How to Clean Electrical Contacts the Best Way?

Corrosion and debris can cause a lot of issues for the electrical system on a motorcycle. If you want to avoid having electrical problems and mishaps, you need to learn how to clean electrical contacts. The cleaning process is fairly simple in most cases and can easily be done at home in your garage or driveway.

When to Clean Electrical Contacts?

It’s a good idea to clean your electrical contacts while you’re doing other routine maintenance on your motorcycle, so that they never become too difficult to clean. If you don’t clean them regularly, you will be able to notice when they need to be cleaned because of potential faults in the simple electrical parts of the bike.

When electrical contacts get dirty, they can interfere with the power heading to different parts of the bike. Headlights dimming or refusing to turn on is a common sign of dirty electrical contacts or other electrical issues.

How to Remove Electrical Contacts?

Many bikes have their own design and place electrical contacts in different locations than other bikes. There are no set locations where you’ll find these pieces, and they may be located in multiple areas on some motorcycles.

Keep in mind that some electrical contacts won’t need to be removed in order to be cleaned. If the debris and gunk isn’t too heavy, you may be able to get them fully cleaned while they stay on the bike. Make sure if you clean them on the bike that you first turn the motorcycle off and allow it to cool down fully.

If they do need to be removed, it’s usually easy to pull them off of the bike where they rest. They may be attached with a few small screws or they may be stuck firmly in place depending on the design of your bike.

How to Clean Electrical Contacts on a Motorcycle?

There are a lot of methods of cleaning electrical contacts. These are the ways I’ve found that are easiest and most effective, as well as a few tips on how to clean electrical contacts properly:

1. Gather Cleaning Gear

You won’t need anything too heavy to clean the electrical components of your bike, but you will need some general safety gear and a few products. For safety, you may need gloves depending on the product you’re using, and you may also need eye protection.

If the contacts are exceedingly dirty, you will probably need something to scrub and scrape with, such as a barbed pipe cleaner brush or a fine grade scotch brite pad. Most electrical contacts can be cleaned fairly well with a toothbrush or other similarly soft bristled items.

2. Vinegar Cleaning

For electrical contacts that aren’t very dirty, white vinegar is a cheap and easy way to get some light corrosion and debris off. You can either remove the contacts and soak them in the vinegar or else pour or spray a light layer of vinegar on the contacts, let it sit for a minute, then rub it off. This should remove a lot of the gunk.

3. Electrical Grease Cleaning Products

Some products are made specifically for cleaning electrical contacts. These cleaners will also add some benefits to the electricals such as improved contact and protection of the surface. Here are a few of the products made to do this job:

  • Hosa D5S-6 Contact Cleaner
  • CRC Quick Dry Electronic Cleaner

4. Isopropyl Alcohol

Brands of isopropyl alcohol can help to clean off gunk of electrical contacts without hurting the connections themselves. This is not as common of a method of cleaning, but it can be very effective on some contacts that need a little extra help. If you’ve left them for a while without cleaning, this method might be a good idea for you.

5. Compressed Air

Sometimes there is nothing stuck to the contacts and you may just need to blow a bit of the debris and dust out of the way. In this case, cans of compressed air will do the trick nicely and will have you on your way again in no time at all. You don’t need to remove electrical contacts from your motorcycle if you clean them off with compressed air.

Keeping Corrosion Away

To avoid cleaning as often, it’s a good idea to put a product on the contacts which will prevent further corrosion and debris built-up. Nothing is 100% effective, but some of the better electronic cleaning fluids and sprays do a good job of preventing future problems and reducing the frequency of cleaning needed.

Conclusion

I hope I’ve given you a good idea now about how to clean electrical contacts on motorcycles. It’s a simple task on most bikes that won’t take more than a few minutes and a little bit of effort. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not essential to the proper function of your bike!

Did I miss anything on this guide? Do you have anything you’d like to add to this? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to hear from you!

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