99 Elantra Battery Corrosion on Terminals

Hello,
    I'm trying to troubleshoot an ongoing problem with my sister's 99 Elantra. I had to replace the negative terminal back with and
aftermarket one in Jan as the terminal was corroded and loose to the point that it would not stay on the battery terminal. This was giving the symptoms of the radio going out and lights dimming.     Well the symptoms have come back, but this time she mentioned that it was happening when she was pressing the brakes. So I first checked the terminals and found a lot of corrosion on the terminals. The screw on the negative one which I replaced in Jan looks like it has been rusted for years, but all terminals are tight. I did take the car for a test drive and of course it didn't happen.     From my experiences on Hondas, the amount of corrosion dust that is appearing is unusually high. Is this typical of Hyundai's? Both Hyundai batteries have been producing the residue but it has been happening worse as the car has been aging. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks, Nick
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Also one thing I forgot to mention was the alternator (Hyundai OEM) was replaced at 70k, some 50k miles ago so it looks like it is too early for that to be the problem.
Nick

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Nick wrote: : Hello, : : I'm trying to troubleshoot an ongoing problem with my sister's : 99 Elantra. I had to replace the negative terminal back with and : aftermarket one in Jan as the terminal was corroded and loose to the : point that it would not stay on the battery terminal. This was giving : the symptoms of the radio going out and lights dimming. : Well the symptoms have come back, but this time she mentioned : that it was happening when she was pressing the brakes. So I first : checked the terminals and found a lot of corrosion on the terminals. : The screw on the negative one which I replaced in Jan looks like it : has been rusted for years, but all terminals are tight. I did take the : car for a test drive and of course it didn't happen. : From my experiences on Hondas, the amount of corrosion dust : that is appearing is unusually high. Is this typical of Hyundai's? : Both Hyundai batteries have been producing the residue but it has been : happening worse as the car has been aging. Any help would be : appreciated. : : : Thanks, : Nick
Nick,
After you clean the battery terminals, it is a good idea to smear them with a light coating of battery terminal grease that you can obtain at most auto parts stores or you can make your own by mixing baking soda with a medium weight grease (1/3 b soda + 2/3 grease) if you wish. Then put the connectors on the battery, tighten them up and smear more grease over all metal parts.
I use this grease when I install a new battery and no more corrosion on the terminals for at least 2 or 3 years.
Larry
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It might also be a good idea to take both the terminals off and make sure the contact areas are clean as well.
It's also a good idea to perform a basic starting and charging system check. If your air bag lamp is coming on, you should suspect that your alternator may not be charging.
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Thanks for the advice Larry, I will give it a try and clean the contacts as well while I'm at it.
Hyundaitech,
    The last time I replaced the alernator the battery light actually never came on. 50k miles is a little short for the alternator to be bad don't you think? Also she hasn't had any difficulty starting the car so that battery is being charged (at least for now).
Thanks, Nick

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I'll agree that 50k is indeed too soon for an alternator failure to be expected, but failures tend to not have a predictability about them. A good check will help you determine that everything is in working order or help you isolate the problem.
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-------------- YOU'RE LUCKY TO EVEN ACCESS YOUR TERMINALS! -------
I HAVE A 2004 ELANTRA GLS, AND THE BATTERY IS almost impossible to replace and service!
Hyundai DOESN'T want you even try to:
1) Check the fluid level in the cells.
2) Check the body and terminals for corrosion.
3) Remove the old battery and install a new one.
These tasks are almost impossible for the average motorist BECAUSE THE BATTERY SITS IN AN ENCLOSED, SEALED CASE! You can't see much less inspect the cell fluid levels. And half of the bolts under the hood on the driver's side have to be removed to free-up the battery.
See, Hyundai wants you to go to a HYUNDAI DEALER, where a battery costs $90, plus up to $50 more to install it. And at most Hyundai dealers I know, you have to leave your car for an entire day -- then hope it's ready when you return in the late afternoon or early evening.
"Aw, we're sorry, but you see we got real busy and couldn't get to yours. But tomorrow!"
AdvanceAuto Parts, AutoZone, Olympic Auto Parts, and Batteries Plus sell the same battery for $52 to $69, some including free installation.
Only problem? They can't get a sufficient supply of them to keep 'em in stock!
And that's what your conniving, inscrutable Hyundai folks want -- to force you to spend more on a new battery than a normal car owner would expect. Parts companies list the Elantra batteries as "special." And that they are!
Additionally, the OWNER'S MANUAL has neither a diagram or instructions for accessing and servicing your Hyundai Elantra battery. Just a one- paragraph entry that says, in effect, Be careful when servicing the battery."
I've had my 2004 Elantra GLS for 3 years and the battery is already shot. Needless to say, with problems also with the air bags, brakes, power locks, and engine noise and vibration, I've bought my last Hyundai product!
My advice to Hyundai? Hold up on building those factories in the U.S. Too many one-time customers could make for sluggish, then anemic, sales.
------------------------
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