Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Battery acid under the hood

I had a battery explode under the hood, and fortunately, nothing seems to be damaged (other than the battery). However, there is now battery acid everywhere. I was planning on mixing some baking soda with water and scrubbing all the surfaces, then hosing them down. The part I’m worried about is the latter; I don’t know if the water will get places it shouldn’t go. Can anybody advise me as to the best course of action?


Quite a startling experience, wasn’t it? I had a battery do the same to me a few years back…at the very first start of the day, trying to get to work in the morning. I did not need any coffee after that, all day :-)))

When rinsing off the acid neutralizing solution, use a water hose with the pressure turned all the way down. Worst case scenario if the car does not start or run smoothly afterwards, you’ll have to remove the spark plug boots and/or distributor cap and wipe them dry-it only takes 5 minutes to do that.

The longer you leave that acid lingering around the more corossion it will produce.
Solid metal/plastic parts are not in too much danger, but be especially concerned about electrical wires/connectors.

Sounds like a good approach. I would worry more about the acid than the water. After I’m done washing a car I take the last of the soapy water and an old brush and clean the top of the engine. I use a low pressure garden hose to rinse off the soapy water. I’ve been doing it for years and haven’t had any problems yet.

I wouldn’t try this at a self serve car wash though.

Ed B.