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Vehicle maintenance tips 2

  • Disconnecting and reconnecting your battery

    To disconnect the battery for whatever reason, loosen the connector for the negative terminal first, and gently price off the terminal cap. If you have to take the battery out, you can now take off the positive connector. If you disconnect the positive side of the battery first, the negative side is still connected to the entire car. If you drop a tool and it lands on the positive battery terminal and touches anything else on the car, it will cause an electrical short. By disconnecting the negative first, you cut off the return path for the current. Now, if a tool drops on to either of the battery terminals, it doesn’t matter if it touches part of the chassis because there’s no continuous path for the electrical current.

  • Reconnecting your battery.

    Connect the positive terminal first, and then the negative – the reverse of removal, and for the same reasons. When you slip the negative connector on, there will be a spark as it gets close and makes contact with the negative battery terminal. This is nothing to worry about. Make sure you put on the terminal caps securely.

  • Check your battery terminals

    Most modern cars run on a 12 volt negative ground electrical system. If your battery terminals or contacts aren’t clean, you’re making it more difficult for the current to pass around the electrical system. Remove the terminal caps as described above and clean each contact post with a wire brush to get a nice clean metal contact surface. Do the same to the terminal caps, then reattach them as described above.

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