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(Stuff.co.nz)   If you're not positive how to correctly connect a car battery, the outcome is always negative   (stuff.co.nz ) divider line
    More: Obvious, TGIF  
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11951 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Sep 2012 at 12:18 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-24 10:28:40 AM  
Flatlander.
 
2012-09-24 10:51:34 AM  
A spokeswoman for Rotorua Hospital said he had been discharged this afternoon.

*snerk*
 
2012-09-24 11:28:01 AM  
A Whakapapa...

When did they let Fozzie start naming towns?
 
2012-09-24 11:34:44 AM  
thecarbatteryprices.com
 
2012-09-24 11:48:32 AM  
And don't lick the terminals, no matter how much you'd like to.
 
2012-09-24 12:01:50 PM  

Sleeping Monkey: [thecarbatteryprices.com image 400x300]


My battery died one time. I was in a newish car so I hadn't picked up jumper cables yet. A nice woman stopped and said she had some cables. She got them, I was heading over to set them up and she says "Don't worry I'll do it!" Ok, no problem, except she connected the cables to my car's battery, then connected the positive AND negative sides to the metal frame on my car. I just sat there and stared, and she said "well go ahead and try it!" I told her I don't think that'll work and she said "nope it'll work, my boyfriend told me they had to be "grounded" (air quotes and everything) for them to work." Needless to say it didn't work.

/CSB
 
2012-09-24 12:20:04 PM  
Are you positive subby?
 
2012-09-24 12:20:41 PM  
It's hard to remain neutral when discussing proper jumper cable connections.
 
2012-09-24 12:21:10 PM  
How my dad taught me: just think of "black" as meaning negative. I think he's racist.
 
2012-09-24 12:21:13 PM  
I misconnected a jump start when I was a teen. Fortunately it didn't explode, but it did fry something. I don't recall what anymore.
 
2012-09-24 12:22:43 PM  
that sounds unpleasant
 
2012-09-24 12:24:44 PM  
I'm sure this poor kid is gonna be a pedantic douche about jumper cables for the rest of his life now.
 
2012-09-24 12:24:46 PM  
Whakapapa skifield... that's kinda what the arc sounds like.
 
2012-09-24 12:26:38 PM  
My wife lost a car to a bad jump.

Her (now ex) husband had used it to drive to work one day. He left the lights on in the parking lot, so it needed a jump.

Somehow he misconnected the cables bad enough to fry the electrical system of the car. It couldn't be jumped, and as the car was a beat up clunker anyway, the damage essentially totaled it.

After hearing that story, and that a bad connection could effectively destroy a car, I've been very wary about using jumper cables.
 
2012-09-24 12:26:46 PM  

cgraves67: I misconnected a jump start when I was a teen. Fortunately it didn't explode, but it did fry something. I don't recall what anymore.


I did that once too, it melted the cables. Once.
 
2012-09-24 12:27:55 PM  
www.rovetv.net

hey! i see what you did up there.
 
2012-09-24 12:28:31 PM  

SweetSaws: How my dad taught me: just think of "black" as meaning negative. I think he's racist.


Back in the day when positive grounding on vehicles was common, racism wasn't such a big deal.

/ amidoinitrite?
 
2012-09-24 12:28:37 PM  
I'm wondering how many guys these days never learn this. Sleeping Monkey's illustration is correct. Once never connect the negative cable to the dead battery's terminal, but to a metal ground on the frame or engine. The positive cable is always connected first, starting from the live battery to the dead. And so dad taught me when I was eight...
 
2012-09-24 12:29:36 PM  
It is better to understand electrically what you're doing when you jumpstart a car. You're putting the other car's battery in parallel with the dead battery such that the other car's battery can provide the amps to start the car. You don't want them connected in series.

Parallel means + to +, - to -.
Series is + to - at both parts.

When put in series the batteries will short circuit through the jumper cables and either cook the cables or blow up (in this article case, blow up). There is also a good chance that the current goes backwards through the car rather than short circuiting and frying any electronics it hits.

When put in parallel the two batteries act as one battery, allowing the cars to start as normal. If the jumper battery doesn't have enough power left in it you'll have to have the other car running to provide power from the alternator instead.

Lastly the reason the last connection is to the solid metal ground is that the battery will likely spark when it is connected. This spark can ignite any hydrogen gas that escapes from lead acid batteries, also causing an explosion.
 
2012-09-24 12:29:40 PM  
Attaching them to your nipples is right out.
 
