isetta

Electrical contact cleaner advice please

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If I have a car with electrical problems and I want to check every electrical socket/plug. Is it best to spray electrical contact cleaner into every plug and socket even if they look ok?

If i use normal WD40 (not the one which says contact cleaner, just the normal one on supermarket shelves) does that  a) help   b) harm  c)neither.

If I use an aerosol that says on it that it is contact cleaner are they all pretty much the same or are there good and bad ones?  is there a particular formulation that I should look for (I don't know if they even say on them what might be in the can but safety data sheets might say).

Should it be left to dry before putting the plug and socket back together.

Halfords product - https://www.halfords.com/motoring/engine-oils-fluids/lubricating-penetrating-oil/halfords-electrical-contact-cleaner-500ml?istCompanyId=b8708c57-7a02-4cf6-b2c0-dc36b54a327e&istFeedId=367c5610-f937-4c81-8609-f84582324cd6&istItemId=wilamxqtx&istBid=t&_$ja=tsid:94971|cid:865695751|agid:43902126855|tid:aud-297219198449:pla-327738376470|crid:202397318382|nw:g|rnd:17160340804096052952|dvc:c|adp:1o4|mt:|loc:1006565&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9KKBvPT_4gIVBYjVCh3_-Q-REAQYBCABEgLahvD_BwE

Toolstation (ac90)- https://www.toolstation.com/action-can-ec-90-contact-cleaner/p93449

A more expensive Toostation one (megawash) - https://www.toolstation.com/megawash-switch-cleaner/p97684

Screwfix (wd40) - https://www.screwfix.com/p/wd-40-specialist-contact-cleaner-400ml/92716

Eurocarparts (normfest)- https://www.eurocarparts.com/ecp/p/car-accessories/car-maintenance-accessories/maintenance-fluids-and-greases/cleaner-and-degreaser/?NOR2897334&0&cc5_104

another eurocarparts (wynns) - https://www.eurocarparts.com/ecp/p/car-accessories/car-maintenance-accessories/maintenance-fluids-and-greases/grease/?555770060&0&cc5_150

another eurocarparts (holts) - https://www.eurocarparts.com/ecp/p/car-accessories/car-maintenance-accessories/maintenance-fluids-and-greases/cleaner-and-degreaser/?552996200&0&cc5_104

(I have another post on this forum about the specific issues with the car so i won't go into that here)

I would appreciate any advice from anyone on this (the retailers I have shown are ones local where I can get to the same day)

 

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Electrical Contact Cleaners are solvents that clean up and remove most oxides from metal contacts. Basically split into two types, a gentle cleaning action, but is safe on most "plastics" and the more aggressive cleaning action, but can affect a wider range of plastics.

What I think you need is a Electrical Contact Cleaner and Lubricant, which, not only cleans the contact surface, but also leaves a non-conductive "lubricant", to help prevent future oxidisation.

Something along the lines of Electrolube EML Contact Cleaner Lubricant (although there are are other brands available) should do the job:

https://cpc.farnell.com/electrolube/eml200f/contact-cleaner-lubricant-eml/dp/SAEML200F?mckv=saf9YBDtF_dc|pcrid|224653462065|kword||match||plid||slid||product|SAEML200F|pgrid|47398149059|ptaid|pla-561663538466|&CMP=KNC-GUK-CPC-SHOPPING&gclid=CjwKCAjwxrzoBRBBEiwAbtX1n2kCOdNnFvKxGORh_127xhvK93mfMqY8zUJgR26foprlGu19KZ9eNhoCQP0QAvD_BwE

https://www.electrolube.com/products/contact-lubricants.html

It would also assist with a mechanical cleaning action, if you sprayed the contacts and immediately plugged and unplugged them a few times.

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19 hours ago, isetta said:

If i use normal WD40 (not the one which says contact cleaner, just the normal one on supermarket shelves) does that  a) help   b) harm  c)neither

b)

Ordinary WD40 is a silicone oil designed to repel water (WD = Water Dispersant). It is non-conductive, won't dry out and even if the contact pressure is sufficient to break through the film it won't clean them and will just attract dirt.

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I have now bought this one (£6 with the MID60 discount code)

Eurocarparts (normfest)- https://www.eurocarparts.com/ecp/p/car-accessories/car-maintenance-accessories/maintenance-fluids-and-greases/cleaner-and-degreaser/?NOR2897334&0&cc5_104

Perhaps I was influenced by the name TermClean which makes it sound like it is intended to mean Terminal Cleaner which is what I want and the pic on the can shows it being sprayed into a terminal block connector.

Some products say no residue. This one does not give much of a clue about it. Smells like cellulose thinners when I spray it. Not used on any electrical connectors yet.

I seem to recall years ago (over 30 yrs ago) someone told be that for protection is was best to put vaseline (petroleum jelly) on the electrical connectors to protect them from future corrosion). I know that is quite widely said in relation to car battery terminals but I mean block connectors etc - has anyone got any views on that (eg. if it does more harm than good)

 

 

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I can’t comment on the normfest contact cleaner as it’s not the stuff I use but I do use their brake cleaner and it works very well.

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Stay away from using WD 40 on electronics, electrical contacts, spark plugs (found this out in a hard way). Use only for loosening rusty bolts and nuts.

Check Kontakt Chemie web page, there you can find Cleaner 601, Kontakt IPA or Kontakt WL (Radio Spares is a distributor).

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3 hours ago, mjt said:

b)

Ordinary WD40 is a silicone oil designed to repel water (WD = Water Dispersant). It is non-conductive, won't dry out and even if the contact pressure is sufficient to break through the film it won't clean them and will just attract dirt.

WD40 website FAQs:

https://www.wd40.com/faqs

Q. What does WD40 multi-use product contain?

A. While the ingredients in WD-40® Multi-Use Product are secret, we can tell you what it does NOT contain. WD-40® Multi-Use Product does not contain silicone, kerosene, water, graphite, or chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

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4 hours ago, YOG said:

WD-40® Multi-Use Product does not contain silicone

Fair comment, but the other points I made are still relevant.

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6 hours ago, isetta said:

"Product not suitable for use on parts being used! " - is it me or is that a meaningless statement? 🤔

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Yes I did see that on website. On the can it is worded differently but still oddly, It seems to be saying not to spray it on electrical stuff that is actually functioning / live at the time. 

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