The ground connection in a car connects the negative terminal to the frame of the car. It connects electrical current in the car to the source, completing the circuit to ensure your safety. This ground connection can become corroded in your Mini. This corrosion could prevent the electrical current in the vehicle from completing the circuit.
Once this corrosion starts to occur, components such as the ignition module, sensors, and ignition coils of your car may be affected.
Dealing with electronics and the electricity of your car can be dangerous, so if you are attempting to work with this issue, please use caution and see us if you have any doubts as to your ability to work with electrical currents in your automobile.
Finding the Electrical Connections
Your first step is to find the connection. This will make the process a lot less time-consuming. These locations can easily be found in the vehicle’s manual.
- Battery terminal to body of the car connection: This is generally conspicuous, as you will recognize the thick cable that runs from the negative battery clamp to the body of the car on the other side. The cable is joined to the car’s body with a nut or screw with black insulation on it.
- Car body to engine connection: This connection is identified as a thick cable, similar to the battery connection that runs from the body of the car to the engine. It is typically found in the engine bay near the gearbox, properly positioned by screws and nuts. Also, finding this connection can prove to be tricky sometimes, you may have to get beneath the vehicle to access it.
- Other ground connections on the car: These other connections are generally located on diverse car body parts and align with the installation of the electrical wiring. They look like a mass of several wires fastened to the body of the car by screws. The places where these connections are located are also not easy to identify. With some extra effort and time, they can be found, as many of them are hidden under plastic panels, passenger cabins, or in the trunk.
Mishandling any of the above connections can be dangerous to you and your electrical system on your car.
Tools and Procedures
To deal with a corroded ground connection in your Mini Cooper, here are the tools you’ll need: A wrench, a ratchet with the appropriate socket or a screwdriver, baking soda, sandpaper, some contact spray (or WD-40).
The following are the next steps to deal with a corroded ground connection. Use caution:
- Unplug your Mini’s battery negative (black) connection by untightening the terminal nut with a screwdriver and then removing it. Remove the connection with screws or nuts, clean out the wire lugs, more importantly, the connection to the body of the car. The best tools needed for this would be some sandpaper or a file, depending on the amount of corrosion. It’s also important to place the cable in such a way that it does not touch or affect the positive or negative terminal. One good way is to place it behind an item in the engine bay, to avoid accidental movements.
- Baking soda is another importantly needed item. Pour the baking soda with a small quantity of water on the grounding point, then using a strong or sturdy bristle brush, scrub the surface until the corrosion is removed. Other cleaning items that can be used are the contact spray, WD-40, sandpaper, or a file. When cleaning out the ground connection running from the battery to the body of the car, clean the battery terminal clamp and clean the wire lug as well ensuring a shiny effect on the car body’s connection.
- If you used baking soda, the next step is to rinse off the baking soda using some water and use a towel or piece of cloth to dry it.
- If there is still a significant amount of rust that won’t go off with baking soda, disconnect the electrical ground from your vehicle’s frame using a screwdriver.
- Next, use sandpaper to scrub off the rust and restore the metal to a shiny form, then fix the ground connection back in reverse of the method by which it was removed. If the ground connection happens to be weakened, you should replace it with a new one.
- Lastly, prevent the ground connection from future corrosion by putting a small quantity of electrical grease on the bare metal and ground connection.
Let Bavarium Autoworks Do the Hard Work
Learning how to deal with a corroded ground connection in your Mini Cooper is valuable knowledge but working with electrical parts in your car can be detrimental if mishandled. Doing the manual labor and being certain of the outcome can be tricky.
At Bavarium Autoworks, we are experienced mechanics with Mini Cooper models and are glad to help you with this issue. Schedule an appointment with us, as we help our neighbors in Cupertino, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Saratoga with all their Mini Cooper’s needs. Call us today!
* Mini Countryman Car image credit goes to: bruev.