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Updated: 3/28/2003 1:53 pm
Over the years, your car battery may require a little maintenance. A corrosive white powder sometimes forms on the terminals. If left, it can eventually destroy the battery cables. Here's how to clean them: Start by removing the terminals. Always the negative side first. Don't let the negative side touch metal until the positive side is removed. Using a special battery cleaning wire brush, clean off the posts and cables. If your battery has side terminals, use a regular wire brush. Clean all contact surfaces thoroughly. If there's a lot of corrosion, a mixture of baking soda and warm water will clean off and neutralize the acid. Wipe off the battery with a disposable cloth or paper towels, being careful not to let the acid come in contact with your skin, eyes, clothing or your car's paint. Be careful not to smoke or allow a spark or flame near the explosive gases of a battery. And finally, reconnect the terminals in reverse order and coat with grease or petroleum jelly to fight corrosion.

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