Why an advice, tips and tricks page?
Simple, we all need some advice
sometimes. I want add as much here as possible about anything
to do with automotive electrical and solar power, RV house batteries
and any other electrical systems that seem appropriate.
I encourage and will gladly accept submissions from customers
and will include name, email or web link if requested.
No copyrighted material unless you are the owner of the copyright
and include a letter stating that custom battery cables has
the right to use it. so if you have some automotive advice,
tip or trick that you want to put on the web you can send it
to me in word or html format...
As I write or receive more I'll create links
to the articles...
These pages are for information only.
seek help from a professional if you are not qualified
to due the work listed below. In case of accident or injury
seek immediate medical attention.
Advice on Battery safety and installation
Tip and Tricks for installing battery terminal
and Tricks: Battery Safety and installation:
Always wear safety glasses when
working on batteries. Once, when I was
much younger, I was cleaning the corrosion on the battery
in my then girlfriends car. (Maybe it was because I was
a teenage gearhead but oddly enough I remember the car more fondly
than her. ) Anyway I was scrubbing away with a wire brush
and the brush flicked a piece of the green acidic crud right
into my eye. After thoroughly washing it with water I
was OK but I learned an important leasson... always wear
safety glasses when messing with automotive batteries.
produce explosive gas - keep away from flames and sparks:
Batteries produce hydrogen gas: that's the stuff that
brought down the Hindenburg and later the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Do not smoke around batteries. Do not expose to flame
or spark. Here's another true story. My brother
was trying to jumpstart his wife's car but the battery post
was loose and it wasn't making connection. He told
"Red" to crank it while he wiggled the battery terminal and
post. The wiggling caused a spark and the battery exploded
blowing the top off the battery and splashing him and the under
hood area with battery acid. He was wearing glasses and
got immediate attention to wash off the acid. He was lucky;
it could have ended worse.
Use caution connecting
booster cables: Connect jumper cables to the
discharged battery first. The hydrogen gas get created as the
battery discharges. So sparks around a charged battery
are less likely to create an explosion. Another good idea
is to connect positive to positive then connect the negative to something on
the engine in stead of the battery. That way if a spark
is created it happens it happens away from the battery.
Of course be careful for all the usual stuff on the engine...spinning
fans, belts, hot stuff, etc.
jewelry when working on batteries. Another
true story... I work at a shop repairing tractors with a guy Named
Bobby Blix. He was one of the best mechanics I ever
had the privilege to work with. He never wore jewelry
on the job. One weekend, on a trip to Las Vegas, a
friends car broke down. While he was working on it he
shorted the battery positive post to ground thru his metal
wrist watch band. The watch was glowing red before he
was able to react. I'm sure the pain from the burns wrecked
the Vegas weekend and he had a scar in the shape of a wrist
watch around his wrist to remind him of it.
Always remove ground
wire first and connect it last.
Most modern cars are negative ground
although many old cars were positive ground. For this
discussion we'll assume negative ground. Why disconnect the
ground first? Until the ground is disconnected the
engine, and car body are all connected to the negative
battery post thru that ground cable. If you slip with
the wrench and it bangs into the metal battery box, you will
create a huge spark as the current from the positive battery
post finds a path to ground by going thru the wrench, the
car body and the ground cable. Avoid these problems.
Always disconnect ground cable first and connect it last.
Wash Your Hands!
- I hate to sound like
your mother but she was right this time. Batteries
contain lead and sulfuric acid, both of which cause all
sorts of bad things. Always wash you hand after working with
batteries. Lead causes heavy metal poisoning and
battery acid can cause severe chemical burns, Do NOT
eat, rub your eyes,
hug your kids, smoke, snuggle up to your honey or go to
the bathroom until you have washed your hands. You
don't want chemical burns in embarising places.
Don't pound on battery
terminals to get them to fit on a battery post.
I was once with a buddy when we took
his car to the auto shop in one of these discount big box stores.
His car's battery was getting changed under warranty. The
young kid doing the work must have thought that thosee
cables were held on with nails because he took out a hammer
and started thumping the terminals to get the to fit on the
battery posts. This can damage the internal connection from
the post to the plates and break the fragile seal around the
post, assuring acid leaks
and corroded cables for as long as you keep that damaged battery.
Special "spreader" tools are made for opening terminals so they
You can even use a large flat blade screwdriver or
2 end wrenches in a pinch. See pictures:
Stuck Battery Terminal?
Use a Terminal puller. terminal pullers
are handy little devices for removing stuck battery terminals.