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Hello y'all,

I am wondering if anyone has experienced corrosion of the wires leading to the battery terminals.?

A bluish ( acidic) corrosion has digested a lot of the terminal wire ( negative terminal-the last 2-3 inches of the wire were already exposed when the car was purchased. However, the plastic casing covering the positive terminal is/was intact) I excised the corrosion and cleaned up the terminals. Actually, corrosion was building underneath the positive terminal as well. However, only a small amount was present compared to the negative terminal

Again, a considerable amount of wire has been digested.

-Does this problem occur often?
-I think I will need to replace this wire..anyone with an idea of how much it may cost?


Thanks,

Sanj

Vancouver BC
 

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There is a cheapy spray you can pick up that will foam away any existing corrosion. Most auto parts stores carry it, as does Wal-mart. The advantage to this stuff is that it will turn pink as it foams if there is any battery acid present. You want to make sure that there is no leak in the battery. It is possible this happened before you got the car.

To answer your question, this is not very common on our cars, so I would look for a culprit. You may have enough slck to just buy new crimp on battery terminal ends and cut the wire back 3 inches as well. If this is not an option, you can buy battery lead wires at any good auto store in various lengths, just measure your old ones first.
 

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As replacement cables are generally not that expensive when purchased from auto parts stores, I highly recommend that you replace the entire cable, rather than just use new cable ends. You will have a much more reliable connection, particularly if you already have seen corrosion problems. There is no way you will get as good of a crimp connection as the ones they make on quality cables with purpose-built, high-powered crimping equipment. If money is very short, new cable ends will work, but it's not the preferred approach in most cases.

And yes, it is good to put some grease or special battery protector spray over the terminals after you have installed the new ones to prevent corrosion. They also make some inexpensive felt type washers ($1-2) to put on the battery terminals, prior to attaching the clamps, which are impregnated with something that is suppose to prevent corrosion. I have used them in the past, but cannot say how well they worked, other than I have not seen corrosion problems when I have used them. But the it is a bit like elephant repellant, as I might not have had corrosion problem if I hadn't used them!

It is an excellent idea to check the terminals once a year and, if necessary, clean and/or put a new coating of grease or battery protector spray on it.

P.S. I have not worked on a Focus starter; however, I suspect the connection is similar to most starters, i.e., do NOT tighten or twist too hard on the starter terminal where the cable attaches unless you have a backup wrench taking the tightening torque. Often starter terminals have a couple of nuts on the terminal so that you can back one up with a wrench while tightening the other nut, ensuring you do not put too much strain on the terminal itself.

Perhaps someone with Focus-specific starter experience can better describe the terminal set-up on the Focus starter.
 

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viney266 said:
There is a cheapy spray you can pick up that will foam away any existing corrosion. Most auto parts stores carry it, as does Wal-mart. The advantage to this stuff is that it will turn pink as it foams if there is any battery acid present. You want to make sure that there is no leak in the battery. It is possible this happened before you got the car.
you woudln't happen to know the name of the spray, would you? i've got a little corrosion, and i wouldn't mind stopping it now before it becomes a problem later on.
 

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Plain 'ol baking soda and water, mixed into a slurry or paste, works pretty good as an acid-neutralizing cleaner as well, as long as you make sure none gets into the battery cells... not a problem on sealed maintenance-free batteries, but something to be careful of if you have removable caps for adding water to the cells (removable caps, so you can add distilled water to top-off the cells, have been coming back in popularity, particularly for batteries sold in hot climates, such as Phoenix).

As for the sprays and protection greases, they are many, many brands out there, most of them simply rebranded stuff from generic suppliers, e.g., I have some "Exide" battery protection spray that goes on red, which while unsightly, makes it easier to confirm your spray coverage. I doubt Exide actually manufactures the stuff. I believe Permatex sells a spray as well.
 

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I think to that if you place 3 or so pennies on top of the battery in the little dip or anything all of the corrosion goes to the pennies and not the terminals. We did this to test on my dads truck and ill tell ya it works, its not anything id do especially on a nice car, id just thought id share it..[8]
 

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Does corrosion effect your cars performance? How does it get there? I have alot on my car, I'm thinking about doing the water hose thing.
 

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"I think to that if you place 3 or so pennies on top of the battery"

That hint is probably one of the first auto hints ever passed around, and dates back to at least the 1930's. I saw it in a really old Popular Mechanics magazine I bought at an antique store once. The idea is that the pennies are sacrificial and will corrode rather, than the terminals/connectors. I'm frankly a bit skeptical, but it won't hurt anything and maybe helps.

"Does corrosion effect your cars performance?"

Only to the extent that if it won't start it is very slow to push.

Seriously, it is 99% a "Yes or No" situation, either you have power, or you don't. As you reach the final stages of complete failure from the cable corroding through, you might have a short period of time when the voltage drop in the badly corroded cable causes some odd "low voltage" stuff, but the typical result is that one day the car will not turn over, as the cable has corroded so badly that the starter cannot get enough current to turn over. Once the corrosion is bad enough, you can start generating lots of heat when starting, sue to the resistance and effective reduction in the gauge of the starter cable, i.e., the final failure can be the cable melting/burning to two.
 

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I had some really nasty battery cable corrosion also. My Uncle who restores Early Broncos told me to pour Coke on corrosion. And it works like a charm!
 
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