Auto Maintenance – Battery Trouble: Is Jumpstarting Dangerous?

You may have found yourself in a situation wherein your friend calls you for help because his car would not start. If you have successfully jumpstarted another car with your vehicle and your own hands and you still have both of your hands right now, then you are very lucky!

There is danger in jumpstarting – battery explosion. Car batteries contain a very flammable ingredient called hydrogen gas which can catch a spark and blow up in seconds. This would mean major damage to your own vehicle, starting with the charging system and then other electronic parts in your car. When a car battery explodes, it also spurts out the acid it contains and can ruin and burn anything that it touches, including exposed skin.

However, there are ways to ensure the safety of a jumpstart procedure. The first is to turn your engine off, the other car is okay since it does not have any power. But before your turn your engine off, make sure there is a good distance between the two cars. If the cars are touching, this could provide an electrical medium which may scatter unwanted electricity.

Do not let anyone smoke near you, include yourself in this rule, and have protective gadgets like gloves and eye goggles, just in case. You will need to get your jumper cables for this experiment. The red cable goes to the positive terminal of your live battery and the dead one’s positive terminal as well. Meanwhile, connect the black cable to the good battery’s negative port, with the other end nowhere near the dead battery but on firm ground. That is your guarantee that the spark it (the black cable) produces does not cause battery explosion. Also, keep cables from touching each other and away from anything in the vehicles that might catch and pull them.

You may start your engine now, meaning the engine with the live battery, wait for several minutes on idle. While you are idling, the good battery has already put in some charge on the dead battery lessening the risk of damaging your charging system and your battery’s charge too.

After the minutes have gone by, you can try starting the other vehicle. If the battery catches, you will need to get out of the car and carefully disconnect the jumper cables. Let the vehicle with the bad battery be driven around for at least half an hour or better yet, drive it to the nearest service station to have the charge checked by a professional.

Tip: It might not be a good idea to turn off the engine of the vehicle with the previous dead battery as this may mean you have to jumpstart it again.

If the battery does not catch and the engine does not start, check your cable connections and try jumpstarting again. Never try starting up the battery for more than half a minute each time. After the second try, you might want to call in a towing service.

See: Gas credit card

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.