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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Jump starting - the safe way

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19 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Skip_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 07:41 AM

The safest way is to use a "Jump Box". <span style="text-decoration:underline">Period. </span> I carry mine all winter BUT if you are not fortunate enough to have one, here is a method I have been using since a battery blew up in my face (yep thats why I B this way) in 1968. Using this method takes a little more time BUT protects both vehicles, and their electronics.

1] Shut off the jumper (car doing the jumping)
2] connect red cable, positive post to positive post- (ie battery to battery)
3] connect negative cable (aka black) from jumper car <span style="text-decoration:underline">alt bracket</span> to jumpee (dead one) negative battery post.
4] Start jumper.
5] Here is the improtant step, hope you have read this far, <span style="text-decoration:underline">let the jumper run on a fast idle (~1500 RPM) for 3 to 5 minutes!!!</span> - Told ya it was going to take some time. Have the person with the dead car sit in your car and tell them the virtues of Subarus.
6] Equally as important -- <span style="text-decoration:underline">shut the jumper OFF before cranking the jumpee!!!! </span> This is the key to NOT toasting any electronic componets.
7] <span style="text-decoration:underline">Disconnect the cable to the alt bracket first</span> when removing the cables. Thus preventing any sparks near top of battery getting the big charge. If you think this is not important (I saw it happen or you could ask the pilot of the Hindenberg about it)

<strong>Theory:</strong> no need to read this as you probably already know it.
The time period spent talking up Subarus - or what ever - puts a "surface charge" on the dead battery.
The cranking amps needed to turn the dead car over are pulled mainly from this surface charge and NOT on the jumper's alt. When it fires the twin battery hook up, remember the cables are still connected, buffers any surge as the VR does not see a completely dead battery.
I hope this helps and thanks for reading.

I most heartily welcome comments, corrections, rebutes, or other statements about this procedure.
As I said I have only been using it for about 35 years so I am sure there is room for improvement.

Remember: Be careful out there.

#2 Guest_Subaroid_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 07:53 AM

100% correct, excellent info and I recommend it to be archived.

The gases that form during battery charging, caused the death of a young couple just weeks ago, when someone in an apartment building had been charging a car battery in his kitchen overnight. One slip of a cable at the batetry terminal in a poorly ventilated space.. one tiny spark.. BOOM. Massive fire resulted and the couple in the top floor died of carbon monoxide poisoning before they could be rescued.

When removing the battery cables after the dead car has started.. first remove the ground cable that was connected to the body of the car, far away from the battery. After that, no sparks.

While letting the dead car's battery receive charging.. keep the hood fully open too to improve ventilation. Same reasoning: getting rid of explosive gases.


#3 Guest_UltimateRX_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 08:00 AM

Looks good to me, I once blew the filler caps off a battery trying to jump start a car, I was lucky that the whole battery didn't blow.

Dr. RX quote:
"The best teacher is experience, but if we can learn from others experience, that is even better."

#4 Guest_Dennis_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 08:02 AM

and to add to this...

take even more caution around discharged batteries...they tend to blow up faster then ones that are holding a charge

good info skipper

#5 Guest_kelowna kid_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 08:12 AM

I would add, that in freezing weather, one should ALWAYS check
to be sure the jumped battery is not frozen before proceding.
(not so easy w/some)
Failure to do so, can result in a nasty explosion and sulphuric acid in
your face.
I know someone who learned this lesson the hard way one Manitoba

#6 Guest_tomrhere_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 09:18 AM

Another safety point. "Hook the cables up yourself on both vehicles". That way you are sure that they are right. Had a battery blow-up on me too. Handed the other guy the cable ends, told him red on pos. He was either color blind, or dyslexic, and hooked them up backwards. When I touched my end to my car, BOOM! Only thing worse than battery acid in your eyes, is carb cleaner. The explosive force of a battery is huge. Mom had a 73 Mercury Montego, V/R stuck and overcharged the battery. Pulls into gas station shuts off car, pumps gas, hits the key, BOOM!! Mangled hood, fender, and blew the headlights clean across the station. Scared the crap outta everyone. Funny to think on it now, but it could of been real bad. Tom

#7 Guest_E Zap_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 12:10 PM

Not a "jump" story, and a little off topic, but. . .
My dumb rump roast put the battery cables on backwards on an 83 turbo wagon once. IT actually started and ran for a few minutes. Then I noticed the smoke from under the dash. :eek:

Sure enough, the computer was fried good. Even after replacing the ecu, it still ran like crap after that.

(the ecu doesn't make for very good armor. I used it for target practice with my mini crossbow. )

#8 Guest_MilesFox_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 04:21 PM

i have seen an explodes battery before. looks like it took a lot of force to blow it apart like it was:rolleyes:

#9 Guest_JwX_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 08:01 PM

whats a "jump box"?

#10 Guest_c150L_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 08:14 PM

Its a little lunch box looking thing with half a set of jumper cables coming out of it, maybe a built in flashlight and probably a battery level meter in it. Self contained jump starter.

