A mechanical failure in your car’s engine is something that you’ll have to take your car in to a professional to have assessed and repaired. However, there are some lesser issues that you can take care of yourself – such as cleaning the engine of your car. In particular, we’re talking about the terminals of the car’s engine, which sometimes do need some TLC.
- A wrench
- Baking soda (one tablespoon)
- Water (one cup)
- Spray bottle full of cold water
- An old towel or rag
- Petroleum jelly
Steps for Cleaning Engine Terminals
Cleaning the terminals of your engine is a very straight-forward process, so let’s dive in.
Step One: Turn Off Your Engine and Do a Visual Inspection
Even though cleaning of engine terminals runs very little risk of harm, that risk is still there. So, it’s best to make sure that your car is turned off before you begin.
Once you’ve turned off the car and popped the hood, do a visual inspection of the engine as it is right now. If there are any cracks or fissures visible to you, then the issue is something that needs to be addressed by a professional auto mechanic.
Step Two: Detach the Cables and Inspect Them
Using your wrench, loosen the nuts that hold the positive and negative cables in place. One by one, detach the cables from their posts.
Now, just like you visually inspected your engine itself, pay some mind to the cables and clamps. Look for the obvious signs of wear and tear like rips along the cables. Again, if you see any damage it’s time to take your car into a shop and have the matter addressed.
Step Three: Mix Your Cleaning Solution
You’ve inspected the engine, clamps and cables to ensure that there are no damages that need to be repaired. Now, it’s time to start cleaning. First, you need to make your cleaning solution. Use one tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of water and mix to create the solution. You’ll use the toothbrush to apply it to the terminals.
Step Four: Get Cleaning
Use the toothbrush to really scrub away at the terminals to rid them of any signs of corrosion. You may have to dip the toothbrush into the cleaning solution multiple times to get a real, deep clean.
Once the terminals are clean to your satisfaction, use the spray bottle full of cold water to clean any residue and baking soda from the terminals. You absolutely need to make sure that all traces of baking soda are gone.
After spraying, use your old rag or towel to dry the terminals completely.
Step Five: Finishing Up
Apply your petroleum jelly to lubricate the terminals and then reattach the cables. You’re done!