5 Best Battery Terminal Cleaner Tools

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In addition to measuring specific gravity of battery acid and adding distilled water, inspecting battery terminals is also necessary during routine battery maintenance. It involves cleaning the battery terminals and posts to remove corrosion residues. It also involves checking the integrity of the electrical connection to ensure tight contact of the clamps on the battery posts.

Corroded battery terminals?

The terminals of lead-acid batteries corrode due to the chemical reaction between the hydrogen discharge and atmospheric air. This corrosion leaves behind white or bluish deposits of metal sulfates. Battery corrosion occurs mostly on the positive lead but it can also happen on the negative terminal.

When corrosion occurs on the positive terminal, it may mean that the battery is overcharging. On the other hand, when the negative terminal corrodes, it means your battery is not charging fully.

The build up of residue when the battery terminal corrodes increases resistance. As a result, a voltage drop occurs around the terminals. If this voltage drop is huge, it may cause your car to fail to start.

Terminal corrosion also causes battery posts to wear out faster. This may sometimes cause the connection to the battery post to become loose. The good thing is that you can keep the battery terminals from corroding by cleaning them regularly. You can use homemade battery terminal post cleaning techniques such as a paste of baking soda and water or do it more professionally with a battery terminal cleaner tool.

What is a battery terminal cleaner tool?

A battery terminal cleaner is a special tool designed for scrubbing clean the battery posts and terminals. This tool has at least a wire brush for scrubbing the surface of the terminals to remove any build up of sulphate or oxide material. You can also use it to clean the battery clamps to restore the luster. Other battery terminal cleaning kits also include anti-corrosion fiber washers.

In this article, I will explore the 5 best battery terminal cleaner tools. These simple inexpensive battery post cleaning tools help keep the terminals of batteries clean and free of corrosion to prevent charging and discharging problems on the battery.

5 Battery terminal cleaner tools comparison Table

Schumacher Terminal Cleaning BrushLotFancy Battery Terminal BrushPerformance Tool Battery Terminal Cleaning BrushLisle Battery Terminal CleanerSupercrazy Battery Terminal And Post Cleaner
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Features
  • Corrosion proof
  • Has both male and female brush ends
  • Designed for standard-size batteries
  • Package includes two battery corrosion cleaner tools
  • There's also a dozen red and green anti-corrosion washers.
  • Tool has both an internal brush and external cone-shaped brush
  • Size of terminal washers is 1.81" and 0.79" outer and inner diameter respectively
  • Has inside brush and cone-shaped outside brush
  • The cone-shaped brush end is encased in a durable steel cap.
  • Brushes are made of hardened stainless steel.
  • Features stainless steel brush
  • Has a firm plastic handle
  • Outer brush is encased in a durable steel housing
  • Brush bristles are stainless steel.
Specifications
Rod diameter 0.3" 0.3" 1.5 "
Length 10" 10" 8"
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Loose battery terminal connections?

Besides cleaning the battery terminals, you should also make sure that the electrical connection to those terminals is tight enough. Loose battery terminals prevent your battery from charging properly. When this occurs on your car battery, you can experience a hard start or rather a prolonged cranking time before the engine starts.

Hard starts are common and most of the time they occur due to a battery problem. However, other factors such as a weak electrical spark, insufficient fuel supply, or insufficient air in the combustion chamber can also cause your car to fail to start. Corroded battery terminals are the most common battery-related cause of car hard start.

When the terminals of a car battery corrode, they cause the electrical connection to become loose. As a result, the starter motor does not receive sufficient current to crank the engine. This causes the a hard start. Loose battery connection can also cause other electrical car accessories such as the lights and the AC system to malfunction due to insufficient current supply. Generally, a loose battery connection reduces the effectiveness of a battery.

Loose terminal clamps can also cause sparking around the battery post. This can become a potential fire hazard. For instance, if your car happens to have a leaking fuel line around the loose terminals, a fire explosion may occur. The hydrogen released through the vents of lead-acid batteries is flammable and could be ignited by the sparking on the loose terminals. Therefore, it is important to tighten clamps on battery posts to avoid potentially dangerous electrical and fire hazards. Keeping the battery terminals clean ensures a good connection.

Julius

Julius is an electrical engineer working as an O&M supervisor at a solar microgrid company. He heads a team tasked with maintaining operations of microgrid power plants. In his career, Julius has learned that getting the right tools for the trade is key to getting the job done right. That is why he likes to talk about tools.