#11 Guest_Mike W_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 08:33 PM

I for one will admit to being skilled at putting wrenches across battery terminals to cause cool blue sparks and flying molten lead. So far I haven't suffered any bodily injury (besides burns) but it's probably just a matter of time. I love how the wrench either welds itself to the terminals and gets freekin hot, or liquid lead and steel splatters over a 20 foot radius and the wrench lays there smoking like a meteorite. Or how about the time I shorted out a ten guage wire connected to the battery...*POOF*...the insulation is gone in about 2 seconds. Oh yeah, fun with electricity.

#12 Guest_Bill Putney_*

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 10:17 PM

Great post, Skip.

Another tip about hooking and unhooking a charger - always clip the leads onto the battery *before* plugging to the power source; always unplug the power source *before* unclippping the leads from the battery. (Easy way to remember: the power source needs to be *disconnected* any time you do anything with the clips on the battery.) That prevents sparks. My dad had a tractor battery explode in his face one time because he failed to heed his own advice that he had taught me - fortunately he wasn't hurt.

Also good advice from Tomrhere about trusting no-one but yourself to do the connecting - I lost an alternator being a nice guy one time jumping a guy's car for him - he hooked the cables up backwards and I didn't check behind him - too late!

#13 Guest_Skip_*

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Posted 25 January 2003 - 09:24 AM

Thanks Bill,
Yep sparks and Hydrogen do not mix well.
Please be very careful.
<img src="http://www.nlhs.com/images/hindenburg/big_hindenburg_explodes_over_lakehurst.jpg"/>

#14 Guest_Turbone_*

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Posted 25 January 2003 - 06:13 PM

Mike, are you related to Tim Allen?:rollin:
Long ago, I had a 77 T-Bird that went dead in town. No jumper cables, just a strand of 16ga. wire about 24in long. Kind lady let me use her car for a jump. I used the wire for the Pos link, and put the bumpers together for a ground. It worked, but I dont suggest doing this as a routine jump. Oh yea, my fingers did get a little warm holding the wire to the terminals:eek:

#15 Guest_Bill Putney_*

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 12:28 PM

"...Kind lady let me use her car for a jump. I used the wire for the Pos link, and put the bumpers together for a ground..."

That must have been many years ago when they made bumpers out of metal - can you believe it! :D

#16 Guest_Hondasucks_*

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 02:42 PM

My auto instructor had a battery blow up on him, him and a student were working on a car, and the starter stalled (IF you don't know what that means, it's when the starter "stalls out" and stops turning, and 99% of the time the surge of current causes the contacts to weld together) and so he was in the process of pulling the negative cable off when BOOM, luckily for him it blew out the side, he had acid all over his clothes but he didn't get it in the face (he had goggles on luckily).
That's why it's a good idea to wear safety goggles whenever you're working around your battery (Good idea to wear at least safety glasses whenever you're working on a car, especialy under it,and ESPECIALLY on our 4x4's, mud in the eye SUCKS!)

#17 Guest_Bill Putney_*

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 06:13 AM

Someone actually had goggles on when an accident happened - very unusual. ;) Seriously - good for him!

You and your instructor might find this web site interesting/useful: www.uuhome.de/william.dar...rfaq14.htm - click the first link (FAQ's), then click 14, and read 14-3 "A battery will not explode" (don't get excited - that's under the heading of "What are some of the Myths about Batteries"). Your instructor might be able to add another safety tip about working on batteries to his reportoire that could have prevented the explosion in that case (I'll let you figure it out from the battery FAQ).

#18 Guest_RickOregon_*

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 11:01 PM

I'd just like to add my thanks to Skip for starting this jump start safety thread and to Bill and the others for appending it. I'm going to save it to my tips file. I'm also going to print and post it in my garage. I have to admit I've been a bit complacent at times when it comes to batteries. This procedure and the rationale keep me focused on what's important -- safety first. I nearly lost a couple fingers two years ago working near an auxiliary fan that came on. I sure don't want to lose my eyesight or burn my car, because of improper battery use. Good job people. Rick

#19 Guest_subyguy_*

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 06:22 PM

grate topic Skip.
big fan of your posts.

just a side note on safty. you may want to take off your watch and other metal jewlery when working on electrical stuf.
we had a lawn tractor that my dad was working on you know the kind 12hp brigs type thing anyway he wast watching and touched the hot and the body of the tractor at the same time with his watch. it welded his watch to his hand:eek: the clasp welded togethere and he couldnt get it off the clasp was bright red. i ran to get water and when i got back 15 secounds later he had a screw driver under the band and had pressed hard enough to put the tip of the screw driver .5 in into his hand. anyway got it cooled off enough for him to move to the cold water. relly sucked the burn was bad enough to make him trow up as it was cooling. never seen somone in such pain remeber take off any metal your wereing on your hand when you start to work on electrical.

#20 Guest_Turner_*

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 02:43 AM

Burns will make ya do that!

I once put my hand on a piece of molten solder when I was reaching accross the table to slap a girls a$$ back in highschool.

I ended up jumping up right after I did, half from her, half from my hand.....

Pulled the now solid piece of solder from my hand... ouch!

I felt like I was gonna thow up for several hours after that!

PS: If you break the blister, but leave the dead skin and cover it with anything (in my case, a piece of paper towel and duct tape.... moce people use a band-aid, but.... :) ) the pain'll pretty much go away. (Blisters pain that is) Even when pressed.

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