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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Grease battery post/cable connection?

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Stan in Oly, WA

12-22-2012 18:39:51




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A few days ago, my pickup wouldn't start. Totally dead in the morning after no sign of a problem the night before. It turned out the brass clamp which connects the cable to the positive battery post was broken. It took me less time to make a replacement out of copper than to go to an auto parts store to buy one. The brass clamp broke because I'm not careful to keep it clean, and the corrosion weakened it. Would it be a good idea to put grease over the fitting and the post now that they're all cleaned up and snug?

Thanks, Stan

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casenut1

12-23-2012 21:08:40




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
i use the felt washers. just add a little oil to them. works great.



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JD Seller

12-23-2012 19:05:29




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  

The best thing I have found to use is Fluid Film. It is an aerosol spray that works great. It is great on wiring harness plugs too.



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Hobo,NC

12-23-2012 18:58:23




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
I gave up on the rattle can dope it did not work out for my me...
No one dreads clearing cables more than me,,, When I install a bat I coat heavy were the post comes out of the case with dielectric grease,,, install the cable end and coat it good also...
If I do have a corroded one come in its handle quick...

I buy baking soda in a 5lb bag and keep empty dish washing detergent bottles at all four corners of the shop,,, save all my used tooth brushes... I add the soda to the bottle with water and can clean up the issue FAST with a brush then hose it off... If I have the time dress it with dielectric grease this is a five min. job and solved 90% of my issues... BTW I have also coated the post with it and never had a issue... DE is some good stuff....

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55deere70

12-23-2012 15:10:49




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
I use the rattle can of spray high tack. I think it's the same stuff as the red anti-corrosion spray. It works the same.



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Bret4207

12-23-2012 13:03:03




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
Plain old vaseline works. In fact it works great for a lot of stuff. I keep a 1 lbs container on the bench with an acid brush through a hole I drill in the cover. Works for a zillion things.



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js305

12-23-2012 12:29:51




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
Just to clarify, I use the vaseline only after I put the cable back on the post. I clean everything shiny bright before assembly, even if the parts are all new. I don't remember the last time I had to remove corrosion after the giving it this treatment. Most of the time my batteries only last about 3 or 4 years, depending on when the warranty goes out, if you know what I mean. Also, I have used expensive batteries and even reconditioned ones, with about the same overall results. As most agree on, keeping air and especially the outgassings from the battery itself along with regular use seems to be the best preventative medicine for batteries.

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Dalex

12-23-2012 10:57:51




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
As a field service mechanic for over 40 years , I saw LOTS of badly corroded battery cables . If the cable end was salvagable , I'd remove the clamp screw and replace it and the nut as needed, Clean everything up with water , dry every thing and reassemble. Then put on lots of any kind of grease , coating the terminal and clamp. Later , if any melted in beween the two, so much the better, then there was that much less of a pocket to let corrossion grow.

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MisterT

12-23-2012 08:16:08




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to pete black, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
For many years now I have always made double sure the battery post AND the clamp were shiny clean, made the connections, tightened the bolts, and THEN cover the entire area with grease. Plain old grease, right out of the grease gun. Always made sure to work the grease in under the clamp as well as cover the top and completely cover the bolt and nut. Never had an issue with corrosion, never had to clean the terminals, never had to take it apart again until the battery itself went belly up.

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John T

12-23-2012 07:54:10




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
PS I forgot to mention earlier, but as another poster noted, THOSE FELT WASHERS WORK GREAT..If you use BOTH them AND the red or yellow regular cover/sealer anti corrosive spray designed specifically for battery connections YOU LIKE NEVERRRRRRRRRRR HAVE TROUBLE.

As an enginner I must again recommend you DO NOT cover them with regular petroleum grease (NOT a good electrical conductor, a dielectric even) which can possibly flow down and get between the post and terminals. Lead to lead is a better conenction then lead to grease to lead YUKKKKKKKK Sure grease can work as its reduces oxygen and moisture contact but since its NOT a good conductor and could get between the post and connector, the regular spray coating/sealer is so much better electrically speaking. Grease a dielectric especially the electronic dielectric grease is great in the proper application as it doesnt conduct and cause a short but its NOT good to have it in the electrical current path (Lead to grease to lead), its an insulator NOT a conductor remember

Your money your choice, do what yall like

God Bless and Merry CHRISTmas

John T

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PAGlenn

12-23-2012 07:05:00




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
What about those small felt donuts that slide over the terminals. They seem to do the job for me.



