Corroded Terminals May Be the Reason Your Used Chevrolet Won’t Start

One of the most common things used Chevrolet car owners have to deal with is an issue with the battery. The average life span of a battery is between three and six years. However, a battery’s life is unique to the owner and their driving habits and also the quality of the battery.

When you find yourself with a dead battery, odds are you’ve either left your headlights on by accident or you’ve had the key on the ACC setting listening to the radio for too long. In this case, all it will take is a simple jump start and then some recharging.

However, there is another reason you’re battery may be malfunctioning. When you go to look under the hood, the first thing you need to check are your battery terminals. If you see grimy deposits (usually white) on the battery terminals, they are corroded. Corrosion can also be the reason your battery has been performing poorly (slow rolling windows, dim interior lights, etc.)

So how do terminals become corroded anyway? The main cause is an overflow of sulfuric acid from the battery, but moisture build-ups can also cause it. Not to worry, cleaning terminals is actually very simple, and I’m speaking from personal experience. Once you’ve finished, you’re battery will most likely restore to its proper performance level.

What you’ll need:

  • a flat-head screw driver
  • a can of Coca-Cola (you can also use baking soda and water)
  • water
  • a metal bristle brush ( a toothbrush will also suffice) and Vaseline

What to do:

  1. Make sure the car is off and pop the hood. Remove the negative battery cable by loosening it with a flat-head screwdriver and then lifting it off the terminal. Set it aside, and remove the positive battery cable the same way. Make sure you set the positive and negative cables away from each other. It’s very important that they don’t have contact.
  1. Pour the Coca Cola or baking soda and water on the battery terminals and the battery cable ends.  Scrub with the toothbrush or metal bristle brush until all of the corrosion is gone.
  2. Use the water to wash off the Coca Cola or baking soda and water.
  3. After the terminals and battery have dried, apply a thin coat of Vaseline to the terminals and slide the terminals back on and tighten (first the positive, then the negative cable)
Battey Terminals Texas Chevrolet

Corroded Terminals

corroded terminals texas chevrolet

Cleaned Terminals

When you finish, test out your handy work. You should be able to get the car started. You might have to try and jump your Chevrolet again. If you’re still unable to get the engine to turnover, you may want to give Classic Chevrolet’s service department a call.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.