Can You Clean Car Battery Corrosion with Coke?

Coke is universally known as the refreshing soft soda to be ingested- but could this drink have other applications? Corrosion is a common problem that plagues car batteries, especially at the terminals.

The primary cause of corrosion on car batteries is the condensation of the electrolyte vapors at the top of the battery. Corrosion causes a drop in the current flow from the battery to other car components. It can cause slow starts and underperformance of the appliances such as the headlights, audio system, etc. 

Does Coke Clean Corrosion Off Car Batteries? 

Coke is effective for cleaning your battery terminals and getting rid of rust and residues. The composition of coca cola serves as a neutralizing agent for the corrosion crystals deposited on the battery.

Coke contains carbonic and phosphoric acid ingredients, which are rust soluble. The citric acid content in Coke also cleans off corrosion and protects it from further corrosion. The sweet taste of this drink masks these chemicals. 

Can You Clean Car Battery Corrosion with Coke?

Is It Safe to Use Coke on A Car Battery? 

Yes, it is quite safe to pour Coke over your car battery. The slight acid content in Coca cola does not react with the battery acid, so you can use it to clean corrosion off your battery without worry. However, this does not mean you should not apply caution to its use; only pour it on the corroded area that needs cleaning, not just everywhere. 

How To Clean Your Battery with Coke (Step by Step) 

Here are the easy steps to follow to get rid of corrosion using coke:

Step 1: Disconnect the Car Battery 

Ensure the car engine is cool. If you recently turned off the car, allow it cool for some time before proceeding. Lift the hood of the car and disconnect the cables starting with the negative cable and then the positive cable. Lift the battery out of the tray carefully and set it down. 

Step 2: Use the Coca Cola on The Battery 

Pour some coke into a spray bottle containing little water for easy application. Spray this coke mixture evenly on the corroded parts of the battery and allow it to work. Take a wire brush or steel sponge and scrub off the gunk. 

Step 3: Rinse Off the Battery 

Rinse it properly until all the scum and dirt are thoroughly washed off. You can use a hose to wash the dirt off. After rinsing off, use a clean cloth to wipe the battery dry. When sure that the battery is properly dried, place it back in the tray carefully and connect the cables back- starting with the positive cable and then the negative cable. 

Alternative Ways to Rid Your Car Battery of Corrosion 

Aside from using Coke, there are other ways to get rid of corrosion on your battery, including using battery cleaning spray or a DIY solution of baking soda and distilled water. The application of either of these corrosion cleaning substances is similar to Coke but has some differences. Here is a simple guide to alternative methods of getting rid of corrosion on your car battery:

  • Ensure the engine is off, and the car cools a bit before beginning the process.
  • Take out the battery safely by disconnecting the negative terminal first, followed by the positive terminal. 
  • Mix the baking soda and distilled water to form a watery paste, preferably in a 2:1 ratio.
  • Apply the paste to the terminal and other rusted areas of the battery. If using battery cleaning fluid, apply it evenly to the corroded area.
  • Scrub properly with a wire brush or steel sponge until all the gunk is off the surface. 
  • Rinse with some distilled water and wipe dry with a clean cloth. You can also leave it to dry for an hour or two. 
  • Apply grease, petroleum jelly, or anti-corrosion spray to prevent further rust. 
  • Place the battery back, and connect the cables- positive first, then negative. 

Other corrosion cleaning agents include white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, lemon juice, etc. Some people apply vinegar and baking soda together to get rid of corrosion. 

Effects Of Battery Corrosion 

Corrosion does not drain your battery per se, but it affects the function of the cell by impeding the flow of current. Depending on how much residue is around the terminal, the flow of charge from the battery to the terminal will be affected. It directly impacts how much charge the terminal is receiving and, as a consequence, the amount of charge the car is getting. Also, when the negative terminal is corroded, there won’t be adequate electric energy to start the engine. Some signs that your battery terminals may be corroded include:

  • Slow cranking
  • Dimming headlamps 
  • Unable to kick start the car
  • Bluish green or whitish substance around the terminals

How To Maintain Your Car Battery 

Ensure To Turn Off the Lights and Audio 

Do not forget to turn off the headlights and car door lights when not in use. Also, turn off other devices and appliances like your stereo, charger, etc. These electrical appliances can affect your car battery because of how much energy is required to make them work. 

Install Your Car Battery Correctly

Incorrect installation can damage your battery or cause it not to function properly. Ensure that it is securely placed in the tray and held by the latch. Align the terminals correctly and handle them carefully during installation. 

Test Your Car Battery Often

Have a voltmeter or multimeter to check the voltage of your battery from time to time. If the voltage of your battery is less than 10 volts, it means the battery is weak and could require you to replace or recondition it soon. 

Prevent corrosion 

Apply grease, petroleum jelly, or anti-corrosion spray to your battery terminals to control corrosion. 

Final Thoughts

Coke is a suitable alternative to baking soda and battery cleaning fluid for cleaning corrosion off your car battery. It also contains a protective property that can protect the areas cleaned from corroding. 

Similar Posts