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#63714 - 04/12/06 03:35 AM Jumpstarting...again
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)
Addict

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 664
Loc: Florida, USA
Okay, I'll freely admit that I don't understand a whole lot about how cars work. I posted a question about jumper cables and correct method of hooking them up a few months ago, but I'm really confused about what happened yesterday. I left my lights on (darn warning buzzer didn't work!) and I had a friend agree to let me use her car to jumpstart mine. I hooked up positive to positive and negative (live) to ground (dead). I had her run her car at high idle, and within a twenty minute period, tried three times to start my car...but nothing. I then took the cables off, and reattached them, this time connecting negative to negative (I know, possibility of exploding battery). My father in law (as I said in the last post) swears this is the correct way to do it, although I'd never done it that way. Within a couple of minutes, my car started right up.

Why?

Do I do it the "wrong" way and risk battery acid in the face because I know it works for my car? 'Cause I know the "correct" way didn't work.

I don't get it. <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Ors, MAE, MT-BC
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

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#63715 - 04/12/06 11:37 AM Re: Jumpstarting...again
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2847
Your not supposed to make the last connection at the battery because you could make a spark too close to the explosive gas.
If you couldn't get good power connecting to an engine ground then you may have a dirty connection somewhere.

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#63716 - 04/12/06 02:33 PM Re: Jumpstarting...again
harrkev Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 384
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
The problem was likely that one of your connections was not good. Some people say that the last negative connection should be made to the chassis itself to reduce the posibility of explosion. There is some merit to this, but you can ignore it if it is a windy day. The advantage of the direct connection is that there is less resistance. The lead in top-post terminals is rather soft, and the teeth of the clamps can grip right in and make a great connection easily.

If you attach the calbes to the chassis, you have to make sure that the cables touch metal and not paint/grease/rust.
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Darwin was wrong -- I'm still alive

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#63717 - 04/12/06 06:57 PM Re: Jumpstarting...again
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)
Addict

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 664
Loc: Florida, USA
Quote:
If you couldn't get good power connecting to an engine ground then you may have a dirty connection somewhere.

On my very first car, I always grounded it to part of the frame. Is that thinking correct? Just as long as it is grounded, somewhere?
_________________________
Ors, MAE, MT-BC
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

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#63718 - 04/12/06 08:40 PM Re: Jumpstarting...again
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2847
The starter is bolted to the engine as close to the engine block/starter is the best place. Grounding to the frame of the car you have to go through a ground cable/strap to the engine which is a potential point of bad connection. You usually have a large ground strap from the engine to the body and then a large negative battery cable from the battery to the engine block. So connecting to the frame your going through whatever bonds the frame to the body then the strap from the engine to the body.
\My very first truck was 1988 chevy which we got from a repo auction and someon had improperly installed a body lift. We found that the large negative battery cable was left disconnected since it wouldn't reach and it then melted the small negative battery cable. When we foudn this we took the body lift back off and reconnected the large egative battery cable but didn;t think to check the connection. Since it had been disconnected for sometime the connection point had been exposed and started to rust, then reconnecting it on top that rust didn't help any. I couldn't get it to crank one day and wiggled the battery cable and it started, then disconnected the cable from the block and found all the rust trapped under it and cleaned it up good and it was fine for many years to come.

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#63719 - 04/13/06 01:01 PM Re: Jumpstarting...again
Grits Offline
Master Burger Flipper
newbie

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 29
Loc: Western North Carolina
What guage wire were the jumper cabels?

Smaller diameter wire will not carry the current needed to jump off vehicles. A large diameter cable will carry the load needed to start another vehicle.

When most folks buy jumper cables they purchase the cheap ones. Invest in a good quality pair of jumper cables and save yourself some headaches along the way.

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#63720 - 04/13/06 03:36 PM Re: Jumpstarting...again
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yes that thinking is correct - but even the paint at the connection point can weaken the current sufficiently to make a bad connection so look for bare metal - or go directly for the battery terminal

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#63721 - 04/13/06 04:20 PM Re: Jumpstarting...again
311 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 285
Loc: NY USA
Problems making the connection to ground at remote locations on the vehicle is a sign of a ground problem. You need to correct this, not just put the ground clamp on the battery. Find the connections that ground the vehicle parts together., i.e. engine to body strap, hood to body (if you've got one). disconnect these. Clean with sandpaper, wipe with a solvent (acetone or alcohol) and reconnect. Be sure that they are tight. These straps & wires were put there for a reason (reduction of static in your radio, for one). Don't ignore them.

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#63722 - 04/13/06 04:21 PM Re: Jumpstarting...again
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
So, I guess one question for you, Ors, is whether your car's owner manual suggests a place to clamp that negative cable and if that's where you clamped. Just because the cable is connected to something metal doesn't necessarily make it a good grounding point, as others have pointed out.


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#63723 - 04/13/06 04:25 PM Re: Jumpstarting...again
311 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 285
Loc: NY USA
If the headlight warning buzzer doesn't work, check to see if the interior light comes on when the door is open. ???! On my car, the buzzer circuit needs to know when the door is open so it can warn you about the headlights. When my door switch failed, the interior lights & the warning buzzer stopped working. Fixed door switch, interior lights & buzzer fixed!

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