Car battery question
  Re: (...)
I guess this could go in the basement, but that place scares me.

Wife couldn't get her car started this morning (2003 Mazda Protege 5). I noticed a lot of corrosion on both terminals--2x more on the negative--which I washed off and after several attempts, we got it jumped from our other car. She got to work but couldn't get it started again so a coworker will start it to get her home. We'll go get a new battery tonight.

Anyway, 3 years ago this happened to the same car. I don't remember corrosion then but I bought a new battery which lasted until now. This has happened at least 1 time before to this car about 3-5 years earlier.

The past 2 times we've had Costco batteries and they've been good about paying us the prorated amount for the remaining warranty period which is 100 months, I think. Considering this hasn't happened to other cars I've had, are Costco batteries so crappy I'm only getting 1/3 of their life or is this a different problem?

Not being a car guy, I've been reading that corrosion on the terminals could be caused by under/overcharging from the alternator. Corrosion on the negative terminal is from undercharging and on the positive is overcharging. What does it mean if I've got it on both?

This car is really only driven to/from work for a total of 45min/day. I'd think that would be enough to keep the battery charged.

  Re: Car battery question by atgcpaul (I guess this could g...)
get you a battery terminal brush at an auto parts store or walmart. it is a round looking thing that pulls apart. one end goes into your wire terminal that fits over the post and the other end fits over the post. give both parts a good scraping, to shine things up. don't go overboard and grind them away. reinstall the wire terminal and tighten down. just washing off the crud doesn't get the crud out between post and wire. then come out tomorrow and recheck for tight. there is anti corrosion stuff you can then smear over the terminal to help prevent it. the battery terminal brush should be well under 5.00. I don't know why, though someone will, you are getting such a buildup. could be just not having things tight. then again 3yrs seems to be the going life span on a lot of batteries anymore. I would think they would at least test the battery before automatically replacing it. If tests good try cleaning things up first, then can move on to possible other problems if that doesn't work. You should also make sure the other end of your terminal wires are tight and clean.
  Re: Car battery question by atgcpaul (I guess this could g...)
You will be better served by giving all the terminals and posts a baking soda bath followed by a good scrubbing to shine the posts and terminal connections.

Then use a battery corrosion sealer ( I just use gun grease but it is messy) the commercial products are less messy.

Expect to do this about every two yrs. Batteries will generally last twice as long as you are experiencing if you do the maintenance
Let us not seek the Republican Answer , or the Democratic answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future  John F. Kennedy 

  Re: Car battery question by atgcpaul (I guess this could g...)
I've found that ordinary vaseline smeared onto the battery posts will help prevent corrosion. In addition to the above, I suggest you have your charging system checked to make sure it is working properly. It could be that your alternator is not quite up to the task. Most auto parts stores will have testing equipment and will do it for free. In my experience, under normal conditions, my batteries last very nearly their warranty life.
  Re: Re: Car battery question by Willyou (I've found that ordi...)
I use Permatex battery terminal corrosion protector and have never had a problem. Buy the packet rather than the spray can.
  Re: Re: Car battery question by Lynden (I use Permatex batte...)
I never had good luck with Walmart batteries they always last 2 years and that is all their warranty is for. I have had real good luck with Rural King batteries.
  Re: Car battery question by atgcpaul (I guess this could g...)
Returning the battery at Costco took longer than swapping them out

If only it had died 2 months earlier, I would have gotten it for free. I still got 60% of the original price which I suppose isn't too bad. The new Costco battery is from Interstate. It comes with the same 100 month warranty with a free replacement in the first 42 months instead of the 36 on this old one. We'll see.

Anyway, the baking soda worked great but I'll have to put off a heavy cleaning until the weekend when I have more time.

Thanks for your help.

  Re: Car battery question by atgcpaul (I guess this could g...)
Cleaning connections and applying corrosion inhibitors is at best, only good on a brand new battery. If a battery that is in service develops a corroded connection at the post, all of the cleaning, greasing, protective washers, protectant sprays, etc., is a waste of time because the battery post seal has failed. Having a good battery post seal is critical in manufacture. Obtaining the perfect seal is difficult. Knowing that, over-torqueing battery connections or improper hold-downs that result in stressing the case can be factors in post seal leakage. Not 100% of the time this is the reason, but it is something that is not always obvious but yet something the battery service provider should be fully aware of. Unfortunately, critical information is not always taught, observed or learned when money is involved.
Any free advice given is worth double price paid.
  Re: Re: Car battery question by Woodenfish (Cleaning connections...)
Well, I have to disagree. I recently sold a 2002 Tundra and with just minimal corrosion, it wouldn't start. After cleaning, the battery would work for several months---until the next time---and the same thing was true. In addition, we also have a 2014 Outback with the same problem.
  Re: Car battery question by atgcpaul (I guess this could g...)
One of he issues that started with import vars was the cheap spring clamp type battery terminals they used hey don't hold much pressure or have much surface area so any corrosion is bad. Then the domestics started using those cheap terminals... Top post batteries corrode much more than side posts because the vents are very close to the posts. I have had very few side post batteries with corrosion at all.

Batteries are made by two companies and one makes most all batteries. Brand doesn't mean much it's about what you pay for it.
They do fail much more often but i think that has allot to do with the higher heat in the engine compartment of newer cars.

Heat kills batteries faster than anything else. Cold doesn't decrease battery life very much. Anything over 3 years on a battery is living on borrowed time. Warranties don't mean much on anything anymore as they expect you to not use it.

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