If you’ve driven your electric car for a while now, there’s a good chance that your charge port is starting to rust. Not sure if it has? Check the port’s electric contacts. Allowing this corrosion to build up can lead to contact failure, overheating, shorting, and a reduction in charging efficiency. As a consequence, your battery will take longer to load or fail to juice up completely.
Besides corrosion, the electric charge port of your vehicle will, of course, accumulate dust and grease over time. Every car, gas-fueled or battery-powered, will build up road dirt. It’s just a fact of driving. What to do now? Clean it out. Every part of your electric car needs attention, and the charging port is no exception.
What Causes Corrosion on an Electric Charge Port
Corrosion on electric charge ports is a deterioration of the metal port components. It is usually caused by moisture from rain, snow, or when water from washing your car makes contact with the surface. Corrosion is also caused by oxidation. You may remember this term from chemistry class. Oxidation is an electrochemical breakdown of the metal plates due to the interaction between oxygen and other molecules. Pretty fancy concept, huh? Also, super inconvenient when it actually happens.
Unfortunately, you can’t avoid corrosion on the electric charge port altogether. You’re just going to have to stay on top of its maintenance to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. C leaning the charge port is an easy task, and you can do it by yourself with readily available materials. You don’t even need a trip to the service center.
Learning how to clean the port properly will ultimately improve your battery pack’s life.
Cleaning Out Corrosion
There are a few solutions and products you can use to clean the corrosion from your charge port quickly and efficiently.
- Electric contact cleaners such as QD Electronic Cleaner or WD-40
- Isopropyl Alcohol solution
- Vinegar or baking soda solution
Electronic cleaners are usually safe on plastic and will not harm any of the plastic components of the charger port. These cleaners dry quickly and do not leave residual particles on the charge port, making them the ideal solution for cleaning your car’s electric charge port.
If for whatever reason, you cannot get your hands on these cleaners, you can use a DIY solution. It may not smell the best, but mixing 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water is an effective cleaning solution. You could also use a solution of Sodium Bicarbonate or baking soda and water to make a cleaning agent for the electric charge port.
The Cleaning Process
To clean the electrical charge port, you will need the following materials:
- An old toothbrush
- A cotton swab (as used for ears)
- Lint-free cloth
- Scouring pad or a 500 grit wet and dry paper meant for metal
- Di-Electric Grease
First, remove the corrosion or oxide formations on the charge port with a soft wire brush, a toothbrush, or a scouring pad. Next, gently spray the electronic cleaner on the charge port with your cleaning solution and wait for it to dry. If the corrosion is too pronounced and stubborn, spray the cleaner and scrub it off with a scouring pad.
Next, use cotton swabs to clean the power pins of the electric charge port. Wet the swabs with the electronic cleaner spray or your cleaning solution and gently swab the inside and outside of the power pins to remove any dirt or corrosion. It would help if you also cleaned the Universal Mobile Connector (UMC) by spraying the electronic cleaner through the port and following up with the cotton swab. This will remove any corrosion and dirt from the UMC.
After cleaning the corrosion from your charge port and the UMC, you can wipe the electronic connections with Di-Electric Grease. This will act as a lubricant that will seal and protect the electrical contacts of the charge port and prevent it from further corrosion.
Safety Precautions When Cleaning the Charge Port
To avoid the risk of electric shock, you need to take safety precautions when cleaning the charge port. Ensure that you switch off the vehicle during cleaning and that the power supply is disconnected.
Cleaning off the electric car charge port is necessary to preserving the lifespan of your car — and it’s so easy to do. You don’t need to wait for a service team. By doing this maintenance regularly, you will avoid more expensive problems in the future.