Can You Apply Petroleum Jelly On Battery Terminals?

Key Notes:

  • Petroleum jelly keeps air moisture and dust away from the terminal, in turn they last longer.
  • Tool you will need to apply jelly properly on terminals are old toothbrush, baking soda, gloves, water and rag.
  • Using too much petroleum jelly could hinder electricity flow. So, apply the proper amount.

When it comes to electricity supply to your car, the terminals play an important role. The better the condition of the terminal, the better electricity flow your car will get. The petroleum jelly becomes very handy to keep your battery terminals alive.

Applying petroleum jelly on battery terminals creates a barrier from air moisture, dust, and everything else. As a result, it prevents corrosion on battery terminals and makes sure electricity flow is as efficient as possible.

Why Should You Apply Petroleum Jelly on Battery Terminals?

Car battery terminals are made of metal. To be precise they are made of metals that are prone to corrosion.

As corrosion takes place, it hampers the flow of electricity. Applying petroleum jelly to terminals will slow down rust if it does not stop it altogether. Petroleum jelly will help to increase the longevity of the terminals.

It does so by creating a barrier over the terminals. This barrier keeps away the dust, moisture, and all other substances that can create rust.

As the metal rod of the terminal does not come in contact with these substances, rust and corrosion cannot get a grip on them. Petroleum jelly can extend the terminal’s life by 50% if used properly.

How To Apply Petroleum Jelly on Battery Terminals

Let’s see how to apply the jelly to the battery terminals. You will need a few tools first. These are,

  • Old toothbrush
  • Baking soda
  • Gloves
  • Water
  • Rag
  • Petroleum jelly

We will need the baking soda to neutralize any acid spillage. As baking soda is a kind of base, it will react with acid and produce water and salt. This is the most important step, as a touch of acid can ruin things it can get on to.

Especially if you touch it with bare skin. That is why you will need to wear the gloves before you begin.

First, detach all the cables connected to the battery. Then, dip the toothbrush into the cleaner made of baking soda and clean the terminals and area around it.

Afterward, use the water and toothbrush to scrub any dust or sticky substances. In case you used jelly or grease before there will be residue.

So, try to clean out as much as you can. Keeping little particles or residue will defeat the purpose of applying the jelly. Because they will let air enter inside the protective layer.

Once you are done scrubbing, clean the area with the rag. After cleaning apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the battery terminals. Once you are done rubbing the jelly reattach the cables again.

Things You Can Use If You Don’t Have Access To Petroleum Jelly

There are other things you can use if you don’t have petroleum jelly near you. These are,

  • Dielectric grease
  • Corrosion washer
  • Thick oil
  • Wheel bearing grease

Just make sure you apply a very thin layer of these substances.

Keep in mind…

As excess of anything is not good, so does apply petroleum jelly. Do not put excessive jelly on the terminal so that it becomes a thick layer on top. Although the jelly will keep the corrosion out, it has an electricity resistive property.

So, if the layer becomes too thin between the plug and the terminal, you will get a poor flow of electricity in the car. And the worst thing is, it is often overlooked.

Many mechanics don’t even think the petroleum jelly can do this which makes it very tough to diagnose. For this reason, always apply the minimum amount of jelly to the terminal.

Car Battery Charge State

Voltage StateBattery state
12.65+ volts100%
12.50 volts90%
12.45 volts75%
12.35 volts60%
12.25 volts50%
12.06 volts25%
11.90 voltsDischarged

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can you use petroleum jelly on electrical connections?

Yes, the moistening properties of petroleum jelly make sure that they are suitable to use on electrical connections.

Can I use petroleum jelly on my car battery?

Yes, you can use petroleum jelly on your car battery. Just make sure to pick the right one and apply the right amount.

Should I use grease on battery terminals?

Using grease would be a viable alternative when petroleum jelly is not available.

Is petroleum jelly the same as petroleum grease?

No, they are not the same. The grease consists of emulsified vegetable oil or soap but jellies are not. It is one of the reasons they are categorized differently.

Does petroleum jelly stop corrosion?

Petroleum jelly makes a protective cover from the air which promotes corrosion. So yes, petroleum jelly stops corrosion to an extent.

Bottom Line

Petroleum jelly contains paraffin, mineral oil, and microcrystalline wax blended together. Once it is applied, it melts and fills the whole surface.

This jelly is an excellent substance that keeps away dust, moisture, and other corrosive substances from the battery terminal. When applying petroleum jelly on battery terminals, just make sure you are following the right procedure.

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