How To Deal With A Battery Terminal That Won’t Come Off?

Key Points:

  • It is possible to apply baking soda to the terminals in order to remove corrosion and take the terminal off.
  • There are various substances to prevent battery corrosion if utilized properly.
  • Battery terminals should be cleaned regularly to prevent corrosion build up.

Corroded battery connections might result in more than simply a sluggish start. The “blooming” corrosion on the battery cable ends depicted is a particularly dramatic occurrence. that corroded terminals are also very hard to take off. So, how should you deal with the problem if your battery terminal won’t come off?

Baking soda may be used directly on the bolts to eliminate corrosion to some extent. This will assist you loosen or liberate them up to the point where you can remove them. It will be much simpler to remove them after cleaning them away with a brush.

The steps to properly and safely remove corroded battery terminals to take them off, along with other important issues and queries regarding this matter will be addressed throughout this article.

How to Remove Corroded and Stuck Car Battery Bolts?

Over time, automotive batteries can deteriorate, leading them to malfunction. Corrosion or rust can build between battery posts and cable ends, disrupting the battery’s connection to essential sections of the car like the alternator.

Cleaning the terminals and cable ends of battery corrosion or rust will provide a new surface for the contact between the two impacted contact points.

So, if your battery terminal won’t come off, follow the steps below:

Step 1: To reach the battery, open the hood of the car. Examine the terminals of the battery to see whether they are corroded or rusty.

The corrosion on the terminals will appear white and powdery, similar to dried foam.

Rust is brown in colour and only affects the metal sections of the battery cables and connections.

Step 2: If the battery terminals appear to be rusted, apply baking soda straight to them.

To generate a reaction between the baking soda and the battery corrosion, add water to the baking soda.

If the battery terminals and cable ends are rusty, use PB Blaster or another rust-penetrating spray to completely clean them.

Allow at least 10 minutes for the rust-penetrating spray to dry.

Step 3: While working on the battery, wear latex gloves and safety eyewear. Using a wire brush or a terminal cleaning tool, scrub the battery terminals and wire ends.

If feasible, strip the terminals, wire ends, and wire end hardware of corrosion or rust to the bare metal.

Pour water over the battery to remove the cleaning solution as well as any rust or corrosion that has been removed.

With a normal towel, dry the top or side of the battery and wipe away any extra dirt.

Step 4: With an open-end wrench, loosen the tie-down nut on a top-post battery.

Use locking pliers or vice grips to hold down the square head if the wrench rotates the square-headed bolt on the opposite side of the tie-down.

Begin by removing all of the battery cables, starting with the negative cable. With an open-end wrench, remove the side posts and wires from side-post batteries.

Step 5: Examine the battery terminals to check that the corrosion is limited to the battery’s surface. If the battery terminals have further corrosion, clean them well with a wire brush.

The terminals should be gleaming like new metal once you’ve finished washing.

Remove the terminals from the end of the cable wires for side-post batteries and clean them by hand with the wire brush.

Replacing the terminal ends in the wires using big pliers or channel locks is a good idea.

By following the steps above, you can remove your stuck battery terminals safely and with ease.

What Causes Battery Terminal Corrosion?

Corrosion on the terminals is caused by hydrogen gas released from the battery’s acid. Under the hood, it reacts with other substances in the atmosphere, resulting in the corrosion you see on the terminals.

If corrosion is present on the negative terminal, your system is most likely undercharging. If it’s on the plus side, it’s most likely overcharging. Because the battery is usually undercharged, it will most often be seen on the negative side. I’m afraid this is just the nature of the beast.

You’ll need to wipe the corrosion off the posts thoroughly. You can aid this process by using a baking soda and water solution. Make sure you have eye protection, clothing that you don’t mind getting ruined (acid can do some nasty things), and gloves (nitrile gloves work great).

Using the solution and a brush, clean the area. It doesn’t have to be a steel bristle brush; just one stiff enough to get rid of the gunk will suffice. You will have to remove the battery wires to get them thoroughly clean (sorry about the radio channel presets!). Finish by rinsing the area with plenty of water to remove any remaining corrosion.

Coat the terminals with grease after cleaning to help slow down the corrosion process (high-pressure grease or wheel bearing grease works as good as anything). It doesn’t have to be a lot, but assure the entire coating of the metal at the terminals.

After you’ve reconnected your battery’s cords, cover the terminals on the outside. You can also get an aerosol spray coating from your local parts store.

Your major goal is to prevent the lead, escaping hydrogen gas, and oxygen from mixing, which results in the corrosion you witness after a while. The grease will break down over time, and corrosion may occur, so it is necessary to clean and reapply it on a regular basis.

How to Prevent Battery Terminal Corrosion?

You maintain your automobile operating by performing preventive maintenance, such as changing the oil and checking all of the fluids on a regular basis.

Your car’s battery, on the other hand, maybe an area you overlook. The battery acid leaks out of the gadget and accumulates on the battery connections over time.

There are different affordable ways to avoid battery terminal corrosion. Let’s take a look.

Petroleum Jelly

Applying a tablespoon of petroleum jelly to both the positive and negative posts of your car’s battery terminals is an inexpensive way to prevent corrosion.

Remove the battery cables from the posts using a wrench, then apply petroleum jelly to each terminal.

To keep your hands from becoming oily, wear latex gloves.

When reconnecting the battery, connect the positive (red) cable first, then the negative (black) cable.

Anti-Corrosion Washers

Another inexpensive way to prevent corrosion on your car’s battery terminals is to use anti-corrosion washers, which can be found at auto parts stores and retail superstores.

The washers are felt pads with a specifically designed corrosion-prevention chemical.

Remove the battery cables, replace the washers, and reconnect the positive and negative cables in that order.

Dielectric Grease

A tablespoon of dielectric grease on your car’s battery terminals will also keep corrosion at bay.

Dielectric grease can be found in auto parts stores, hardware stores, and home improvement stores. To use, detach the battery cables and lubricate each terminal individually.

By following the above procedures and applying any of these on the battery terminal will definitely help you prevent corrosion from your battery terminals.


This article contains all the necessary steps to provide you with answers regarding issues if your battery terminal won’t come off.

It also goes to a certain extent to discuss what causes car battery corrosion as well as the methods to prevent it. Corrosion is very harmful to both the battery and your car.

So, by following these steps mentioned in this article, you will be able to keep your car battery terminals safe and shiny.

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