Car battery Corrosion: Should you use Copper Grease?

Corrosion on car battery posts can be both a nuisance and a killer – at worst, the car battery dies from not being charged for a long time.

At best, the car does not even crank from the high resistance created by the corrosion between the battery post and the battery cable terminals.

Should you then use copper grease to keep away the corrosion? After all, it has elements of copper which should make it improve the electrical conductivity while keeping out the moisture.

And if not, what should you then use the copper grease for?

In this post, I share insights on whether to use copper grease to prevent corrosion, what alternatives there are, and what else you can use the copper grease for.

Quick answer: While you can apply copper grease to your battery terminals to prevent rust and the battery posts from corrosion, from the online research on its use, it is not clear the extent to which it improves the electrical conductivity of current between the battery posts and cable clamps provided the battery cables make clean firm contact with each other.

The copper grease helps keep out moisture and any electrolyte from making contact with the battery posts which leads to corrosion.

That said, there are other alternatives you can use such as vaseline and silicon-based dielectric grease. Several car owners have reported using vaseline and found it effective as well.

So, if you already have it on hand, you can use it but you can use vaseline or better still dielectric grease.

Where Else to Apply Copper Grease | What are the Benefits?

It is common to have fasteners stuck and extremely difficult to remove after long periods of exposure to temperature changes and, moisture.

If you have any fasteners, nuts, bolts, or screws with threads in a high-temperature environment at risk of locking up or seizing that you’d like to be able to remove easily without hurting your hands, you can lightly apply copper grease to the fastener threads before fixing them. It becomes easy to remove later.

Other applications of dielectric grease are the harness side of sensors – oxygen, car knock sensors, the threaded side of spark plugs, and the threaded side of light bulbs.

In some cases, it has been applied to squeaky brakes though with mixed results. Check the recommended applications for your specific brand of copper grease by reading the instructions.

It is often important that it is applied where there is minimal movement.

What Else to Use to prevent Battery terminal corrosion Besides Copper?

#1. Vaseline. Vaseline is widely available and can be effective in keeping out aware moisture that can lead to rust and corrosion.

Becoming runny when exposed to high temperatures is its main shortcoming. If the temperatures are just warm and not hot then it can be effective in preventing corrosion.

In fact, many car owners have used vaseline to protect their car battery terminals from rust and corrosion without any problems for many years.

#2. Silicon-based dielectric grease is another alternative. It is also effective in keeping out moisture and unlike vaseline is less runny when used in a high-temperature environment.

In that regard, it is a better solution than vaselines because of its ability to stay stable in high-temperature environments.

Some silicon greases can handle temperatures as high as 400 °F or higher.

Silicon-based dielectric grease should probably be your first option and then consider vaseline second.

You may also be interested in this post: 5 Signs that your Battery Terminals are Loose

How to apply Grease to Battery Terminals to Prevent Corrosion

Safety: wear a face mask and safety goggles

#1. Clean the battery posts and battery terminals with a wire brush or an abrasive like light sandpaper or other to remove rust or any traces of corrosion.

This is where the mask and safety goggles come in handy.

#2. Firmly connect the battery clamps to the posts so that they make firm clean contact.

#3. Lastly apply the grease over the battery post and clamp connection, like a protective shield to keep out the moisture and any electrolyte from getting into contact with the clamps.

Final Word

Copper grease can keep out the moisture that can lead to rust and electrolyte and corrosion of the battery terminals but it is probably an expensive option.

To keep out corrosion from your battery posts, you can use the readily available petroleum jelly or vaseline, or better still a silicon-based dielectric grease.

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