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Battery Chalk

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blue64 Avatar
blue64 Paul Hanley
Eastern Chesapeake Bay, MD, USA   USA
What caused the powder that has formed on my positive ground terminal? The battery is a 6 months old Interstate and, the connection is tight. When installed, I sprayed the purple, Permatex battery protectant. Besides a repeat—clean and reinstall as prior, what causes and, is there a way to prevent?

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59mgaguy Avatar
59mgaguy John Terschak
Wakeman, OH, USA   USA
1930 Ford Model A "Jenny"
1959 MG 14/28 "Jessie"
1974 MG MGB "Oooops"

That blue/green powder is corrosion caused by electrolysis, due to a mismatch of metal alloys used in the manufacture of the battery terminal and cable connector. You can not stop it but you need to check and clean them every so often. You can clean them with Baking soda and water. But have to be very careful not to put too much on the top of the battery and have it go down inside. ($$$will need new battery if this happens) First tihng is disconnect cables wash down then wipe dry. After wards you can apply petroleum jelly or a white grease on the poles. It will slow it down.

I see your by the Chesapeake Bay. I lived down on the Outer Banks for ovwer 13 years and worked for NAPA. Our batteries down there did not last long. Reason why was the salt air. The salt in the air would get on top of the batteries and on damp days/nights it would make a minor connections. Which shorten the battery. Usually the batteries would only last less then 3 years. Some would collect on the warranties and other would forget about it. Either way the store made money on the exchange or sale of a new one.


Gerald O Avatar
Gerald O Gerald O'Docharty
Wake Forest, North Carolina, USA   USA
1978 MG MGB
I've had good results using those battery terminal protector 'washers'. You know, the red and green felt washers that slip over the terminals under the cable clamps.
They've got some kind of chemistry that helps prevent the corrosion. Much of this corrosion is enabled by the presence of battery acid fumes near the terminals. Charging always generates fumes, but if your alternator continually overcharges then the battery will produce a lot more. So keeping the fumes away and minimizing the production of fumes also helps. Many modern starter batteries are sealed and equipped with a vent to which a tube can be attached to vent the fumes away from the battery.

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A-safe182 Gordon M
Charleston, SC, USA   USA
Try some dielectric grease smeared on the terminals no corrosion (white powder) on the battery I've had for 2 years. It's for sale at most auto parts stores.

Aridgerunner Avatar
Aridgerunner Silver Member Bill Bussler
Montoursville, PA, USA   USA
1956 MG MGA 1500 "The A"
1959 Triumph TR3A "The Mistress"
I used that red battery spray mine. Not sure of the brand anymore cuz I can't read the can. Battery lasted 11 years. No chalk. Keep em clean and on a tender and they last a loooong time.

dohc281 Avatar
dohc281 Silver Member Ira Eckstein
Laurel Springs, NJ, USA   USA
My B in the 70’s had the terminal caps with a screw in the middle that would need cleaning about every two weeks. Talk about a pain in the rear.

If you hit your pony over the nose at the outset of your acquaintance, he may not love you, but he will take a deep interest in your movements ever afterwards.

Rudyard Kipling

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