How To Clean Your Car’s Battery Terminal Ends

How To Clean Your Car’s Battery Terminal Ends

Wet cell type batteries have a tendency to build up corrosion on the battery terminals and cable ends that rob a battery from cranking power to start the engine.. There is a chemical reaction created by the electric fuel cell concentrate around the connections of the battery cable ends. Eventually the mixture of the gases and oxygen will create build up which will interrupt the current flow.

Not cleaning off the built up corrosion will drain the battery, making it unable to start your car’s engine. Maintaining your battery regularly will prolong the life of your battery and it will perform for you when you need it. 

I am often asked how you should clean your battery terminal ends. Here is the step by step process that I use to perform this task.
Negative lead, black terminal

Begin by working on the negative terminal lead first. This is very important. If you remove the red or positive terminal lead first, you leave yourself open for accidental shorts that can explode a worn battery, or create an electrical fire within the wiring harness. Always work from negative, (black), to positive, (red), when removing the cables from the battery, and then in reverse when reinstalling, to prevent creating a dangerous work environment. Always wear Personal Protective Equipment while working on or around automotive batteries.

Tools You Will Need:

 Corroded battery cables

 Correct size wrench or Crescent wrench

 Screwdriver

 Baking Soda

 Toothbrush

 Cloth/rag

 Warm water

 Battery Terminal cleaning brush tool

 Personal Protective Equipment: Safety glasses, safety gloves, and work clothing or apron

 Anti-corrosion terminal pads

Mix 2 tbsp. of baking soda in 8 ounces of water.
Use a spoon to agitate the fluid until the baking soda is completely dissolved.
Put 2 tbsp. of baking soda in a bowl. Take a toothbrush and moisten it in the water and baking soda solution. Then set it into the bowl of dry baking soda. Place it off to the side.
Use a combination of rinse and scrub techniques to remove all the corrosive dirt and debris.
terminal brush tool

Loosen both battery cable clamps from the power supply posts.
Remove the cable ends from the battery once the clamps have been loosened enough to pull the wires free from the battery posts. 
Remove the black, negative cable and then the red, positive cable. The battery cable clamps will need to be kept from coming in contact with the battery posts after they are disconnected and while cleaning the battery cables.
First tie the black, negative battery cable back from the battery using a tie wrap so the end of the cable can be cleaned away from the battery. Do the same for the red, positive cable once it has been removed.
Follow the black, negative battery cable back to its secured, ground anchor. Both cables can be vulnerable to corrosive materials and power robbing buildup. Find the black, negative battery cable anchor location and clean the cable end there first.
While secured in position, coat the ground anchor where the negative battery cable ends at the engine with the baking soda and water solution. Let stand for three to five minutes.
Brush the cable end and fastener on the engine with a toothbrush loaded with a dry baking soda. Let it stand for thirty seconds and pour more of the mixture solution of baking soda and water over this junction. Wipe dry and scrub with a rag after cleaning.
Submerge both cable ends, with clamps, into the solution of baking soda and water for up to five minutes. This cleaning should eliminate any corrosive buildup on the outer surfaces of the cable, cable clamps, and battery cable protective coating.

Use the saturated baking soda and water solution to break up any buildup of corrosive material. Then use a more concentrated solution with a toothbrush to remove the material in grooves and cable strands that are visible.
Use the dry baking soda and toothbrush to get more of the reactive material inside the grooves and tight corners of the cable ends and clamps.
Scrub the inside and outside of the cable clamps and cable ends that show metal or cable strands by using your battery terminal brush tool. Pour the solution over the end after scrubbing, then rinse with pure water, and wipe dry with a rag. Install your terminal protecting pads on the terminals.
batt. terminal pads

Fasten and secure both cables back to the battery, replacing the red, positive battery cable first, and then the negative cable.

Cover the clamps with post protectors to reduce the amount of water that can reach these connections. The presence of oxygen and water increase the amount of corrosive material an old battery will produce and can be managed with the simple protective measures listed here.

Cover the clamps with post protectors to reduce the amount of water that can reach these connections. The presence  of oxygen and water increase the amount of corrosive material an old battery will produce and can be managed with the simple protective measures listed here.
Replace the outer battery box panel (may vary on all vehicles) and
 close the vehicle’s hood. 

