Safety Advice from Custom Battery Cables
At Custom Battery Cables, LLC we know we all need some advice sometimes. We want to add as much here as possible about anything to do with automotive, electrical and solar power, RV house batteries, and any other electrical systems that seem appropriate. We encourage submissions from our customers and will include name, email or web link if requested. All that we ask is you do NOT submit copyrighted matter unless you are the owner of the copy and include a letter stating Custom Battery Cables, LLC has the right to use is.
So, if you have some automotive advice, tip or trick that you want to put on the website, you can send it to us in a word format.
This page is for information only. Always seek help from a professional if you are not qualified to do the work.
In case of accident or injury, always seek immediate medical attention.
At Custom Battery Cable we want you to keep you safe! Here are some common-sense tips and trips for you!
Always wear safety glasses when working on batteries. Once, when I was much younger, I was cleaning the corrosion on the battery in a friend’s car. I was scrubbing away with a wire brush and the brush flicked a piece of the green acidic crud right into my eye. The moral of that story: ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES.
Batteries produce explosive gas – keep away from flames and sparks: Batteries produce hydrogen gas: that’s the stuff that brought down the Hindenburg. Do not smoke around batteries. Do not expose to flame or spark. Here’s another true story. A friend was trying to jump-start his wife’s car but the battery post was loose and it wasn’t making a good connection. He had her “crank it” while he wiggled the battery terminal. The wiggling caused a spark and the battery exploded blowing the top right off the battery and splashing him and engine compartment with battery acid. He was wearing glasses and got immediate attention to wash off the acid. He was lucky. It could have ended worse.
Use caution connecting booster cables: Connect jumper cables to the discharged battery first. The hydrogen gas gets created as the battery discharges. So sparks around a charged battery are less likely to create an explosion. Another good idea is to connect positive to positive then connect negative to something on the engine instead of the battery. That way if a spark is created it happens it happens away from the battery. Of course, always be careful for all the usual stuff on the engine, spinning fans, belts, hot stuff, etc.
Remove jewelry when working on batteries. Another true story; I worked repairing tractors with a guy named Bob Blix. He was one of the best mechanic I ever worked with. He never wore jewelry on the job. One weekend, on a trip to Las Vegas, he stopped to help someone whose car had broken down. He was working on the car when he shorted the battery positive post to the chassis ground thru his metal wrist watch band. The watch was glowing red before he was able to react. I’m sure the pain from the burn wrecked the Vegas weekend and he had a scar in the shape of a wristwatch around his wrist to remind him of it. Don’t repeat that mistake.
Always remove ground wire first and connect it last. Most modern cars are negative ground although many old cars were positive ground. For this discussion, we’ll assume negative ground. Why disconnect the ground first? Until the ground is disconnected the engine, and car body are all connected to the negative battery post thru that ground cable. If you are wrenching on the positive side and the wrench slips and bangs into the metal battery box, you will create a huge spark as the current from the positive battery post finds a path to ground by going thru the wrench, the car body, and the ground cable. Avoid these problems by always disconnecting ground first and reconnecting last.
Wash Your Hands! – I hate to sound like your mother but she was right this time. Batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid, both of which cause all sorts of bad things. Always wash you hand after working with batteries. Lead causes heavy metal poisoning and battery acid can cause severe chemical burns, Do NOT eat, smoke, rub your eyes, hug your kids, or snuggle up to your honey or go to the bathroom until you have washed your hands.