, no need to. Others that I would clean every couple of months and that includes using the grease, which helps but still didn't seem to make clear up entirely.

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    #14
    It sounds like it is just one battery post that is giving you problems, I would say the battery was not made properly and you have a seal problem at the base of the battery post where the case seal molds around the post. When you charge the battery the gasses are coming out of that area as well as your vent caps, also moisture has a chance to work it's way through the same seal area and start the corrosion process. Take the battery out on a good sunny day, hose it down with baking soda and water mixture, let it dry out, tape off both battery terminals leaving about an 1/8" gap around that bottom and spray clear polyurathane around both terminal at the base where it enters the case, let it all dry. Then go to to the auto parts store and get a set of the fiber post corrosion protectors that slip over the terminals that stops the gasses from working up to the connector, you should be good to go. By smearing grease around the base of the post you are basically sealing off the area underneath the terminal not letting the gasses rise, basically that is where the poly paint will fill in, the post protectors are added insurance.
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  16. T MONEY$ spiffey28694's Avatar
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    #15
    After you clean them coat them real good in vaseline jelly.....sounds crazy but it works. Been doing this for a few years now and dont have any issues with corrosion now. Coat the terminal the post and the connectors and your good to go.


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  17. Member
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    #16
    On a car or a truck with top post .A lot of the time the battery becomes lose this movement can cause the post two break the seal around the post.The gas comes up from the bottom when most of the corrosion is on the bottom lose battery.

  18. King of the Ohio River artcarney_agr's Avatar
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Ratltrap View Post
    It sounds like it is just one battery post that is giving you problems, I would say the battery was not made properly and you have a seal problem at the base of the battery post where the case seal molds around the post.
    Yes, it is just one post giving me issues.

    I think I'll just toss it. I've had to replace the terminals on a couple of wires (incl. the main engine wire terminal) twice now. From what you and walkswithbass have described it sounds indeed like there's a seal malfunction; the corrosion is always at the bottom of the post. That thought never really crossed my mind about the seal around the post. I got 4 good seasons out of that battery, I'll just cut my losses and go with a fresh one.

  19. Hunting & Gun Lodge Moderator Roddy's Avatar
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    #18
    I bought a boat rigged by one of the leading riggers of high$ saltwater boats last year. All 4 batteries had their terminals coated with someting like liquid tape (red on the +, black on the -. Not the slightest bit of corrosion and seems like a great idea.
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  20. Member MikeFloyd's Avatar
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    #19
    It takes 3 things to cause the corrosion on your terminals, the only one you can get rid of is oxygen. After you clean the terminals and connectors put dielectric grease on the terminals before you attach the cables and then coat every exposed metal surface and your problem will go away. You can get dielectric grease from any place like West Marine. It's also good for your TM connector. The brand I like is Electro-Guard. I even put it on wires ends before crimping and then seal with heat shrink.

    Then re-coat once a year and you're good.
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  21. Member Ranger 361V's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeFloyd View Post
    It takes 3 things to cause the corrosion on your terminals, the only one you can get rid of is oxygen. After you clean the terminals and connectors put dielectric grease on the terminals before you attach the cables and then coat every exposed metal surface and your problem will go away. You can get dielectric grease from any place like West Marine. It's also good for your TM connector. The brand I like is Electro-Guard. I even put it on wires ends before crimping and then seal with heat shrink.

    Then re-coat once a year and you're good.
    +1

    I bought a small pack of the dielectic grease at Auto Zone...$.99 , a little bit goes along way.

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