Bright & Shiny

Maintenance Q & A — February 2004
By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Bright and Shiny
A simple tool for corrosion-free battery terminals, keeping drill bits clean, maintaining an air compressor, and more.
 More of this Feature
• Corrosion-Free Terminals, clean drill bits, and more
• Weak bilge pump, and more
• PMY Tries... Craftsman Cordless Scrubber

 Related Resources
• Maintenance Q&A Index

Can I use sandpaper to clean corrosion from my battery’s terminals? T.W., via e-mail
While using sandpaper to remove corrosion is okay, using a battery post cleaning tool is more thorough. As shown in the second illustration above, the tool fits right over the post, and a few quick turns back and forth gets the job done. (Keep the cap on the other end to make it easier to turn the tool). Make sure you also use the terminal brush end to clean up both battery clamps (right).

Once you’ve got everything shined up nicely, coat the connections with petroleum jelly or light mineral grease. Aerosol anticorrosion sprays can also be used.

I do a fair amount of repairs onboard and have noticed many of my drill bits have a buildup of residue on them. How can I clean them without dulling the bits? H.L., via e-mail

Coat the drill bits with household oven cleaner. Simply lay the bits on several layers of newspaper, and spray generously with the cleaner. Do this in a well-ventilated area—preferably outside—and make sure to use gloves and protective eyewear. If you want to avoid the fumes, place the bits in a transparent, heavy-duty, Ziploc-type bag, then place the nozzle of the oven cleaner can in the bag, and spray enough to cover the bits. Whichever way you do it, let them sit for about a half hour before wiping them clean with a rag.

What kind of maintenance is required for an air-horn air compressor? B.R., via e-mail
Begin by checking that the system reaches its normal psi operating level by carefully watching the pressure gauge. If you don’t know what the normal operating level is, or if you don’t have the owner’s manual anymore, contact the manufacturer.

Make sure the system properly “cycles”—that is, it should turn on when air is used and shut off when the tank is fully pressurized. If it runs continuously, the compressor may have a leak.

Check all the fittings and belts on a weekly basis to ensure they’re in good condition, and inspect the hoses and rigid tubing for cracks and leaks every month. If the compressor is fitted with a filter, make sure it is clean. And if the tank is more than five years old, it’s a good idea to have it pressure tested.

Next page > Weak bilge pump, and more > Page 1, 2, 3

This article originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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