Click, click - the engine doesn't crank.  Or worse.. you hit the door unlock button on your remote and nothing happens.  At some time in our lives most of us have encountered the misery of a dead battery in our vehicle.  The easy solution is begging for a set of jumper cables, (hopefully in the corner of someone's trunk), and then throwing the cables on the two cars and away you go - right?  Maybe.  There is more to it than that and if you aren't careful, you can actually end up causing damage to the battery and other components in your electrical system.
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Jumping a Battery 
Line both cars up so the batteries are as close as can be. Make sure the cars are in park, and both cars are turned off, and not touching each other before you connect the cables. Actually one of them is already off, or you wouldn't be in this predicament right? Make sure all headlights, blinkers, car radios and A/C's are off, radar detectors are unplugged, cell phones unplugged, everything off. Unplug all accessories from cigarette lighters and other power sockets from both cars. Jump starting a battery can crank 300+ amps through your system and the transients can destroy equipment. These voltage spikes are caused by inrush current, into the inductances in your electrical system.
 
Familiarize yourself with the Positive (+) and Negative (-) terminals of both car batteries so you know exactly which one is which. All batteries are clearly marked so if you can't find it, it's probably under 1/8" of caked on corrosion around the terminals. Wipe off any battery acid that may have leaked.
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If the battery is cracked and liquid is leaking out, DO NOT go further! Bite the bullet and go buy another battery and swap it out. If you try to jump start a battery with a crack in it, it may explode, and battery acid will dissolve your eyes (on the positive side though, it does get the red out). It makes no sense to jump a cracked battery, it will die in a few minutes.
Try to clean off any corrosion around the dead battery terminals, and if you have tools, loosen the wires from the terminals, clean them off, then retighten the wires to the shiny posts. Corroded posts prevent the power from getting through the cables and into your battery to revive it. If you have a file handy, try to file the metal battery posts until they are nice and shiny. In a pinch use pliers to clamp down and scrape off corrosion too as the metal is somewhat soft.
Usually the positive battery cable is red or orange, and usually the Negative (-) or ground cable is black, but always check for yourself to be sure.
 
Safety is important when dealing with batteries and they require special handling. The electrolyte (water) inside the battery is a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. Sulfuric acid is very corrosive; if it gets on your skin it should be flushed with water immediately; if it gets in your eyes, you should immediately flush them thoroughly with water and see a doctor right away. In this situation, time is critical. If you work with batteries often, you should have a mild solution of baking soda and water on hand and flush with that. The baking soda will neutralize the acid and minimize the damage. Remember: it is more important to flush immediately. Do not take the time to make up a solution first.
 
Connect the cables in this order...
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What Do The Numbers Mean on a Battery?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Today's batteries are rated in cold cranking amps. This represents the current that the battery can produce for 30 seconds at 0 degrees before the battery voltage drops below 7.2 volts. An average battery today will have a CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) of 500. With the many different makes and models of cars available today, batteries will come in many different sizes, but all sizes come in many CCAs. Make sure you get a battery strong enough to operate properly in your car. The length of the warranty is not indicative of the strength of the battery.
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Battery Maintainers 
Maintaining a battery in your Vette during the cold storage months is crucial.  Electronic components in more modern Corvettes are constantly drawing on the battery and if the battery is not charged or maintained while in storage, it will drain and possibly cause damage.
The purchase of a battery maintainer such as the Ctek Battery Charger or the Battery Tender is a sound investment.  The circuitry in the charger constantly monitors the levels of your battery and charges it when necessary to maintain a consistent level of charge and thereby avoid the fluctuations that can cause damage and battery failure.
Please Remember - If you should wish to obtain a battery maintainer / charger, they are available for a very reasonable cost through club member Ron Rail.  Just send him an email or give him a call. 
 

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Always remember - The FIRST thing to disconnect is the negative cable onnection and the LAST thing to reconnect is the negative cable connection.

A battery terminal brush is handy for cleaning posts and the inside of cable connectors.
 Remove The Negative Cable First,
Re-connect The Negative Cable Last:
Why? Because the wrench or socket is touching the live part of the electrical connector. There is a good chance that the wrench or socket handle will accidentally touch something. The entire car is connected to the negative terminal. 
If your wrench is on the positive terminal and it accidentally touches anything metal, you will short circuit the battery. The voltage isn't harmful, but the sudden unexpected sparks will startle the $hit out of you, and could even burn you. There is so much current (amperage) available that your wrench literally becomes an arc welder. 
If you disconnect the negative cable first, and reconnect it last, then the car is not electrically connected to the negative battery terminal. After that you can disconnect the positive battery terminal with minimal risk, because if your wrench touches any metal parts of the car there is no complete circuit, and nothing happens. The only risk comes from touching the other (i.e. negative) battery terminal. 
While connecting or disconnecting the negative cable, you don't need to worry about the wrench touching metal parts of the car, because everything is at the same electrical potential. You only need to keep the wrench from touching the positive battery terminal. That's easy.
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Touching up battery labeling so there is no mistake about which post is which.
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 Use of dielectric grease on posts help prevent the corrosion process and ensures good electrical contact. 
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