Dina Parise – From Ice Capades to Hairdresser to Drag Racer

Dina PariseDina Parise – From Ice Capades to Hairdresser to Drag Racer

Dina Parise grew up in Long Island, New York and always wanted to hang out with the boys; not because she wanted to date them, but wanted to compete against them. Her first love was hockey, but her mother put her foot down and said, No Way!

She was always competitive, from eight years old until she was in her 20s when a friend approached her and advised her that she should try out for the Ice Capades auditions. Dina put in her application. One of the questions was how tall you were, since the requirement was at least five foot five inches. Dina, who was five foot one inch, had to tell a little white lie and wrote on the application that she was five foot five inches.

The auditions all happened within a day or two, and they notified you pretty quickly after your tryout. Dina was chosen to go on tour, and the first tour was the 50th anniversary of the Ice Capades, which lasted eight months.

Before the tour began, all skaters had to undergo off-ice skating with choreography. There were so many steps and counts the skaters needed to learn and remember in order to prepare for the tour. She traveled all around the United States and into Canada for four years, performing line skating and ensemble skating.

dina parise2After four years with the Ice Capades, Dina decided to hang up her skates and go back to hairdressing. Not long after she stopped skating, her husband Andrew decided to get involved with cars. Around 2005, Andrew built his first car, a 1967 Camaro. At first he wanted to show it at car shows, then it progressed to race car, and it ended up being a fully tubbed machine.

That lasted for about a year or so when Dina fell in love with Drag Racing. Never having been to a drag race, Dina decided that she wanted to drive the ’67 Camaro. She decided to become a drag racer, so she enrolled in the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School, earned her Super Drag Racing License, and began racing the Camaro.

Being a beginner, her husband thought that going Top Sportsman was the first choice, but Dina chimed in and stated that she was thinking more in the line of Pro Mod. Andrew about passed out when he heard that, and Dina about had to pick him up off the ground. Dina and Andrew put their heads together and began working on the marketing strategy. The rest is history.

Today, Dina drives a Modified Cadillac, with 3000 Horse power, which will have its first race on April 17, 2015 at IHRA Nitro Jam Southern Nationals in – Bradenton, Florida.

Photos compliment of

People Are Urged To Wash The Undercarriage Of Their Vehicle

People Are Urged To Wash The Underside Of Their Vehicle

Recently there has been some serious discussion on rust building up on and around brake lines in the older American made vehicles. This has many car owners concerned about the cause. An investigation into this mechanical issue was launched and here are the findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. I would also recommend you read my article on “A Happy Engine is a Clean Engine”. It offers more tips on how to prevent issues as described below.


WASHINGTON – The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today issued a Safety Advisory and consumer video encouraging owners of model year 2007 and older trucks, SUVs and passenger cars to inspect brake lines and thoroughly wash the underside of their vehicles to remove corrosive salt after the long winter in order to prevent brake-line failures that increase the risk of a crash.

The advisory was issued in conjunction with the agency’s closing of an investigation into brake-line failures in General Motors trucks and SUVs built in model years 1999 to 2003. The agency spent more than four years investigating corrosion-related brake failures in the vehicles and similar trucks and SUVs made by other manufacturers, but has not identified a defect that would initiate a recall order.

NHTSA also issued a closing report that details the investigation’s analysis of state safety inspection data and a survey of about 2,000 vehicle owners. The data indicate that the brake line corrosion seen in the GM vehicles was not unique – similar vehicles using comparable brake-lines experienced similar corrosion issues, especially in states using salt to de-ice roads in winter. NHTSA issued a broad safety advisory urging owners of older SUVs and pickups to take steps to prevent brake failure resulting from corrosion.

“While NHTSA can’t order a recall in this case, there is a safety issue that vehicle owners should address,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said. “Older-model vehicles, often driven in harsh conditions, are subject to corrosion over long periods of time, and we need owners to be vigilant about ensuring they, their passengers, and others on the roads are safe.”