2012-09-24 12:34:21 PM  
CSB

I actually did this, really not sure how since I kept telling myself-DON'T connect them wrong when changing the battery, that's all the thinking that is required. I didn't even think to stop when the one terminal seemed to be too small-they do that on purpose so you don't fark it up. Long story short, I blew my car's main fuse, cost an extra $10 and some help to fix, and for some reason I blew the fuse in my stereo. I will never do that again.
 
2012-09-24 12:34:22 PM  

cgraves67: I misconnected a jump start when I was a teen. Fortunately it didn't explode, but it did fry something. I don't recall what anymore.


Probably the fuseable link. They were installed in a lot of cars in the 80's and 90's to protect the electrical system, but they were twitchy PITA's and would fry themselves if you looked at them funny.

Short CSB - Had the battery on one of my bikes explode on me last summer. Encased on all sides my a battery box and the seat, but the acid caused hell with the paint on the frame and the chromed pipes. Quick test showed the rectifier went bad and the stator was pumping 19V into the battery, effectively boiling it.

/trivia note - the rectifier on a Magna is another PITA to replace...
 
2012-09-24 12:35:36 PM  

cgraves67: I misconnected a jump start when I was a teen. Fortunately it didn't explode, but it did fry something. I don't recall what anymore.


I also made an incorrect connection, just once. I got a very, very large shower of sparks and a near pants-shiatting. The terminals on the live battery were covered in dirt and corrosion, so I think I mistook red for black. I'm pretty sure I went Dead Red --> Live Black --> Live Red --> *ZZZZZAAAAAP*
 
2012-09-24 12:35:41 PM  
:CSB:

I was once a witness to such ass-hattery foiling an attempted theft.

A contractor had borrowed an air-compressor from us (Sullair 185) to blow some mule tape through duct. Apparently, his personal vehicle had a dead battery, so he thought he'd be a wise guy and swap the compressor battery out with his own.

He hooked the battery up backwards in the compressor and it exploded in his face.

He didn't think his cunning plan all the way through, and now his face let's everyone know.

:/CSB:
 
2012-09-24 12:36:51 PM  

JackieRabbit: I'm wondering how many guys these days never learn this.


I dunno but the other month my niece had a flat tire on one of the front wheels of her car and her husband told her to drive it to the tire place, that is like 3 miles away, because he didn't know how to change a tire. So I went over and changed it and showed her how...
 
2012-09-24 12:37:52 PM  

JackieRabbit: I'm wondering how many guys these days never learn this. Sleeping Monkey's illustration is correct. Once never connect the negative cable to the dead battery's terminal, but to a metal ground on the frame or engine. The positive cable is always connected first, starting from the live battery to the dead. And so dad taught me when I was eight...


Yeah, and a little explanation might help. There is a reason you clamp that last black cable away from the battery. When you complete that circuit, you may get a spark. Combine that with the fact that batteries can give off explosive hydrogen gas and you should start to see the reasoning. If you get a spark, you don't want it to be right on top of a battery that could be venting hydrogen.

These days I carry a little booster battery with integrated charger and cables. It cost about $50, and it's enough to jump the car if the battery is dead. I've used it once on someone else's car, and it worked. It's a lot easier to use since you don't have to get another car into position, it's small and light, it's always with me, and I don't have to rely on the kindness of strangers.
 
2012-09-24 12:38:00 PM  
just connect the cables to the right terminals. it's not that farking hard people.
 
2012-09-24 12:38:20 PM  
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-09-24 12:38:36 PM  
You can also use your car battery for emergency welding if you are a real macgyver, iirc...
 
2012-09-24 12:39:48 PM  
Knew a guy who decided to do his own tune up to his new car to save a few bucks. He took off the distributor cap without making the position to put it back on. In the course of finding the correct position, or possible other errors he made, the battery died. He got a few friends to give him a push and when he build up enough speed he popped the clutch, the car was in reverse. Very expensive tune up.
 
2012-09-24 12:40:49 PM  

theresnothinglft: It is better to understand electrically what you're doing when you jumpstart a car. You're putting the other car's battery in parallel with the dead battery such that the other car's battery can provide the amps to start the car. You don't want them connected in series.

Parallel means + to +, - to -.
Series is + to - at both parts.
www.zbattery.com

When put in series the batteries will short circuit through the jumper cables and either cook the cables or blow up (in this article case, blow up). There is also a good chance that the current goes backwards through the car rather than short circuiting and frying any electronics it hits.

