Let us say it is raining, but someone needs help with jumpstarting a vehicle. What comes to mind first is if you should be doing so in the rain considering water and electricity do not mix well. That is why someone might ask, can a car battery get wet?
A car battery can get wet and it will still work once you wipe it try. This is because car batteries are properly sealed to avoid water damage. However, this does not mean that you leave it out there in the rain or expose it to moisture and water all the time. This can lead to corrosion of the terminals.
Water damage is not what you need for different parts of the vehicle. It is therefore important that you still consider keeping the battery as dry as possible. This makes the battery last longer and serves you quite well.
We go deep to help you understand the type of car battery to get for your vehicle and how best to keep it from getting wet and potentially getting damaged.
Should You Get a Car Battery Wet?
As explained earlier, if it is a one-time thing, it is not the worst thing to happen to a car battery. If it gets wet, simply get a dry rag and wipe it dry.
As much as it is not the worst thing to happen to a car battery, we do not advise that you keep doing it. This is because eventually, the terminals will start to corrode which would make them not good at conducting electricity.
A car battery is quite important for running different equipment and accessories in the vehicle. If you do not take good care of the battery, you end up having to buy another one sooner than necessary.
As you can see, nothing bad would happen if the car is mildly exposed to water. Take note that there are two main batteries for your vehicle. They include sealed and vented car batteries.
For sealed batteries, they would not let anything in. It is possible to get a lot more batteries right now having this type of battery.
How about the vented car battery? This type is still good in protecting the battery internals from getting wet. The rubber membrane will prevent water from getting in.
Even if the vented car battery can still keep the water out, continuous exposure to water can also make it susceptible to damaging the rubber membrane. It goes back to ensuring that the battery is correctly covered to prevent such issues.
For some reason, you may find that some car batteries are submerged. We still have to consider this scenario as it can happen.
In the case of total submersion, the sealant will still work great and keep the water out. Simply pull the battery out of the water, clean and dry it then you should be good to go.
Sometimes the battery can have leaks. You are advised to change the electrolyte in the battery because it would be diluted. If the battery is far too gone, replacing it would also work.
Parts of a Car Battery
Even if you are likely to come across different battery types, they all have almost similar structures. The image above should help you understand how the battery looks underneath so that you know what each component does.
Battery terminals will be connected to positive and negative straps. This is where you connect the cables to provide power to the car.
Battery acid is the electrolyte needed for the storage of energy.
Where you get to connect the cables is the cast-on strap, which is then finished into terminals.
The reason why you would not end up with a damaged battery is because of the battery lid and case. Both are made of polypropylene resin and are sealed together to keep the elements out.
The battery case is still important for minimizing the vibrations on the battery and extending the battery life further.
Signs Your Car Battery Is Damaged
Potential Issues for Getting the Car Battery Wet
It is possible that you may find yourself with a wet car battery. One thing that comes to mind is if you can get issues with such a battery.
Of course, if you are going to keep a car battery wet when it is supposed to be dry, then you should end up with a few problems.
One thing about car batteries is that the terminals can corrode with time when moisture is always around them.
Terminal corrosion would make it hard to have a snug connection between the cables and battery terminals. That being said, it is going to take many weeks before you can start to see corroded terminals.
Other than corroded terminals, there is no other big issue that may result in a car battery getting wet. As always, do not make it a habit of keeping the battery wet.
Can An Electric Car Battery Get Wet?
Maybe you decide to get yourself a Tesla, but you are not sure if it will work well once you go through water especially one that is a bit high.
You should not be worried too much about the vehicle not working. Electric vehicles are designed to still function well even when the car goes through water. This is because the batteries are well protected from water damage.
Other than these batteries being bigger, they are also stored better compared to batteries in conventional cars. It is not always easy to access the batteries. Also, they are further waterproofed for more protection.
So, even if the battery pack of an EV is found on the floor of some vehicles, it is not easy for such a battery to get wet. This means the battery is safe from damage.
An electric vehicle submerging is still a bad story just like a conventional car. You are required not to start it. It is advisable to take it back to the dealer who can have a technician go through it for drying purposes first.
The good thing about modern cars is that they are smart. If they detect water where it should not be, circuit breakers swing into action to prevent further damage.
Is It Safe To Pour Water On Battery Terminals?
There is no problem with pouring water on battery terminals so long as you dry them before hooking the cables back on.
Actually, many people wash their battery terminals by pouring a little amount of water and using a wire brush to scrub the terminals. A steel brush can do a good job of removing any corrosion that might have built up over some time.
If you want a better cleaning agent, mix water with a bit of baking soda and power on the battery. It does a good job of leaving your battery clean.
Once you are done with the cleaning, thoroughly dry the battery. You can use an air compressor or towels to leave you with a dry battery before using it.
Here is a video with more tips on cleaning battery terminals
How to Care for Your Car Battery
Other than keeping the car battery dry, there are other ways for caring for car batteries. Here are some ideas.
- Clean the battery more often. You can use water or a battery cleaning solution to remove grease, oxidation, and dirt. Having dirty terminals will lead to a weakened charge.
- You should also keep the battery tray clean. When there is dirt build up on the case, it makes the battery messy.
- Check the water level indicator of the battery. If it needs refilling, make sure to have it topped off correctly.
- In case you have to park the vehicle for a long time, we recommend having a car battery charger to keep the battery charged.
- Get an insulation blanket for the cold winter months. Keeping the battery warm is good enough to help make it start the car better even during the cold months.
What kills a car battery fast?
Since we have established that the battery getting wet will not easily kill it, what would? The first culprit is the headlights. If you have a habit of forgetting to turn them off, then it can go flat if the vehicle is off. The battery would also go flat when there is a parasitic draw of power from the battery all the time.
Why do people put Coke on battery?
Some people use coke on batteries to help with washing the terminals and keeping them clean. Coke has ingredients that will neutralize the corrosion on battery terminals and cables to leave them clean for better performance. Once you are done with cleaning, wipe with paper towels to remove any coke residue.
How long do car batteries last?
Car batteries mostly last six years with little to no maintenance. You just have to wipe them clean and remove any corrosion build up and you should be good. Once a battery goes past 5 years, perform regular battery tests to see if it is still in good condition so that you can have it replaced at the right time.
Can I spray wd40 on battery terminals?
Spraying WD40 on battery terminals and cable connections is advisable to keep them clean. WD40 is good for removing a lot of grime from the battery. Scrub the battery with a steel brush and rinse with hot water. This should be enough to remove corrosion and keep it at bay for a long.
Can you jump a car if the battery is wet?
It is possible to jump a car if the battery is wet, but we highly advise against jumpstarting a wet battery. So, take a clean rag or towel and wipe the battery dry before jumpstarting. This should help keep the battery in good condition so that you can keep using it for longer.