NHTSA’s safety advisory urges owners of trucks, SUVs and passenger cars that are more than seven years old to:

Maintain their vehicle and prevent corrosion by washing the undercarriage regularly throughout the winter and giving it a thorough washing in the spring to remove road salt and other de-icing chemicals that can lead to corrosion.
Monitor the brake system for signs of corrosion by having regular professional inspections and watching for signs of problems, including loss of brake fluid, unusual leaks and a soft or spongy feel in the brake pedal.
Address severe corrosion, marked by flaking or scaling of the metal brake pipes, by having the full assembly replaced.
“If you own an older vehicle and live in a cold-weather state where salt and de-icing chemicals are common in winter, we strongly urge you to take these steps,” Rosekind said.

NHTSA’s investigation stemmed from a vehicle owner’s petition in 2010, and covered about 6 million model year 1999-2003 GM Sierra, Silverado, Avalanche, Escalade, Suburban, Tahoe and Yukon vehicles.

NHTSA examined consumer complaints for brake line failures for all types of light vehicles and analyzed safety inspection data collected in Pennsylvania from 2008 through mid-2014. The agency’s Vehicle Research and Test Center in Ohio conducted a survey that gathered data from approximately 2,000 owners of GM and peer vehicles from the period. Investigators also examined 71 randomly selected vehicles in Massachusetts, New York, Maryland and Ohio.

While NHTSA received substantially more vehicle owner complaints about all types of GM vehicles than similar vehicles from other manufacturers, the higher rate of complaints appeared to be at least in part related to public attention given to the investigation. The Pennsylvania inspection data, VRTC survey and random NHTSA vehicle inspections all showed that both passenger car and light truck peer vehicles are subject to similar corrosion-related failure rates. The coated steel brake pipes in GM’s vehicles under investigation were similar to materials used by other manufacturers at the time. Beginning in the late 1990s, manufacturers transitioned to plastic-coated pipes that are in use today.


Ashleigh Trapanese; Setting Her Sights High In Motocross

Ashleigh Trapanese; Setting Her Sights High

As children we all love receiving our favorite toys for our birthday and Christmas, no matter the age. But for Ashleigh, at the age of 5, her father proudly gave her a dirt bike for Christmas. You are probably asking, what was he thinking? Well, Ashleigh’s dad knew exactly what he was doing. Being a pleasure rider himself, he wanted to share his love for riding with his daughter.

Ashleigh took to riding like one would take to breathing; it was just natural. With the wind in her face and her hair blowing in the breeze she traveled the trails along the mountains near Spanish Springs, just east of the Reno/Sparks area of Nevada – she was in heaven! The passion for riding grew every time she rode and this added to wanting more. Her mother wasn’t exactly thrilled with this newly acquired passion the way her father was, but she did not want to discourage her. So she allowed it to continue.FB_IMG_1426554152593

Then in 2008, Ashleigh was a bit older and knew that her mother was still concerned about her daughter as a dirt bike rider so she decided to stop. This was a short lived decision. In 2013, Ashleigh was now a little older and still had the love for dirt bike riding so her mother gave the green light for her to purchase another dirt bike because she was now more comfortable with the thought of her daughter riding them.

It was then Ashleigh and her father set out to locate a new bike and once again she was riding as if she never stopped. Riding for pleasure was no longer enough for Ashleigh, so she began to teach herself to race motocross. Now in High School, many of her male classmates observed Ashleigh while out riding. They mentioned to her that she might think about racing. Since Ashleigh was looking for something more while riding, this seemed to be just the right choice. Having a very close knit family, Ashleigh knew this was not a decision that she could make without consulting her parents.


Ashleigh Trapanese

After presenting this desire for a new adventure, her mother and father both gave their strong support for her to follow the dream. It was then the entire family packed up the dirt bike and, not knowing exactly all that would be needed, they headed to the Fernley Motocross track and signed Ashleigh up for her first race. Ashleigh took to racing like a duck to water and her mother also began to meet other parents whose children were entered in the race and new friendships formed with others who shared the same passion.

Ashleigh’s first race may not have been her best performance, but more like a practice session, but that would soon change. Now having an understanding of what she would be up against, Ashleigh would spend her afternoons practicing for upcoming races to be the best in her class, after completing her studies, of course.

Ashleigh set her sights high and it did not take long for her to move from the back of the race pack to end up taking not only third, but second and first place, then best overall in the women’s class; all of this in a very short time.

