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Discussion Starter #1
this is for anyone who has electrical problems with their car: THE FIRST STEP is to clean the freakin terminals!!!! if your headlights dim when you hit the brakes or your radio mysteriously goes out periodically: BEFORE you mess with your alternator, BEFORE you start looking for shorted out radio wires, BEFORE you go buying a new battery... get some baking soda or coke and a wire brush (or a battery terminal cleaner for $6) and wash, scrub and clean those battery contacts!!! i wasted $340-somthing on alternators and wires before i found my culprit!!

i was overjoyed and pissed and everyone and their mamas told me "i could have told you that!". for crying out loud, i could have told me that, but i didn't and went the expensive route.

just wanted to git dat outta mah system. hope this helps someone out there.
 

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489,000 km's stil going
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You don't need any of that stuff. The crusty stuff on your battery terminals comes off with absolutely no scrubbing with simple warm water. Just slowly pour it on the terminals. Nothing else works better or is needed.

I saw my mechanic buddy do that one day with amazement. He gave me one of those "look here and learn a big secret looks" while probably thinking what a dummy I am.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
it's cool as all hell watching the concoction sizzle tho :)

really tho, my terminals were clean. none of that neon colored stuff. it could be that my terminals were coated in old oil/grease or something. i suppose you're right when you say the coca cola or baking soda isn't needed but i heard that 1) baking soda helps neutralize acids and 2) you need -some kind- of liquid to wash it off cuz you do not wanna blow it off and end up breathing it in later.

anyhoo, my point was, after 3 alternators, 2 sets of headlights, and much inspection of wires in many places, my solution was a something i shoulda done first.
 

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wow that really sucks but at least you figured it out. first thing i ever learned in electronics class was always check the power supply first. including connections. at least you know next time.
 

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Water is a nice quick fix but the corrosion will return shortly. My mechanic had a bottle of something or other that he sprayed on the terminals and I haven't had corrosion since.
 

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:yes: baking soda + hot water is a common method when rendering a battery service; at least that's what we do in the old days... after re-installation spray terminals with sealant to keep them corrosion free :thumbsup:

FYI; avoid using the red/green cloth for the battery terminals... they act like a sponge and absorbs any fluid (sulfuric acid) leaks from the battery post(s).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
it's weird because that red/green cloth is sold everywhere saying it helps AVOID corrosion. oh well, i suppose it's one of those useless things targeted at people who don't know better... like cellphone antennae boosters.
 

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Another neat trick for the "home mechanic" who does not have access to "spray-on battery terminal sealant" (or even know what the h*ll it is): coat the battery post and cable end-clamp with a light coating of "dielectric grease" before you've made the connection. This will protect the connection from moisture and corrosion. Check it out here: http://www.permatex.com/products/Au...auto_Permatex_Dielectric_Tune-Up_Grease_1.htm There seems to be some inconsistencies in the descriptions of how this dielectric grease functions: some sources say it does not conduct electricity, while others say it does. Technically, the term 'dielectric" means it acts as an insulator ...which should mean it does not conduct electricity. However, I have used it for years as a lubricant for battery terminals (on the post before putting the clamp on) ...and to lubricate and protect light bulb sockets in tail lights, etc. I have never had a problem with it NOT providing a good, continuous electrical connection. Perhaps someone with more tech knowledge could explain how it acts as a conductor AND an insulator ...?? All I know is that it works for what I use if for,
 

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:lol: digger... funny you've mentioned Permatex because they make this product, readily available at any automotive parts store; off the shelf item ;)
 

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shit to those red/green pads dont work? ive been putting them on like all of our cars because i get em for free.
 
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