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stexch

Difference of opinion on battery terminal treatment

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I have two mechanics that I use: one that has a service station for tires, batteries, and oil changes, and another that has a full shop for more involved work.

A couple years ago, my shop guy got me started on a product called Whip. I put this all over my battery terminals and connectors to prevent corrosion. It works great! Then when my 6-year battery died after three years, my service station man blamed it on the Whip, saying that it leads to early battery death. He had already given me my pro-rated warranty allowance toward the replacement, so he wasn't trying to get out of anything. The battery that died was an Interstate, and the other Interstates that I've owned have exceeded the useful life printed on the label.

Now both these guys are really good at what they do, so I don't know what to think any more. I vividly remember as a teen having to go out with a tooth brush and a baking soda solution to clean corrosion off of cables, but this hasn't been near as much of an issue for the past few decades. What has changed?

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I'm struggling to understand how any coating applied to the exterior of the battery could cause premature failure.

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I've never heard of "Whip," but have smeared a light coat of grease on battery terminals after everything was connected. Perhaps messy, but seems to prevent corrosion without any negative (no pun intented):rolleyes: effects on the battery.

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Years ago we would use a small bottle of COKE to cut the corrosion from battery terminals. Today, I find an occasional squirt of WD-40 prevents the issue. As for some topical anything at the battery terminals affecting battery life, probably just silly nonsense. Many things can result in a shortened battery life, but I don't think putting something on the terminals is one of them.

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I never heard of the whip product but unsure how that could affect battery life especially if it is made for the terminals?

I have had good luck with the felt rings under the terminals or the felt wraps that go around the battery terminals. I also have had decent success with a CRC spray on the ground to the frame plus it is made for the terminals.

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I'm struggling to understand how any coating applied to the exterior of the battery could cause premature failure.

I agree completely. Was the battery maintained with a float charger, or ever allowed to sit in a discharged state for any amount of time?

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I can conceive of what might answer to the logic of this whip shortening battery life. Note, I did not say that I personally believe that it would. Simplest way to explain would be to remind the readers that solutions of strong acids or bases are conducters of electricity. This is

true even if the concentration of the acid or base is quite small. Entities called ions serve as a pathway for electricity in the same manner as a copper wire. It could be that the whip acts as a slight conducter shorting between the posts, or for those older batteries with exposed cell connections, shorting between cells. I believe if one cleans up a corroded battery and inserts an ammeter between the wet case of the battery and a ground, a minute current can be measured, particularly if it were rinsed with tap water which has ions (charge carriers). Recall that it is distilled water that is strongly recommended for servicing batteries, and this is why! That is why I can say it is conceivable, especially for cars which have long periods of non -usage between starts, so the tiny leakage to ground could add up. Not likely, but conceivable.

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The only two ways I can think of how this Whip stuff could affect a battery--the first, as PRS detailed--the second (as seemingly unlikely) is if it had some chemical that allowed one of its components to somehow penetrate the cell under the post AND produce some kind of damaging chemical reaction...

If you can, for the sake of our peace of mind check with your battery man and find out HOW the Whipped batteries go bad---cells go dead, battery only takes partial/low charge, battery post loses conductivity, whatever.

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All I can say is we have many batteries in our little paradise here. Have never needed to babysit and caress them as much as nowadays. New one in a bobcat this September. Charging system checks great, battery in the replace range of my Matco tester.

You tell me what is up?

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Vehicle that battery was in was driven daily. It is a Dodge (top post). Whip was only on the posts, terminals, and a little on the case (there was not a continuous path between posts).

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Ron, that is quite a set up. Used for what?

Ben

Ben,

It’s for a 1976 Citicar (electric car). Eight 6-volt heavy lead acid batteries that drink a lot of distilled water when used regularly.

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All I have used for over 40 years is a coat of Vaseline on the post and inside the clamp BEFORE installing.

Side post cables the same thing.

I also use it on all light bulbs before they go into the socket.

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I've used the CRC on my batteries for many years with very good results (no corrosion).

I'm gonna have to try the Vaseline, though...sounds good!

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I have always used Vaseline. I also like the felt pad that go under the connectors.

The only thing I have ever heard of that could be harmful is chassis grease, since the lithium in the grease is conductive.

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I do not believe that a product applied to the external connections of the battery caused an internal failure. IMO, just trying to shift blame for the battery failure.

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