When put in parallel the two batteries act as one battery, allowing the cars to start as normal. If the jumper battery doesn't have enough power left in it you'll have to have the other car running to provide power from the alternator instead.

Lastly the reason the last connection is to the solid metal ground is that the battery will likely spark when it is connected. This spark can ignite any hydrogen gas that escapes from lead acid batteries, also causing an explosion.


/FTFY
 
2012-09-24 12:40:53 PM  
I always just connect red to red and black to black... Never had any problems...
 
2012-09-24 12:41:24 PM  
I have never grounded the negative cable from the hot battery. I always connect + to + and - to -. I am guessing I have done this about 30 times in my life. I have never had an issue.
 
2012-09-24 12:44:43 PM  
Every been around a vehicle battery that exploded? Those summitches go off with a very pronounced BOOM. They'll open up sheetmetal on the front of a car.

A friend of mine once spent a couple of days in the hospital while they stuck stainless probes into the holes left in him looking for plastic pieces. The largest piece was one of the reinforced corners of his battery they found under his collar bone. He would have lost his eyes if he wasn't wearing glasses. Apparently he had a bad connection and was wiggling the positive booster cable, and the battery was low on water.

I've personally ruined a full set of clothes after a 8D tractor battery exploded and I was about 10 feet from it.
 
2012-09-24 12:45:18 PM  

cgraves67: I misconnected a jump start when I was a teen. Fortunately it didn't explode, but it did fry something. I don't recall what anymore.


My brother messed up a battery jump one time, he connected the batteries directly together, but switched the cables on the dead one. He was thrown about 10' from the car by the explosion; fortunately the battery ruptured straight up instead of towards him, or he would have gotten some bad chemical burns.

/he did learn the lesson though
 
2012-09-24 12:46:01 PM  

theresnothinglft: It is better to understand electrically what you're doing when you jumpstart a car. You're putting the other car's battery in parallel with the dead battery such that the other car's battery can provide the amps to start the car. You don't want them connected in series.

Parallel means + to +, - to -.
Series is + to - at both parts.

When put in series the batteries will short circuit through the jumper cables and either cook the cables or blow up (in this article case, blow up). There is also a good chance that the current goes backwards through the car rather than short circuiting and frying any electronics it hits.

When put in parallel the two batteries act as one battery, allowing the cars to start as normal. If the jumper battery doesn't have enough power left in it you'll have to have the other car running to provide power from the alternator instead.

Lastly the reason the last connection is to the solid metal ground is that the battery will likely spark when it is connected. This spark can ignite any hydrogen gas that escapes from lead acid batteries, also causing an explosion.


large trucks often run 6 volt batteries in series to make one giant 12v battery. Not that it's relevant to this conversation.
 
2012-09-24 12:46:48 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: JackieRabbit: I'm wondering how many guys these days never learn this. Sleeping Monkey's illustration is correct. Once never connect the negative cable to the dead battery's terminal, but to a metal ground on the frame or engine. The positive cable is always connected first, starting from the live battery to the dead. And so dad taught me when I was eight...

Yeah, and a little explanation might help. There is a reason you clamp that last black cable away from the battery. When you complete that circuit, you may get a spark. Combine that with the fact that batteries can give off explosive hydrogen gas and you should start to see the reasoning. If you get a spark, you don't want it to be right on top of a battery that could be venting hydrogen.

These days I carry a little booster battery with integrated charger and cables. It cost about $50, and it's enough to jump the car if the battery is dead. I've used it once on someone else's car, and it worked. It's a lot easier to use since you don't have to get another car into position, it's small and light, it's always with me, and I don't have to rely on the kindness of strangers.


Exactly. But fortunately these days, sealed batteries do not vent hydrogen. But, this has a down-side, as the young man in the FA found out: they can explode if hooked up incorrectly or rapidly over-charged.
 
2012-09-24 12:47:08 PM  

Sleeping Monkey: [thecarbatteryprices.com image 400x300]


It would be helpful for those images to include a note about wire gauge as well. If you're buying jumper cables, spend the extra $5 and get 4 AWG cable with heavy insulation. And you want at least 12' length, 16' is better. If you have to use someone else's, 6 AWG will be OK but 8 AWG is often inadequate and possibly unsafe, especially the longer ones.
 
