It's not a "lubricant," actually. It is there to prevent contact with air (oxygen) that is a catalyst for corrosion. I have used LPS3 and Fluid Film as well as the actual sprays made for battery terminal protection. In a pinch, regular grease or Vaseline works, too. The idea is to minimize the exposure of the metal to air.
Just to add my $0.02:
Dielectric grease will provide a better contact (when compared to bare metal-to-metal contact,) as well as exclude both air and moisture, reducing or preventing corrosion buildup between the points of contacts.
I'm sure there are other reasons not to use petroleum jelly on the battery terminals, but my personal reason is temperature. It gets hot under the hood and petroleum jelly likes to run at even slightly elevated temperatures. Heck, it becomes pretty fluid even when applied to skin.
As far as I know, petroleum jelly provides similar corrosion inhibition and dielectric properties - maybe not as good as a dielectric, but I'd better the difference is of little consequence.
The answer to this question depends on how picky you are, as well as what you have available versus how much effort you want to put into buying something you don't already have.
Get battery terminal spray if you really want to do it right. They also sell battery goo just in single packs at the counter. Dielectric grease if you have it.
But if you don't care to have the absolute perfect item; and you don't have these items on hand; there are plenty of other items that you might already have prevent corrosion and will work adequately, as you're not in a mission critical situation.
If you have like silicon spray or other spray lubricant, even wd-40. Most of these are not just a lubricatnt. Look on the back and I bet 99% of them will also touts that it prevents corrosion and excludes moisture. So just 1 spritz of that to lightly coat and that's good enough (if you don't want to make a trip and spend money for a single-purpose item). If it's a lubricant that says it will "dry" and still prevent corrosion, even better.
Yes, it doesn't do as much as the other application-specific products, like acid neutralization; but it covers the main factor of corrosion.
Mix some baking powder (very basic) with water then put it in a spray bottle and spray away at the corrosive build up, it will dissolve (aka neutralize), clean that up and put either dielectric grease or battery protectant (same thing).
Your good to go.
Dielectric "tune up grease" is what you want. The stuff is fantastic. My dad was a mechanic for 30 years and got me turned on to it. Put it on ALL your mechanical connections and never have a problem again. Keep out moisture and air, which keeps out corrosion.
corrosive gassing coming off of the battery post due to poor seal (between the posts and the plastic top casing). I've been a faithful user of those chemically treated fibre washers for many, many automobiles (incl. mine) and no post corrosion issues so far.
Hello, While I'm always one to agree with and adhere to simpler solutions like Vaseline jelly on posts; I have to say I was won over when I saw how neat and "finished" battery posts look with a terminal protecter sprayed on them.
It stayed perfect and red for YEARS.
Hmmm...Maybe the red color appealed to my "Custom Car Show" sense.
I've been using it ever since.
I had been using CRC's 5-56 protectant spray, a truly superior product.
There's something less appealing about globs of grease or Vaseline on battery posts to me. Kira