You may not be a technical person or you may not be aware of all the stuff related to batteries, wirings, its connections and its terminals. It is ok, because not everyone knows everything.
You may feel tiring to always go to the auto repair shop for all small works related to batteries. In case if your car gets stuck on the road, you may have to do those small works all by yourself. But are they easy?
Yes, small works such as replacing batteries, installing new ones and connecting them can be done all by yourself.
Even they are easy, if you want to do them yourself, you must know some basic things to avoid unnecessary problems and unexpected accidents. There is a risk, especially if you are new to this stuff.
While connecting a car battery, you might get doubts like, which battery terminal to connect first? what are these positive and negative battery terminals? how to tell which battery cable is positive and which one is negative? These are very common doubts you may get while connecting a car battery.
This article explains all the important aspects related to connecting a car battery.
While connecting a car battery which terminal first?
This is a common confusion for many people who wanted to connect their car battery on their own. If it is the first time, you may even not be aware of the positions of the positive and negative battery terminals.
So lets us begin with the basics for a better understanding of these battery connections easily.
Identifying the positive and negative battery terminals
When you are handling your car battery for the first time, the first doubt that you get is, regarding the battery terminals. Which side of the battery is positive and negative? How to differentiate between the two terminals?
When you look at the battery, you notice two metallic objects protruding from the battery. You may find them either on the top of the battery or sometimes on the battery sides. These cone-shaped objects which are mostly made of lead are nothing but your battery terminals.
These terminals function as an interface between the battery and your car. The electricity flows out of the battery and the terminals transmit the electricity to your car through the cables.
Finding the difference between positive and negative battery terminals
It is easy to differentiate between the two terminals. The metal terminals are marked with the signs of their respective charges. Positive terminals are marked with a plus sign and the negative terminals are marked with a minus sign. This is the easiest way to differentiate between the two terminals.
Nowadays many car batteries are being provided with colored protective covers near its terminals. If that is the case, red always represents the positive terminal and black color represents the negative terminal in most of the batteries.
Otherwise, you can also observe the size of those battery terminals carefully to differentiate them. The positive terminal is usually larger in size than the negative terminal. This size difference is usually maintained to avoid confusion and mix up during battery installation process.
When you think of the arrangement position of the positive and negative terminals, they can vary depending upon the type of battery used. In some batteries, you have a positive terminal on the left and negative terminal on the right corner. Whereas some batteries have negative on the left and positive on the right side. In some batteries, the terminals are also positioned diagonally.
Hence instead of remembering the position, check for other indications such as the signs, the color and size of the battery terminals to differentiate between positive and negative terminals accurately.
Which battery terminal to connect first?
When you are connecting your car battery, you might get confused regarding the battery connections. But which battery terminal do you connect first? Do you connect positive or negative first?
Always remember that you should connect the positive terminal first.
Any improper battery connection can cause the risk of burning off your car’s electrical system and may also lead to battery explosions.
Firstly, you should place the battery in the proper direction and position so that the positive and negative terminals are nearer to their respective cables.
Now attach the positive cable or the red one to the positive terminal and tighten it mildly with a wrench. Similarly, connect the negative cable or usually the black one to the negative terminal. Attach both cables and tighten the nuts. Remember not to overtighten the terminal bolts.
Why shouldn’t you connect the negative terminal first?
As i told you, you should always connect the positive terminal first. But why not the negative terminal?
Do you know that the negative terminal of your car battery is connected to your car chassis?
In that case, if you connect the negative terminal first, your entire car gets grounded. The complete car frame including the nuts and bolts also get grounded.
In that case, if you connect the positive terminal and if any metal object like a spanner touches the grounded area, there is always a risk of short circuit and risk of explosion of the battery.
Hence, during battery installation, you should never connect the negative terminal first.
Which battery terminal to connect first when jumping?
So, what about jumping a car? When jumping a car what color goes first?
You should always connect the positive terminal first while you try to jump your car with the use of jumper cables.
A positive jumper cable is usually red or yellow in color whereas the negative one is black in color.
Connect the positive jumper cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery. Connect the other side of that cable to the positive terminal of the donor battery. Now connect the black negative jumper cable to the negative terminal of the donor battery. Then connect the other side of the black jumper cable to the metal part of the car with the dead battery. Remember that this is the last connection you need to make during the entire connection process.
Remember not to connect the negative cable to the negative terminal of the weak battery. This could create the risk of igniting the hydrogen gas coming from the battery with a spark.
How to avoid sparks when connecting battery?
There are many reasons for the occurrence of sparks while connecting a battery. Improper connections can be one of the main reason for the cause of sparks while connecting your car battery.
In order to avoid situations that cause sparks
1. Never connect the negative terminal first, if you connect the positive terminal after the negative one, any metal that touches any part of your car’s metal body causes a big spark and possible fire.
2. While disconnecting your car battery, always disconnect the negative first. Removing the positive terminal first can cause potential electric shock and battery explosion.
3. Take care that no metallic object touches both the terminals at the same time. This can also lead to a powerful spark.
If any of the above cases occur and if the car is a sensitive one, its electrical system can completely get damaged. Hence taking proper care while connecting the battery terminals is extremely important.