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Battery Negative Terminal

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Hi All.

I have a problem with my 1994 ES300 battery negative terminal.

The ES300 original battery looked similar to the IS factory battery, it never has any problem. however when it died, I replaced with Bosch, Exide batteries, then the negative teminal started to corrode. (some white,creamy colour powder)

The terminal clamp has to be replaced in one stage due to bad connection.

Now the terminal starts to corrode again.

I am just wondering what's the problem, and solution?

it seems to be the aftermarket batteries cause this problem!?


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Pour really hot water from the kettle over it, and it will dissolve away. Take off the cable & cut a ring of felt to fit over the terminal. Coat the felt with grease or oil before putting the cable back on.

This stops the water-soluble acid creeping up the terminal and attacking the cable clamp.

So I hear...


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Thanks kieth for ur info.

I still have a few Qs.

(1) can felt conduct electricity? if u fit a ring of felt coated in grease over the terminal

(2) any felt? Can felt from old clothe do the trick?

(3) to do the procedure, do u need to remove cable from +ve terminal ?



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Grease and felt don't conduct electricity. So make a felt washer, inner hole slightly smaller than the base of the terminal, and about 10-15mm wide in the ring. I'd try for felt about 2 or 3mm thick. Probably some dense foam plastic would do it these days. You used to be able to buy pre-made felt washers at Repco.

Yes, you have to remove the clamp from the terminal. You can use a spare bit of wire with crocodile (or alligator!) clips on to keep power running to the car so you don't lose the memory in the electronics/radio etc. Screw a Phillips screw into the top of the terminal, clip-on one end of the temporary wire, put the felt washer over the wire, & clip the other end of the wire to some part of the clamp and then undo the clamp. This should keep power to the car all the time and allow you to squeeze the felt washer through the clamp & slide it down onto the terminal.

We never had to worry about taking battery clamps off in the pre-electronic good ol' days! In fact many is the time I've disconnected a battery with the engine running and hot-swapped it with another to charge up a flat one in a hurry! You could probably do that, have the engine idling and just lift the terminal clamp off, stick the felt washer on and put the clamp straight back on, but I can't guarentee it. Modern cars are not Datsun 1600s! :lol:

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Now I think about it, the Repco kit had two felts in it, a red one and a green one.

I think you get different salts at each terminal, blue copper sulphate at one terminal and white at the other. The vapour from the acid in the battery condenses on the outside surface and reacts with the copper clamps at the terminals. It also corrodes the battery clamp frame.

Stopping the water moving up the terminal with grease solves it. I assume the sealed batteries don't have this problem at all.

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Thanks a lot of your hint!!

I think the aftermarket battery doesnt have as good seal as factory battery.

the acid must have leaked out.

Once I bought the battery and placed on the back seat of my ganddad's Camry.

I cornered too fast and forgot that I was driving a Camry. the battery flipped over and the acid leaked out and etched all over the back seat. I bought a seat cover to cover up the mess :P .

I am not too worry about the electronic of the car, I only need to reset radio stations.

Keith the felt washer from Repco u mentioned, will that do a better job than DIY felt washer?


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See if they still have them, and if they're the right size. (batteries are smaller these days!) Saves you a a bit of pissing about.

You're prob right about the battery design. If the covers overhang the rim around the filling holes they will get acid condensation on them and it runs onto the top of the battery and creeps around. Some designs have the covers fitting inside a rim to stop that.

fast work with those seat covers! :D

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This is also caused by bad grounds. But I would find it strange that a newish Altezza would have bad grounds. Unless it has been repaired.

My 180 does this really bad! Make sure you do Greeneyes steps asap or you could damage your alternater as it is always trying to charge the battery.

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Just done the battery job tonight on the ES,

followed Keith's instructions.

hot water worked really well, and I ended up using a DIY felt washer with heaps of grease on it.

Hopefully the battery will be ok now.

Thanks guys for your hints!


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