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Are the people who design car batteries pratical jokers or sadists?

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 10:40 PM
Original message
Poll question: Are the people who design car batteries pratical jokers or sadists?
I've had to jump assorted batteries over the years, and every time it's the same routine:

Pop the hood, then locate the battery. Inevitably the terminals are in an awkward location. Then the real fun begins. Your job is to secure a humongous alligator clip to the 1/16" length of 1/8" terminal that is showing. If you are lucky, that terminal is clean and shiny. If you're not so lucky, you're standing in the dark with rain running down your neck trying to figure out how to clean the terminals with the tools at hand; typically an empty coffee cup from the take-out and maybe a donut bag. I've secured the red clip only to have it pop off just as I get the black clip on. So then I have to take the black clip off, put the red clip back on and try securing the black clip again. The longer it takes to secure the black clip, the more likely the red clip is to pop off.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well, the idea was to avoid the sulfuric acid from corroding the posts.
So NATURALLY, some bozo decided to make the bolt on the side the size of a pea.

It could have been 3/4 of an inch so the jumper cables would stay on but NOOOOOO...

They were afraid dumb-ass Americans would strip the treads on the battery. (true story)
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Swede Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Just clip the black clamp to any metal you see.
Bolt,bracket etc. It's just the ground.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Aha! That's what they'd like you to think. But just try to find unpainted metal
under the hood of the car! If you do, it's usually formed into some weird shape that the clips can't grip!
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. .
:thumbsup:

and the positive can go on the whole clamp, doesn't have to be on the nub of terminal exposed (if that is what OP meant)
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Wait - the terminals I've seen are always short metal rods emerging from a plastic
non-conducting base. :shrug:

Have I been doing it wrong all these years?
:blush:
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I don't know, but I've never had any problems, either.
I just clamp the clamp over the whole terminal and cable and crank it. Seems like the easiest thing in the world. :shrug:
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. you said about 1/16 to 1/8 inch
Edited on Sat Nov-05-11 11:39 PM by Kali
that is about how much sticks up above the car's electrical cable connector - the post on the battery itself is maybe a half to 3/4 of an inch, so you can clamp the jumper cable giant alligator (roach?:smoke: :evilgrin: ) clip over the whole clamp on the post

as an alternative they make cigarette lighter to cigarette lighter chargers as well, but they tend to take a long freaking time to work
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Hmmmm - I will have to review this with my husband the Car Guy -
he may think it's obvious to everyone so he never mentioned it to me.


BTW - Some good news - the son going to school and living off-campus with my dad reported some strange noises coming from beneath the car. My husband was passing through town and had time to take a quick look - pulling the hub caps and making sure the wheel lugs were tight. He was planning on maybe having to replace a wheel bearing tomorrow on his way back through. My son reported today that the strange noises are gone. Apparently the hub cap wasn't on tight!
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
5. BTW - the last time I had to get a jump, I popped the hood on the
rental car and spent a few minutes with the hotel maintenance guy just looking for the battery! It was well hidden. (Of course, i think the real problem is that for 30 years I've driven used cars about 10-15 years old, and I was trying to start a fuel injected engine by pumping the gas, but we won't go into that just now.)
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
10. My son's car has the battery in the trunk
We spent 30 minutes just trying to find the goddam thing in broad daylight.
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