How to boost your battery, the right way.

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Sometimes we need a little boost.

 

While it’s true, most of the time we get into our vehicle, turn the key and everything works; the engine starts and we find ourselves happily on our way to work. However, there are times where we find ourselves in a position where nothing seems to work when we turn the key; now what? Invariably, its at a time where you are either in a hurry, or it is bitter cold out, and it is not a fun situation.

A common misconception is, “we shouldn’t be boosting newer cars”.

What’s true is, you shouldn’t be boosting your battery if you don’t know how. But, if you do know how there really is nothing in the way of doing so; just be sure to follow the guidelines set out in your owner’s manual, and the tips below.

Vehicle battery boosting tips (if you want to do it safely)

The old saying goes, “black to black, red to red”, that is, the booster cables which are hopefully still those colors, and that the cables on the battery will match in color.

There is another saying, which some of you may have heard; “Positive to positive, negative to negative”. This requires you to identify the polarity of the battery terminals, and that’s a good thing.

The safest way to connect the cables, however, is positive to positive and negative to the ground (bare metal) of the engine block, or the manufacturers ground connection as set out in the owner’s manual.

Here’s a quick visual.

The order in which we connect the boosting cables, is very important to prevent any damage to the electrics, and to avoid personal injury.

Follow this order when connecting the booster cables:

Be sure that both vehicles keys are in the off position.

  1. Connect the red clamp/cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery.
  2. Connect the red clamp/cable to the positive terminal of the working battery.
  3. Connect the black clamp/cable to the negative terminal of the working battery.
  4. Connect the black clamp/cable from the negative terminal to the appropriate grounding location of the dead vehicle, or somewhere on the engine block that is bare metal.
  5. Start the engine of the vehicle providing the boost.
  6. Start the disabled vehicle.
  7. Once it’s running, allow for a couple minutes of run time before disconnecting the cables.
  8. Remove the cables in the reverse order.

The last connection is likely to make some sparks, we call this arcing. The reason we connect the last negative cable to the remote ground or the engines block is to prevent the sparks from being too close to the gasses emitted by the battery which is low on charge.

If you find that the battery continues to need a boost, give us a call we can help you out!

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