As if this wasn’t enough, in 2015 she began to race in the men’s classes as well as the women’s. Who would have guessed that on her first race in the men’s class, Ashleigh would take first place and best overall!

Ashleigh’s parents could not be prouder of their daughter and by allowing her to follow her dream, she rose to the top. This was all possible because her father shared his passion with her and her mother shared her dream.FB_IMG_1426261794632

As the racing adrenaline grew, Ashleigh began following Super Motocross Racer Vicki Golden, who has become her idol.

I asked Ashleigh what her girlfriends thought of her accomplishments in Motoross racing and her response to me was, “I have very few female friends, most of my friends are males.” Ashleigh does have an older brother, who rides from time to time, but he is enrolled in college and riding dirt bikes is not his passion.

Finding a relationship while involved in a masculine field can sometimes be tough, especially when the guys look at you as their competition. Even though women are becoming more accepted into most fields, this is still an area where males are offended when a woman wants to compete in their class. Ashleigh explained a situation where one of the riders came up to her after her win in the men’s class and told her, there is no place for girls in this class. Was he mad because she was a woman or because she beat him?

If it is the latter, I find that odd, since they also have the option to compete in the women’s class. But I have a feeling that might not be a choice they would pick, after all, who wants to be laughed at by their friends?

Ashleigh has found a mate who she met, in fact, at one of the races over 10 months ago. Her boyfriend Sean Botelho, who also races, respects and cares for, not only who she is, but what she is. There needs to be more men like Sean.2015-04-0123.38.22

So who cares for the dirt bike’s mechanical needs before and during a race? Well, Ashleigh’s father has that covered; he does most of the major repairs, but has a helper and student, his daughter, who is learning to master that area as well. This young woman can only excel at anything she sets her sights on, so if you want to follow Ashleigh, check out for more. Check out Ashleigh’s video below. And click here to listen to Ashleigh’s story on Teresa’s Garage Radio Show. Choose show date 04/11/15.




IMG_1581Upcoming Events

If you are looking for something to do in Reno, Nevada, then these events are for you. Do you love classic cars, swap meets or just meeting people, then read on.

April 12, 2015 Klassic Kruisers will be hosting a swap meet being held at the A&W on Kietzke Lane in Reno, Nv. From 8 am to 3 pm. If you are looking for that special part, you just might find it here.

April 25th & 26th the 44th annual Grand Prix Motocross Race in Virginia City, Nv. The race starts at 10 am both days and lasts 4 hours on Sat. and 3 hours on Sunday. There is camping available. Go to! for more information.

1929 Fire Truck

1929 Fire Truck

May 9th in Virginia City the National Policemen’s Memorial Parade and Car Show from 12 pm till 5 pm. Not only step back in time, but check out the Policeman’s Museum. Law Enforcement vehicles from various agencies across the country.


May 16th Teresa’s Garage Automotive Seminar, learn how to perform preventative maintenance, how to change a tire,

DPP_0023acheck your fluids, clean and check your battery, so be prepared to dig in. Spaces are limited so reserve your spot now. To sign up you can email or by calling 775-772-8729. Open to the first 10 entries. Cost $20.00. Door prizes and free tools for the first 5 entries.


May 16th, Battleborn Mopar Car Show from 10 am – 3 pm to be held at the A&W off of Plumb Lane & Kietzke Lane. Entry fee is $20.00, dash plaques, goody bags and trophies. Music by Johnny Star.

Radio Show Archives

Teresa’s Garage Radio show airs weekly at   and covers topics on everything Automotive and features special guests. Listeners are encouraged to call in, come in or tune in the Reno, Nevada area at 101.3 FM Tuesdays at 2:00-3:00 PM and 1180 AM. Or you can listen to previous shows right here on Teresa’s Garage website.

If you do not live in the Reno/Sparks, Nevada area you can connect on your Iphone or Computer by clicking this link, for live streaming on America Matters Media Radio Show.

If you want to listen to previously recorded shows, click here Teresa’s Garage Radio Shows . Teresa’s Garage is constantly looking for special guests, people who love cars, own classics, belong to a car club and want to promote your events or just want to talk about your classic, then call toll free 844-790-8255 or locally 775-827-8900. We love hearing from our listeners.

Happy Motoring