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Car Battery Terminal Corrosion Cleaning & Prevention Guide
How to clean off & prevent corrosion from forming on car battery terminals with dielectric grease and felt washers.

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Working with a 12V car battery can be very dangerous. Exercise caution and only touch one battery terminal or post at a time to prevent from being electrocuted. For extra safety, remove all metal jewelry and use rubber handled tools.
2005 Toyota Corolla Battery
Corrosion On Terminal
Anti-Corrosion Felt Washers

This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the ninth generation 2003-2008 Toyota Corolla in cleaning off the battery terminals and preventing corrosion from forming in the future.

Owners of similar Toyota, Lexus and Scion models or any other make and model of vehicle with a standard 12 volt car battery should also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

I had noticed that the battery terminals on our 2005 Toyota Corolla S were gathering some white powdery corrosion. So I went to Advance Auto Parts and picked up some Autocraft anti-corrosion battery felt washers for $1 and a packet of Permatex battery protector dielectric grease for $1.29.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a 10mm socket with a ratcheting wrench, a stiff brush, eye protection and a wet/dry shop vacuum.

Permatex Dielectric Grease
10mm Socket - Loosen Terminal
Pull Off Battery Terminal
The first step is to loosen the "-" battery terminal with a 10 mm socket and ratcheting wrench. Pull the battery terminal off the battery post and set it aside where it won't accidentally touch the post.

Then clean the battery terminal and post with a stiff brush before vacuuming away the white or blue corrosion powder with a wet/dry shop vacuum.

Vacuum Corrosion Powder
Clean Posts With Brush
Apply Battery Protector Grease
Open the packet of Permatex battery protector grease and apply a small amount to the top of the "-" battery post. Spread a thin layer all around the post and then also on the exposed metal parts of the battery terminal and wire.


Spread Grease On Posts
Apply Grease To Terminal
Install Felt Washer
Install the green felt anti-corrosion washer over the top of the "-" battery terminal.
Loosen "+" Terminal
Pull Terminal Off Post
Apply Grease & Washer
Repeat the above steps for the "+" battery terminal and post. The red felt anti-corrosion washer goes over the "+" post.
Replace Battery Terminal
Tighten Terminal Nut
"-" Terminal Protected
Replace the "+" battery terminal and tighten it with a 10mm socket and ratcheting wrench.

Then carefully place the "'-" battery terminal over the "-" post and tighten the 10mm nut. A small spark may be emitted.

Anti-Corrosion Finished
How-To-Clean-and-Stop-Car-Battery-Terminal-Corrosion-020 How-To-Clean-and-Stop-Car-Battery-Terminal-Corrosion-021
Once the two terminals have been replaced, you can test the electrical connections by starting the vehicle.

If you have any problems starting the vehicle and you know that the battery is charged, you may need to remove the terminals and thoroughly clean the posts and insides of the terminals with a wire brush. This will help the terminal and post form a better electrical connection.

For more, check out my other Toyota Corolla Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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