Here are 2 tips that may save you money, and keep you safe!If you find yourself with a dead battery, and decide to “Jump Start” your vehicle, remember what I just said about the alternator’s job. It’s not designed to fill up that empty battery. In most cases it will do just that, but in the process, it will overwork and overheat, shortening its life, and even possibly failing right on the spot. That can get expensive. The best solution to a dead battery is to remove it or disconnect it from the vehicle, and have it fully charged. Then test it, and if defective, replace it. Okay, I know in the real world that’s not always possible, but it sure is the best way to fly if given a choice. A battery that has a defective cell can also damage the alternator by causing it to work overtime. Remember, it takes a lot of horsepower to drive the alternator, so a bad battery, causing the alternator to work hard, can also affect fuel economy. That’s especially true with smaller displacement engines. If you are faced with a having to use jumper cables to start a vehicle with a dead battery, follow these simple directions to avoid damage and possible injuries. Remember, an automotive lead acid battery in a low state of charge is normally giving off hydrogen fumes that are dangerous, so here is the correct method of hooking up the cables... 1. Make sure the vehicles involved are not touching each other, and be sure to identify negative and positive on both vehicles 2. Hook up the positive (Red) cable from the positive battery post on the donor car to the positive battery post on the receiving car 3. Next hook up negative (Black) cable to the donor car’s negative battery post, and then to the “Engine Block” on the receiving car 4. DO NOT make the last connection to the dead battery 5. Let the donor car run for a few minutes to stabilize and then attempt to start the affected vehicle Let’s always be safe! If you have some gloves available, wear them. At the very least, wash your hands well when finished. Also wear eye protection; even sunglasses will do in a pinch! Lead acid batteries can explode due to the gases that can escape through the battery’s vent cap or port. Never smoke or have any kind of ignition source when working around the battery. If you follow these simple rules, you can save time and money by avoiding damage to your vehicle, or injuring yourself.
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