Cleaning Car Battery Terminals - Chevy Impala Forums
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Cleaning Car Battery Terminals

Hello all!

Recently, I noticed the slightest bit of build up on my battery terminals and wanted to clean it up. I began looking up how to do this, since I'm still fairly new to DIY car maintenance, but there were all sorts of warnings about losing memory settings when you disconnect the battery, and the possibility of the car running rough while it relearns everything. Since my 2009 is relatively "new" I just wanted to double check.

A few solutions floating around were those battery memory savers with the OBDII port and 12V connector connected to a battery jump starter or battery pack. However, there were some articles saying these things are a really bad idea, and can cause problems with other computer systems.

Is it a real PITA to relearn everything on the Impala or is the only real memory loss the radio presets? What do you guys do when it comes to this maintenance?

The small amount of acid build up is easily visible and would be easy to get off with some baking soda/water, but I want to be thorough!

Thanks, and I appreciate the help!

-Cameron
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 02:38 PM
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Not to be offensive, but I think you are overthinking this here Yes it is good to clean acid off the terminals, no doubt about it. However, I think the memory saver is a little overkill. I'd be concerned about something it would do to my car's electrical system being that there are many sensitive things connected. I've never seen a car ruined because the battery was disconnected without a holding power source LOL. If you want to get a memory saver that's not an issue but IDK if it's worth all the trouble if something goes wrong. My .02
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 04:01 PM
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Agreed - I've disconnected my battery many times - the biggest "issue" that it causes is that I have to reset my favorite radio stations and the time. :-) Don't worry about it for one second...

Although.... It *may* reset the ODB-II readiness monitors - if you live somewhere when you need emissions inspections (and have one coming up), it could take up to a few weeks before the car is ready for emissions inspection (the readiness monitors can take a while to set). Something to consider...

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Haha well thanks for easing my mind! I'm far away from my next smog, so I'll get it all cleaned up!

Thanks again!

-Cameron
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 07:05 AM
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Gotta agree with above posts. May be a slight inconvenience to reset radio presets, but much less inconvenient then having a dead battery that quit charging for poor terminal connection or possibly worse.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 07:59 PM
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Actually, my radio presets stayed just fine when I swapped out the battery and did a terminal clean as you are speaking of.
The clock lost its time but the presets remained. Might have something to do with Onstar or XM ??.
The ECM/TCM will learn again pretty quickly. To be honest, I didn't notice any real difference. Idled a bit lumpy on first restart but seemed pretty normal after that. , and next restart was normal.
A word of caution
When loosening the nuts on the terminals be very careful with them. If you drop one or loose it you will not be able to tighten the terminal and you CANNOT BUY them. A silly and foolish design....IMO

Some things are better left unsaid, which I generally realize right after I have said them.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 04:20 PM
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I bought a terminal clesning kit with a nice round brush that worked great. Only had to reset the clock and radio presets
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 06:54 PM
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If your old school .... wire brush and baking soda
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