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showcrop

12-23-2012 11:23:27




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to PAGlenn, 12-23-2012 07:05:00  
I have used the red rattle can product that John T and Stephen Newell recommend for many years with good results



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PAGlenn

12-23-2012 06:58:48




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
What about those small felt donuts that slide over the terminals. They seem to do the job for me.



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JMOR

12-23-2012 07:07:59




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to PAGlenn, 12-23-2012 06:58:48  

PAGlenn said: (quoted from post at 10:58:48 12/23/12) What about those small felt donuts that slide over the terminals. They seem to do the job for me.
What about nothing! If it is a good electrical connection, the post lead to terminal lead simply will not corrode. No dissimilar metal there!
This post was edited by JMOR at 07:09:06 12/23/12.

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D7fever

12-23-2012 06:46:50




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
What is the difference between vaselene and grease anyway? I grease up the post and the inside and outside of the clamp ,plenty of grease, prevents corrosion. The grease does not insulate the electrical connection. I have done that for years.



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ASEguy

12-23-2012 04:29:21




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
No grease. When it warms up grease will get between the post and the terminal. You can use vasoline.



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Stephen Newell

12-23-2012 04:08:43




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
Any auto parts store has a battery protector in a rattle can to spray on the terminal.



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KIP in MX

12-22-2012 23:50:52




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
Dow-Corning #4 dielectic compound. Comes in a tube and is a clear grease type product. We use it on electrical and battery connectors in helicopters that operate in offshore, salt air enviroment.



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Stan in Oly, WA

12-23-2012 00:22:28




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to KIP in MX, 12-22-2012 23:50:52  
Who sells that, an electrical supply house?



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KIP in MX

12-23-2012 07:49:08




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-23-2012 00:22:28  
Might try elec. supply house. Not sure where my company buys it, but aviation supply comapany should have it. A small tube lasts a long time. I have a tube my company tossed years ago because the QA guy thought it was too old.



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Mike Groom

12-22-2012 21:23:38




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
You can use dielectric grease or they make a spray that is yellow in color that I have used for years to protect battery post. Both are available at most auto parts stores.



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Dusty MI

12-23-2012 05:47:09




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Mike Groom, 12-22-2012 21:23:38  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Dielectric means non condutive.

So is dielectric grease a non conductor ? It would seem to me that if you put dielectric grease on the battery posts before installing the cable you are greatly reducing the ability for power to flow threw that conection.

Is the anti-oxduction grease, Noalox is one brand, a dielectric?

I almost always use anti-oxduction grease on my battery posts.

Dusty

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2x4

12-22-2012 20:23:23




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
whenever I check the motor oil, I hold the dipstick over the connections & let the excess oil drip down on them. Worked ok for 30 yrs now



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s.crum

12-22-2012 19:53:11




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
I have a squeeze bottle of Ideal Noalox terminal grease that Gary the old electrician at work gave me. It's an anti-ozidation grease for high voltage connections. Works good on battery cables and most other electrical connections including trailer plugs.



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MarkB_MI

12-22-2012 19:18:32




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
I like to use a bit of anti-seize compound where the post and clamp come in contact. I've had no problems with corrosion when I've done that.



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John T

12-22-2012 19:00:09




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
Stan, sure if oxygen and moisture are kept off of a connection OXIdation (rust) and corrosion and reaction is reduced. HOWEVER Id highly recommend more like the regular red battery terminal anti corrosive spray then grease. Grease isnt that good of a conductor and if it gets hots and liquifies and flows down and gets in between between the post and connection thats NOT a good thing now... Id much prefer lead to lead or lead to the brass terminal then lead seperated by a film of grease YUKKKKKK thats not a good way for low resistance electrical current flow.........

John T Longgggg retired Electrical Engineer

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rabbit

12-22-2012 18:47:27




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
I usually do grease battery connections before assembly, and often spray them down after connection... Think it helps reduce corrosion and prevent problems later. Over the years, I have had numerous incidents whare a battery would simply stop working. Take connections off, brush them - reassemble, and good to go.... Corrosion would happen seemingly over night.



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js305

12-22-2012 18:46:38




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 Re: Grease battery post/cable connection? in reply to Stan in Oly, WA, 12-22-2012 18:39:51  
For years I have used plain old Vaseline. You don't have to use much. I put about a thimble full on top of the post and smear it out a little. After the vehicle is run a little it melts and runs all over the connection. Yes, it draws some dirt, but it keeps the air/fumes from the battery from reacting with the metals in the connections and stays clean for a long time.



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