2012-09-24 12:47:37 PM  

Jerkwater: I have never grounded the negative cable from the hot battery. I always connect + to + and - to -. I am guessing I have done this about 30 times in my life. I have never had an issue.


Same here. In fact I was taught pos-pos neg-neg. Never had an issue.
 
2012-09-24 12:48:05 PM  

Jerkwater: I have never grounded the negative cable from the hot battery. I always connect + to + and - to -. I am guessing I have done this about 30 times in my life. I have never had an issue.


Electrically, it's not really different. The negative terminal is grounded to the frame. The reason you ground the cable to the frame is that you can then place the last cable, which is likely to spark, away from the battery that could be out-gassing hydrogen. A hydrogen explosion while jumping a battery is rather unlikely, but as the dude in the article learned, it will ruin your day.

/change your jumping habits. Not because you're doing it wrong, but because doing it the other way is a bit safer.
 
2012-09-24 12:49:26 PM  
You're supposed to ground the jumped car by connecting the negative clamp to the frame in some way because batteries can produce hydrogen and a spark right on the negative terminal is a very bad idea. That said, I've clamped straight to the negative terminal in some cases where a good frame ground couldn't be had without risking getting the cables snarled in the fan belt or such silliness.
 
2012-09-24 12:49:42 PM  

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: Attaching them to your nipples is right out.


2.bp.blogspot.com
Slightly agrees.
 
2012-09-24 12:50:54 PM  

JackieRabbit: Exactly. But fortunately these days, sealed batteries do not vent hydrogen.


Having just replaced the battery in my UPS, which is a sealed lead acid... Don't count on those seals. They're rubber caps held down by a plastic plate. non-serviceable would be a better term then sealed.
 
2012-09-24 12:51:22 PM  

Jerkwater: I have never grounded the negative cable from the hot battery. I always connect + to + and - to -. I am guessing I have done this about 30 times in my life. I have never had an issue.


You can also play Russian Roulette several times without shooting yourself in the head. Doesn't mean it's a good idea to play in the first place.

Running the dead-side negative to ground is a safety measure. You know the little sparks that show up on the black clamp just as you attach it? You don't want those anywhere near the battery. If the battery is leaking, H2 gas is probably leaking with it. You ignite that gas with the spark... well, think "Hindenburg," but in your car, and with an exploding box of acid next to your face.
 
2012-09-24 12:55:29 PM  
Not really CSB...

Once when I was a young pup I got confused and tried to jump with the batteries connected in series. The cable started to smoke immediately so I quickly grabbed it and broke the connection. Fortunately neither car was damaged in any way but the cable was shockingly (ha!) crispy.

I tell you, that's a great way to learn the importance of connecting the right terminals!
 
2012-09-24 12:56:02 PM  
8D is 145 lbs of battery...must have been nice
 
2012-09-24 12:56:04 PM  
This is why, when your battery dies, you call your FARKing chauffeur from your share chauffeur pool to take you where you want to go, and have Pepe take your car in the shop to be fixed.
 
2012-09-24 12:56:26 PM  
Heh, I did it backwards once. Not because I don't know the order, but because the battery's markings had worn off and the wires in the vehicle were both black. All I had to go off of was the size of the terminal, so I look at the other vehicle's battery as a reference: they're both the same size.

Well, in electronics, usually if you mark a terminal as "different," it's the ground... so I decide I've got a 50% chance at worst and the large terminal is probably the ground. NOPE.

"Dude, why is that connector glowing?"
"Fark fark fark fark fark fark fark fark"

What's amazing is afterwards it worked fine.

/csb
 
2012-09-24 12:56:51 PM  

Jerkwater: I have never grounded the negative cable from the hot battery. I always connect + to + and - to -. I am guessing I have done this about 30 times in my life. I have never had an issue.


Oh that will work just fine (I've done it too). But if there's any spark when you make that last connection, and if there is any H2 that has escaped the battery, said H2 could ignite and cause bad things. Since the - terminal is grounded to the car, it's just safer to make that last connection to a metal part in the engine compartment away from the battery and you still get the connection.
 
2012-09-24 12:57:13 PM  

Cyclometh: ... I've clamped straight to the negative terminal in some cases where a good frame ground couldn't be had without risking getting the cables snarled in the fan belt or such silliness.


How hard would it be for car makers to give you a nice exposed bit to clamp onto? There was a flat metal piece hanging off the engine of my old VW Golf that I swear had no other purpose.

/ I think it was the Golf
// might have been the even older Accord
 
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